Posts

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.

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.

ELD Mandate Kuebix

Minimizing the Impact of the ELD Mandate

On April 1st of this year, strict regulation of the electronic logging device (ELD) rule came into effect after a 3-month grace period. The mandate requires the use of an ELD to automatically record a truck’s driving time to more accurately record a driver’s hours of service (HoS). The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states that the restricted HoS were put into place to combat an increased risk of crashes and chronic health conditions associated with lack of sleep. This mandate however, which is forcing immense changes for the industry, has been met with adversity.

Trucking companies are reporting that some truckers are even going so far as to leave the industry rather than use an ELD. In the past, many drivers were concerned about foul weather, accidents or long detention times because of the potential to miss their next delivery or a desire to return home. Now, any form of unexpected delay could put that driver over his HoS and force him to stop for the night. This eats steadily into productivity and profit margins for drivers being paid by the trip. With the new ELD mandate, there is no way for drivers to omit uncontrollable delays such as Acts of Nature from their logs which could put them over their HoS. In the past, a shipper might have taken a 5-6 hour run, made a delivery, picked up a new load and then returned home. Now, that same driver would have to secure overnight parking to avoid violating the 11-hour daily driving limit. These mandates serve to make the roads safer for all drivers but put additional pressure on an industry already strapped for capacity.

What else is causing the capacity crisis?

•     The economy is requiring more trucks on the road as both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores’ sales continue to be strong

•     Gen-Xers and Millennials are not filling trucking jobs vacated by Boomers at a fast-enough rate

•     Inbound deliveries are often late due to congestion in the yard or at the dock

•     Traffic, weather and accidents on the road result in wasted, otherwise productive, time

The ELD mandate has put a spotlight on the HoS issue for the entire industry. Already facing a capacity crisis, it is more important than ever that shippers maintain total control over their supply chains to ensure deliveries are made on time and any issues are dealt with as soon as they occur. There is very little an individual shipper can do to encourage younger entrants into the job market to become truckers and, of course, nothing should be done to depress the flow of goods within the marketplace. Therefore, a shipper’s only option to effectively combat the capacity crisis is to streamline their own supply chain processes.

What can shippers do to minimize the effects of the ELD mandate?

•     Reduce the number of inbound deliveries entering their facilities through consolidation

•     Speed-up driver turn-around in their yards with dock scheduling and order management tools

•     Communicate effectively on promise dates, notifications and issues as they arise

The ELD mandate is a new part of the shipping industry that will have a big impact on how freight is shipped. In order to comply with the regulations without being negatively impacted by HoS limitations, shippers should leverage the power of transportation technology to improve their operations. With the help of a TMS, a shipper can identify the optimal carriers for their freight and hold those carriers to a high standard of execution. In addition, a TMS can consolidate LTL freight into FTLs whenever possible. Time-slot appointments can be secured by leveraging a dock scheduling solution, reducing driver waiting times. These improvements and many others can reduce the number of trucks on the road, saving money and speeding-up yard flow. Once a more streamlined operation is established, shippers can rest assured that their drivers will be set up for success.

Learn more about Kuebix’s Dock Scheduler, Order and Route Optimizer, and other Premier Applications that help shippers become more efficient and minimize the impact of the ELD mandate.

Team process visibility

Driving Collaboration Through Visibility

According to Supply Chain Insights, supply chain visibility comes in as one of the top “elements of business pain in supply chain.” Why is visibility within the supply chain such a big challenge?

First, there are many players involved, from suppliers to producers, manufacturers, shippers, carriers and end customers. Next, add more complexities to the mix: globalization, customer expectations, volatile demand and mounting regulations. These factors create a messy and complicated environment for supply chain professionals trying to see what is happening up and down their entire network of stakeholders.

What is needed is end-to-end supply chain visibility.

To facilitate visibility, all stakeholders need to use a common platform that allows them to plan their moves, receive alerts to changes as they occur, see every status update made, and make real time adjustments to keep the supply chain moving smoothly and the customer happy. By sharing a single common system, suppliers can plan inventory levels more effectively to offer better customer service. Carriers can move shipments in and out more efficiently, making their operations more cost effective and the customer can improve the management of their inbound operations and warehouse.

What is this common platform?

It is a cloud-based collaborative portal, like that offered by Kuebix TMS, that can be accessed by all stakeholders from any device and from any location. This single platform serves as a dynamic record of truth for all the changes that occur across the supply chain, keeping the delivery of goods moving efficiently.

