Archive for the ‘IAS’ Category

Mobile shipment event capture: blind spot panacea? It all depends on integration.

Posted on: January 15th, 2016 by The IAS Team No Comments

Buyers and arrangers of goods transport (i.e. shippers and 3PLs/forwarders) are moving towards real-time capture of the shipment milestones that are most important to them—sometimes a time-critical pick-up, but usually a final Proof of Delivery. Who can blame them? Their customers are no-doubt demanding it because all of us (as consumers) are demanding it. We consumers have been spoiled by the likes of UPS and FedEx who operate closed networks with full control of their modes and nodes.

In the industrial or B2B shipping world, that level of end-to-end, highly granular tracking can be challenging to achieve. Of course the “line haul” portion of a move is usually well covered—the ship, the plane and the train are equipped with the devices or are on a schedule that enable precise tracking and ETAs. But the first- and last-miles of the move are often blind spots for 3PLs or forwarders who rely on third parties to execute these legs– third parties that are not wearing brown uniforms driving brown trucks.

So getting back to mobile event capture, where does it fit in? Why is it important? Shipment event capture using mobile devices enables those third parties to operate, in effect, a virtual closed network, as if their drivers were all wearing brown uniforms driving, brown brown trucks. First- and last-mile shipment data closes information gaps; capturing it with mobile device technology gets it closer to real time, but only if integrated.

Smart phones (and the apps on them) are ubiquitous and powerful. Many transportation management systems (TMS) have mobile components—true native applications or perhaps web applications that work on (if not optimized for) smartphones. There many are standalone pick-up and delivery mobile apps too. But if not integrated to the right source and destination of the goods transportation information flow, the critical shipment event data remains in silos, necessitating a break in the workflow to obtain value from it.

The 3PL or forwarder likely has an in-house system that originates the transport order. The third party service provider (motor carrier) likely has a transportation management system, with or without a mobile interface for its drivers, and may use a web portal to report events. Add drivers with powerful apps on smartphones and there is potential… for good or bad. What steers the scenario into positive territory? Integration. No one wants to go “somewhere else” to obtain the information they need.

To derive the visibility and timeliness benefits of mobile event capture, the data must be integrated efficiently to the parties that need it: the motor carrier’s TMS, the 3PL/forwarder’s system and, ultimately, the shipper or receiver—they’re the ones trying to satisfy we consumers’ demands of “I need it now!” The driver’s delivery click, geo-fence breach or sign-on-glass POD must flow seamlessly and instantaneously from the time and place of capture to the screen of the person expecting it.

By Blair Peterson

IAS Dispatch – Many Modes – One Global Solution

Posted on: June 30th, 2015 by The IAS Team No Comments

IAS provides a high-service, secure, and scalable technology platform connecting a global network of customers and trading partners. IAS’ cloud-based applications foster collaboration within that connected community and bring visibility to actionable information for both asset and transportation management.

Critical criteria for effective transportation management systems, according to logistics industry analyst group Gartner, are breadth and depth of the systems involved, meaning natively supporting multiple modes, including international transportation capability.

Although IAS has its roots in ocean/intermodal and has long been connecting customers and trading partners in literally dozens of countries worldwide (88, by latest count); through continued product development IAS Dispatch now supports “any load in any mode” to support its growing 3PL user-base. In fact, a significant portion of work order volume is comprised of LTL, local pick-up and delivery, airfreight trucking and domestic line haul in over 30 countries alone. This enables “one version of the truth,” a unified process, improved compliance with customer needs and sustained achievement of management objectives for both buyers and providers of international gods transportation.

IAS Dispatch is a cloud-based suite of modules that bring together order assignment, delivery scheduling, amendment management, invoicing, visibility, tendering, optimization, and business intelligence – all within a single, easy-to-use workflow “pre-connected” to thousands of carriers worldwide.

By Blair Peterson

More on Maximizing International Goods Transportation Efficiency

Posted on: June 3rd, 2015 by The IAS Team No Comments

It is one thing to deploy standardized supply chain and transportation management processes within one country. Expanding operations over longer distances with greater complexity into other countries, while maintaining efficiency, can present quite a challenge. Managing international transportation is a complex process that, unless you are FedEx or UPS, requires working with partners and service providers. The quest for best practices has to start with clear requirements for those partners, and solid data to measure results and tune operations. In our previous post we shared 5 tips for driving efficiency for goods international transportation. Here are 5 more that deal with partners, performance and data:

    • Be clear, and standardize what your business requirements are for shipment acknowledgement, scheduling, en-route event capture, proof of delivery and billing. In times of tight capacity, the quality transport providers will gravitate to the transport buyers that are easiest to work with in the big picture.
    • Connect your intermodal network– Transportation buyer and provider on one platform enable one version of the truth when it comes to shipment data and service provider compliance.
    • Collect performance data around your critical intermodal nodes and make sure everyone knows what is being measured and why. Then share the metrics and results to foster continuous improvement.
    • Use data to drive intermodal decision-making and “tuning” of your intermodal network– Whether it is lane-, mode-, customer- or vendor-specific data, efficiency opportunities can be identified. The unit of measure may be revenue, cost, margin, hours, minutes, steps, stops or even calls.
    • Recognize and reward your vendor network based on performance– By being easy to work with, measuring compliance and rewarding performance with more volume, your service provider network will become increasingly efficient over time. All the stakeholders in your international transport chain will benefit.

