The State of the Supply Chain Industry: Mid-Year Predictions

It’s June and the half-way point of the year. Kuebix made predictions about the industry at the first of the year. We still believe that this year will be an enormous change in the supply chain industry due to the issues around the ELD mandate, rising diesel prices, the capacity crunch, increased customer expectations, tariffs and more.

To meet these challenges, businesses are using technology to transform their logistics operations, leading to improved customer service, sustained profits and greater efficiencies. Utilization of transportation management systems is at an all-time high, proven by Kuebix with the adoption of our technology by over 11,000 companies.

For the remainder of the year, this is what Kuebix believes will happen in our industry:

  • •     The ELD Mandate is here to stay and shippers need to embrace the rules while turning the constraint into an opportunity to leverage technology to track their delays and put fixes in place to combat them. TMS can also reduce the number of trucks on the road and improve unloading and loading times by consolidating and optimizing loads.
  • •     Tariffs – The 25 percent tariff imposed on imported steel from the EU, Mexico and Canada, and the 10 percent tariff on aluminum continue to be a trend. Many are predicting that the import duties will drive product prices up for the consumer. The day before the tariffs kicked-in, the stock market fell 250 points as people questioned the stability of the economy, foreseeing retaliation from countries affected by the tariffs.
  • •     Diesel prices – Diesel prices have already jumped 7 cents in the most recent weeks. To keep costs contained, businesses need to reduce mileage to help lower fuel usage.
  • •     Cloudbased TMSs continue to grow in popularity as they can be up and running in a manner of minutes or days, depending on the complexity of your supply chain. They are also easier to maintain and have a lower cost of ownership.
  • •     Higher rates – Shippers are concerned with increasing transport rates from carriers. One method to keep rates level is to help make carriers more efficient with technology for shipment consolidation and yard management that maximizes carrier capacity and minimizes time wasted in the yard.
  • •     Capacity Crunch – The continuing capacity crunch is getting worse, with some carriers saying they have 20+ loads to move per truck. By using a collaborative network of carriers, suppliers and fleet owners, shippers can have visibility to the best truck to move their product from original to destination.
  • •     Customer Experience – E-commerce now makes up a total of 17% of all retail sales in the US. Those consumers are demanding customer experiences to rival that of brick-and-mortar stores. To keep customers from purchasing from the competition, shippers must provide tracking statuses, shipping flexibility and improved delivery speed. Emphasis on the final mile is increasingly important for customer retention.
  • •     Next-generation technologies like Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are growing in popularity within the industry by integrating with predictive analytics to fuel better decision making.
  • •     As the driver shortage worsens as more truckers retire and leave the industry, carriers need to take more aggressive actions to recruit new drivers while retaining existing drivers. These actions can include pay increases, using technology to let carriers schedule their own activities, and improving turnaround times for loading/unloading so that truckers can keep their wheels moving as soon as possible.

Supply chains will only become smarter and more valuable as shippers adopt new technologies that help them better compete within our digital supply chain ecosystem. Kuebix TMS enables companies to capitalize on supply chain opportunities through visibility, control and the use of predictive analytics.

Supply Chain Change

The Supply Chain Industry’s Changing, Are You Keeping Up?

It’s no secret that the world is changing at an unprecedented pace, and supply chain professionals are scrambling to keep up. The trends affecting the global marketplace are having an impact on an industry that has relied for years on a very tangible regimen of pickups and drop-offs. As technology continues to shape the world, supply chain executives must keep pace with the trends and incorporate them into daily processes to keep their companies competitive in the new, dynamic environment.

Concepts supply chain executives can leverage:

Machine Learning (ML) & Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Technology isn’t only becoming more widespread, the technology itself is getting better. Have you ever thought about the ads you see on your social media? If not, consider whether the ads appear catered directly to you, odds are a machine has learned your likes and dislikes. Technology now has the ability to ‘learn’ from accumulated data to predict future actions, like your shopping habits. This is particularly important for supply chains which can leverage predictive learning and AI to estimate unloading times, carrier performance, traffic delays, and more.

