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Appian Logistics Software was founded in 1987 and is currently acknowledged as the leading industry in the provision of working solutions to transport companies. Appian industry has continually been recognized as one of the top 100 logistics and supply chain software providers by both the leading publications and industry groups. With its entrance into North America, the industry’s current customer base has increased to over 3,600 installations. Appian empowers more than three million users comprising of both large companies, the mid-market and small businesses worldwide. Appian’s headquarter is in Washington, D.C. region, while its professional services and partners are spread all over the world. Appian is the leading innovator in the Business Processing Management Industry. The industry has currently extended the power of BPM to mobile devices, cloud computing and social business.
By making BPM universally accessible and personalized to individual users, it allows all the stakeholders to reap the benefits of process. Appian is aim at delivering the best customer experience to its clients-through innovative technology and outstanding service. The industry has a vibrant and growing community of customers and partners. Appian is also the leader of mobile, cloud, and social BPM. Its BPM suite can be accessed on the majority of mobile devices including iPhone, iPad and Blackberry (Miers, 2010). It is also possible to access it via a web browser. The industry aims at empowering business users to improve their business through the introduction of such technologies as universal web access and modern social collaboration. The technology is widely used today by both the commercial and government organizations around the world.
The Appian BPM Suite offers services that aim at changing the way businesses operate This technology was meant to drive the company’s operation efficiency in the short run while it aimed at helping the company to develop new services and solutions in the long run. BPM has helped in integrating people, process and information through various technologies. With effective BPM an organization can manage an improved process that involves human interactions, multiple applications and complex rules and workflows. Appian BPM Suite technology has enabled various companies to modify and update their legacy applications as well as replacing their modules. It creates a new, faster and a more flexible way to create and extend enterprise applications. The Appian BPM Suite contains the following business process components.
Appian technology and Tempo
Appian tempo has widely been used as a revolutionary way to extend visibility and participation through social BPM in various kinds of enterprises. It seeks to harmonies the real-time operation, filter views of key business events, and direct action into a single process. Its Social BPM leverages the collective knowledge. This allows any enterprise utilizing the technology to gain efficiency and improve the quality of the business through Appian revolutionary Social BPM interfaces. Secondly, tempo has the key event monitoring which allows an entrepreneur to track key events from people’s systems throughout his enterprise in real-time. It also provides alerts in case of an occurrence of any critical event or hazards that could adversely impact on the business. Thirdly, it has tasks and actions which enable it to generate actions and complete tasks either from within the event feed or from a mobile device. It uses optimized web and mobile forms to capture data and route tasks to appropriate users.
Forth, the technology allows real time collaboration during various business events. It thus adds insight as well as enabling the entrepreneur to obtain the latest status on key process in a business. It allows business men to receive any posted messages in real time. This has made it possible for the businessmen to receive immediate response from their feedbacks. The technology also enhances quick collaboration in any business process through the provision of updates on the status and posting of questions to targeted groups. The businesses with feed subscriptions are able to set up the custom subscriptions to monitor the key events and information relevant to their business. The real time feeds can also help to carry out a search. This enables its users to focus on the events in which they have special interests. Appian tempo also uses the enterprise security model of the Appian BPM Suite platform to secure all its information data. This is made possible through the use of role-based permissions and securely transmitted using of SSL to web and mobile interfaces.
Appian’s process application is available on every major mobile platform. This enables the technology to improve collaboration and notifications among and between enterprises. It also improves the security of enterprises making it more simple for it to meet its mobility needs. Appian provides native mobile application for the Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and other models. The technology also allows the utilization of a native web client by all modern mobile device platforms which have web browsers. Appian also helps the entrepreneurs to stay connected to their partners via their mobile devices. The users can therefore easily collaborate to have joint events and exchange programs by the use of the technology. It also ensures the entrepreneurs of the security of their conversation with others from all over the world. Appian technology also allows the access of the task list and actions from one’s mobile device enabling them to make important decision even while on the move.