IAS addresses these challenges with the IAS Dispatch suite that supports ocean, air, LCL/LTL, international and domestic moves. It brings together drayage assignment, appointment times, amendment management, invoicing, visibility, rates, optimization, and business intelligence.

By Blair Peterson

Enterprise SaaS vs. Networked Platforms in Supply Chain and Transportation Management

Posted on: February 3rd, 2015 by The IAS Team No Comments

A recent report from Boston-based ChainLink Research on supply chain platforms compares Enterprise SaaS applications serving single, multi-tenant instances with true “Networked Platforms” that provide SaaS solutions for multiple parties–not necessarily in direct commercial relationships, initially–interacting on one platform. A networked platform features a many-to-many model for data, security, connectivity and onboarding. The network platform approach is best for supply chain and transportation management applications that require communication and collaboration among trading partners, be they customers/vendors or other third parties. In IAS’ current world of transportation management, the parties are buyers or arrangers of transportation on the one hand, and providers of transportation and related services on the other.

Some key features of a Networked Platform include:

  • Critical mass of trading partners that can either be easily added to the network or may already be connected to the network, reducing the startup time.
  • Easy discovery of new partners.
  • Ability to automate manual processes with visibility into operations.
  • Open marketplace for competitive bidding by qualified providers of supplies and services, lowering costs and finding capacity in tight markets.
  • On Demand, Real-Time Market that links buyers and sellers for immediate services, such as drayage and goods transport.
  • Sharing and leveraging of network-wide data allowing for analysis of trends and benchmarking of performance, costs and more.

Many networked platforms target a particular industry segment, such as high tech, B2B, consumer or retail. This is one of the key differentiators between the various networked platforms that serve industries such as drayage and goods transport (IAS), couriers (Grand Junction), personal transport alternatives (Uber, Lyft, Sidecar), grocery delivery (Instacart), or housing (Airbnb); all examples referenced in the ChainLink report.

Congratulations to the Inbound Logistics Green Supply Chain Partners

Posted on: August 1st, 2013 by The IAS Team No Comments

IAS would like to congratulate the 75 Green Supply Chain Partners named to the Inbound Logistics G75 Award. This prestigious list highlights sustainability leaders in the logistics and transportation space based on measurable green results, sustainability innovation, continuous improvement, and industry recognition.

These companies are on the leading edge of green innovation, resulting in reduced waste, lower emissions, and fuel efficiency. In particular, IAS commends the environmental responsibility of our customers:

  • ABF Freight
  • APL
  • Con-Way
  • J.B. Hunt
  • MOL
  • NYK Line
  • Old Dominion Freight Line
  • OOCL
  • Saia LTL Freight
  • Schneider National
  • Swift Transportation
  • Werner Enterprises

For a full list of winners, visit Inbound Logistics.

As many of you know, IAS aims to contribute to improving the environmental dimension of transportation. By enabling street-turn work orders, DispatchOptimizer helps clients drive down empty running miles, cut particulate and noise pollution, decrease congestion and idling time at ports, lower fuel consumption, and make better use of current assets and infrastructure. We are proud of the environmental initiatives of our partners and our industry.

Dispatch business intelligence – introduction to analytics

Posted on: May 31st, 2013 by The IAS Team No Comments

To gain a clear picture of your operational trends and historic performance, you must find a way to interpret the large quantity of data generated by your daily operations. Standard reports are helpful, but are not always the easiest way to get a handle on the facts and figures concerning your business. In DispatchInsight, you will find customizable visual representations, such as line graphs, tables, and bar charts, which give you a personalized and comprehensive view of your data.

At the beginning of the year, our blog series gave you an in-depth look into EquipmentInsight, the business intelligence tool connected with EquipmentRepair. During the months of June and July, we will publish a similar series for DispatchInsight, the analytics module in the IAS Dispatch suite of solutions. Allow us to kick off this series by discussing the structure of DispatchInsight.

To get started, select ‘Reports’ then ‘View Analytics’ from the main menu. DispatchInsight opens with a selection of dashboards and each dashboard contains a range of widgets detailing that particular subject. Work Orders and Costs & Charges Analytics are just a few of the dashboards featured.

IAS_DISPATCH_Insight1

Selecting the ‘Work Order Details’ dashboard displays the number of work orders by status (accepted, rejected, amended, etc.) with a 1-year trend line, a stacked column chart further breaking down that information, and a chart showing receivers by volume. Each of these widgets gives you a different angle for understanding work order related data. In essence, DispatchInsight guides you towards a deeper understanding of the information generated by IAS Dispatch activity in order to uncover areas to take action.

