Advantages of insourcing logistics management

The advantages of insourcing logistics management

It used to be that outsourcing was in vogue and always the first choice among the learned business school elite. The trend is reversing as logistics management software has evolved and become highly affordable by mid-sized businesses. By using advanced and capable software more and more companies are insourcing logistics management and saving the markup of third party logistics providers.

While it’s true 3PLs did have their place in the market; they did so by procuring expensive TMS software. Now a new software revolution has come along and placed highly capable logistics management solutions into shipper’s hands and eliminated the need to outsource their logistics.

A typical actual 3Pl markup is 13%. How can you tell this? Read the income statements of publicly held 3PLs like CH Robinson, Echo Global, XPO and Hub Group just to name a few. In some cases, especially those who haven’t tightly monitored their outsourced logistics, that markup can exceed 20%. Even shippers with a modest freight spend can understand that with very little cap-ex and monthly subscription fees, they can save real money and probably enhance their customer’s experiences.

SaaS TMS Software has been growing rapidly and prices have dropped significantly. Specialized functionality is also available at a modest price. You can also job out things like RFQs and carrier qualification to create a stable of available contract carriers for truckload shipping. LTL carrier bids can be easily managed and displayed with competitive rates on the same screen in a modern TMS.

It is not that 3PLs can’t add value, the better question is, how can they make these high margins and retain your business? There is plenty of talent in the labor force to effectively manage your logistics. Many current employees of 3PLs would gladly leave the boiler rooms of their current employment for a steadier career at your company.

ShippersEdge has been providing SaaS logistics management software for over 15 years. Talk to us about how to insource logistics management. Call 952-777-4421 or visit us on the web at www.shippersedge.com/info for more information.

Why Transportation Management Software is so Important

Essential to cut workload and drive down spend

Why transportation management software is so important. In today’s rapid fire work environment, a TMS, often referred to as a Transportation Management System or Transportation Management Software, is essential to cut workload and drive down the transportation spend. A good TMS will give visibility on the freight rates and transit times of all of your providers allowing you to select the provider based on either cost or transit time. This is just the beginning.

Outbound shipping and making the system make you money

Managing outbound shipping is what most TMS applications were built for. It is a given they will to some extent or another handle them. Some starter TMS software will not accept rate table uploads. Some don’t handle consolidations and some weren’t built for truckload. Specialty rates are often not able to be applied by low end systems. A TMS should also alert you if your shipment violates lineal foot or other carrier specified restrictions and penalties. It should also alert and solicit custom rate quotes when shipments meet a particular criteria. That’s making you money.

Manage incoming shipments

In most applications, your TMS will also be tasked to manage incoming shipments. This may mean preparing and transmitting a bill of lading to your suppliers or simply being able to scan carrier EDI feeds for your purchase orders. ShippersEdge can also inform you of inbound shipments which were not imported from your purchase order system.

Provide stakeholders tracking and other information

As TMS software modernized and gained full connectivity to the transportation providers the best systems will now, notify the provider of a needed pickup, confirm their acceptance or more importantly notify of an exception (unable to pick up) and track the shipment through to destination. While tracking, the system should be able to provide stakeholders tracking links similar to what you get when you order online.

Record keeping and logging

Record keeping and logging. Accountability and source error recognition are important for training and error prevention. Having empirical data available assists in quantifying and monetizing error prevention and recovery. A TMS will also provide carrier scorecards for late deliveries, reweight and other anomalies because it should be logging those events.

A word about interfacing with accounting

A word about interfacing with accounting here; some finance departments want to import approved freight invoices into a company’s accounting system, some want payable vouchers and some want paperless. Any of these should be available in an advanced TMS. There is other reporting as well. Appending a freight cost to a sales order is one and another is a freight accrual report. Auditing is yet another important function and advanced TMS software can often time replace third party contracted services for freight bill audit and payment.

Notice if an anticipated charge changes

Exceptional systems also now provide notice if an anticipated charge from the transportation provider changes and provide an audit path to rectify the discrepancy. If you’re finding out about reweighs when the freight bills arrive, you have no way of having them checked while still in possession of the carrier and thus no chance to rectify an obvious mistake.