Appian also enables one to be connected and informed of all the critical business events. The technology also allows its users to add images from their mobile camera to any task or actions. This enriches the descriptions of any common mobile processes such as appraisals insurance claims. The technology has also devised practices which ensure the security of all the data which are accessed via the mobile devices. It encrypts the local data using best encryption tools. Through the Appian custom branding, the customers have been able to re-brand their Appian mobile application. Further more, the users of the technology are at liberty to advertise their application on each app store. They are also allowed to provide their branded application as a direct download to enterprise mobile devices.
Appian technology and Process Modeler
The Appian Software Modeler provides a simple web-based modeling tool that uses BPMN and SOA methodologies for design, execution, and management to ensure process improvement. The BPMN Process Modeling helps to simplify the communication between business and IT especially when managing the full process life cycle. Secondly, Appian has a native process repository that supports full version control across all process models and role-based security for controlling access to each model. Third, Appian has smart services which provide a simple mechanism used by IT developers to publish enterprise services. The publications enable the less technical business users to consume these services and to plan. It makes it possible for typical SOA objects such as web services and EJBs to be abstracted into a drag and drop configuration. This has in turn simplified its understanding and incorporation by various business users into their process models. In its process of execution, Appian is designed to grow with their customers’ enterprises through the scaling of its services. Appian technology has simplified its process optimization and bottleneck analysis. It gives useful information on the performance of every activity of. It also enables business users to quickly identify issues and re-route process models for increased efficiency. This is made possible by capturing the statistics through detailed Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) statistics which are captured for each process.
Appian BPM Suite Portal
The Appian BPM Portal provides an easy to use interface for delivering personalized content to end users. The use of point-and-click dashboard design enables the Appian portal to deliver a rich set of content to users. Such content enables the users of the technology to track, collaborate, and take action on key processes. First, Appian’s packaged port-let channels are able to combine into unique dashboards to perform specific processes and roles. Secondly, Appian portal supports consumption of third party data to create rich-mash-up interfaces that combine content form multiple sources. This enables the users to have a single view into all their enterprise systems. Thirdly, Appian also allows personalization by enabling its users to receive a personalized view into each process application. Finally, Appian can support common enterprise portal standards such as consumption of WSRP port-lets that can easily be incorporated to enhance Appian dashboards.
The Appian Technology and Form Designer
Appian technology and Content
Appian provides a native content management system for quick access and version control of important documents. It also provides a content repository that organizes, secure and tags the content with appropriate metadata. The technology through full text search enables the users to easily locate their key documents to be used in various processes and tasks. All content captured in Appian is automatically version control. This allows the immediate opening of any older versions while at the same time ensuring that there is no missing of any revised version. Apian also saves the users’ time by allowing auto-generation of such structured documents as customer’s contacts .
Appian Technology and Collaboration
The Appian BPM Suite makes it easy to share ideas and collaborate across any given organization. Appian software encourages collaboration with the threaded discussion boards. It also allows a faster content sharing across all its users. The technology encourages collaborations between users through the provision of a secure discussion thread for departments and processes. The technology also allows its users to share their comments and discussions assisting other users to find answers to any disturbing questions. The technology also makes it easy to communicate and collaborate with customers, partners and employees directly via the emails.
Appian analytic engine provides unmatched performance and report flexibility, allowing users to easily visualize important business events and process performance. Appian’s analytic engine is easy to maintain and work with especially in delivering quality reports. This is because it is built on real-time and in a memory data engine. The real-time analysis is made possible by its Business Activity Monitoring (BAM). The technology provides a detailed level planning for every human action. It gives the record of the time each task was assigned, accepted and completed.
Studies have shown that Appian is the only BPM platform with a unique in-memory analytic engine that provides a real-time analysis and reporting for great number of processes. Its low maintenance requirements and good performance also enables it to identify and resolved any process related issues. Appian report design is also flexible making it possible for accurate views to be created into any aspects of a business process. The technology also allows the creation of aggregations on any data point giving it visual impressions. All Appian reports are also instantly exportable to MS Excel and other reporting tools which are in CSV format. This simplifies any of such transfers.
