Carrier Logistics, Inc.

Trucking with CLI

)

 

 News, Products & Tips

December 2005 

in this issue

·  Buy vs. Build: Pros and Cons of this Critical Decision

·  New Release Available: Web Module

·  Success Story:
HOT Services Gives High-Rating to FACTS™ Rating

·  Opinion: Carriers Focusing on Operations Again

·  Can't Fathom What You'd Do if Disaster Struck?

·  An "Out to Lunch" Thank You

·  Personnel News

·  Calendar of Events

Greetings!

Welcome to the December 2005 edition of the CLI newsletter. In this month's feature story we examine the question that we've been getting from people in the transportation industry of whether they should buy versus build their software systems. While there are pros and cons to both options, this executive white paper breaks down the issues to consider when making this very important decision. Please note that the article in the newsletter is an excerpt; we strongly encourage you to read the entire executive white paper by clicking the link at the end of the story.

This month's newsletter also features exciting news about a new product that is available as well as the new release of the Web module which features improvements in appearance, navigation and functionality. If you're not familiar with the Web module, I urge you to read this article so you can get up to speed on this terrific customer service tool. The new product, Fathom Management and Replication is now available for CLI clients. This Disaster Recovery/Business Continuance product is a must-have; read the story to find out why you need it to protect your business.

Our success story this month features HOT Services, Inc. Learn how the rating system component of FACTS™ helps them run their business more smoothly. Also note the opinion piece that asserts that transportation companies are turning their attention back to the operations side of the business after years of focusing on administration. Do you agree? Drop us a line and we may print your thoughts in an upcoming issue.

Finally, to all of our clients, partners and prospects: All of us here at Carrier Logistics wish you and yours a Merry Christmas, happy holidays and a joyous, healthy and prosperous 2006.

Buy vs. Build: Pros and Cons of this Critical Decision

An Executive White Paper Excerpt

When looking to enhance or replace a host system, there is often a tendency to overlook the value in using third party vendors to provide the products and services you need. However, this trend is changing. According to Ipsos-Reid, a research firm in Canada, an estimated 49% of all IT spending in 2005 went to outsourced services, up from 44% in 2003. Finding the ideal IT partner is undeniably a major undertaking. It takes time to find a firm that fits the unique needs of your organization and project. Often it is easier to explore existing options that reside internally. However, remaining in a comfort zone with the status quo and failing to explore other options will not bring any new perspectives to the way you do business and may actually impede growth.

Deciding to look outside is the first step to balanced due diligence. But finding a partner that understands technology is not enough. Success rides on many variables, none of which is more important than knowing the firm you are going to be doing business with. Following are four criteria to consider when faced with the build versus buy decision:

·         Experience - Leveraging the knowledge and experience of a Freight Management software provider makes good business sense. Rely on the experts. A company with decades of experience developing, implementing, training and installing software solutions is always a good start.

  • Cost - Redeveloping applications internally is expensive. Often the cost is higher than purchasing a pre-developed application. In a survey of 603 IT and business executives, Ipsos-Reid found that 54% believed that pressure to reduce costs was their leading motivation to outsource. Software providers have already done the development, so you don't have to spend time reinventing the wheel. You also know the cost of the project when buying. If you develop your own solution, costs will typically exceed the initial estimate. The Standish survey reported that 52.7% of projects cost 189% more than original estimates. It is extremely difficult to estimate the time and expense associated with a major development project at the outset of the project. The scope has a tendency to change and increase, while technology continually changes as well.
  • Time to Solution - Time is also an area to consider. If your IT department has someone available for the project, do they know enough about the business to build a system efficiently? Will there be loss of manpower while this project is underway? Are there other people available within your organization to handle other priorities? Fifty-two percent of the respondents to the Ipsos-Reid survey felt that the need to increase the speed and agility of their deployments was their second biggest reason for going outside the company to find a solution. A software provider that has installed and implemented their solution many times understands the process and is better prepared to handle any issues that may arise during the implementation and training process.
  • Business Focus - You are in the business of transportation; not transportation software. Allow your partner to spend the time and resources on developing the technology, products and support. Spend your time and energy on managing your business. Continued...

For the complete article, click here

New Release Available: Web Module

There's exciting news for CLI customers who currently use the Web module: The new release is now available. With easier navigation, an improved appearance and more powerful functionality, the new Web module is an even more advanced customer service tool.