The Internet of Things (IoT) – The web of everyday objects connected to the internet is becoming more and more commonplace. Wearables (think FitBit) are everywhere, Dash Buttons let us order more detergent when we run low and even our homes are “smart,” letting us control the thermostat from anywhere with the touch of a button. This concept is rapidly being adopted by supply chains. Prominent among them is the ELD Mandate, a federal mandate requiring all trucks to monitor driving time to be compliant with hours of service (HoS) laws. RFID tags are being used more frequently too, letting supply chain professionals digitally track individual containers, pallets or even products.

Blockchain – Bitcoin is the largest example of a company using blockchain, but this concept isn’t only reserved for transferring money over the internet. Broken down into its simplest form, blockchain is a digital ledger that can be used to exchange, track transactions, make payments and sign contracts. It’s highly transparent, extremely efficient and scalable in nature. This new method of exchange is reshaping globalized trade, making it easier to interact with companies and customers abroad. Supply chains can use blockchain to keep better track of their products, deal in foreign currencies without the need of an intermediary and store better data for record keeping.

What do all of these concepts have in common?

Each one of these concepts is rooted in connecting people and processes together more efficiently via technology. All three make it easier for companies to access their customers, forge useful relationships and scale their businesses. One result of employing these connectivity strategies is a Network Effect where “more usage of the product by any user increases the product’s value for other users” (Evergreen). Each layer of connectivity serves to support the other users, building customer loyalty and adding value to the organization.  For supply chain professionals, this can mean providing better customer service, having better on time delivery rates and streamlining tracking and tracing processes.

Supply chain offices deserve their own network to build upon, one where they can find the latest technology to improve their operations and keep up with market trends. The Kuebix Global Logistics Community is serving just that purpose. As a collaborative group of shippers and carriers from around the world, members work together to discover opportunities, foster cost reductions and build trusted-partner relationships.

Driver Shortage

O Truck Driver, Where Art Thou?

The driver shortage is real, and getting worse. The American Transportation Association says that the US needs to hire about 900,000 drivers to keep up with demand. According to an industry analysis by DAT Solutions, just one truck (and driver) was available for every 12 loads to be shipped at the start of 2018. If there isn’t a driver for a truck, the truck won’t be going anywhere.

The strong growth of the economy and rise in e-commerce orders means more deliveries need to be made, so more drivers are needed. To make the shortage even worse, the average age of a truck driver is 55, which means many are retiring. Young people don’t want to pursue a truck driving career because they fear the quality of life of always being away from family, long hours of solitude on the road and low pay.

At the 2018 National Industrial Transportation League Annual Summit, the CEO of a large trucking firm said that, “of the 113K applications they received last year, only 3% were qualified drivers that they could safely put on the road. This challenge has led trucking companies to increase driver pay in order to attract qualified drivers, which in turn means higher rates.”

One problem is that drivers have to be 21 to drive a truck on the interstate, although drivers can obtain a commercial driver’s license at 18. So even if young drivers are recruited, they have to be 21 years old to drive trucks across states. The DRIVE-Safe Act will hopefully ease the situation by helping to qualify more drivers for the trucking profession by allowing 18 year-olds to take the wheel, yet require them to perform more rigorous training.

The reality is that the truck driver shortage is here today and causing deliveries to be missed and transportation costs to increase. According to USA Today, “Trucking companies have increased rates 6% to 10% in the contracts they’ve signed with shippers over the past year to offset higher wages and take advantage of the strong demand and limited supplies.”

What is the solution?

Truck drivers want better work/life balance. They want to be paid well, receive benefits and have time at home with their families. Some carriers are rewarding drivers for good driving behavior, others are offering a guaranteed minimum number of miles/week so that pay is more predictable. Drivers want to be treated with respect and offered training programs for continuous improvement. Many carriers are offering programs to improve driver health with access to exercise equipment, both at the office or in the truck. Most importantly, drivers want to get home more often, so they want shorter routes and fewer overnights.

All of this costs money, but having happier drivers will be the result.

Shippers can address the truck driver shortage by leveraging technology in the form of a transportation management system to help them work smarter and gain access to a much larger community of carriers. Kuebix TMS allows shippers to compare all carrier rates side-by-side, then book the best carrier for a particular job. After scheduling a shipment, Kuebix creates and prints required paperwork, tracks shipments, audits invoices, manages claims and more.