Appian technology and Rules
The Appian has a rule manager that allows users to create a set of reusable business rules which can be used across the organization. The technology has helped simplify the process of creating a rich and dynamic rule driven process application (Shipman, 2006). First, Appian’s native business rules repository ensures a hierarchical and security controlled storage for all rules. The technology makes it possible for each rule versions to be individually controlled. It also makes it possible for one to role back to early rule versions. Secondly, because the rules are created through Appian simple web-based interface, it is possible for them be tested for validation before deployment. Lastly the Appian rule is very accessible (Shipman, 2006). Appian allows the application of a single rule to support dynamic forms, process flow, and even report rendering. Appian’s ability to apply rules in many locations makes it simple to create a rich and dynamic rule driven process application simple.
Appian technology and data access
The Appian technology empowers IT developers to easily connect and represent their data sources as reusable and business friendly data objects. Appian can be connected to an existing RDBMS data sources with the support of other database systems to help in planning and managing one’s enterprise data in new business processes. The technology allows various enterprise data sources to be registered as custom data types. This enables developers to create common and reusable complex data structures that accelerate and simplify process development. Based on XML and RDBMS standards, Appian can quickly leverage and import the existing data to build new process definition.
Appian SOA and Integration
Appian helps unite the entrepreneur’s participants with enterprise data systems and external services into a cohesive and easily managed business processes. Packaged connectors and common systems interfaces and native support for SOA frameworks allow a quick building of integration. Appian’s simple drag-and –drop process design makes it easy to include web services into any process map. The packaged adaptors and the emails also allow further connections to the existing enterprise systems .
The other features of this technology include the Share point and the cloud BPM. The Appian SharePoint enables the rapid, drag and drop design of SharePoint workflow with governance and process control. Appian BPM provides this functionality through a native SharePoint WebPart interface. It enables the users to receive tasks and monitor the criteria of the critical reports, as well as controlling the various aspects of their business’s SharePoint environment. On the other hand, Appian Suite because of its 100% web-based interface and scalable architecture is an ideal environment to deploy a service to the cloud. It has the same functionality as traditional on-premise BPM software deployments. This enables it to provide a way in which the process improvement initiatives can be accelerated.
B. Appian Logistics Software
Appian software are designed to reduces time and costs associated with logistics planning operations. This assists the operators to save on overhead mileage, fuel and money. Appian Logistics Software has a number of products such as DirectRoute and DR Truck.
Direct Route Software
Direct Route software is also known as the Routing and Scheduling Optimizing Software. They help the companies with staff or agents in the field delivering products or services. DirectRoute is effective route management software which helps companies to lower transportation costs, control field operations. It usually delivers a full return on initial investment within a few months. Direct Route software reduces the cost of operation, improves customer service, streamlines route planning and provides what if analysis.
It has fixed routes or dynamic daily routes. It also categorizes its services into single day, multiday, and one-way routing capabilities. DirectRoute software helps in the financial analysis of routes and fleet operations and provides interfaces to real time tracking. The software provides extensive customizable reporting as well as street level turn-by-turn driving directions (Raines, & Pizzette, 2011). It has been established that DirectRoute has long been the preferred design tool to many large and small 3PL logistics organizations. It is easy to use. It is also more flexible thus helps the analysts do more work in a smaller amount of time while offering their company a competitive advantage in proposal development. The affordability of DirectRoute also makes it affordable to be rolled out at customer sites once they get the business regardless of the size.
