BT Global Services has announced new cloud-based capabilities for BT Trace, its portfolio of software solutions designed to help organisations manage their global supply chains more efficiently.

The new cloud-based service securely collects, stores, shares and interprets high volume event data about goods and assets moving along a global supply chain.

Information from various resource planning and IT systems is integrated together to provide a single view of the whole supply chain in near real time through a customised web portal, enabling customers to see how and where changes need to be made.

Luis Alvarez, CEO for BT Global Services, said that customers in industries such as consumer packaged goods, manufacturing, logistics, pharmaceuticals and retail depend on the efficiency of their supply chains to gain a competitive advantage.

“Billions of dollars are attributed to the cost of an organisations’ global supply chain, with boardroom focus firmly on reducing cost and driving up operational efficiency,” said Alvarez.

“With BT Trace, we are pioneers in providing those customers with the ability to identify inefficiencies, streamline their processes and be more successful in their market place.”

The new service has been tested by TNT Express, one of the world’s largest express delivery companies. Using BT Trace, TNT is able to see what is happening at any point along its order, delivery and returns process and get proactive alerts when something goes wrong.

“There is no doubt that a single view across all systems and data speeds up processes and identifies significant events, allowing us to respond in new and better ways to our customers, and they, in turn, deliver a better service to their customers,” said Steve Brown, divisional general manager of TNT Special Services.

Thanks to BT Trace, the company can cut down on manual data entry and processing, saving around 36 hours a week and freeing up employees to follow up alerts and provide extra services. TNT estimates it has improved delivery times by about 16 percent.

"Through the combination of global network and data centre reach, multi-tiered security capabilities, industry expertise, and systems integration skills, BT brings to market a differentiated value proposition to the challenging problem of supply chain management,” said Melanie Posey, research vice president at IDC.

“The cloud-based capabilities announced today for BT Trace provide global companies with end-to-end visibility of their supply chains and expedite the process of transforming enterprise resource planning data into real-time, actionable business intelligence.”