First, a purchase order is made.  Suppliers look at the portal and plan production and inventory schedules to meet customer demand. Suppliers will notify their customers through the collaboration portal which deliveries they can make on time and which need to be back-ordered due to low stock.

When suppliers commit to a promise date, customers can look at the portal to plan their business based on delivery dates. If the customer has chosen to pick up the order using their own carrier, the supplier can print shipping labels for those orders directly from the portal. Because every stakeholder is referencing the same information via a collaborative portal, they have immediate access to everything they need to make informed decisions and plan their supply chain.

Carriers can provide updates on the status of their deliveries through the collaboration portal as well. If carriers are using electronic logging devices (ELDs), customers and suppliers can visibly track the real-time status of their delivery. Dock scheduling solutions like Kuebix’s allow carriers to see open time slots and locations at the dock, empowering carriers to reserve an appropriate time for delivery so they are not left idling in the yard.

Part of the backbone of visibility and collaboration is a set of rules and procedures that suppliers and carriers need to follow. These procedures on yard, safety, consolidations, etc. promote proper supplier and carrier behavior and ensure the most efficient operation. Any violations which occur are shown in the portal, so all parties know the status of issues and can work together to address them. This provides a heightened level of visibility and accountability for all stakeholders.

Kuebix TMS provides supply chain professionals the visibility they need to maximize efficiencies, minimize costs and improve customer service. Working together via a collaboration portal is a win-win-win for suppliers, carriers and shippers.

Other inbound logistics management best practices to improve visibility can be found in The Art of the Inbound.

Kuebix SupplierMAX

The Recipe for an Unbeatable Inbound Freight Management Strategy

Managing inbound freight operations is an ongoing challenge for businesses with large numbers of suppliers. Companies are impacted by the inefficiencies, low levels of visibility and lack of standardization associated with the management of their inbound freight. These problems are exacerbated when companies lack comprehensive strategies for obtaining the lowest possible shipping and unloading costs or a plan to improve the behavior of their suppliers. A complete strategy for inbound freight management needs to encompass the following three aspects; visibility, collaboration and accountability.

Visibility  Although companies control their own destinies on the outbound side of the equation, that level of control dwindles when it comes to inbound freight. In the end, the receiving company does not have full planning and visibility for shipment arrivals and dock reservations. To optimize their inbound, stakeholders can benefit from better visibility of information (e.g., knowing what carrier is being used, exact timing of deliveries, how much manpower is in the DC to load/unload shipments, etc.), real-time data sharing and the knowledge that everyone is working toward a common goal.

Collaboration  By using a comprehensive inbound freight plan based on a collaborative ecosystem of shippers, suppliers and carriers, companies can effectively establish a dynamic rating and unloading allowance program. As companies work in partnership with their suppliers to determine the most cost-effective method to handle each shipment – customer pick-up (CPU) or vendor controlled (VDS), the goal should be to reduce overall shipping costs. By giving suppliers choices, they’ll be able to pick the most effective service and billing procedure. Convert inbound shipments from VDS to CPU shipments only when it’s feasible, and then establish preferred rates with a select group of carriers to handle those inbound shipments at the lowest possible cost and best service type. Use a standard routing guide to establish a set of mandatory carriers that will be used for all VDS and CPU shipments. This will enable LTL pricing improvements, superior service levels and maximize opportunities for LTL consolidation.

Accountability  While companies can’t always control what their suppliers do or the efficiency of suppliers’ systems, they can implement Vendor Inbound Compliance Standards (VICS) to help improve supplier behavior. A comprehensive set of compliance procedures will establish rules and processes that must be followed by suppliers when making deliveries. These accountability levels should also extend to the company’s own supply chain/logistics department and procurement group, both of which play a role in ensuring that products get quickly from their origin to the distribution center (DC). The goal? Improve supplier behavior so that their inefficiencies are not wasting time and money at the DC. It’s also important that a company’s inbound strategy includes leveraging detailed analytics to measure the results of the program and take action where necessary to improve service with suppliers and carriers.

By following this general recipe, companies can work with specialists in inbound freight to develop an unbeatable inbound freight management strategy. But knowing what to do and being able to do it effectively are two entirely different hurdles companies need to jump. It’s for that reason Kuebix has developed SupplierMAX, a program where companies can leverage Kuebix’s technology and logistics experts to manage all or a portion of their inbound freight program. SupplierMAX improves supplier behavior and increases the efficiency of warehouses and distribution centers by incorporating a series of comprehensive strategies to improve inbound operations. To learn more about this program, click HERE to read the SupplierMAX press release in full.

