Richard Litchfield, Managing Director, Forward Solutions

With offices in Nottingham and Southampton, Forward Solutions is one of the longest established freight software development companies, providing an end-to-end solution for a wide range of operators across Europe, Asia and the USA.

“We offer IT systems for leading multimodal players across air freight, sea freight, road freight and rail freight with 20 plus users shipping goods either domestically, across Europe and the globe.” states Richard Litchfield, Managing Director at Forward Solutions.

Forward Solutions has a committed team of multi-disciplinary professionals, composed of analysts, software developers, project managers, consultants, trainers, application and technical support staff, and hardware and network specialists. Many of them have joined directly from the transport sector.This in-house experience provides unique insights into every aspect of freight and transport management. “As an innovation-based company – it’s part of our DNA. My team is continually focused on listening and responding to client needs. This includes new customer-focused product innovation,” pinpoints Richard.

Since 2021, when Richard stepped in as the Managing Director of Forward Solutions, the company has been refining its products and significantly changing the operation to become customer-centric. Owing to these modifications, Forward Solutions has grown substantially with an increase in turnover in excess of 25%.

Under Richard’s leadership, investments in the adoption of advanced technologies are made to keep pace with the competitors and drive success for the company.

Extensive Software Offerings

For the past 30 years, Forward Solutions has been offering a wide range of products to meet client requirements. Its flagship product, Forward Office is a comprehensive and fully integrated freight management system. It is capable of handling every aspect of freight forwarding forlogistics and transportation industries, from initial sales lead and operations, to cash receipts and management reporting.

Richard shares, “We have invested over 200,000 man-hours in our continuous evolution and confidently believe we can manage most customer scenarios.” At the heart of Forward Office is Forward Core, which is supported by six additional products (Plus, Clear, Connect, Vision, Mobile, & eDocs), which all can be used independently.

From the beginning, Forward Solutions has always focused on its customers’ needs by developing product strategies in this ever-evolving IT landscape. They understand that customers need processes and systems that deliver goods quickly, reliably, and cost-effectively.

Based on this, the company has designed customisable, simple, easy to configure, and seamlessly integrated IT solutions. One of the beneficiaries of Forward Solutions’ products is Viamaster International Ltd., an international road freight operator working with Forward Solutions since 2011.

As the business experienced growth, Viamaster International needed a freight software product to offer more efficient reporting to better support its business.

Sharing his experience working with the team of Forward Solutions, Viamaster International’s Managing Director, Paul Pedley, states, “Having worked with Forward Solutions for the past 10 years, we have been incredibly impressed by the reliability and flexibility of the software provided. Their support has been particularly beneficial post-Brexit, and for our business, there were huge advantages of working with them during this challenging period for the industry. During the initial changes, some major freight companies had to suspend services. Due to the high tech customs software and support Forward Computers provided for our business, we were able to continue running a smooth operation—a large part of that was because we had the right software to do it.”

Curating a Healthy Workplace Culture

Happy employees lead to satisfied customers.

Therefore, Forward Solutions ensures that its team is  offered a healthy working environment where they are heard, appreciated, and motivated. Moreover, employees tend to forge a close bond through regular team get-togethers, training sessions, and collaborative workshops. Activities such as these align employees with the company’s vision and success.

As the international markets continue to evolve with technology, Forward Solutions is also redeveloping and reengineering its product portfolio with a significant focus on enhancing user experience. Currently, it is developing an additional User Interface (UI) to utilise the existing feature-rich solution, which will be rolled out in Q1 of 2022. Forward Solutions’ customers will be able to choose to benefit from this new UI in part or across their entire user base.

Commenting on the new technology adoption strategies and refining of their products, Richard says, “It has been my ambition since I joined Forward Solutions to ensure we utilise the latest technologies to support our customers. We already have a strong and functional freight management software offering. With recent additions and this new UI offering, we have a solution like no other in the UK.”

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About Richard Litchfield

Richard Litchfield, the Managing Director at Forward Solutions has a track record in logistics, spanning over 20 years of implementing state-of-the-art freight management systems. Richard was formerly Group IT Director at Europa Worldwide Group and Vice President / Global Head of IS Road Logistics at Kuehne & Nagel in Switzerland. Richard’s whole career has been focused on IT in transport and logistics. Most recently, he was responsible for designing and implementing Europa’s Leonardo bespoke IT system providing solutions across the operation from road freight to finance. At K+N, Richard had global responsibility for Road / Rail IT Demand and all associated transportation management system (TMS) solutions, identifying best practices for each country and region. 

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