Connectivity to your in-house software systems

Enterprise Class Systems now offer complete connectivity to your in-house software systems eliminating time consuming and error-prone hand keying of anything that is already in a data format when captured. Integration can be complete or partial depending on client needs. Enterprise logistics software also has reporting capability not often contained in in-house software.

Specialty applications

Specialty applications such as jobsite equipment monitoring or stowage handling unit location and retrieval can be built and monitored far easier in a custom TMS application than trying to modify an ERP or having yet another standalone software solution. If you need it, we’ll build it.

A mid-range TMS with a meaningful ROI

ShippersEdge is a mid-range TMS with an outstanding return on investment. Most TMS installations generate about a 7% reduction in freight costs due to increase use of preferred carriers, visibility on the lowest cost providers and better data for procurement. Couple that with soft cost saving due to efficiencies gained in operations, you’ve achieved a meaningful ROI without breaking the bank.

Without a TMS, you’re losing money and productivity

If your company is doing without a TMS, you’re losing productivity and probably leaving money on the table. If you can see it, it is darn near impossible to manage except in the most rudimentary way. Mid-range TMS Software was even around 10 years ago. It is now not only around, its developed, mature and capable. Monthly subscriptions are very low and setup costs can be extremely cost effective.

ShippersEdge was at the forefront

ShippersEdge was at the forefront of this TMS revolution back in 2002 when it introduced the first web-based (now referred to as hosted or cloud based) TMS in the country. Big companies had Transportation Management Systems with 7 figure price tags and 6 figure annual maintenance spend. We thought there was a better way.

More information at www.shippersedge.com/info or call 952-777-4421

Why Mid-Range TMS Software has the Best ROI

Mid-Range TMS Software has the Best ROI

Why does mid-range TMS software present the best value? Mid-range TMS software offers 90% of the functionality of large legacy transportation management systems at a fraction of the price. Compared to for instance Mercury Gate, ShippersEdge a mid-range and highly capable TMS is priced at about 20% of the monthly price and setup fees a startlingly low, even for integrated applications.

Functionality is oftentimes enhanced because the user interfaces in next generation TMS software are meant to be extremely user friendly to avoid expensive and time consuming training. Intuitive enough that almost everyone can be running the system in less than an hour. What good is functionality if you can’t use it?

Advanced Features

Advanced features, like embedded tracking links for your customers and hourly monitoring of most shipments are available due to the architecture of ShippersEdge.

ShippersEdge offers multiple ways to obtain carrier rates. API technology is mainly for LTL carriers and retrieves your rates directly from the carrier’s server. This way you know you have the latest rates offered. In some situations, you may want to upload a table of rates from a spreadsheet. ShippersEdge offer this capability as well. Spot quote? No problem, request spot quotes from your favorite providers, ShippersEdge generates the requesting email and automatically places all spot rates back into the quote allowing for easy comparison and provider selection.

Reporting

Reporting used to be cumbersome. Our easy to use report generator allows you to design your own reports with the click of a mouse and export the results to Excel or any number of other formats. Need a freight accrual report for accounting, click, and it’s done. Need a variance report, ditto, it’s done. Late delivery report, easy.

Expected Results

Most TMS installations generate about a 7% reduction in freight costs due to increase use of preferred carriers, visibility on the lowest cost providers and better data for procurement. Couple that with soft cost saving due to efficiencies gained in operations, you’ve achieved a meaningful ROI without breaking the bank.

Contact Us

Talk to ShippersEdge at 952-777-4421 or visit us on the web at www.shippersedge.com/info

Mid-Range TMS Software

Mid-Range TMS Software for Sophisticated Shippers

When starter shipping software is not enough turn to ShippersEdge Mid-range TMS Software as your solution. Somewhere between bargain shipping software and overkill six-figure transportation management systems is ShippersEdge affordable and capable easy to use logistics software.

Getting a high dollar system approved and then installed is a nightmare for many logistics departments. Then there’s training and retraining assuming some turnover. Complicated screens, poor reporting capability and those monthly fees. ShippersEdge has solved all of that.