Using Kuebix TMS, shippers gain control of their transport operations, allowing them to work strategically with their carriers of choice to build long-term relationships. This can lead to improved services, more capacity and available drivers.

Digital Supply Chain Kuebix

Digital Supply Chains are Becoming the Industry Norm

In the Material Handling Institute’s (MHI) 2018 annual survey on next generation supply chains, 80 percent of the respondents “believe that the digital supply chain will be the predominate model within the next five years—with just 16% saying it’s happening today.” The report describes digital supply chains as “information ecosystems in which a connected and carefully coordinated set of movements and actions must be tracked at every level in order to maximize efficiency and meet customer demands for increased flexibility, visibility and transparency.

Sounds like the foundation of the ecosystem should be a transportation management system – one that allows users to track and trace all movements of freight through all parts of the supply chain, providing SKU-level visibility from the supplier to the end customer.

The digital supply chain has several distinctive characteristics:

  •      •     It is always on – 24/7/365. Because supply chains are global, they must operate around the clock.
  •      •     It’s hyper-collaborative with carriers, suppliers and shippers connected to a robust network where everyone can communicate and collaborate with everyone else on the network, coordinating loads for continuous moves, consolidation and more.
  •      •     A digital supply chain focuses on customer service to better meet the exponential increase of e-commerce orders with faster delivery times and Amazon-like experiences.
  •      •     It’s driven by predictive analytics that utilize real-time data feeds from across the enterprise, producing deep insights for better decision making.
  •      •     It can adapt and grow alongside a business by adding modular features, such as dock scheduling to keep trucks moving while eliminating wait times.
  •      •     It can respond quickly to disruptions so as to mitigate risk due to sudden weather changes, socio-economic issues and other challenges.
  •      •     The digital supply chain reduces fuel and energy consumption which minimizes environmental impact and benefits sustainability initiatives.

The digital supply chain includes a number of innovations that will disrupt the status quo and give competitive advantage to participants. These technologies include: robotics, predictive analytics, Internet of Things, sensors and automatic ID, inventory and network optimization tools, artificial intelligence, driverless vehicles and drones, wearable and mobile technology, cloud computing, blockchain and 3D printing. All of these innovations can work together to create operational efficiencies and competitive advantages.

A digital supply chain is a connected ecosystem that orchestrates activities end-to-end, bringing visibility, risk mitigation, cost reductions and greater efficiencies that contribute to shareholder value. The technology for a digital supply chain starts with a transportation management system like
Kuebix TMS that supplies the digital connections, collaboration and coordination needed to maximize efficiencies and innovation.

Don’t get left behind, waiting to see what others are doing. Your digital transformation can begin today with rapid on-boarding and implementation of Kuebix TMS.

Customer Experience in the Age of E-Commerce

Customer Experience in the Age of E-Commerce

Retailers used to be able to lean on the stability of brick-and-mortar stores to provide a satisfactory customer experience. When a customer walked into a physical store, they knew exactly what to expect and were rewarded with instant gratification and the ability to take their purchases home the same day. Since the rise of the digital age, technology is shaping how customers purchase from retailers, and the customer experience is fundamentally different online.

According to Gartner, customer experience is defined as “the customer’s perceptions and related feelings caused by the one-off and cumulative effect of interactions with a supplier’s employees, channels, systems and products.” At a physical store, a retailer maintains control of the overall shopping experience by training staff, creating a pleasing shopping environment and streamlining the check-out process. With a digital store-front, retailers can only influence their customers’ experience through user-interface enhancements and supply chain improvements. This makes supply chain operations more important than ever.

Digital shoppers are expecting more and more from their online shopping experience. These final mile capabilities will help supply chains improve the end customers’ experiences:

Flexibility – Customers want the ability to choose the service type they need. Choosing the mode helps customers customize their experience.

Speed – Getting product quickly and when desired is becoming more important as 2-day delivery becomes standard. Designating when the product will arrive helps customers plan ahead and allows them to be more self-sufficient.

Tracking – Customers everywhere are demanding tracking capabilities. In order for customers to have confidence that their product has shipped and will arrive on time, a standard tracking feature needs to be implemented.

Alerts – In addition to tracking capabilities, up-to-date alerts keep customers’ expectations realistic when unforeseen events take place in the supply chain. Customers appreciate alerts to weather delays and other interruptions so that they can react proactively to late deliveries.

