I was extremely pleased when I heard that Estes Express Lines, a Denodo customer, was recently featured exclusively in a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article about modernizing the freight transport industry’s use of data. There are many logistics companies in the US, not to mention in the world, but why was Estes Express featured exclusively? That is because Estes Express adopted a nouveau technology concept called “digital twin” using the Denodo Platform as the foundation for powerful data management capabilities.
The State of Freight Transport
The WSJ reporter Isabelle Bousquette explains in this article how today’s freight transportation companies, despite their push to digitally transform this age-old business (for e.g., Estes Express is over 90 years old), have been behind the technology curve prone to manual data entry, paper records, and data silos, resulting in duplication, errors, and incomplete data on the progress of packages. As a result, they have been falling short of their customers’ needs wanting up-to-the-minute updates, when their packages are delivered, and if their packages arrived safely, i.e., without damage. Estes is one freight transport company that wanted to break away from the pack and push to modernize its data infrastructure by using Denodo’s logical data management capabilities, with the aim to reduce manual data entry and furnish customers with real-time updates.
Nouveau Technology Concept from Estes Express: “Digital Twin”
Todd Florence, CIO at Estes, talks about how the Denodo Platform enabled Estes to establish virtual “digital twins” of every moving piece of freight, the data from which is easily accessible by any authorized stakeholder within Estes. A digital twin is “a virtual representation of each piece of freight passing through the network and can function as that single location.” Estes broke down the data silos by logically integrating the data across multiple collection points and, as a result, the drivers do not have to enter the same information again. After all, the truckers didn’t sign up to be data-entry clerks. Already, the Denodo Platform has saved Estes 10% in infrastructure and labor costs by freeing the data from silos and eliminating unnecessary duplication.
Data Will Always Be Distributed
To me, the real takeaway from this story is that data is always going to be distributed, and companies just need to embrace that. They may try to consolidate it, but this will prove not only time-consuming and expensive, but ultimately impossible. Fortunately, logical data management solutions, like the Denodo Platform, enable real-time access across myriad distributed data sources, without replication and its associated costs.
The Wall Street Journal article is here. Also, I recorded a podcast about this article detailing Estes Express’ data-related challenges and how they used the Denodo Platform to overcome them. You can listen to it here. Please give it a listen and let me know what you think!
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