Enabling New Business Opportunities Through Application Modernization

A well-known shipping and logistics provider sought a way to modernize their backend application and create a more efficient, unified system of record that could do more with fewer resources and unify the company’s shipping tickets into singular JSON documents.

The Challenge

A major shipping and logistics company, heavily-reliant on an expensive legacy AS/400 system, sought to upgrade their internal platform to address several business and technical opportunities. Prior to Terazo’s involvement, a new record was created for each event in a shipment’s lifecycle – from creation and pickup to shipping and delivery – despite being part of a singular ticket, causing critical data to be spread across relational database tables. The company was also losing business because their systems could not respond fast enough to be included in the results of shipping quote comparisons. Plus, older, proprietary software was often a deterrent to new partnership opportunities. The client sought a more cohesive platform that provided an easier and more efficient way for its warehouse employees and drivers to update and be notified of shipments’ status, as well as keep pace with the ever-increasing technological demands of their customers.

Our Approach

Following a thorough assessment of the business’s existing systems, Terazo modernized the backend architecture by creating a unified system of record using MongoDB Atlas “over” the existing iSeries AS/400 system. Central to this solution is highly performant and flexible JSON document handling, which reduced the amount of back-end computing resources needed and allowed data to be gradually offloaded from their costly legacy system. The new system syncs shipment records with external vendor systems in real time. In addition, a new API allows millions of daily requests to be processed from various front-end applications to create a more efficient and timely view of critical data. The system enables event updates via webhooks which are triggered in real time as a ticket’s status changes and are delivered to handhelds in the field and other devices across the business. Numerous events from a given ticket are tracked in a singular JSON document.

Technologies & Services Utilized

Business process discovery, strategy, architecture and API development

The Results

Terazo delivered an integrated platform that creates a scalable foundation for future projects and reduces reliance on the legacy system, helping realize significant cost savings and a more cohesive experience for all stakeholders, while improving security, standardization of processes, and data access across the company and with external partners. By reducing latency across the system, the business is also better able to compete by offering quickly-populated shipping quotes on shopping comparison websites. A new API also opens the door to easy integration with vendors’ software.

Key Outcomes

  • Offload of disaggregated data trapped in old data models to a new document-based system of record that is tightly integrated and shared by all processes.
  • Gradual reduction in costs with a staggered migration from the existing iSeries AS/400 system to a scalable, cloud-based system of record that allows for more efficient frontend processing of client application requests and provides a foundation on which future projects can be built.
  • Creation of a notification service that updates stakeholders with the status of tickets in real-time and allows workers to make better-informed decisions that improve company-wide efficiency.
  • More robust, built-in oAuth security layer for granular, fine-tuned access control to critical systems and processes.
  • Seamless integration with shipping quote comparisons through a fast-loading API that can provide near-instant shipping quotes.