To bring a first-of-its-kind cargo tracking solution to market, P.L.M. Industries needed to team with a global technology leader offering a powerful cloud-based development and hosting platform.
An IBM Cloud Garage team worked closely with the company to design, develop and launch a Smart Pro Tracking System prototype in an IBM Cloud hosting environment.
Accelerates time to marketwith hands-on guidance and design expertise from an IBM Cloud Garage team
Saves development costsby zeroing in quickly on the optimal design and functionality for the offering’s user base
Gains agilitywith development resources, cloud services and cutting-edge cognitive technology in one platform
Business challenge story
Bringing a new logistics concept to marketFor logistics and freight companies, poor visibility into cargo tracking results in massive losses each year. “Lost or stolen cargo is the industry’s biggest challenge,” says P.L.M. Industries founding vice president Vernice London. “FBI reports estimate up to USD 30 billion in annual losses through theft and human error.”
Familiar with the expense and limitations of standard radio frequency identification (RFID) platforms, the organization’s founders designed low-cost tracking devices to serve as part of a first-of-its-kind solution for end-to-end insight into logistics operations. To fully develop and bring the offering to market, the company needed to team with a global technology leader.
“We needed an IT partner to bring proper value to our platform and help us develop back-end functionality,” says P.L.M. Industries founding president Timothy Parker. “We also wanted an expert to give our user interface an overhaul and integrate our devices in the cloud.”
Teaming with a cloud and cognitive leader
Evaluating IT providers, P.L.M. Industries found IBM highly responsive to its needs as a small startup business. “We considered working with Oracle, but from our first discussion with IBM, everyone had the same spirit of taking a small startup like ours very seriously, getting us to the right resources and bringing IBM expertise to our project,” says Parker.
An IBM Cloud Garage team worked closely with P.L.M. Industries, delving into potential use cases and user personas to drive design for the company’s proposed solution. “The process allowed us to very quickly see what functionality wasn’t necessary and get laser focused on providing value for our users,” says London.
Launching a prototype of the Smart Pro Tracking System in an IBM Cloud hosting environment, P.L.M. Industries plans to incorporate the IBM Watson Analytics service in the near future. “Once we get our app perfected, we want to bring in Watson cognitive capabilities to revolutionize the way things are shipped all over the world,” says Parker.
Building a business and getting to market quickly
Teaming with IBM proved critical for P.L.M. Industries in its early stages as a new business. “IBM didn’t just come in and treat us like a customer,” says London. “The team taught us a process for making sure that what we build aligns with our business model. Instead of just developing and building a system, IBM actually helped build and develop a company.”
Plus, the collaboration helped P.L.M. Industries develop its offering quickly and cost-effectively. “The IBM process stops you from going to market with the wrong thing,” says Parker. “We could have easily put a couple million dollars and a lot of time into developing something that wasn’t right for our customer base.”
With the IBM Cloud solution providing access to development resources, cloud infrastructure and cognitive technology in one platform, P.L.M. Industries is well-positioned to keep up with customer demands. “In the IBM Cloud environment, everything we need to make changes is right there, “says London. “Every customer we work with will be a little different, and IBM Cloud gives us the agility we need to respond to virtually anyone’s needs.”
P.L.M. Industries formed in 2014 to create disruptive technology solutions for the automotive, communications, consumer products, energy and logistics marketing sectors. Based in Victorville, California, the company collaborates with design engineering firm IDNEO Technologies to develop its offerings.
- IBM Bluemix
- IBM Cloud Garage