Stay tuned because next week we will jump into basic navigation – namely your ability to change filters, zoom into data points, and reveal patterns within DispatchInsight.

Customer commitment – our promise

Posted on: May 24th, 2013 by The IAS Team No Comments

IAS Seal

IAS has established its reputation as an industry leader by providing personal service and support to a worldwide community of connected customers and their trading partners. A wealth of knowledge and amazing service are always within reach. Our commitment to providing exceptional service to our customers is driven by the belief that every single touchpoint, every interaction with an IAS solution or team member will be memorable, positive, and valuable.

A few of the tenets that define our customer service promise to our valued clients:

  • Industry expertise – we recruit our client service representatives from a pool of experts who understand international and domestic transportation.
  • 24×7 service – IAS provides comprehensive, global, around-the-clock support: our representatives are available whenever and wherever our clients need them.
  • Service Level Agreement – our SLA ensures one of the highest system availability guarantees.
  • Request Management – our Client Services team maintains strict adherence to turning around answers as quick as possible with a focus on exceeding expectations.
  • Customer Engagement - open channels of communication, surveys, and customer updates mean your voice is always heard and you understand our ongoing improvements.

At IAS, our customers span the spectrum of the transportation industry: from motor carriers to ocean lines, depot operators to freight forwarders. We strive to ensure that each and every client experiences the same level of efficiency and professionalism with a trustworthy, knowledgeable team member.  Whether you’re looking for help with integration, implementation, or a technical issue, representatives are always available to meet your needs.

In this series of blog posts we have shared our commitment to world-class service as well as the resources provided by our Client Services team including: FAQ forums, service request submissions, and satisfaction surveys.

Customer commitment – improving service with surveys

Posted on: May 17th, 2013 by The IAS Team No Comments

As part of ensuring that the solutions and services provided by our team exceed clients’ expectations, IAS issues monthly surveys in order to follow up on customer service requests. Our survey questions revolve around our customers’ experience with the IAS Client Services group and overall satisfaction with the relevant IAS product/s. Moreover, we give customers the opportunity to share suggestions for ways we can improve. As a bonus, clients who respond to our survey are automatically entered into a drawing to win an iPod – just another way of saying thank you for taking the time to provide feedback.

Surveyresults

We use the survey responses to better understand the drivers behind customer satisfaction, to monitor longer term trends across customers and products, and ultimately to pinpoint areas where our products and customer service are getting it right and where we have room for improvement. We publicly post the last 12 month’s scores on our website as well as quotes that clients have approved us to share.

You don’t have to wait to be randomly selected for a survey to let us know how we are doing or to get assistance. Our client services reps are available around the clock and easily accessible through the IAS Support Portal.

The IAS team strives to make sure each and every customer touchpoint is managed to the highest level of professionalism, efficiency and quality. We encourage you to share your experience and become a part of the dialogue.

Previous posts in this series provide additional information on our commitment to excellent customer service, particularly via the IAS Support Portal:

May 3rd – forums

May 9th – tickets

Chassis invoicing – automated payments

Posted on: December 25th, 2012 by The IAS Team No Comments

The final post for our December series on chassis invoicing outlines the payment process embedded within ChassisManager. You can read our previous posts on event management, reconciliation, and billing to see how each of these activities converge to produce a reliable invoice. Read on to see how automated payment closes the loop on your chassis rental.

EDIT: Since the time of this post, payment methods are now entered at Billing > Billing Information > Add Credit Card. To learn more about payment methods, please visit the Support Portal.

By automating the payment process, we ensure that invoices are paid on time and with the least amount of effort. ChassisManager provides convenient and easy-to-use payment methods including debit card, credit card, and ACH bank draft. To set up a new payment method, select the ‘Admin’ menu, go to the ‘Billing Information’ submenu, and select ‘Add Credit Card’ or ‘Add Bank Draft’. Simply complete all fields on the form and save. You can follow this process at any time to update your payment details. Card data is PCI security compliant, encrypted, and not accessible by IAS or provider partners, so you never have to worry about the safety of your credit information. To view the payment methods you have on file, select ‘Company Profile’ in the ‘Admin’ menu and expand the ‘Billing Information’ section.

ChassisManager eases the invoicing and payment process for equipment providers and chassis users alike, resulting in fewer discrepancies and delays. Eliminate paperwork, avoid late payment penalties, and manage by exception with ChassisManager.

Our tips and tricks series share just the beginning of what you can do in IAS solutions, learn more about ChassisManager capabilities and ask questions at iassupport.interasset.com

 

Season’s Greetings

Posted on: December 24th, 2012 by The IAS Team No Comments

Just wanted to take a moment to say happy holidays!

Thank you so much for being a part of the IAS community!