Carrier Logistics Inc. Newsletter

Trucking with CLI

March 2013

In This Issue

High Availability Saves the Day

Five Keys to Purchasing a Fleet Maintenance System

Carrier of the Year

Help Desk Tip

 

 

 

Quick Links

Squarerigger

 

 

Featured Employee:

Kathleen Jurka

Kathy and her Husband, Harry
on the Harley

If you are a client, partner or associate of CLI, then you have most likely had the pleasure of speaking with Kathleen Jurka when you've called our offices. Kathleen has been with CLI for 12 years and in addition to answering the phone, she manages many of CLI's accounting functions, including AR and AP, as well as overall management of the office.

 

When she is away from the workplace, Kathleen enjoys spending time on the Harley with her husband Harry. In fact, they've ridden over of the continental United States, covering everywhere from South Beach to South Dakota. You can find her on Memorial Day weekend in Washington, D.C. participating in the bike rally, Rolling Thunder. She also loves spending time with her two grandchildren and two dogs.  Her hobbies include knitting, gardening and beekeeping.

 

 

New Client Welcome:

Total Transportation & Distribution



CLI is pleased to welcome Total Transportation & Distribution, Inc., to its ever-growing roster of clients.  Total began in 1989 with a goal of providing Southern California with premier integrated trucking services and distribution solutions. Today, Total is a provider of both TL and LTL freight shipping and leads the industry in same-day and next-day delivery with efficiency and reliability.

 

Total's warehouse and fulfillment center can store and take computerized inventory of clients' products. They offer real-time information systems so that clients can access inventory and shipment tracking information online.

 

As Total continues to grow, their reliability and personalized services ensures that they will still provide solutions to their customers transportation needs for years to come.  Please help us welcome Total Transportation & Distribution.

 

To learn more about Total Transportation, click here.

 

 

 

You Got it Wrong Again,

It's Spring Ahead, Fall Back!

  

Just for Laughs

by

T. McCracken

Used with permission. 

All rights reserved. 

Dear Craig: 

 
Welcome to the March issue of Trucking with CLI.  In this edition, our feature article highlights the importance of having a business continuance plan in place.  It's springtime here in the Northeast, why not take a fresh look at your disaster recovery plans and bring them up-to-speed.  You'll read the story of a carrier that is glad it did.

 

This edition also features news regarding one of CLI's clients, a timely article from our partners at Squarerigger Fleet Maintenance, and an ever-practical help desk tip.

 

Finally, we have our new client welcome and employee spotlight, two of our popular features.  We hope you enjoy the newsletter.  As always, we welcome your feedback and input.

 

 

High Availability Saves the Day

 

January brings a new year, new resolutions, and for one CLI client, a new challenge. Eastern Connection, the Massachusetts-based overnight parcel company, is the largest regional transportation and logistics provider on the East Coast. This past January, the company experienced a production environment failure due to a filesystem corruption that was out of its control. Large portions of data from the production database were lost, and its business temporarily came to a standstill. 

EC Logo

However, all was not lost. The principals at Eastern Connection  have always made the connection that investing in technology is an investment in their business. In addition to choosing CLI's FACTS system as their TMS, they also had the forethought to make sure they invested in High Availability, a business continuance and disaster recovery plan.

 

High Availability replication meant that while the system at Eastern Connection may have failed, the data and information that was needed to run the business was safely replicated at a neutral site. The IT professionals at Eastern immediately set to work with the CLI MIS team to restore the system. With very little interruption to its business, Eastern Connection was quickly up and running and doing what they do best: Making on-time deliveries while their customers realized no interruption to their service.

 

"An investment in HA (high availability) is really an insurance policy," says Ken Weinberg, vice president at CLI, referring to the product available from Progress. "You may never need it, but the problem is Murphy lurks," he added, referring to Murphy's Law, the adage that is typically stated as: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. "And it doesn't have to be a natural disaster, like Super Storm Sandy," Weinberg said. "A common cause is hardware failure but even a virus or file corruption can bring a system, and the company, to its knees."

 

Eastern Connection knows this all too well. But some planning and investment kept this system problem from becoming a full-blown company disaster. And because of some astute foresight in the past, the New Year started out just fine.

 

Click here for more information on Eastern Connection.

 

 

The Five Keys When Purchasing a 

Vehicle Maintenance System

 

By Ed Cooper, CEO, Squarerigger Inc.

 

1-Determine your specific needs and budget

Meet with all stakeholders. Key players are your shop manager, parts manager, accountant and lead mechanic. Others may have input.  What are the current gaps in your existing system you need fill? What are the 'nice to haves'? Be realistic and reasonable. No system will supply 100% of everything. Establish a 'notional' budget.