Intuitive process flow

Intuitive process flow that anybody can use. Easy to prepare reports that will output to Excel. We also do customer reports if you need them. Logical and intuitive is what our customers say. You Chief Financial Officer will be smiling know your company is saving real money for a fraction of the cost of legacy TMS Software.

Here are just some of the features in ShippersEdge:

Rating Engine for LTL Carriers via API

Carrier EDI

Use for outbound or inbound

Store and use rate tables for truckload

Nonstandard rate calculations

Compute pallet and footage rates

Gather and store spot market rate quotes

Manage and store shipping documents and freight invoices

Easy Freight bill audit capability

Freight accrual report

Electronic and email tracking capability

Email notification to customers with embedded tracking link

Address book with advanced data storage of receiving or shipping point information

Product (items) storage database

Ability to manage hazmat requirements

Consolidation and manifesting parent-child bills of lading

Visual consolidation tools

Built in basic optimizer with enhanced optimizing available

Intuitive interface requires little training

Helpdesk

Cloud based SaaS deployment

Capability to markup freight charges

Export data to Excel for complete reporting

Integration available with any ERP, Order Management, CRM or WMS system

ShippersEdge builds custom applications. If you need it, we’ll build it.

Expensive systems do not provide the ROI

Expensive systems do not provide the ROI for midsized companies. They are TMS overkill with complicated interfaces requiring extensive training of new users. You will get 90% of the functionality contained in systems costing ten times the price monthly and in setup costs.

ShippersEdge user interface has been tested to assure usability and easiness of use. Get up and running quickly and we’ll help you all along the way. Enjoy powerful reporting, accessible data and collaboration with other departments. Allow salespeople to get freight estimates from anywhere on any device. Provide tracking information to your customers and your customer service department. Keep track of special delivery requirements your customers have. Never miss a customer specified routing.

Contact us

Talk to ShippersEdge at 952-777-4421 or visit us on the web www.shippersedge.com/info

 

Consolidations from Logistics Management Software

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Visual Consolidations from Logistics Management Software

ShippersEdge logistics management software does consolidations and allows you to drag and drop re-sequence deliveries or pickups to suit you or your customer’s needs. Our consolidation feature lets you quickly group shipments and warns you when you’re nearing capacity or have exceeded the capacity of the vehicle.

Proper Shipping Documents

Now ShippersEdge will provide a parent or master bill of lading and individual bills of lading for each shipment on your consolidated load. We can also provide a loading manifest to make sure your shipments are loaded in the correct order. Our ability to integrate with multiple tracking methods from cell phone tracking to old email requests and SMS text messaging keeps you in the know about how your load is proceeding.

Pool Distribution

Consolidations are the new old school in midrange logistics management software. Pool distributions can further reduce costs by mitigating the “beyond mileage” when most of the truck is empty. ShippersEdge can assist you in recognizing pool distribution opportunities. Think of it this way, if the bulk of your load delivers in Chicago, why run a quarter of a truckload “beyond” Chicago to Toledo. We can help you get that beyond shipment bid by regional distribution carriers. ShippersEdge can be configured to alert you when these opportunities arise.

Circular Consolidations

Another methodology is distributions where the end point is the same as the origination point. These are called circular distribution routes and typically are used for regional distribution with company or dedicated contract trucks. Circular routing is different than straight line routing. It can also be more economical than one way distribution. Trucking companies like all miles pay because there is no deadhead component.

Contact Us

Let us help you design your transportation with ShippersEdge. We’re not just logistics management software, we’re logistics experts. Call us at 952-777-4421 or visit us at www.shippersedge.com/info

Find the Lowest Freight Cost

Simple Way to Find the Lowest Freight Cost

Logging in to multiple carrier websites is not easy. There is another way to find the lowest freight cost, use ShippersEdge TMS. ShippersEdge will log into all of your carrier’s websites automatically to find the lowest freight cost and display them all of your carrier’s rates on one page allowing you to make comparisons. The technology generally used is an API connection, but ShippersEdge can also display rates from carriers who do not support this technology.

