The Challenge

Masonite sought to replace its six year-old MercuryGate implementation with a solution that could address close to a dozen requirements which were not being fully accommodated by their incumbent provider. While the existing solution provided functionality in most of the areas Masonite needed, overall, the incumbent system and associated processes were less than efficient and becoming less effective over time.

One of the most vexing challenges for Masonite was the cumbersome shipment entry process. Many Masonite locations were saddled with the tedious and time-consuming task of manually entering hundreds of shipments into their TMS on a weekly basis.

Similarly, spot market utilization was also a frustratingly manual process requiring their transportation service representatives (TSRs) to compose manual emails for each and every spot bid including origins, destinations, shipment and delivery dates/times and other relevant information. Then manually sort through responses to make a selection. Altogether, Masonite had three, full time TSRs working on shipment entry, carrier selection, tendering and spot market activities.

Other challenges were centered on freight audit and invoicing. Using the aforementioned email and manual processes, Masonite had limited insight into trends and reported near zero visibility into carrier performance beyond the very broadest measures. They were not able to clearly determine rates of carrier tender acceptance and rejection or the underlying reasons for same.

Masonite did have under-developed capability to enact variances/tolerances for such incidental costs as assessorial charges, but these were rigid and applied to all carriers equally. Masonite employed a team of six freight invoice auditors to handle the volume of exceptions in freight settlement.

Overall, Masonite went to market to source a solution that would support far more efficient operations and provide much deeper visibility into transportation data and trends.

The Solution

Selecting PCS Software to replace MercuryGate, Masonite cited the fact that the PCS platform addressed nearly every one of the dozen requirements identified as critical in the selection of a new solution.

Ease of Use | First and foremost, Masonite embraced the ease of use in the shipment entry process delivered by the award-winning PCS user interface. Using customized templates designed during implementation, TSRs were able to dramatically reduce the time spent entering shipments into TMS. Similarly, spot bidding, tendering and management were also vastly improved using the automated spot bidding tools in PCS.

Reporting & Scorecards | Masonite noted immediate, strategic, operational improvements powered by the robust reporting capabilities provided in the PCS solution. PCS’s carrier scorecards provided detailed insight into important metrics like carrier acceptance/rejection rates including detailed reason codes to give transportation managers keen insight into root causes behind carrier performance. Other examples of useful data capture include EDI tender acceptance and overall EDI success rates. This improved visibility unlocked greater efficiency and collaboration between plants and carriers.

Freight Payment and Invoicing | Characterized by Masonite users as “light years ahead” of their existing functionality, the PCS platform’s Freight Pay and Audit tools dramatically boosted automation levels for these financial processes. Replacing an inefficient email-based process for managing exceptions, the Freight Pay module delivered much greater visibility into carrier performance metrics like tender acceptance/rejection, accessorial spend and a host of others. Moreover, the ability to assign variances and tolerances for accessorial and other nominal (yet frequently occurring) charges, helped to reduce the time and effort dedicated to manually addressing exceptions in billing.

Freight Rate Benchmarking | This feature in PCS gave Masonite TSRs the ability to review historical rate-by-lane data and then use it to establish rate benchmarks for any and all lanes in their routing guide. PCS Market Rates features make the benchmark for each lane visible in the routing guide so that TSRs can determine which carriers may be above or below the benchmarked rate for the lane and to tender accordingly. This feature was deployed for benchmarking rates across regular shipments as well as spot quotes. Over time, use of the rate benchmarking feature supported detailed reporting allowing management to identify lanes with higher levels of over-spending and the root causes behind it.

The Results

Efficiency Improvements | Overall, Masonite users and transportation management reported great satisfaction with the efficiency improvements delivered by PCS Software. During the time since PCS was deployed, Masonite’s truckload volume increased by 36% from approximately 950 to 1300 shipments per week. In spite of this significant increase in volume, Masonite was able to easily accommodate the additional volume while reducing the level of effort required to effectively manage the process using the PCS transportation management platform.

Since inception, Masonite has brought between 8 and 10 locations onto the PCS platform where the improved control and visibility identifies between 150-200 weekly shipments that had previously not been managed within TMS. They’ve also tripled the number of spot quotes while keeping tight control over spot rates using benchmarking features.

Using PCS, Masonite was able to maintain four different fuel programs in the US based on calculations from the DOE, integration with BreakThrough Fuel, flat fuel and “no program”. This added flexibility yielded improved spend visibility into accessorials, fuel costs and carrier performance.

Masonite Logo

Additional Benefits

Additional key features embraced by Masonite Transportation & Logistics management included

  • PCS’s Excel spreadsheet uploader which simplifies rate uploads
  • An intuitive order entry interface for easy order management
  • Carrier-entered late code reporting and rejection updates in the routing guide
  • Improved overall data integrity
  • PCS dashboards

Masonite has adopted PCS to manage its dedicated fleet freight too. Reporting high overall levels of satisfaction, Masonite management noted that PCS was able to deliver on nearly all the requirements the Transportation and Logistics department established for selecting a new TMS.