DRTrack on the other hand is also known as GPS Tracking and Web Reporting Software. It is an optional fleet tracking and web based reporting tool for the DirectRoute vehicle routing and load optimization software package. It utilizes GPS technology to automatically update estimated arrival and departure times at customer locations. Whenever routes are running behind or ahead of schedule the software provides automated notifications). It thus allows the companies to take a proactive approach to their customers’ services. It helps the companies avoid the difficult task of having to try up phones lines, interrupt drivers for updates, or systematically go through numerous reports. This is because the software enables the clients to review relevant information and provide time-sensitive information to their customers. In summary, this software increased visibility, improve customers’ service and allow ease in performance reporting. It provides inexpensive GPS Tracking Solution and perfect companion for direct route.
The software thus creates a hands-off way of storing and updating route data allowing the information to be made available for everyone in the company. DRTrack allows access to schedules and GPS history directly on the web for use by managers, customers or other personnel. It thus allows the users to access and monitor vital route information, estimated delivery times and distances. It is also an easy-to-use interactive route tracking through the map or the menu. It has many existing interfaces with providers such as PeopleNet and XATA. The software also has an XML interface to set up and process data from almost any device or service. It allows the automatic update of schedules based on real time GPS feed. It provides an easy way for customers to log in and see their actual or estimated delivery times. It provides e-mail alerts when missing specific key customers’ delivery appointment windows or if such deliveries are behind schedule .
Appian TerritoryPro Software is also known as Territory Building and Optimization Software. It helps in adjusting and designing route territories based on constraints such as sales volume, services time and/or coverage area. TerritoryPro automatically creates territories that seek to meet the customers’ criteria. It also allows the users to review current territories with lasso type editing for reassignment and automatic updating of statistics. Its users benefit from balanced territories, eliminated of territory overlaps, and its ease in usage. The software is also compatible to Microsoft excel and has a quick return on investment. It allows one to see different symbol displays for each representative’s accounts with statistics for each area. Such symbols may include the volume of sales and the workload for servicing the accounts within each territory.
The technology has integrated mapping and drawing tools for territory analysis. It uses the drag-and-drop functionality in its reassigning of customers between territories. It has lasso accounts with integrated drawing tools directly on the map to provide a realignment of territories. The software automatically updates territory statistics as adjustments are made. It can be used to assign route days within a territory. The TerritoryPro also automatically considers frequencies when calculating workload.
Appian ResourcePro Softwareis also known as Fleet Sizing and Scheduling Optimization Software. It is a strategic planning tool for use with Appian’s DirectRoute vehicle routing and load optimization software. The ResourcePro plug-in optimizes the drivers and power units required for a daily or weekly route schedule. It provides crucial information for strategically planning growth while also working to eliminate unnecessary costs. It also helps in elimination of under-utilized equipment and non-valuable added driver hours. The software minimizes the fleet size required to operate a given business.
The software is beneficial since it increases profit while reduce capital requirements. It is also easy to use and provides real world solutions. It hast features such as extensive reporting capabilities for dispatch schedules and the miles and hours covered per driver. It also ensures compliance by the drivers based on the driving restrictions by rolling DOT parameters. It is also easy to read Gantt chart format. It is easy to use as its graphical interface allows drag and drop editing. The ResourcePro module can also help determine the optimal number of Driver and Power units for a given operation.
Appian SchedulePro is also called a Multi-Week Schedule Balancing and Optimization Software. It is an optimal planning tool for use with the DirectRoute vehicle routing and loading optimization software package. The software optimizes customer appointment days and balances volume over a planning period of up to 12 weeks at a time (Raines, & Pizzette, 2011). Its benefits include increased profit, reduced capital requirements, easy use as well as provision of real world solutions. It also provides a faster generation of return on investments within a few months. It has a definable planning horizon and multiple depots which provide a simultaneous solution to the starting locations. The SchedulePro software provides user definable delivery patterns with associated volume splits. The software is designed to compliment TerritoryPro and DirectRoute. It allows one to obtain the delivery reports by customer.
In conclusion, Appian Technology and Logistics are innovations that can today be considered basic to business organizations. Any business or organization operators that aspire to cut on their operation costs can not afford to ignore the Apian technologies and logistics’ software.