Display all of your rates in one place

ShippersEdge can display rates from tables for special rates such as linear foot rates, pallet rates or mileage rates. Not all carriers have API technology so if your rates are for instance, in an excel spreadsheet, we can upload those rate tables and calculate a rate. We can also communicate with your low technology carriers for tracking and tracing.

Do away with time consuming rate retrieval from carrier websites, use modern shipping software to retrieve your lowest freight cost. ShippersEdge also keeps a record of the freight costs should you need to verify your quoted rate in the event of a billing issue. We can also provide a portal to sales and customer service so they themselves can find a freight cost, saving the transportation department’s time.

Other important features

What else can ShippersEdge TMS do? Track your freight; Automatically audit freight invoices; Alert you to service delays; Alert you of cost changes; Create bills of lading and shipping labels with bar coded pro numbers and much more. ShippersEdge also has an easy to use report generator to put data your shipping data in your hands. It’s time to modernize your shipping procedures and streamline your process flow with technology.

Contact us

ShippersEdge has logistics software starting at just $199.00. Integrated transportation management systems start at $499.00. Find out more by calling 952-777-4421 or visit us on the web at www.shippersedge.com/info Talk to ShippersEdge.

 

 

The Keys to an Unstoppable Drive

The Keys to an Unstoppable Drive

“Sometime back in the mid 80’s I was invited to attend a sales seminar hosted by Don Beveridge and I was fortunate in that I got the chance to sit in on the seminar and I found it to be a memorable experience. He was motivated and his sales motivational points were strong. The ideas he shared with the audience, with a little bit of license on my part, went something like this: You wake-up at 5am, from 5-7am, you plan your day, every hour. Be in the office by 7am and by 9am get out and prospect and be in the community. At 5pm get back to the office to do your follow-up with all your prospective clients. From 7pm – 9pm you do your administrative work. After that, get into bed so you’re ready for 5am again. I heard at least two old saws proclaim, “this guy is nuts”. I thought so too but in a good way.
There were about 200 sales people in attendance, many of which were inspired by his ideas. And my guess is that many of the salesmen (there weren’t many women selling in those days) took action after that day because they wanted his results. So they probably started getting up at 5am and arrived at the office at 7am and they started making the cold calls they normally weren’t making. But pretty soon, within a few days or weeks, most would probably stop and resume their old ways. Their activity levels go back to normal. Why? Because their productivity rose above their self-image and their self-image squashed their productivity down within their comfort level; a level consistent with their self-image. They took an afternoon off here and there, maybe they watched Oprah, maybe Jerry Springer; hung out in a bar commiserating with other freight solicitors, it was hard to say. It could be their actions were becoming inconsistent with their self-image.

Today many will talk about balance in life, those are thoughts best left to the idealists and those who believe the system is rigged and we ought to spread the wealth. I believe there is a place for balance all right, mine is in balancing the checkbook and my family life. Making a difference in your life and the lives of those who depend on you is, on its own, balance. The checkbook and family unit satisfaction are only the scorecards. If your checkbook and family life is where you think it should be, you’re doing fine and don’t need to go further unless you think you can in which case you haven’t set you goals high enough.
You will always perform at a level equal to your self-image. Our self-image is the portrait we have of ourselves. It’s the picture we’ve created about our self and is commonly based on past experiences and environmental influences. So if a new desire for improvement is introduced and it conflicts with our current self-image, it is doomed to fail. I guess I was fortunate in that I had a very successful family and couldn’t envision anything other than success.
Our actions, behaviors and yes our discipline, are all heavily influenced by our self-image. Even if you force yourself via will power to do things beyond your self-image, you won’t be able to sustain it for very long. You will go back to the old behaviors consistent with your own self-belief because you believe it and you act from this belief. What caused the Ali’s, Jordan’s, and the Annika Sorenstam’s of the world to work as hard as they did? What causes the top 1% in selling to consistently sustain their mind-boggling activity levels? Answer for all: their self-image. If you watched Tiger’s meltdown in the last couple of years and its subsequent effect on his golf course performance, you can see what a blow to self-esteem can do, even if it was of his own making.

