Deliver Multiple Services with a Single Scalable Platform
Successful logistics service providers confidently take on all challenges brought by customers. From large volumes of small packages to multi-leg, international, multi-container ocean moves, these leading 3PLs use every mode necessary to confidently manage their client’s freight. They can manage shipments domestically or across oceans and borders all around the world. Nothing stands in the way of expanding their business!
MercuryGate supports the growth of leading 3PLs with a single omni-modal platform TMS that natively supports all services, including freight forwarding and brokerage (truckload, LTL and intermodal). The single platform supports every service delivered to every client and gives management a top-down view of the business. No other TMS on the market today delivers limitless possibilities for growth like the MercuryGate TMS.
“With MercuryGate’s advances in TMS functionality and commitment to a web-native model with an ongoing upgrade path, we anticipate that it will continue to grow and meet the needs of many 3PLs, freight brokers, and shippers.”
Evan Armstrong, Armstrong & Associates
Rapidly Onboard New Clients
Congratulations! You’ve just inked a deal with an important new client. It’s a good deal, but the sooner you start delivering the services, the better it’ll be – for both parties. Rapidly onboarding that new client will get the relationship off to a good start and return strong profits quickly.
The open architecture of the MercuryGate TMS makes it easy to integrate with client systems. Shipment, rate and location data is easily and securely exchanged in real time. Automated information sharing is complemented by specially configured web portals for clients, suppliers and carriers to edit and view their data. Using these portals into the TMS, clients gain full supply chain visibility, right down to the status of a specific item in one of their shipments.
Successful 3PLs onboard clients with automated and integrated services and full visibility to what’s going on at all times. Whether you offer domestic freight management services or worldwide supply chain automation, the MercuryGate TMS delivers rapid client onboarding – providing you with excited new clients and maximized profitability.
Negotiate Rates and Select the Optimal Carrier
Which carrier is the “optimal carrier”? Is it the one with the lowest rate or the one who will reliably meet the client’s service requirements? Smart freight management companies know how to evaluate carriers. They evaluate special equipment requirements, safety ratings, environment ratings, insurance coverage, certifications and more. Then, they consider every mode and lane where their clients operate – anywhere in the world. Smart 3PLs use the MercuryGate TMS to maximize profitability and reduce risk – on every shipment.
Carrier rates, accessorials and fees come from multiple places and can be negotiated annually or on the spot. Negotiated rates are easily loaded for rapid look-up or accessed in real time from the carrier’s servers. They can be a factor of the published SMC3 tariffs or uniquely calculated for each client shipment. Information about the carriers can likewise be managed locally or accessed from services like Carrier411 or RMIS.
Leading 3PLs keep all the information they need to make the optimal carrier selection available and easily accessible. Using a browser, smart phone or tablet – it’s always just a few clicks away.
Simultaneously Optimize Inbound & Outbound Shipments Globally
Are you consolidating shipments from multiple clients onto a load? Are you making effective use of pooling points to reduce road miles? How about backhauls? Are you sure you’re using the right mode – all the time? These are the kind of questions that successful freight management companies have answered using the MercuryGate TMS with Mojo for multimodal transportation optimization.
Mojo creates parameter driven load plans using negotiated rates, actual carrier data, and real origin and destination coordinates. In a matter of seconds, Mojo considers all the possibilities and suggests a plan that maximizes profitability. That load plan includes the mode and carriers necessary to meet the client’s service requirements. Once complete, the load plan is loaded to the TMS for execution. Once the parameters are set, the entire process can be automated to minimize the steps necessary to produce maximum results.
Smart 3PLs don’t stop with optimizing domestic ground shipments; they look for savings across all their clients, every mode and in every region where their clients operate. They also find savings by simultaneously optimizing inbound and outbound shipments to streamline client’s supply chains while operating at peak efficiency.
Provide Control Tower Visibility and Decision Support
MercuryGate TMS control tower visibility gives top down and bottom up shipment visibility and analytics of global, multimodal, multi-leg shipments. The control tower supports multi-party collaboration and centralizes management and monitoring of all event statuses.