As e-commerce now makes up a total of 17% of all retail sales in the USA, retailers need to put their focus on improving their supply chains in order to win and retain business. According to EFT, “Today’s connected consumers demand both choice and flexibility when it comes to receiving their online orders – and will not hesitate to move loyalty if they encounter unsatisfactory delivery options.”

In order to keep customers coming back, technology needs to be implemented to offer customers choice and tracking capabilities. With the help of a robust transportation management system like Kuebix TMS, retailers can offer their customers this level of flexibility and control directly from their own websites. To read more about how Kuebix integrates with e-commerce and quoting platforms, click here.

Kuebix TMS

How to Buy a TMS

The combination of the capacity crunch and new government regulations are causing transportation costs to soar – and are expected to continue this trend into the future. In today’s market, shipping is one of the biggest expenses for any shipper, growing at a rate of over 5% per year, depending on the lane. Implementing a TMS solution can bring a business the freight savings and intelligence they need to keep transport costs as low as possible.

A broad range of TMSs exist, ranging from cloud-based to on-premise, automating freight bill audit and pay, streamlining execution and optimization, integrating with disparate systems, analyzing data for performance monitoring, and on and on. With all these features and options, how does a company go about buying a TMS system?

First of all, the goals for deploying a TMS need to be determined – is the goal to cut shipping costs, improve customer service, become a preferred shipper, consolidate loads, etc.? Do these goals align with the corporate strategy? They should!

Next, make sure that the TMS is easily scalable to meet current business needs and those of the future. Additional features and functions should be able to be easily added without having to start from scratch. A spot market should be accessible for volume quotes and the system should also easily integrate with other software to extend the value of the technology.

A TMS should offer the following:

  • ·       Automatic rating, booking and tracking of shipments, managing carriers and communicating with shippers and customers in real-time
  • ·       A network of carriers incorporating all modes with the ability to consolidate and optimize shipments
  • ·       A wide variety of reports and dashboards to monitor cost, shipping status and service levels
  • ·       Management of the carrier bid process from initial set up to tendering of shipments
  • ·       Extensive analytics to manage performance in real-time
  • ·       A quick implementation time and return-on-investment (ROI)
  • ·       Integration with enterprise systems and 3rd party applications
  • ·       The ability to track and trace any shipment in real-time, anywhere in the supply chain
  • ·       The ability to easily add functionality as needed such as order and route optimization, dock scheduling, yard management and container tracking

Some TMS providers like Kuebix offer a free version of their technology to help shippers better understand how to use the system and see real results from their operations risk free. Unlike a demo, Kuebix Free Shippergets shippers managing their freight and gaining true ROI even before adding modular features and capabilities.

When looking for a new TMS, check out The Complete Buyer’s Guide to Transportation Management Systems to get answers to questions like what to look for and how much a TMS should cost before committing to a system.

Kuebix TMS - Cargo Theft Claims Management

Cargo Thieves’ New Strategy Hitting Shippers Hard

Cargo theft continues to be a pain-point for shippers in every industry as metrics from Q1 of 2018 roll in. Though technically the overall total of cargo related thefts has decreased 23% year-over-year in North America (CargoNet), it is presumed that many more cargo thefts are going unreported by shippers. All cargo theft numbers are voluntarily reported, meaning operations and finance teams who are already scrambling to ascertain their losses may be neglecting to report the theft to the proper authorities. Potentially more worryingly, shippers may not be realizing the extent of their missing products because of inadequate claims management.

Thieves targeting trucks in transit are using a new strategy to carry out their crimes. As opposed to stealing entire loads or many pallets of product, thieves are being more selective in what they are taking and only lifting a small amount of product at a time. Besides the obvious benefit of increased speed to avoid detection, thieves may also be leaving shippers unaware that there was a theft at all. Pallets go missing all the time for perfectly legitimate reasons that can be tracked down, but shippers without a system to track their historical claims may not be aware to what extent they have been targeted by thieves.

