"Our previous solution was time-consuming and required us to deploy an entirereport set to correct a single report. The ability to deploy single reports withWindward is much better and a huge benefit." — Chuck Hanebuth, CEO
Large capital projects call for considerable logistics planning. Whether it’s building a hydroelectric dam, expanding an international airport or installing an offshore wind farm, hundreds of thousands of components go into the process. All this material must be in the right place at the right time. Otherwise, the project risks lengthy delays and significant cost overruns.
Reporting is a key component of this process. It brings together a myriad of details, allows insight into massive amounts of data, and is the public representation of an intricate process. That’s why the producers of the world’s largest project-focused logistics software system knew it was critical to integrate a better, more flexible reporting component into their software offerings.
HAL, Inc. is the expert in making sure large capital projects run smoothly. HAL produces the only project-focused logistics software system in the world. The de facto standard in the industry, HAL’s software makes the supply chain transparent and is used by four of the world’s six largest third party logistics companies. Hundreds of clients, including Expeditors®, CEVA Logistics®, Panalpina®, Lynden®, and AIT Worldwide Logistics™, rely on HAL’s software to ensure large capital projects meet complex requirements.
While HAL is busy helping organizations efficiently manage mammoth projects, it is also evaluating ways to more efficiently provide that logistical support. HAL’s main offerings, C2C® and C2C Online®, have 20 years of development behind them and are the only off-the-shelf project logistics programs on the market. Customers may purchase run-time or development licenses, which provide them with nearly a hundred pre-existing reports and the option of additional custom reports.
Recently, HAL realized the reporting piece of C2C needed reassessment. Reporting is a vital part of the software because the reporting product pulls together information and shows HAL’s customers how well C2C does its job. C2C had been incorporating Jinfonet Software’s JReport tool, but JReport had multiple drawbacks. It was:
“Reporting is a small part of what we offer as awhole, but it’s a very important part,” said ChuckHanebuth, CEO of HAL, Inc. “In order to provide the best possible product to our customers, we need to ensure that every piece of our offering is optimal.”
HAL, Inc. has been providing reliable, innovative, easy to-use logistics resource management solutions for tracking and control of the flow of physical goods from Conception to Consumption (C2C®) since 1992. HAL makes the supply chain transparent for some of the largest shippers and 3PL’s in the world. The install base includes four of the world’s top six largest 3PLs and includes more than 120 facilities on six continents.
HAL began investigating other reporting solutions. The company looked at trial versions, sample reports and other evaluation tools, and they narrowed down the field to three contenders. The winner was AutoTag and the Windward Engine from Windward Studios. AutoTag enables users to design, format and edit report and document templates completely within Microsoft® Office. It works in conjunction with the Windward Engine, a set of code libraries for integrating reporting and document generation into both internal and commercial software applications.
Windward gives HAL the following advantages:
In addition, Windward reduces ongoing reporting costs. One of the biggest expenses in the report creation process correlates to the design tool’s ease-of-use. Because Windward users design reports in Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint – programs most professionals already know how to use – there’s a shorter learning curve.
Reports run in seconds and can be generated in a wide variety of output formats, including HTML, PDF, DOCX, XML, RTF, XLSX, XLS, PPTX and direct to a printer.
Reports make data queries once and cache the results, only pulling each row as needed, whereas some other systems make the same query multiple times. Plus, Windward has eliminated hotspots in the code, which also contributes to engine speed.
HAL experiences noticeable time and cost savings with Windward.
The company saves time and money on report design—the average Windward customer reports that report creation is at least five times faster— while still receiving timely support.
“Our previous solution was time-consuming and required us to deploy an entire report set to correct a single report,” Hanebuth said. “The ability to deploy single reports with Windward is much better and a huge benefit.”
The entire reporting process cycle also has been cut, increasing HAL’s reporting ROI. Plus, logistics customers benefit from HAL’s use of Windward in the form of reduced fees.
“Overall, we’ve been able to streamline our reporting component, and those benefits in turn are passed along to our customers,” Hanebuth added. “Windward is helping us strengthen our position as the top project logistics software developer in the world."