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.
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.
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.
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.
Build: Pros and Cons of this Critical Decision
Executive White Paper Excerpt
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.
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
- 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.
For the complete
article, click here
Available: Web Module
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.
are not familiar with the FACTS™ Web module, it allows you and your
- 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
- Make accounts receivable
and payment inquiries.
- Run Transit Time
- Create customized reports
on the Web.
- Update freight status
- Work in a fully secure,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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."
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."
accuracy, dependability - in other words, peace of mind for the client.
Sounds like a success story to us.
Carriers Focusing on Operations Again
By Ken Weinberg,
vice president, Carrier Logistics Inc.
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.
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.
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.
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?
What You'd Do if Disaster Struck?
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.
system enables you to:
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
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.
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.
continuity is a key concern these days and Fathom provides a valuable and
affordable disaster recovery solution. Please contact Ken Weinberg at firstname.lastname@example.org
today to get the protection your company needs.
An "Out to
Lunch" Thank You
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.
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 email@example.com
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.
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.
and best wishes to all.
Jan. 24 - 25
SMC³ 51st Annual Winter Meeting
Feb. 12 - 15
2006 ATA Leadership Meeting
Feb. 26 - Mar. 1
Annual Meeting of the Distribution & Less Than
Truckload Carriers Assoc.
San Diego, CA
Mar. 23 - 25
Mid-America Trucking Show
Mar. 27 - 30
2006 Material Handling & Logistics Show &
Apr. 2 - 5
TSMA 2006 Annual Conference
Apr. 20 - 22
Truck World 2006