HOUSTON, July 7, 2022 – PCS Software (PCS), the leading all-in-one, AI-driven transportation management platform for shippers, carriers, brokers and 3PL announced that on July 5, 2022, Wastequip went live on the PCS Shipper TMS (transportation management system) Platform. Wastequip, the leading North American manufacturer of waste handling equipment, is now using the PCS Shipper TMS to manage planning, dispatch, and carrier payments for all truckload and LTL shipments across North America.
PCS Shipper TMS is a cloud-based platform that automates and optimizes inbound and outbound freight across all modes including automated rating, routing, tendering, carrier management, and scheduling. As Wastequip moves from using a 3PL provider to managing freight and logistics internally, PCS’ Shipper TMS platform provides Wastequip’s Transportation team with improved visibility to manage commercial carrier relationships from planning through execution and settlement.
“PCS is excited to partner with Wastequip delivering a more intuitive, automated, and efficient transportation management process” said Chris Poelma, CEO of PCS. “We are proud of the work the PCS and Wastequip teams have completed to enable Wastequip to more effectively manage freight with less time and resources.”
Starting in March 2022, PCS Software worked closely with Wastequip to align and configure the Shipper TMS to meet Wastequip’s business strategy and objectives. “PCS’s strong industry knowledge and partnership with Wastequip made us confident that we could quickly and successfully implement the PCS Shipper TMS platform,” said Jon Calder, Director of Logistics at Wastequip. “With PCS’s Shipper TMS and REST API framework, we are able to run a seamless, fully-integrated process to receive orders directly from our Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP system into the TMS, plan and manage shipments in real-time, and process AP accrual files as soon as the shipment arrives.”
About PCS Software
PCS Software is an AI-powered transportation management platform leader driving disruptive innovation for mid to large-sized enterprise shippers, carriers, and brokers in the United States and Canada. Cloud-based, API-integrated, PCS Software automates the entire transportation logistics operation via a single, comprehensive solution. Accessible via the web or the companion mobile app, the PCS platform delivers powerful functionality to manage rate and route optimization, mode selection, dispatch/tendering, carrier and fleet management, safety & compliance, freight yard management, settlement/accounting, and more. For more information, please visit www.PCSSoft.com.
Wastequip is the leading North American manufacturer of waste-handling equipment, with an international network of manufacturing facilities and the most extensive dealer network in the industry. Wastequip’s broad range of waste and recycling equipment, trucks and systems is used to collect, process and transport recyclables, solid waste, liquid waste and organics. The company’s brands include Wastequip, Wastequip WRX™, Wastebuilt®, Toter®, Galbreath®, Pioneer™, Mountain Tarp™, ContainerPros®, wasteware™, ConFab®, Amrep® and Accurate™. For more information, visit www.wastequip.com.
The company’s recent innovations expand LTL management functionality and platform enhancements for automation, visibility and third-party integrations.
HOUSTON – February 15, 2022 – PCS Software, a leading AI-powered transportation management (TMS) platform provider for shippers, carriers and brokerages in North America, reached an important milestone in the fourth quarter with 12 major technological advances in its AI-powered transportation management platform.
As part of the release, PCS added LTL Mobile Dispatch to existing Truckload and Intermodal Mobile Dispatch modules in Mobile Express, an app that connects office personnel and drivers with the SaaS-based platform.
LTL Mobile Dispatch enables carriers and brokerages to create and dispatch LTL shipments directly from Mobile Express. As part of the release, PCS also created a pre-planning LTL feature to schedule loads, days in advance, and forecast available capacity in trailers to accurately plan, dispatch, and optimize.
“The ongoing pandemic and supply chain disruptions have challenged personnel at motor carriers and brokerages to find better solutions for taking work with them wherever they go,” said Paul Beavers, chief technology officer at PCS. “Our latest innovations give customers greater mobility, automation, and visibility to manage all aspects of business operations remotely.”
