Welcome to the February 2009 edition of
"Trucking with CLI." In this issue, our feature story examines how
using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is even more critical
in these rough economic times. The article, "Using CRM to
Recession-Proof a Business" is a timely read and one I know you will
Speaking of the economy, the theme of our
User Group Conference this year is how to "Leverage Your IT Investment
in Tough Times." The meeting, which will take place on April 23 and 24
at the Crowne Plaza in White Plains, NY, has been expanded to not only
address functionality of the system but business topics as well. I am pleased
to announce that the keynote this year will be Braxton Vick, senior vice
president at Southeastern Freight Lines, a Columbia, SC-based LTL carrier,
and immediate past chairman of the Information Technology and Logistics
Council of the ATA. Please see the article for details on the program,
including links for registration forms. As always, the User Group Conference
is FREE to attend for all CLI clients.
CLI is proud to announce that we have a new
client in Canada, Rosenau Transport. Read the article for background on
the company. Also take a look at the article on the new release of FACTS.
Version 10.5.1 has literally thousands of enhancements and is available at no
charge to CLI customers.
I want to point out two upcoming industry
events that are taking place next month, described in the article below. On
behalf of the associations running the programs, we encourage you to attend.
Finally, please review the Tip of the Month - the always-useful pointer on
using the FACTS system.
Enjoy the issue.
Using CRM to
Recession-Proof a Business
By John Kaufman, Senior
Consultant, The CRM Connection
The Crucible of Recession: CRM's Role
A recession is a critical test for any business. In a recession, a business
model must be resilient enough to maintain profitability or at least
liquidity. A sales organization must prove persistent and effective enough to
continue to find new business in a lean market.
For the best-run businesses, a recession
does not present a challenge of survival so much as an extraordinary window
of opportunity. In a recession, stronger companies can pick up market share
at the expense of weaker competitors who either go out of business or have to
reduce capacity to cut costs. Picking up market share during downturns allows
the stronger competitors to emerge more profitable in the subsequent
A recession therefore, is the
survival-of-the-fittest crucible of business. CRM's role in this crucible is
two-fold: to help a business achieve efficiencies to survive the
profitability/liquidity challenge while enhancing sales productivity to
capitalize on the competitive opportunity.
What follows are three CRM strategies that
can help recession-proof a business.
#1: Increase Customer Penetration
In a recession, customers become especially precious. A company must protect
customer relationships in what is bound to be a more fiercely competitive
environment. Considering that acquisition costs for new business greatly
exceed the costs of servicing existing customers, the ability to protect
customer relationships is a key to maintaining profitability in lean times.
In fact, estimates suggest that improving customer retention by just 5% can
boost profitability by 25% to 95%.
Increasing customer penetration goes beyond
simply retaining existing customers to getting more business out of them. For
instance, a CRM-based strategy to cross-sell to incoming service callers
turns service efforts into sales opportunities. A CRM system can alert
customer service personnel to past ordering histories and to potential
accessorial opportunities, while providing tailored scripts to guide the
service staff through this cross-selling process.
Increasing customer penetration also
involves outreach. A CRM system can be used to analyze and coordinate with
customer buying cycles and orchestrate targeted offers. In a recession, when
new customers are hard to come by, getting more out of existing customers is
one way an organization can continue to grow.
#2: Achieve Efficiencies
Identifying cost efficiencies is another way to protect profits in a
recession. Sales database information can help management improve sales force
productivity. Using automation to help institutionalize a consistent sales
discipline has been shown to increase average sales per rep by 30% over a
three-year period. A sales database can also help management more readily
identify and weed out unproductive sales people.
#3: Use Resources Effectively
In a recession, sales databases or any other new CRM initiative might seem
like a luxury better saved for fatter times. However, slow business periods
can be the best times to launch such initiatives. In dealing with CRM
vendors, buyers are likely to find their bargaining power greatest, and
installation times the shortest, when business is slow.
Within the organization itself, slowdowns
create excess capacity. One way to use this excess capacity is to devote it
to training on a new system. The most difficult time to change sales
practices is when new business is coming in fast and furious. Conversely, a
recession might provide enough of a break in the action to thoroughly
implement a new CRM strategy.
The CRM Connection is
currently working with Carrier Logistics to maximize their use of ACT!
software as their CRM tool. For more information about ACT! software, contact
Jim Pappas at The CRM Connection toll free at 866-456-7808 or on the web at www.thecrmconnection.com
Register Today for the Annual User
CLI cordially invites its customers to attend the
Annual User Group Conference. Taking place on April 23 and 24, 2009 at the Crowne Plaza in White Plains, NY, the meeting promises to be two days of learning, networking
and hands-on instruction. Please register today to hold your spot. This
event has grown in attendance every year and space is limited.
