Ryder System’s Robotic Process Automation Journey

By Sharada Prahladrao

ARC Report Abstract


A panel discussion on robotic and transactional process automation at the 2020 ARC Industry Forum in Orlando elicited interesting perspectives.  Here, in Part 1 of the two-part Insight, we will discuss Ryder System’s robotic process automation (RPA) journey.

Robotic process automation software is used to automate high-volume, repeatable tasks to help eliminate unnecessary clicks.  According to one panelist, “Anything that can be done on a computer and performed by a human can likely be automated.” As we learned, Ryder System has obtained great ROI by using RPA technology to streamline the human interactions with its legacy planning system.  

Ryder’s Vertical Supply Chain Services

Speaking about the company, Mark Wiebe, Group Director Supply Chain Solutions at Ryder System commented that most people associate Ryder with the tractor-trailers that it leases to large corporations.  This accounts for 60 percent of the company’s $8.4 billion revenue; supply chain solutions comprise the remaining  40 percent.  He explained how Ryder has introduced the company’s supply chain services from  a vertical standpoint, with a vice president and general manager overseeing each vertical.  Its service offerings include warehouse management, dedicated transportation solutions, last-mile delivery, and managed transportation services.  “So, we're really a horizontal that manages across all of the different verticals,” said Mr. Wiebe. Companies within those verticals outsource to Ryder, which buys on their behalf and then executes all their transportation needs.

robotic process automation

Defining the Solution

Mr. Banker asked him to define the company’s managed transportation services.  Mr. Wiebe said that Ryder System continually optimizes its customers’ supply chain networks and converts that into a procurement opportunity by buying common carrier capacity on behalf of its customers.  “We procure almost $7 billion of freight across all of the customers that we service,” he said.

Ryder’s managed services are based on a legacy version of Blue Yonder’s (formerly JDA Software) transportation management system (TMS).  This is complemented with financial settlement and support applications for both carriers and customers and Ryder’s robust business intelligence and analytics capabilities.  This technology stack provides customers with transparency into the health of their respective networks when it comes to cost and service.


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Keywords: ARC Industry Forum, Ryder System, Kofax, Blue Yonder, Panel Discussion, Robotic Process  Automation, Managed Transportation Services (MTS), Transportation Management System (TMS), ARC Advisory Group.


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