 

2-Prepare vendors for the demo you want

Create a simple checklist of items you want to see when the vendor gives you the demo. Be specific. Don't generalize. All vendors have work orders, preventive maintenance, parts inventory etc. Get specific requests out in the open. If they can't demonstrate them then chances are they don't have them. You'll only get what they can show you.

Ed Cooper

Ed Cooper

 

Ask them to demonstrate a 'day in the life' of a service writer, mechanic, parts manager etc. Ask them to send you a list of reports.

 

3-Verify your infrastructure in advance

Make sure that your network and computers can support the vendor's requirements. Have your IT personnel review the vendor's hardware requirements before committing to a demo. 

 

4-Get details about training

If the vendor requires your staff to travel to their training center rather than doing the training online, it may indicate a more complicated system. Depending on the size of your organization, that may not be a bad thing. Online training, however, allows your staff to schedule short  sessions without taking a week away from the office. Online training will also cost you less. You may want a site visit by the vendor's implementation person at 'go-live' time.

 

5-Consider price...initial and ongoing.

If you buy based on price alone you will be stuck with the software after the glitter of the deal wears off. Get ballpark prices if you can. Make sure you've established a 'notional' budget and the vendor's ballpark price is within reason relative to your budget. Know if the price is $25,000 or $125,000. This will help save time.

 

Determine the monthly or annual support fees. Does the vendor allow you to pay on a 'per incident' basis or require an 'annual fee'?  If you choose to pay per incident, calculate the costs for individual updates and upgrades. You may find it cheaper, in the long run, to purchase an all-encompassing support contract.

 

The success of the implementation is all in the planning. Get a sample implementation plan from vendor before choosing your vendor. do you feel it is reasonable? It can always be adjusted to fit your organizations needs.

 

BONUS-Get references

Speak to and preferably visit existing customers of the vendor you have chosen before making a final commitment. Ask about their support experiences, ease of use, ease of training etc. Would they recommend you buy from this vendor?

  

Squarerigger 

Click  here to learn more about Squarerigger.

 

 

Standard Forwarding Wins 

Carrier of the Year Award  

CLI congratulates longtime client, Standard Forwarding, on winning a carrier of the year award.  Standard Forwarding, a U.S. less than truckload (LTL) carrier and subsidiary of DHL Freight, was named Great Lakes/Midwest LTL Carrier of the Year (2012) in Mastio & Company`s annual Value and Loyalty Benchmarking Study. It was the fifth time in a row that Standard Forwarding won the coveted award.

award"We strive every day to meet and exceed our customers` expectations, so it`s very gratifying to see such overwhelmingly positive feedback from our customers," said John Ward, president of Standard Forwarding.

 

Standard Forwarding had the highest score among all participating carriers nationwide when customers were asked about the "likelihood of continued usage."  They also received the second-highest "net promoter" score nationally. Net promoter score measures a customer's "likelihood to recommend," an indication of customer satisfaction.

 

The in-depth study surveys 2,000 shippers and identifies and quantifies the needs of LTL freight customers while comparing national, regional and local carriers. Standard Forwarding was selected as the winner based upon top scores in 24 service attributes determined to be most important to LTL customers. 

 

 

Help

Desk Tip: Reset Statement Print File

Function: st.reset

  

This function resets the Statement and Invoice Printing [st.inv] file. The file needs to be reset in order to archive the statement print records that have already been created, and clears the queue for the next statement/invoice run. 

   help desk1

Make sure your current A/R login reflects the correct entity for the file you want to reset.   

NOTE: This function should be run only at the beginning of the Statement and Invoice Printing process.  

  

Reset Statements Printed: Check this box if you are ready to proceed, then click Reset. Answer Yes when prompted whether you wish to begin preparing new statements and invoices.   

Do not reset the Statement and Invoice Printing file unless you successfully completed the last print run.  

    

If you receive this message, click OK and run Statement and Invoice Printing again.  


Proceed to Statement Numbering and Dating [stmt.numb].

 

Once you have completed the print run, return to Reset Statement File, check the Reset Statements Printed box, and click Reset.   

  

Questions?: Please contact CLI's Help Desk at

helpdesk@carrierlogistics.com

 

 

 

Thank you for sharing some time with us.  Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions, feedback or opinions.  

 

Regards,

 


Ken Weinberg
Carrier Logistics Inc.

About Us: Carrier Logistics Inc. (CLI) is the leading provider of integrated freight management software solutions that help supply-chain companies manage change and improve their profitability. For 40 years, CLI's comprehensive freight management solutions have driven every key element in trucking companies from dispatching to freight bill entry to mobile data communications. From call logging to General Ledger to EDI transactions and Internet track and trace, CLI's systems encompass every aspect of a trucking company's needs.