Major changes occur in income, production and satisfaction for the average salesperson (in fact all people) when they understand the importance of evaluating, changing and elevating their self-image. Managers and salespeople comfortable with small and average client sizes but nervous and fearful with the high-end clients, who learn to grow their self-portrait become more confident and succeed in the large client arena. Lets not get into a discussion of which type of client you can make the most money on because you can make plenty off big clients if you set it up right and if you set it up right, it won’t be you doing the clerical work.

Speaking of clerical work; executives who are most comfortable working clerical tasks instead of leading a group of managers and clerical workers are destined to confine themselves to a mid-level manager’s wage. Not that there is anything wrong with mid-level management or clerical work and if that is what you want to be good at, then be the best. There are many hourly pay rates in business; the highest belong to those who can lead other people in a desperate charge to the top. Job satisfaction is relevant to the position desired and the execution of satisfying your self-image. Life satisfaction is relevant to that self-image and the life that image confines us to.
As we raise our self-image we raise our expectations, behaviors and the discipline we bring to our activities. Learning to change behavior permanently is one of the most important skills a person can develop in their life. Without this skill, any self-improvement intention will result in failure and frustration. All we need to do is to change the portrait by investing time and energy with guidance through learning.
Our self-image is held in our subconscious mind. This is the inside part of our brain where all of our habits and beliefs are stored. Many estimates in the field of psychology suggest we are only utilizing a small part of our brain – generally 5% to 10%. Which means that nearly 90% is untapped and waiting to serve us. Our subconscious mind is this under-utilized resource. It’s the part of the brain that allows our body to do things naturally and consistently with such ease and proficiency that our conscious mind could never match.
Great things that seem impossible become possible when we learn to communicate to and from our subconscious mind. Here’s how: when a thought and feelings match, and are focused on over and over again, it becomes accepted by the subconscious mind. When we add pictures or visualization, which match this thought/feeling combination, we are actually changing our self-image with a new self-belief. Our self-image is only communicated to in pictures, hence the term self-image. When this ‘pictured thought with feeling’ intention is accepted by the subconscious mind it becomes a belief that executes itself automatically.

Follow these steps to a new level of discipline by changing your self-image:

Step one: Decide exactly what you want. This is critical. Is it a habit change you’re after or how about a new goal? Whatever it is, be crystal clear on the outcome you desire.
Step two: Determine the activities that would lead to this outcome. This is an easy step; just determine what you would need to be doing in order for this result to come naturally. It’s simple cause and effect. For this step, make sure you choose activities that you could see yourself doing. There are often many ways to an outcome. Avoid the activities that don’t fit your personality, but make sure the one’s you do choose will ensure your goal.
Step three: Invest 20 minutes a day in focused quiet time, Ten minutes in the a.m. and 10 minutes in the p.m. Here is the place you need to invest the time and energy. In this time, find a quiet place in which you will not be interrupted and close your eyes. With eyes closed, put your attention on the goal. With thoughts on the goal, see yourself doing these activities with ease day in and day out.

Picture yourself becoming proficient at these activities. Bring in more and more clarity to the picture every time you do this. Visualize the time of day and the reaction from those around you. The more detailed the better! And finally feel the feelings you would feel, as you would engage in these activities; also feel the feelings, with intensity, that you would feel accomplishing this goal. See yourself actually doing the deal!
Driven people produce record results because of their belief in themselves. They grew their self-image by this ‘pictured thought with feeling’ process. Many probably didn’t even realize they were doing it. Whether they intended to or not doesn’t really matter because this is how it works and it can work for anyone.

Apply this process and remember the importance of vivid pictures and concentrated feeling. Do this and you’ll never again have to be stuck in undesirable patterns from your past. With new information can come new results.

We’re only here for a visit. If you want to make a difference, you already have. There is nothing a tantalizingly close as a dream.

More Flexible Transportation Management TMS Software

More Flexible Transportation Management Software

Here at Shippers Edge we have built more flexible transportation management TMS software to handle the needs of sophisticated shippers with diverse needs. What do you need that is not offered by out of the box shipping software? Tracking of truckloads shipped with small carriers that do not have the connectivity of the bigger carriers? We have it. That is only the beginning.

