How to Select an Enterprise Ready Visibility Provider: Q&A with project44 CTO Will Hansmann

As the visibility market has grown, so has technology. Retailers, manufacturers and distributors are searching for the most scalable solutions that will allow them to make strategic, data-driven decisions across their entire supply chain.

To gain this level and quality of insight, organizations need an enterprise-grade solution. For more insight into what makes software enterprise, John Rattay, Vice President at project44 asked p44’s Chief Technology Officer, Will Hansmann, a few questions that we regularly hear in the field.

John Ratty: With increasing awareness around security across industries – from retailers to manufacturers and distributors – how can visibility buyers assure their data is secure?

Will Hansmann: As the security landscape evolves regularly, it’s challenging for organizations to ensure all their data is secure. And the supply chain is no exception. Because the real value of visibility is high-quality data, any enterprise-grade software should have a robust security program, which is a complex practice that spans across an organization’s people, process, and technology.

When looking at project44’s technology, this means end-to-end protection of customer data through encryption in-transit and at rest. The system is monitored frequently, all activity is audited, and penetration tests are conducted regularly.

On top of this, p44 takes additional measures around processes to maintain a comprehensive security posture. To ensure our holistic program aligns with industry best practices, p44 maintains numerous data protection, incident management, and vendor management policies.

Rattay: In addition to security, data privacy is a primary concern for organizations. What should buyers look for to ensure their provider is following the necessary data privacy practices?

Hansmann: With the amount of data growing exponentially, individuals and companies alike are progressively concerned about how their data is used. This has led to regulations, such as GDPR in Europe, and an increase in data privacy policies around the world.

In the transportation visibility space, this is especially a concern for carriers. It’s completely understandable for drivers to have questions about when their data is being collected, who has access, and how it’s being used.

To make sure data privacy is maintained for carriers and customers, project44 only collects tracking data from carriers during an active load, and carriers decide which shippers have access to their shipment tracking information. project44 is compliant with GDPR in Europe, ensuring data privacy is maintained for our entire network.

Rattay: How can buyers evaluate if a solution can scale to meet their needs?

Hansmann: An enterprise ready software will be scalable and available consistently. As shippers start to track more shipments across their global supply chain, they need to rely on a system that can expand based on their needs.

Because project44 plans for our customers’ future needs, our system is built on an elastically scalable architecture that has been tested to over ten times the current load. This ensures our system is reliable and available, regardless of how many loads are tracked. To prepare for the unpredictable, p44’s disaster recovery plans are tested regularly to reduce the impact of any atypical issues that might arise.

In addition to a scalable architecture, it’s also essential to have an efficient way to onboard carriers to the network. With project44’s automated application, the Network Management Center™, carriers can be easily onboarded, allowing customers to scale their network. project44 onboards thousands of carriers across North America and Europe each quarter, allowing customers to achieve value quickly.

Rattay: How should visibility solutions integrate and function with other systems that supply chains use to manage their transportation operations?

Hansmann: With increasing and evolving technology, supply chains need their systems to speak to each other, connecting and acting as one solution. Without seamless integrations, data will be siloed, making it difficult to gain valuable results.

To allow our customers to access high-quality visibility data through the systems they rely on every day, project44 has integrations with more than 57 TMS and ERP providers. Trusted by the industry’s leading technology providers – such as SAP, JDA, Infor, and Oracle – p44 supplies the high-fidelity, real-time data their customers need to attain advanced visibility. project44 also partners with leading 3PLs and carriers, building an ecosystem of providers focused on providing shippers with real-time data to increase efficiency.

With native integrations and strategic partnerships with the providers global shippers rely on, project44 provides a solution that fits into and strengthens existing enterprise workflows.

Rattay: How can global companies ensure all necessary stakeholders within their organization gains value from visibility software?

Hansmann: For organizations to gain substantial value, all stakeholders need to have access to visibility data. Enterprise-grade software should be accessible by all the necessary teams throughout the organization.

While project44 can integrate with a shipper’s system of record, additional users and teams can access visibility data through p44’s cloud-based application – the Visibility Operations Center™ (VOC). This enables multiple options for everyone to stay up-to-date with a shipment’s status and ETA. With the application, real-time data can be accessed by customer service teams or any other stakeholders that need the latest tracking information. Shippers can also use the VOC to evaluate performance of carriers and lanes with dashboards and reporting capabilities.

With the option to access actionable visibility insights through a TMS and the VOC, project44 offers the flexibility and reach companies need to gain value from a visibility solution.

Rattay: Beyond technical requirements, what should buyers consider to ensure they’re successful with an enterprise-grade solution?

Hansmann: As retailers, manufacturers, and distributors consider making visibility a core component of their supply chain tech stack, only an enterprise-grade software will meet their evolving and scaling needs. While these technical requirements are critical for enterprise readiness, there are various operational aspects that providers need to offer as well – including an active carrier network growth strategy, a tailored carrier onboarding plan, comprehensive technical support, and customized success plans.

Without both the technical and operational expertise, the solution won’t be able to meet the needs of global shippers. Choosing a provider that can offer a holistic enterprise-grade software and strategy will enable shippers to build a more efficient and cost-effective supply chain.

Buying an enterprise-grade visibility solution can be complex. Feel free to contact the project44 team to learn more about the process and how p44 can support your supply chain.

Learn how to gather internal consensus to address the supply chain visibility challenge.