Load Match Infographic Kuebix Truckload Freight Rates

*Infographic* Savings On Truckload Freight Rates

Truckload solution for shippers with regular shipping lanes

Kuebix provides complimentary truckload rate assessments leveraging the Load Match platform to help companies determine whether they are making the most strategic truckload shipping decisions. The assessment gives shippers insight into whether they can save money on recurring or spot freight by leveraging Kuebix’s vast network of truckload assets. Kuebix can also help shippers conduct formal RFPs to source negotiated rates with truckload carriers on the Kuebix platform.

 

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Kuebix Load Match Map Infographic Truckload Freight Rates
1

Gaston, SC to Manchester, NH ~17% savings

2

Gaston, SC to Woodford, VA ~12% savings

3

West Memphis, AR to Armonk, NY ~13% savings

4

Meta, MO to Bosler, WY ~13% savings

5

Tooele, UT to Danevang, TX ~4% savings

6

Salt Lake City, UT to Modesto, CA ~38% savings

7

Ripon, CA to Los Nietos, CA ~34% savings

8

San Bernardino, CA to Rancho Cordova, CA ~42% savings

 

 

For more information, email us at LoadMatch@Kuebix.com.

TMS Options Proliferate, But Not for All

This is the second in a three-part series that tracks the evolution of the TMS from the late 1990s to today. In last week’s piece I discussed the emergence of the TMS. Next week I’ll discuss the future.

When we last left transportation management systems (TMS), the high price and staff requirements of the early systems had created two groups of freight shippers, the haves, which could afford the high expense of on-prem big-box systems, and a far larger group of have-nots.

The needs of shippers struggling to replace manual processes with automation, drove widespread developments of new products, services and third parties. Most of these used different approaches for addressing the huge need for efficiency in supply chains. Meanwhile, the maturity of cloud computing was driving changes across industries and was just beginning to gain traction in logistics.

The lineup of options for shippers looking to improve their logistics operations included on-site system vendors, services from 3rd party logistics providers, and a shallow pool of companies looking to leverage the software-as-as-service model and approach to locating system intelligence.

Word from Above

But what lead to cold sweats for shippers was all the best practice and success stories that the tech trades and even the business media were running. They featured pioneering companies that had implemented a solution to cure their shipping ills and were said to be on the leading edge of technology use for business gain.

That started the deluge of direct questions from C-level executives.

Are we checking out TMSs? Is this something for us? Can we save money? Why haven’t we done this? C-level execs started believing that their companies could quickly turn their freight shipping into a profit center from a cost center.

It didn’t matter that the price for a TMS was too high or that many of the options covered one aspect of shipping but not many others.

TMS Affordability?

You’d think for sure that a growing group of TMS options would benefit all shippers desperately seeking freight intelligence. The reality was that TMSs were still not accessible to most businesses in the U.S. The have-nots could find affordable freight handling options, but that meant paying a third party to handle their freight shipping function.

For most, price as in the TCO, was the single largest impediment to implementing a system that would enable logistics professionals to truly manage their freight transportation. Isn’t it ironic that the sticker price of TMS options and alternative is what was keeping the have-nots from cutting costs and generating new revenue?

Clear Forecast

With the maturity of the cloud, it became clear that locating a TMS software product on a platform in the network  and sold as-a-(monthly)-service would break down the many barriers to implementation that so many businesses of all sizes were up against.

This opportunity sure got the attention of shippers who had all but given up on an on-site TMS and wanted something that was both flexible in architecture and easier to cost justify to their bosses.

An Easier Sell

Many enterprise freight shippers moved from controlled freight chaos to the cloud and found that advances in platform technology and automation from TMS software made for easier installation and a faster return on investment.

But while a growing mass of businesses were putting cloud-based TMSs to the test – and turning a cost center to a profit center, SMBs, which I believe make up over 90% of all U.S. businesses, still couldn’t justify a TMS spend. Some outsourced their operations to 3PLs. Others were stuck with their inefficient status quo.

Believe me, whether you’re a kid or a shipping professional nothing’s worse than watching someone else get, enjoy (and profit from), something great that you can’t have.

In the final installment of this three-part series, I’ll explain how important changes in the evolution of the TMS will define the future of freight shipping. Thanks for staying tuned!

 

 

 

 

Portfolio Items