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ShippersEdge TMS
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TMS Flowchart

This flowchart begins at the ERP where sales order and purchase orders are initiated. Those orders are then sent to the TMS. Mode of transportation is defined and then a provider is selected. The TMS then executes the transaction and provides visibility to shipments in transit. After delivery and invoice is delivered to the system and all data about that shipment is stored in a database. The data is then available for analyzing and transmission to the ERP and accounting systems for payment. For more information visit www.shippersedge.com/info
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Stand-Alone TMS for Shippers

ShippersEdge has a stand-alone TMS for shippers. It’s called our Professional Edition and it has remarkable capabilities not found in competing products. What can ShippersEdge do that competing product will not do? Here is a partial list:

Ability to upload rate tables for carriers that do not do API rate exchange
Use it to receive freight bills electronically or upload invoices and documents
It can be configured to give your customers a tracking link in an email
It can also be configured to provide tracking for your website
It can be configured to provide shipping charges for e-commerce
It can provide a portal to your non-electronic carriers to update tracking
It has a built-in auditing function
It has consolidation and basic optimization built-in

In addition to the above features not found in competing products, ShippersEdge is an independent provider meaning it is not part of a logistics provider so your data is confidential. You didn’t think those guys were giving away a product practically for free without a hitch. You are right.

ShippersEdge also offers all of the expected functionality like LTL rate retrieval from all of your providers in one place. It also will communicate with your spot market providers and store their quotes. No more emails and spreadsheets. It provides tracking and notifications of delayed shipments. It will monitor, in real time freight charge changes if a carrier reweighs, reclassifies, redelivers or any other change affecting your costs. It flags these changes in an easy to find tab on the home page.

You owe it to yourself to compare TMS products and watch for how these other products come up short in certain areas. ShippersEdge has been providing a hosted Logistics Management solution since 2002. We were the first to do so. We keep improving our products every day.

When the time comes that you need an integrated solution and customization, we’re here and it is not that expensive. Check out ShippersEdge at www.shippersedge.com/info or call us at 952-777-4421 ShippersEdge, affordable and capable.

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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.
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Why 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 often times 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 thee system in less than an hour. What good is functionality if you can’t use it?

Advanced features, like imbedded 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 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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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
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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 willpower 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.
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Shippers use software to replace 3PLs

Shippers use software to replace 3PLs and save big

Shippers are increasingly replacing their 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: http://www.shippersedge.com/info/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
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Provide Tracking Information to your Customers

ShippersEdge has two ways to provide tracking information to your customers

Integrated tracking information with your Website. ShippersEdge can provide information to your web pages that will populate a secure tracking page so customers know where their shipments are. Similar to what you see on Amazon under “your orders”. If you want your clients to do self-serve tracking, this is but one way we can assist you. ShippersEdge knows how much of a time-saver allowing customers to do their own tracking is. In addition, it will let your clients know, your technology is up-to-date and on par with the most technologically advanced companies.

Tracking sent by email, similar to notifications you get in many online retail platforms is yet another way ShippersEdge keeps your customers happy. ShippersEdge is retrieving updated tracking information and appending it to your orders within our shipping software. We can also provide an email, with a link directly to the tracking page at your chosen carrier. Your customer simply click the link within the email to directly get the latest location information from the carrier.

ShippersEdge tracks truckloads too

ShippersEdge can retrieve any information available through EDI or a tracking link with your truckload providers and either display it on your website or via tracking email. We go further than that, if your truckload provider does not allow or have electronic information exchange, we can use an email information gathering routine to mimic an electronic exchange. Your (non-technologically advanced) provider simply clicks the link in an email asking for updated status information. ShippersEdge gathers the information and places it in the TMS and also will display it to your customer via web or email.

ShippersEdge is innovative, affordable and capable. By automating routine tasks, we help you save time and money, while simultaneously help you reflect a more modern image and capability.

ShippersEdge has both integrated and standalone logistics software available.