Food and Beverage remains the commodity with the highest losses, closely followed by Household Items and Electronics. In the first quarter of 2017, the average value of a reported cargo theft was $164,185. In the first quarter of 2018, the average value of reported goods stolen rested at $90,883. On first glance, this seems like a success story for law enforcement, but it could also paint the picture that pre-meditated theft sizes are actually dropping. Without ascertaining the accurate number of cargo thefts, it will be impossible to determine whether the number of individual events is rising correspondingly.

According to SensiGuard, 92% of large-scale incidents occur in unsecured parking areas. Other locations reported include warehouses and secured parking lots. Often, determining the exact location of the incident, if it is even noticed by the driver, is difficult. Drivers often travel hundreds of miles before unloading, and if they do not do a thorough walk-around of their vehicle at each stop, determining the exact location of the theft becomes more and more unlikely. The best way to catch a theft early is for drivers to remain vigilant about checking their trailer’s seal or lock.

3 Steps to Prevent Cargo Theft

  1. Check it – Drivers should thoroughly check their trailers’ seals and locks after leaving their truck even for a short period
  2. Report it – Notify the proper authorities if cargo has been stolen to encourage appropriate action be taken on thieves
  3. Track it – Make sure to track all historical claims to determine the scope and pattern of incidents, whether benign or malicious

Many shippers lack a process to track and manage their claims with carriers when items don’t arrive at their destinations as planned. This causes a lot of confusion and lost revenue if managed incorrectly, especially if those items have actually been stolen and their value can’t be recouped. By leveraging a Claims Management system like Kuebix TMS’s, shippers can tie claim information directly to the shipment to make tracking and research easy. By maintaining historical claim details no claim goes overlooked and patterns and totals can be discovered, making a real impact to a company’s bottom line.

Kuebix ERP Integration Highway

The ERP Integration Highway

Many companies are discovering the benefits of using a TMS to streamline their transportation operations. A well-rounded TMS offers many modular features to support the changing needs of any type of supply chain. One of the most universally beneficial features is the ability to integrate purchase orders automatically from an ERP system directly into the TMS.

Why is integrating POs directly from an ERP so beneficial?

Integrating POs directly from an ERP system facilitates the rapid creation of shipments by avoiding the need to re-key a long list of order line items, ensuring 100% order accuracy.

Since the integration is two-way, shipment data is populated back into the ERP system for record keeping and to provide stakeholders with complete visibility. This enables information down to the SKU level to be leveraged in claims management, meaning the shipper always has the information they need to protect their company’s interests. Shippers can also better understand the true landed cost of goods to make smarter decisions regarding their company’s bottom line when they integrate purchase orders directly from an ERP system.

Use the ERP Integration Highway to get started:

  1. The TMS should leverage a common middleware connector that maps ERP order and item information and automatically creates orders within the technology.
  2. These orders are stored within the TMS in preparation for shipping departments to simply scan or enter the order number into a lookup field to get rates and begin shipping.
  3. Once the order is shipped, the TMS notifies the ERP system and updates the ERP order with shipment details. (Tracking number, cost, carrier, time in transit, GL code, etc…)
  4. Each ERP highway connector includes a configurable trigger function to automatically create orders, status changes or approval processes to tell the TMS to pull the order details. This process allows for a seamless flow of data between the two systems.
  5. Once shipped within the TMS, shipment details are mapped back to the target ERP system for accurate record keeping and visibility for all stakeholders.

Kuebix TMS leverages this methodology to provide shippers a pain-free way to integrate their ERP system directly into the TMS. The ERP Integration Highway is a common integration approach to all ERP systems, meaning the process is smooth and efficient for shippers with any ERP system. To learn more about Kuebix integrations, click here.

Carrier KPI Reporting Scorecards

Tracking KPIs on Carrier Scorecards to Improve Shipper-Carrier Relationships

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are an effective way to measure the performance of your transportation operations, including the performance of your carriers. With transport costs having a direct impact on the bottom line of the business, KPIs are of the utmost importance for managing cost. Plus, shippers can leverage KPIs to strengthen the relationship with their carriers while harnessing greater control over transportation operations and freight spend.

To start, you will need to identify the metrics that are most important for your logistics operation; specifically, the ones that will help you meet your business goals. If your goals are to reduce costs, then you will need to choose KPIs that measure cost-related activities.

