Clark Group, Inc.

The Clark Group has specialized in logistics for the publishing industry for 40 years and is currently providing the publishing and printing industries with reliable, value-added distribution solutions. The Clark Group operating as a Freight Forwarder, Consolidator, and Third Party Logistics Provider is the largest distributor of newsstand publications and mass-market books in North America.

The Challenge

The Clark Group needed an application to allow any customer that they designate to track the delivery of their product through the Clark Group logistics network. They wanted a simple online graphical user interface with multiple search capabilities with their delivery points displayed on a map with various status icons. These search results needed to be exportable to MS Excel and show a live dashboard with daily cumulative delivery.

In lieu of to manually tracking these shipments, it was desirable for customers to connect to their AS400 to access their data in real time. This will help save a tremendous amount of time and avoid redundant work. They also required a flexible, scalable design for future system development.

The Solution

The Clark Group utilized the power of WOW and its ability to leverage the Google Maps browser plug in to create an online shipment tracking application. This application allows Clark's customers to view the shipment status of their orders as well as the quantity and delivered amounts of orders. All these searches are plotted on a Google Map with the information being displayed in a place mark balloon, rather than a simple row collection of data.

M.A.P. Consulting Services provided the project management and training and partnered with PlanetJ for the development of the Google Maps features.

How We Made It Work

As defined by an administrator from the Clark Group, customers will be given user ID and Password to sign on to the system. This UID and password is linked to the data by any bill to numbers associated with that particular customer. The system allows customers to be associated with one or many bill to numbers. Additionally, each customer will be defined to equate to one of the four customer types associated with a table that includes the industry standard delivery dates for that customer type.


Below is what the user will see once signed in. Notice that there is another image in the header, along with the Clark logo. This is the logo of the customer who is currently signed on to the "Click 'n Track" application. The results of the searches will be limited by this customer as well (so the customer is only searching on THEIR data, not any one else's.)


This is the resulting page when the user selects a Title and Issue and clicks "Search." The map shows all the data for deliveries by that specific set of search parameters, separated by Delivery Status and plotted on the map. The user will also notice a Map Legend and Tally bar that displays statistical information relating to the results displayed on the screen.


The different colored pins in the map indicate the status of the delivery. While a user hovers over a particular pin, an information bubble will display with details about the order.

Hardware and Software Overview

  • ERP System: None
  • Hardware: Home grown  IBM AS400 system  ( IBM i )
  • Database Server: DB2
  • Software: WOW 6.5 and 7.1 Enterprise Edition

Summary

The Clark Group is now able to provide a real-time tracking application for their customers and monitor status of orders. The graphical user interface shows a quick way for the user to see various orders and plan their own critical business operations around this data.

References

http://www.clarkgroupinc.com

Products Used: 
WOW Enterprise
Customer Testimonial: 

"Development with WOW has been going great!"

Katherine M. Keefe - Clerk of the Circuit Court

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