Talk to ShippersEdge 952-777-4421 or www.shippersedge.com/info
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Manage Spot Market Bids

ShippersEdge a highly developed Transportation Management System, has an organized way of tracking shipment freight rate quotes on spot market shipments. Traditionally most spot market bids were obtained on the telephone and then morphed to email in the past decade. Now there is a system to organize and record spot market bids into a shipment or bid record and ShippersEdge has it.

Quit using Excel, email and tedious manual methods and automate the gathering of rates for truckload and partial freight shipment, in one place and have fingertip shipping management system complete with historical tracking and activity logging. Obtaining shipping rates with logistics software should be easy, not crazy.

Did you know ShippersEdge is also tracking software. We can track your spot market shipping or any shipping for that matter. There are various methods we use to track your spot market freight and sometimes it is a simple email check call to your broker. Other ways are to tie into the cell phone tracking apps or with a sophisticated broker we can tie into them electronically.

ShippersEdge also makes spot market freight invoice auditing a snap that’s what makes our transportation management solution one of the top rated logistics software products on the market. Since the quoted rate is already in our system and attached to the order, when the freight bill arrives, simply enter the invoice into our system and we’ll compare the billed charge to the quoted charge. If there is a mismatch the invoice will be flagged for further review.

Better yet, ShippersEdge has an imaging routine and have your freight broker, upload his invoices into the system and include his charges. Again, if there is a mismatch, it will warn your broker the invoice amount does not match his quote. Preventing errors before they happen is one way ShippersEdge TMS proves itself every day.

Call or write the affordable transportation management system, ShippersEdge today for a free analysis.

More information at www.shippersedge.com/info or 952-777-4421
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The Spot Market – And How Not to Use It
By Tim Taylor
Many shippers don’t realize that they are sabotaging themselves in the spot freight market. It is standard rationale that competitive bidding achieves a lower price. However, our application of that principle distorts Adam Smith’s law of supply and demand by creating a false demand “bubble” that results in higher prices and less profit for shippers.

Many shippers broadcast a list of loads to multiple brokers looking for the lowest bid. But, what actually happens is that multiple iterations of the same shipment go out to the spot market, creating an artificial demand. As demand increases, the truckers naturally will hold out for the highest price.

A new price threshold for a given shipping lane is being breached every day; in part due to capacity stripped from the market by new hours of service requirements. As those thresholds breach, higher rates become the new normal, and it’s going to be hard to drive those rates back down. Let’s also not forget the once inexhaustible supply of new driver entrants into the market, which is exhausting itself due to increased regulation and driver age.

As these price thresholds breach, shippers naturally will retreat from the spot market, and who could blame them? The problem of driver efficiency still lies within the market, whether it be a spot market or a bid lane from an established carrier. The spot market, once unattractive to many major carriers, actually pays more per mile than most major carrier bid lanes. It won’t be long before these established carriers shift more capacity to spot market prices.

My advice for shippers is to use the spot market in a different way. Don’t put your daily or weekly loads out to multiple brokers, creating an overstated and unintended consequence of artificial demand. Instead, sequence to a single competent broker, and use the spot market as an example of accurate supply and demand.

If you have core carriers who have bid all of your lanes, and they can commit to only 80 percent of this week’s shipping, let the spot market take the other 20 percent. Go against common thinking and apply a new norm.

The new normal would be to have the spot market take what it wants, rather than try to force the spot market to take leftovers. Why is this the case?
In the real world, the spot market wants loads they know get them back to a home base or a point where they have known shipping at a good price. This spot market is impacted, and will not go to points where the certainty of getting out at a reasonable rate does not exist. Trying to force your will is like shoveling sand against an ocean - the natural principles of economics will serve us better than unnatural manipulations.
There are many advantages to using the spot market. For example, using the spot market correctly can ideally reduce backlogs of shipping and keep costs under control.
We must remember that economic principles, once properly understood and applied, will always serve the public and the logistics industry better than what we think is “slick” maneuvering.

www.shippersedge.com/info
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