Measurements must be easy to understand and well defined. Measurements used in KPIs are not meant to finger point; instead they are designed to encourage appropriate behavior, so should reward productive activities. A consistent open conversation between carriers and shippers can eliminate any surprises.

There are an unlimited number of KPIs to measure your logistics operation and each company should have unique measurements to reach their corporate objectives. Some of these include:

  • ·       On-time arrivals of pickups and deliveries
  • ·       Average loading and unloading times
  • ·       Percentage of shipments that equal the bill of materials
  • ·       Percentage of shipments that arrive in good condition
  • ·       Average transportation cost per miles/volume/weight
  • ·       Average number of deliveries made per driver/truck/route
  • ·       Percentage of shipments using LTL /TL/Parcel
  • ·       Load acceptance rate
  • ·       Carrier rate benchmarking by lane
  • ·       Claims percentage for freight costs
  • ·       Truck turnaround time
  • ·       Planned time in transit vs. actual
  • ·       Length of time between inbound load acceptance and scheduling a pickup appointment

Most importantly, carriers and shippers need to review the numbers, identify opportunities and take corrective actions for any issues that arise. KPIs identify a problem that must be traced back to its root cause to understand how to solve it. The problem could be with the carrier; it could be with the shipper, so the information must be reviewed carefully and analyzed extensively.

Working together, shippers and carriers can collaborate to improve their relationship by using the wide variety of measurements. By leveraging Kuebix TMS’s actionable reports, dashboards and carrier scorecards, shippers gain easy access to their KPIs and can begin this conversation with their partners.

Cloud-Based TMS Kuebix

Why a Cloud-Based TMS is Better

A decade ago, if you wanted a TMS, you had to buy the software and install it within your organization. Today that has changed as more TMSs are moving to the cloud. Transportation management systems (TMS) based in the cloud are being adopted at faster rates than ever before. Industry analyst firm Gartner sees a 15% growth in TMS usage within small- to mid-sized businesses with some vendors reporting more than 20% growth.

So why are cloud-based TMSs growing in popularity?

We can think of 10 good reasons:

  1. Lower Barriers to Entry – Upfront expenditures related to hardware and software are eliminated with a cloud-based TMS allowing businesses of any-size to gain access to the technology. No longer do companies have to fork out hundreds of thousands of dollars on installed software. Instead, with a cloud-based TMS, you pay subscription or usage fees.
  2. Enhancements Made Easy – The cloud-based TMS software provider is responsible for upgrades and enhancements to its solution, which includes maintaining the application and ensuring its availability and reliability. Most application upgrades can be easily deployed automatically, eliminating the need for internal IT staff involvement.
  3. Connectivity – Cloud-based computing enables the TMS to connect to a global group of supply chain trading partners. As more and more carriers, shippers and suppliers connect to this network of trading partners, the ability to collaborate and conduct business with more and more companies brings value to the participants. Under a cloud model, the TMS can become a central marketplace where you connect to a variety of supply chain stakeholders.
  4. Flexibility as You Grow – Cloud-based TMS systems offer lots of flexibility, starting with basic features that can be easily upgraded with additional functionality as your business needs change. Start with the ability to rate, book and track shipments, then add other features as needed – from predictive analytics to freight bill audit/payment and more.
  5. Level the Playing Field – Deploying a cloud-based TMS levels the playing field as businesses of any size have access to a larger variety of rates and carriers, allowing your business a greater chance to get better rates.
  6. Software Always Up & Running – Cloud-based TMS vendors deploy their systems across multiple data centers to ensure 24/7/365 operations. So, no matter if there is a widespread power outage or weather-related event, you will have access to the TMS and your data to ensure you can always get your products out the door.
  7. Fastest Route to Implementation – Cloud-based TMS systems are easy to deploy and easy to use with typical start-up within minutes or a few hours. Some systems offer online how-to videos to help new users begin.
  8. Faster ROI – Cloud-based TMS users get a faster return on investment (ROI) because of the low upfront investment and quicker start-up. You’ll be up and running quicker, making smarter decisions on rates and carriers.
  9. Smarter Shipping Decisions – Smarter decisions can be made by your transportation operations team by leveraging actionable reports and dashboards within a TMS housed on the cloud. Every transaction is captured and can be analyzed for improvements in service levels, freight spend, KPIs and more.
  10. Lower Freight Spend – Using a cloud-based TMS will lower your freight spend, reports say between 10 – 20% on average, because you have more choices of modes and access to more carriers and lanes.

