Logistics companies are generally highly distributed. It’s the nature of the business to be in multiple locations, even if some of those locations are mobile or even not directly part of the company. UTi Worldwide is an example of a company that has found a way to expand to 230 locations and still manage its business.
Part of the issue with logistics is that their responsibility extends across multiple customers and multiple locations. And a highly performing 3PL maintains visibility into not only its locations but also the orders it is managing for its customers. Increasingly, 3PLs are looking more like network operations centers (NOCs) with dashboards that show what is where, and alerts that warn when things are not happening as expected. And the network has become the centerpiece of the system, connecting the branch locations together into a single entity.
UTi has connected its 230 locations spread across 59 countries by using a technology known as a converged infrastructure that not only links the locations, but centralizes the data from each location into a standardized data center.