Carrier Logistics Inc.

Trucking with CLI

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 News, Products & Tips

February 2009 

in this issue

·  Using CRM to Recession-Proof a Business

·  Register Today for the Annual User Group Conference

·  FACTS® Version 10.5.1 Released

·  Industry Meetings on the Horizon

·  New Customer: Rosenau Transport

·  Tip of the Month

·  Calendar of Events

Greetings,

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 find helpful.

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 expansion.

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.

Recession-Proof Strategy #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.

Recession-Proof Strategy #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.

Recession-Proof Strategy #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 Group Conference

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 presentation.

Please register for this once-a-year event -- Do not delay, register today. Please contact Craig Lis at clis@carrierlogistics.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 dispatch.

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 Document »

 

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 industry events.

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 British Columbia 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 at helpdesk@carrierlogistics.com

 

Calendar of Events

Date

Program

Location

March 22 - 24

D & LTL Carriers Association Conference and Exhibition

Tampa, FL

March 22 - 25

iTLC Annual Conference

Palm Harbor, FL

April 14 - 16

ECA Marketplace 2009

Chicago, IL

April 23 - 24

CLI Annual User Group Meeting

White Plains, NY

June 24 - 26

SMC3 Summer Conference

Las Vegas, NV

October 4 - 7

ATA Annual Conference & Exhibition

Las Vegas, NV

 

Quick Links

 

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