If you are not familiar with the FACTS™ Web module, it allows you and your customers to:

  • Trace by Pronumber, BOL / Reference Number, PO Number, Date Range, Interline Pronumber, and even Master Airwaybill Number on the Internet.
  • View signed POD and original BOL images associated to shipments tracked.
  • Generate online pick up (collection) requests that route directly into the dispatch module.
  • Generate online, customer specific rate quotes that automatically save to the database.
  • View invoices, statements, and current shipment status.
  • Access online BOL entry, complete with price quotes and PDF-based BOL with the customer's shipment data.
  • Make accounts receivable and payment inquiries.
  • Run Transit Time inquiries.
  • Create customized reports on the Web.
  • Update freight status (agents only).
  • Work in a fully secure, password-protected environment.

CLI client, Billings Freight Systems, has experienced much success since installing the FACTS™ Web module. Their employees are more efficient and productive since they no longer have to answer customers' questions about rates and shipment traces as these answers are now available online. Plus, customers like getting immediate answers.

In addition to better efficiency, the Web module gives you an advantage over your competitors who do not offer such robust online service. With the Web module, you let your customers be in charge. And they appreciate that.

For those of you who already use the Web module, the new release is included in your annual maintenance. If you don't currently have the Web module, contact CLI today to find out more about it.

 

Success Story:
HOT Services Gives High-Rating to FACTS™ Rating

HOT Services, Inc. is a privately owned regional trucking company located in California that focuses on the LTL and TL markets. In addition to JIT (Just In Time), supply chain management and virtual manufacturing, they provide assembly and distribution programs, pick and pack, and same day pickup and delivery.

Clients of CLI since 2001, HOT Services has been particularly pleased with the ease, accuracy and dependability of the rating software component of their FACTS™ installation. The depth of the rating software was one of the key factors for them when choosing CLI and its suite of software. We recently spoke with Howard Abeling, director of pricing at HOT Services about some of the advantages and benefits he has experienced with FACTS™ rateware and the system as a whole.

"We were in the middle of implementing a rate increase," says Abeling, "and while going through the steps to make the increase happen, I was amazed at how easy it was to handle this very complex project. That got me to thinking," he continued, "about other areas of the CLI system and how I can for the most part make it do anything I want."

When asked about the accuracy of the rating system, Abeling noted that on a recent date his percentage of autorating was 98%. Only five bills out of 285 did not rate due to the failure of a salesperson to turn in rates. Says Abeling, smiling, "Not too bad I guess." Then, turning more serious, he continued, "CLI has the best autorating I have ever seen, and I've seen a bunch of them."

The FACTS™ system allows HOT Services to do all the work ahead of time for a rate increase meaning confidence and reassurance for what can normally be a stressful task. Abeling appreciates this ease and dependability adding, "Instead of a day of total panic trying to implement all of the changes, I can relax knowing that on the day of the increase, all of the changes will take effect without my further involvement." After pausing a moment he noted, "From a management perspective, it just doesn't get better than that."

Ease, accuracy, dependability - in other words, peace of mind for the client. Sounds like a success story to us.

»

 

Opinion: Carriers Focusing on Operations Again

By Ken Weinberg, vice president, Carrier Logistics Inc.

I've been witnessing a very interesting change in priorities for transportation companies lately. After years of focusing on billing and administration, carriers are concentrating once again on the operations side of their business. Perhaps cost of fuel is the reason. Possibly it's a result of the publicity being generated by UPS and other large carriers that have been heavily promoting increased productivity. Maybe it's because trucking executives are frustrated by constantly rising operations' costs they want to control. For whatever reason, operations is back on the minds of those in charge.

What's surprising to me is some CLI customers don't even realize that their FACTS™ software has a robust operations system, ROUTRONICS™, which, while part of the complete FACTS™ package, can also stand alone as it does in transportation companies around the world. So my question to current CLI clients is: Are you taking advantage of all of the functionality that the FACTS™ system offers? You paid for the operations software when you brought the licenses for FACTS™, why not utilize every part of it to help your company run more efficiently? You should concentrate on using "decision support" to help you improve your delivery and pick up route planning and also the use of progressive loading of vehicles to improve your platform productivity.