Yard management system; Dock management system; Trailer management system; Optimization. ShippersEdge has a solution, customized to your business requirements that won’t break your budget. The beauty of our logistics software is not that it does so much, it is that anybody can use it without extensive training. We do of course offer training.

You can also get more out of our TMS software with our powerful report generator that put data into your hands for manipulation any way you want or we will build custom reporting to your specifications. It’s as easy as select criteria, select the fields you want and click export. You can save templates of common reports for easy retrieval. You can even schedule reports to be emailed in the future.

At ShippersEdge we believe in sophistication by simplification. Software should be easy to use and have a fun interface. Our screen displays scale nicely for use on hand held devices like iPads and smart phones, no app required.

TMS OverKill

TMS overkill is wasted time and money. We have replaced expensive TMS software for a tenth of the price previously paid. It’s time to look into ShippersEdge to avoid those high monthly recurring costs.

ShippersEdge has Enterprise level TMS software starting at under $500 per month. Integrations in the low five figures. Have the logistics software you know your company needs without breaking the bank. Call ShippersEdge at 952-777-4421 or visit us on the web at www.shippersedge.com/info

Shippers use software to replace 3PLs

Shippers use software to replace 3PLs and saving big

Shippers increasingly use software to replace 3PLs with logistics software and saving the markup. One client with locations in Canada and the United States saved 13% by insourcing their logistics management and using our TMS to route their freight and provide reporting. This customer’s freight spend was in the high 8 figures. Another smaller company that makes specialized packaging materials with a more modest freight spend (less than $1MM) is installing our shipping software and is also saving substantial dollars.

The reason 3PLs flourished over the last decade is they had access to sophisticated logistics management software that previously was only affordable to the largest shippers. Now with a revolution in software underway, 3PLs and large manufactures no longer have a monopoly on transportation management system technology. All trends point to transportation management software entering the small to midsize business market. See this article: https://www.shippersedgetms.com/tms-adoption-among-small-to-mid-sized-companies/

Most people like their 3PL but the bottom line is that if the can save thousands with a modest technology spend, that can be the difference between a thin bottom line and bonuses for their employees. One CEO upon coming back from an industry conference instructed his operations department to begin sourcing a TMS for implementation in the next fiscal year. When they reported back the ease of integration and the overwhelming savings available he told the staff to begin implementation right away.

One of the factors to consider in selection of a TMS is whether integration with other internal software is important or not. ShippersEdge offers both standalone and integrated systems. Often customers come onboard without integration and add it in phase II. “We don’t care either way,” Tom Taylor, President of ShippersEdge, “we simply want them on with us and work with a client any way they choose” Taylor continued.

ShippersEdge has a long history in web-based, now cloud-based TMS applications having released the very first web-based TMS in 2002. Our staff has extensive direct hands on transportation experience, we’re here to assist clients in getting the very best out of their Shipping Software or proceeding to a full on integrated transportation management system. Oh, and we do help you get rates too.

Contact ShippersEdge at www.shippersedge.com/info or call 952-777-4421

TMS adoption among small- to mid-sized companies

Higher TMS adoption among small- to mid-sized companies

Historically, TMS adoption rates for smaller shippers has hovered in the 10% range, according to industry insiders while about 25% of medium-sized firms and 50% of large organizations used the application to manage their freight activities.

These adoption rates are now rising thanks to the fact that most TMS is now available in the Cloud and on a subscription-based model. “Recently, we’ve seen about 15% growth in TMS usage within small- to mid-sized businesses market, with some vendors reporting more than 20% growth for that market,” says one analyst, who attributes these increases to the fact that TMS is now within the grasp of much smaller shippers.

Other key drivers include higher transportation costs – mainly caused by driver shortages – and the ongoing need “to be smarter about how you run your transportation,” the analyst. “For their customers, shippers need to be able to provide more visibility tools and more analytical capabilities. These factors are also driving higher TMS adoption.”

ShippersEdge noted that increasingly their calls are coming from companies who have stated “We need to save the 13% our 3PL is marking up our shipping costs. These clients often need assistance setting up direct rates with carriers and ShippersEdge has offered valuable assistance.

Excerpts from Supply Chain 24/7