A cloud-based transportation management system like Kuebix TMS offers a wide variety of benefits for shippers. Before you take the plunge with a new cloud-based TMS, use this Complete Buyer’s Guide to figure out exactly what your needs are!

Kuebix Global Network Effect

Kuebix and The Network Effect

Following Kuebix’s announcement last week of reaching 10,000 companies using Kuebix TMS, industry analyst Adrian Gonzalez wrote in his newsletter Talking Logistics: “At the time, Kuebix expected tens of thousands of shippers to take advantage of this free technology, building a massive global community where Kuebix can efficiently help the industry match capacity to demand across supply chains. Reaching that critical mass will be a challenge, I said last October, but it’s a challenge worth pursuing if you believe in the power of networks and communities. Well, it appears that Kuebix has met this challenge. The question now is how will the company leverage this growing community to drive ‘network effect’ solutions and value?”

What exactly is the ‘network effect’ Adrian is talking about?

He first wrote about this concept in 2003 when he discussed that “Supply Chain Operating Networks bring together trading partner connectivity with software-as-a-service applications.” Think Facebook or LinkedIn where people or businesses are connected together. The more connections, the better the network. All participants on the network can be connected to each other through the network for improved collaboration and communications. Basically, the more users, the more value the users get from the network.

When users connect to a network, they are empowered to create new value, and as more value is added to the network, users become more valuable. The ‘network effect’ means that participants on the network are more valuable to everyone on the network. Electronically connecting to suppliers, customers, and other supply chain partners enables each business to collaborate and innovate. Fully leveraging these connections allows suppliers to collaborate on forecasts and demand; customers to collaborate on inventory and forecasts; while others can collaborate on shipments and delivery requirements.

Networks are built with technology, but ultimately the network is about people: why they want to connect, how they will connect, when they will connect, and what they want to get from the connection. The ‘network effect’ grows exponentially in value the denser the network becomes. The more trading partners that are connected, the more valuable the network is – provided the connections participate and collaborate with others on the network. The ‘network effect’ is a supply chain game-changer.

With a global logistics network there is an increase of collaborative opportunities as the number of network participants increases. In this time of driver shortage, hours of service regulations, and capacity shortages, shippers are finding it hard to make deliveries. Using a global logistics network, shippers can forecast with their carriers that are connected to the network, who will then translate this into a volume by lane schedule in order to get capacity for shipping their products. The value of a network increases as more companies with shipping needs and an increased number of trucking operators carrying cargo join the network.

The rapid growth of Kuebix’s global shipping community lends credence to the industry’s need for a network where shippers can collaborate with each other, suppliers and carriers. Leveraging the power of a global network unified by the power of technology, freight can be matched to available capacity. This helps to fill empty backhauls, maintain control over demand peaks and reduce freight spend all around. Based on the accelerated adoption of Kuebix TMS within the industry, the ‘network effect’ is proving to drive value for companies wishing to optimize their freight.

Dan Clark Kuebix

Kuebix Founder, Dan Clark, To Speak to Inbound Optimization at Gartner Conference

Next week’s Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference – Move to Mastery: Innovate, Disrupt and Scale the Digital Supply Chain is designed to help supply chain leaders on their critical journey to digitize and transform their supply chains. Kuebix Founder, Dan Clark will be presenting “The Art of Inbound Freight: Process Optimized by Technology,” on Wednesday, May 16 at 12:40 PM – 1:00 PM. The session will dive into how businesses can develop a comprehensive strategy to gain visibility and maximize the management of their inbound freight.

Clark’s discussion will focus on the often-overlooked side of transportation, inbound management, and will contribute to the overall theme and conversation about disruption and innovation in the Digital Supply Chain. Moving to automate processes in transportation operations is the first step to improving efficiencies, and can make managing inbound not only possible, but profitable. During the session, attendees will be taken through the steps needed to optimize their inbound operations.

An inbound logistics program should work in conjunction with suppliers and carriers to determine the most cost-effective shipment method – whether customer pick-up or vendor delivered. With the help of technology, shippers can optimize their routes into the fewest, largest shipments possible while maintaining the high level of service customers require. The program should then enforce a standard routing guide and compliance procedures for suppliers to follow.