CLI responded to customers' requests that mostly focused on administration software. And while we have responded to what functionality the marketplace was looking for, we may not have emphasized ROUTRONICS™ enough. Recognized in articles and by the trade press as one of the premier operations systems, ROUTRONICS™ can save companies thousands of dollars in operating costs. We offer extensive training on ROUTRONICS™ and give our clients the opportunity to attend User Group conferences, our Executive Forum and "Out to Lunch" training, all of which cover the operations side of the software.

Getting back to basics and focusing on routing, for example, makes a lot of sense in these tough economic times. And the best news is CLI is ready to train you. I invite our customers who are not utilizing their operations components to schedule training and re-implement the functionality that is already part of FACTS™. And for you prospects out there, you now know where to go to get a total transportation system. If your interest is just operations, though, remember that ROUTRONICS™ also stands alone and can be loaded front end to any legacy system. So whether you're looking for the complete package or just the operations system, you owe it to yourself to take a tour of FACTS™ and ROUTRONICS™. Operations is "in" again; shouldn't you have the best software for it?

 

Can't Fathom What You'd Do if Disaster Struck?

With the ever-increasing number of natural disasters, unplanned business disruptions and compliance issues, companies without a disaster recovery plan in place to protect their critical data assets are finding themselves dangerously exposed. CLI, in conjunction with Progress, is offering Fathom Management and Replication, which automatically recovers mission-critical business information and provides complete data protection.

The system enables you to:

1. Replicate your database from the live machine (primary system) to another machine (secondary system, usually in a different location) in real time.
2. Manage the database backup on the primary system.
3. Log into the secondary system and do your work as if it is on the primary system, thus ensuring business continuity if the primary system goes down.
4. Gain deep insight into systems and resources and automatic detection and correction of potential problem areas.
5. Decrease the cost of managing the OpenEdge environment and ensure maximum reliability, high availability and optimal performance.

Working on behalf of our customers, CLI has made an arrangement with Progress to offer CLI customers this protection at a very attractive price. Plus, you may also be able to offset part of the fee by reducing your insurance premium. Carriers can also use the Disaster Recovery Service as an advantage in the marketplace against competitors that do not have such protection in place.

Business continuity is a key concern these days and Fathom provides a valuable and affordable disaster recovery solution. Please contact Ken Weinberg at kweinberg@carrierlogistics.com today to get the protection your company needs.

 

An "Out to Lunch" Thank You

The training department at CLI would like to thank all of the clients who participated in the "Out to Lunch" training this year. We held numerous sessions on a variety of topics covering both the billing and operations sides of our system. We hope that those who participated found the programs valuable and a good use of your lunch hour.

CLI looks forward to getting your input on topics for next year. Please let us know what subjects you would find valuable. Send your "Out to Lunch" topic ideas to training@carrierlogistics.com

For those of you who didn't participate this year, why not make a New Year's resolution to make training a part of your business life. "Out to Lunch" sessions are a great and inexpensive way to learn how to maximize your CLI software. This training is a terrific opportunity for you and your team to get up-to-speed on the FACTS™ system. So make it point to join our training in '06.

 

Personnel News

This autumn season has been quite a "productive" one for three CLI staff members. On September 2, Craig Lis, marketing and communications, and his wife Erin welcomed Carver Francis into their family. He joins twin sisters, Jordan and Marin. On November 2, Evan Michael was welcomed into the world by Ben Wiesen, senior consultant and project manager, and his wife Heather. Daughter Emily is enjoying her role as big sister. Finally Rainer Tauchert, training, and his wife Siobhan had a daughter, Theresa Anne, or "Tess." She made her debut on November 15.

Congratulations and best wishes to all.

 

Calendar of Events

Date

Program

Location

Jan. 24 - 25

SMC³ 51st Annual Winter Meeting

Atlanta, GA

Feb. 12 - 15

2006 ATA Leadership Meeting

Tampa, FL

Feb. 26 - Mar. 1

Annual Meeting of the Distribution & Less Than Truckload Carriers Assoc.

San Diego, CA

Mar. 23 - 25

Mid-America Trucking Show

Louisville, KY

Mar. 27 - 30

2006 Material Handling & Logistics Show & Conference

Cleveland, OH

Apr. 2 - 5

TSMA 2006 Annual Conference

Phoenix, AZ

Apr. 20 - 22

Truck World 2006

Toronto, ON

 

Quick Links

 

     email: kweinberg@carrierlogistics.com
     voice: 914-332-0300
     web: http://www.carrierlogistics.com

 

 

Carrier Logistics Inc. · 220 White Plains Road · Tarrytown · NY · 10591