Redwood Logistics, a logistics technology company providing software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, has unveiled its flagship Redwood Connect 2.0 solution that helps supply chain businesses build their own data supply chains such that they can streamline their operations, leverage their data, create smoother workflows, and seamlessly assimilate all disparate logistics technology investments in a single platform.
The Connect platform owes its genesis to a personal pain point that Redwood witnessed after explosive growth in its transport management services division. As Redwood’s managed services business grew, adding customers meant the need for greater server space and efficiency.
“We went through various integration technologies – both homegrown and off-the-shelf, but after a few iterations, we realized that we needed something that could scale and grow faster than what we had seen in the market,” said Eric Rempel, the Chief Innovation Officer at Redwood. “Another objective was to decouple our dependency to our own IT department, so we could be uninhibited in moving at the pace of our growth.”
Most managed transportation engagements include a bevy of touch points, each with unique requirements that must be configured into the TMS system. Also, most IT groups understand technology but usually not logistics. By decoupling transportation engineering from IT, Redwood knew they would enable their logistics experts to eliminate most of these bottlenecks and connect and integrate with their customers more efficiently.
“Requirements within transport operations change quickly, and we didn’t want to go to the IT department every time there was a change. By developing a platform that allowed for the integration without the transitional coding requirements, we knew we could solve a very real problem in a very practical way. This led us to the modern version of Connect that we have today – which is a no-code integration platform for logistics,” said Rempel. “Our implementers simply select, drag and drop from integration icons, where they want data to move from start to finish, then the infrastructure, security and scalability are all handled automatically by the system.”
Another opportunity to streamline the process was to also reduce the IT lift from the customers side. Traditionally there are specific formats in which the data must be configured between systems. RedwoodConnect allows the customer to send and receive the data in any file format the way it exists today. Redwood does the configuration for them allowing their IT department to focus on other competing priorities.
It took Redwood convincing the clients to send their data in its current format to be processed by Redwood and sent back in a format that can be universally consumed by all other disparate systems. Customers love the simplicity and the fact that they no longer need to compete internally for IT resources when implementing their supply chain technology.
“When RedwoodConnect first launched in 2015, it was the first version that came out with the idea of not needing to write code. But it didn’t have a user interface. We’ve worked way more on the back end than on the front end,” said Rempel. “We needed to make sure that we could scale based on the size of the industry and how much data we’re processing. Since we process an extraordinary amount of data daily, we really want to make sure that the back end worked properly.”
Up until the current version,the system was programmed by essentially sending instructions to APIs and instruction tables, but the Connect 2.0 version has moved to a drag and drop interface. The marked difference between 2.0 and Redwood’s previous release is the cloud native scalability, compute performance and the superior user interface, which Rempel pointed out as reasons for it to become a truly revolutionary SaaS product.
“The biggest differentiator of Connect 2.0 with competitors in the market today is that we find a way to say yes to our customers, instead of trying to get them to fit inside of a mold that is predetermined for us to just crank out the same result every single time,” said Rempel. “We try to figure a way to understand our partners’ pain points and build a service that creates value. It’s a pretty simple concept. Focus in on what your customer need and be the best at meeting that need. There is certainly a significant and growing need for this service and we believe we are the best in the industry in meeting this challenge.”