The theme this year is how to "Leverage Your IT Investment in Tough
Times." We will focus on the importance of maximizing the
use of the FACTS system to increase productivity and lower overhead costs.
CLI clients have the opportunity to learn about the latest developments in
the system, share ideas and tips with other users, meet one-on-one with CLI
subject experts and talk to other solution providers who work with CLI at
the Partner Showcase. We also are expanding the program to include
executive-level business sessions designed to help senior managers lead
their organizations to increased profits in these lean times.
CLI is pleased to announce that the
keynote speaker will be Braxton Vick,
senior vice president, Southeastern Freight Lines, and immediate past
chairman of the Information Technology and Logistics Council of the ATA.
Braxton will discuss the importance of investing in technology even in
these tough economic times. He'll share why he believes smart companies are
investing in technology right now -- to run their businesses more
efficiently, helping them add real dollars to the bottom line when it is
needed most. By investing now, it will also put them in a better position
when the economy turns around. This promises to be an enlightening
Please register for this once-a-year event
-- Do not delay, register today. Please contact Craig Lis at email@example.com if
you would like to participate in the Partner Showcase.
Click Here for More Information
and to Register »
FACTS® Version 10.5.1 Released
Carrier Logistics is proud to announce the latest release
of the FACTS total freight management software system. With literally
thousands of enhancements, FACTS 10.5.1 is available for all CLI clients.
For a list of key enhancements to the core application and available
modules, please click below. CLI's staff has selected more than 150 of the
thousands of system changes to appear in this document. In addition to
these enhancements, 10.5.1 adds very important GUI modules, including
CLI prides itself on its commitment to
constantly enhance the FACTS total freight management system. Our
programmers spend thousands of hours every year adding and improving
functionality. If you are a client and haven't already done so, please
contact Carrier Logistics' MIS department to schedule your upgrade as soon as
possible to take full advantage of what 10.5.1 has to offer. Remember that
upgrades to your primary server are covered under your annual support and
maintenance contract, except for work which must be done during
non-business hours or over a weekend.
Click Here for the Enhancement
Industry Meetings on the Horizon
CLI will be supporting and exhibiting at two industry
meetings next month. The Distribution and LTL Carriers Association will be
holding its annual conference and exhibition March 22 - 24 at the
Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa,
FL. The program will focus on issues currently having the
biggest impact on LTL companies, including a special presentation on the
economy by Chief Economist at the American Trucking Association (ATA), Bob
Costello. Click the link below to learn more about this important event.
The Information Technology and Logistics
Council (iTLC) of the ATA
will be holding its annual conference and exhibit March 22 - 25,
2009 in Palm Harbor, FL at the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club. The meeting's theme
this year is "Surviving Tough Economic Times: Using iTLC to Weather the Storm." The
keynote speaker will be General (ret) Russel L. Honoré, commander of Joint
Task Force Katrina. He will discuss trucking efficiency and how lessons
learned during Hurricane Katrina military relief efforts can be applied to
private trucking operations. Click below for more details.
CLI encourages you to attend these
Click for Information on the
D & LTL Carriers Association Conference and Exhibition
Click for Information on the iTLC Conference »
New Customer: Rosenau Transport
CLI is pleased to announce that Rosenau Transport has
become the latest transportation company to choose CLI's software.
Incorporated in 1957, Rosenau has grown into one of the largest regional
carriers in Western Canada. Today Rosenau provides general freight service
between Alberta, Saskatchewan, Northern
and Manitoba as well as offers a highly developed network of commodity
services with connections to and from Eastern Canada and the United States.
CLI looks forward to working closely with
the talented people at Rosenau, helping them to use our system to its
fullest capacity. Welcome Rosenau Transport.
Click Here to Learn More about
Rosenau Transport »
Tip of the Month
Starting Global Views
The Global Views program is used by a dispatcher to monitor and operate the
various regions, terminals and routes within a company. It displays a
summary of all pickups and deliveries being made that day and allows a
dispatcher to drill down to each driver's route to dispatch, re-assign or
POD stops. Global Views constantly runs in the background to refresh data
on dispatch views every minute. Whenever the database is shutdown, Global
Views needs to be restarted. A primary indicator for a dispatcher that a
restart is needed is when the Terminal Summary or Detail Views does not
match the stop totals on the individual driver routes.
1) Go to "Background Jobs Control."
2) Choose the option to
"Check the status of all background jobs." It should show 'Last
Activity' as being within a minute of the system time (on the right) and
'Currently Running' should show 'Idle.' If the last activity is not current
or is not running, then:
3) Choose "Stop
background jobs." If it was previously stopped, this will cleanly kill
the hung process.
4) Then start Global Views and
follow the commands listed at the bottom of the screen.
Any questions? Contact the CLI Help Desk
Calendar of Events