Descartes Systems Group
has announced that Apple has licensed the company’s DeliveryNet solution. Descartes is a provider of global Internet logistics solutions. Descartes operates a worldwide network of shippers, receivers, carriers, logistics service providers, e-marketplaces, portals, and transportation exchanges.
Descartes’ solutions are designed to facilitate B2B e-commerce. Descartes’ logistics network technology and network-based services enable companies to create high-speed, high-performance fulfillment networks called DeliveryNets that the company said empower organizations “to deliver reliable, responsive customer service in a profitable manner and to create innovative new products and services.”
While neither company has offered any details on exactly what Apple plans on doing with the DeliveryNet solution, the key may lie in Descartes focus on “logistics.” Logistics is the management of the flow of goods and information from raw material all the way to the end customer. It seems that the company will work to beef up its supply and demand cycle. Or perhaps it’s a step in ramping up the much-rumored Apple retail stores.
DeliveryNet is a private network that integrates the inbound supply chain (for controlling the parts coming from suppliers), the outbound demand chain (for controlling the products going to customers) and the distribution chain of shipping carriers and warehouses in between. Here’s an example as reported by
“Ericsson, Descartes’ largest customer, installed a network in 1997 to manage its worldwide parts delivery. Previously, logistics managers had little tracking information after packages were dispatched from a warehouse or factory, so they were unsure whether they would arrive on time. With DeliveryNet, Ericsson is now connected to the more than 100 air carriers, freight forwarders and warehouse providers it uses, and is able to know in real time the location of any item and whether it will arrive on schedule. So if, for example, a plane takes off late, the network is immediately alerted and alternative arrangements are made on the back end. Similarly, if a radio tower malfunctions, replacement parts and service technicians are coordinated to arrive at the same time. The payoff was almost immediate: it took three months for Ericsson to integrate the network into its existing systems, but by the next quarter, it had realized a cost savings in the tens of millions of dollars.”
DeliveryNet solutions leverage Descartes’ Internet-based Global Logistics Network, an open, worldwide network of shippers, receivers, carriers, logistics service providers, e-marketplaces, vertical portals, and transportation exchanges. The result is a global logistics community connected to Descartes’ technological infrastructure that’s designed to provide cost savings and revenue opportunities for businesses that need to manage physical product movement. Descartes reported $17.9 million in revenue from licenses and network services related to the Global Logistics Network in fourth quarter, ended Jan. 31, 2001.