With digitization, supply chains gain visibility into promise dates, order statuses and orders in transit to improve scheduling of inbound shipments. For example, an inbound shipment can be scheduled during a specific time slot using a dock scheduling tool. If that order changes or a violation occurs, all parties have visibility to the issue so that the delivery can be modified, and the appropriate party’s behavior addressed.

By streamlining inbound through a collaborative system with suppliers and carriers, shippers can lower costs, increase customer satisfaction and simplify their operation. In addition, shippers can capitalize on analytics for continuous improvement to meet changes in the supply chain head on.

Kuebix TMS will be demonstrated at the Vendor Showcase in Booth 221 at the Gartner Conference. If you’d like to make an appointment for a demonstration and to learn more about how Kuebix can help you optimize your inbound and other transportation operations, click here.

Vaxcel Kuebix Partnership

Vaxcel Strengthens Relationships While Adding Efficiencies

Vaxcel, Manufacturing Industry, Carol Stream, IL – Designs and creates inspired residential lighting and fans that put timeless style, enduring quality and purposeful functionality within reach of every homeowner.


Vaxcel, a national manufacturer and distributor of home lighting and fan solutions, values innovation and knew they wanted an innovative, forward-thinking transportation management system over traditional ones. They found that other TMS vendors were biased towards certain carriers, but Vaxcel wanted to keep their existing carrier relationships intact because they were already well-established and very strong.

Working with Kuebix, Vaxcel was able to not only keep these relationships, but can objectively view all available rates in one place. By viewing their rates side-by-side, they can choose the best carrier for each shipment, driving efficiencies and savings. With Kuebix, Vaxcel reports cutting the time they spend booking shipments roughly in half! They can also manage the entire process online for improved customer service.

Other features from the TMS have lowered transportation spend as well. For example, one carrier used on a specific lane turned out to not be performing up to standard; tenders were adjusted to include other carriers, leading to substantial savings.

Previously, Vaxcel received Bill of Ladings from each carrier’s website, which was very time-consuming and tedious. With Kuebix’s simplified process, BOLs are created in a snap. To Vaxcel, the time savings stands out the most, and getting up and running with their carriers was completed very quickly, with little action needed from the company themselves.

Vaxcel is building a baseline of information to measure their success and to improve strategic decisions about their logistics operation. The company continues to see savings on freight costs and time, while keeping their strategic carriers and customers happy.

To read Vaxcel’s full success story, click here.

Hyperline Cabling Systems

How Hyperline Took Control of their Supply Chain

Hyperline Cabling Systems, Manufacturing Industry, Buford, GA – North American manufacturer of a comprehensive range of cabling products with a footprint stretching across Canada and the United States.


Hyperline Cabling Systems, a company continuously striving to remain up to date with industry standards and ahead of the curve with revolutionary products, was dissatisfied with traditional TMS systems and recognized the need for an intelligent freight solution. In May of 2017, Hyperline partnered with Kuebix TMS, making the Kuebix technology their logistics system of choice for their national distribution center in Buford, GA. Since implementation they have seen tremendous time savings and an increase of productivity in their operations.

Before adopting Kuebix, Hyperline was familiar with other TMS technology, but hadn’t been impressed. Other systems proved to be too complicated and showed obvious biases toward certain carriers. Kuebix on the other hand, shows a side-by-side rate comparison for all connected carriers, proving to be a huge asset for Hyperline. With improved speed of rating and booking, Hyperline’s operations team is able to save time and money while increasing customer satisfaction.

Getting up and running with Kuebix TMS was a simple process and Kuebix’s Customer Success Team continues to be readily available whenever a change such as temporarily turning off a carrier or tweaking a report is needed. This ensure Hyperline can maximize its success with Kuebix.

By leveraging the power of Kuebix TMS, Hyperline has positioned themselves to compete in the changing supply chain climate. They always have the tools they need to make the most efficient booking decisions and previously time-consuming processes from rating to reporting now take a fraction of the time. This increased productivity cannot help but continue to make Hyperline a leader in manufacturing a comprehensive range of cabling systems.

To read Hyperline’s full success story, click here.