Door-to-door transportation visibility is the MercuryGate “Golden Thread” to information about the location of freight in the supply chain – anywhere in the world. Insight to the exact status of individual items packed in boxes, stacked on skids, placed in a container is the “Russian doll” of shipment status.
Strong freight management companies use the Golden Thread and the Russian Doll to locate detailed SKUs (down to serial numbers) and dynamically change routes based on current requirements. Together with decision support and operational tools, the Golden Thread enables rapid, often automated, real-time responses to changes in shipment status and customer demand.
Data gathered throughout the shipment process provides for rich analytics and sophisticated event management and reporting. Imagine you have several shipments bound for Southeast Asia and you just learned that a major storm is threatening the region. The TMS, with its included decision support tool, makes it easy to identify all shipments effected and make smart decisions for rerouting to minimize risk and maximize service to your grateful clients.
Allocate Fully Landed Costs, Audit & Pay Invoices, and Pay Commissions
Imagine your improved profits if you could consolidate client shipments onto a load. You could pass the savings along to the client, enhance your margins – or both! Not only is this a possibility, leading 3PLs use the MercuryGate TMS to do this every day. Here’s the best part; they are still able to apply client specific contract and billing terms for every client involved. They get to negotiate winning contracts and still take advantage of cross-customer shipment optimization. How great is that!
Here’s how it’s done. Clients’ fully landed costs are accrued based to their unique contract and their portion of the load. Regardless of whether they’ve agreed to be billed by the mile, number of stops, a unit count, weight, or cube, their invoice always reflects the right amount. To reflect the total landed costs, the invoice includes their portion of all fees and accessorials associated with the load.
Once the load is complete, the financial settlement process, including commissions, is easy. When it comes to auditing freight invoices and paying carriers, they evaluate those invoices that don’t match expectations and let the rest flow automatically to accounting for payment. Invoices with amounts that fall outside the company’s tolerance for error can be closely scrutinized and, if necessary, disputed with the carrier until a resolution is found.
Whether this process is managed in-house or in partnership with a third-party, line item data from the invoice is easily compared with contracted amounts. Variances are highlighted so unexpected amounts so can be quickly identified and resolved.
Whether you use an in-house sales team or a dispersed network of agents, smart 3PLs tie the calculation of commissions directly to the settlement of the loads. Commissions are split and calculated based on roles in the process. Create a balanced and fair commission plan and let MercuryGate TMS do the rest.
Rely on Powerful Analytics and Reporting
Built as a transportation data warehouse, the robust capabilities of MercuryGate TMS gathers and maintains all transactional data and user interaction in the transportation network. Data is stored and made available for analysis by MercuryEdge, the most powerful analytics application available today for transportation data.
MercuryEdge has real time access to every field in the TMS and can import data from outside sources (e.g. accounting systems) giving you a comprehensive and complete view of your transportation services. Measure carriers KPIs, perform profitability analysis, and model your network’s performance.
Analytics are available at your fingertips when you’re faced with a decision such as which is the best carrier to assign to a load. Highly effective logistics companies take analytics one step further. They “embed” analytics in their process to constantly improve performance based on current data. For example, carrier assignment can be automated to increase/decrease the number of loads offered to carriers based on historical availability, superior acceptance percentage, and on-time performance (and within the limits of your volume incentive agreements).
Configure Workflows and User Roles & Interfaces
The hallmark of a successful freight management company is the ability to deliver and maintain configured services for every client. Leading 3PLs don’t stop at the client level. They deliver uniquely configured processes, data access and even interfaces to every TMS user. When everyone involved interacts in the way most appropriate and comfortable to them, processes run smoothly.
To consistently follow a process, efficient 3PLs use MercuryGate’s ezClick workflow automation architecture. ezClick assists users as they progress through planning and executing of shipments for clients while minimizes mouse clicks and errors. The processes are easily configured and often vary by client.
The easy-to-use TMS interface is configurable to each user to maximize efficiency. TMS users, including clients and carriers, use a customized interface with the features, data access, and reports they need to perform their jobs. They select from 19 languages, local time zone, unit of measure, and any currency to collaborate with other users. Because every user has a configurable user experience, they operate a peak efficiency to support the smooth operation of the supply chain.
Amazing things happen when every TMS user has the data and services they need at their fingertips!