Other TMS and mobile innovations in the fourth quarter release are summarized below:
PCS added a convenient “Hey PCS” voice assistant for Mobile Express users to query the extensive Carrier TMS database in a safe, hands-free manner. The “Hey PCS” feature has a list of voice commands for drivers to ask questions like “Where is my next pickup?” Similarly, dispatchers can ask questions like “Where is driver John Doe?” or “Where is John Doe delivering today?” If a question is not registered, the system records it for consideration to add in a future release.
Another milestone in the fourth quarter is an Open API that gives PCS customers total freedom to integrate proprietary and third-party systems with the platform database for sharing bi-directional data. The first APIs that PCS made available are for Loads, Invoices, and Locations.
One of many possibilities to use the open API is for replacing electronic data interchange (EDI). By using the Loads API, a carrier or brokerage can set up a direct connection with shippers to receive load offers directly in the TMS. With the Locations API, the platform can send and receive automatic shipment tracking updates to shippers.
PCS partnered with Drivewyze, Thermo King, and Uber Freight, to release three strategic integrations. The Drivewyze PreClear weigh station bypass service and notifications are now available via the driver version of Mobile Express. Thermo King adds trailer GPS locations, temperatures, fuel levels, alerts, and other visibility tools to the platform for managing temperature-controlled logistics. The integration with Uber Freight automates manual processes, including carrier matching, pricing loads and invoicing.
Reporting and Payments
Carrier TMS users now have direct access in the system to an embedded Asset Tracking Management (ATM) feature, which provides a digital map view of tractors, trailers and loads with filter and search functions. Previously, users accessed ATM by clicking on a link to open the map view in a separate browser.
As part of the release, PCS created additional reports and data visualizations for PCS Business Intelligence, a reporting module that gives complete database access to users of the platform through a hosted business intelligence solution.
Another update is for PCS Payments Express, a module that carriers and brokerages use to add a “Pay Now” button to email invoices. With the update, users can now charge fees to their customers for credit card payments. Users can also set up no-fee ACH payments.
About PCS Software
PCS Software is an AI-driven transportation management platform leader fielding disruptive innovation for mid-to-large sized enterprise shippers, carriers, and brokers in the United States and Canada. Cloud-based, API-integrated, PCS Software automates the entire transportation logistics operation via a single, comprehensive solution. Accessible via the web or the companion mobile app, the PCS platform delivers powerful functionality to manage rate and route optimization, mode selection, dispatch/tendering, carrier and fleet management, safety & compliance, freight yard management, settlement/accounting and more. For more information, please visit www.PCSSoft.com.
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In this video, we discuss how transportation management system platforms can give transportation and logistics users greater visibility of important daily activities to reduce business risks. Visibility can go beyond simple track-and-trace functions to help managers with strategic decisions and be used with new tools to optimize load planning efficiency and accuracy. TMS platforms with artificial intelligence (AI) now have all the resources that shippers and their carriers need to work smarter and faster. Read the full Q&A transcription below.
Q: Transportation management is just not about moving loads but also reducing risk, such as fees when shipments do not meet customers’ “on time in full” requirements. What are some examples of how technology—specifically TMS platforms—can give transportation and logistics users visibility of risks they should be accounting for in their daily activities?
A: The first example that comes to mind is simple track and trace. Basically, answering the simple question, “Where is my freight?” So, at any given time, users of the transportation management system should be able to understand where their loads are, and what the estimated time of arrival is for those loads to make sure that those loads are going to arrive on time and be alerted when they’re not. One key capability is track and trace and full visibility. Another key capability is the ability to properly calculate the estimated time of arrival. By using machine learning, our transportation management platform gives customers the ability to get very precise updates as to the time that their freight is going to arrive. And of course, reducing risk also involves optimization of resources. Making sure that I’m getting the most out of my resources, and that my individual drivers and their equipment are in the place where they need to be when they need to be there.
Q: Events of the past year elevated the role of transportation and logistics managers, considering the vital role they played in helping to reduce the risks of stock outs and dealing with supply chain disruptions. What are some things shippers should be assessing now to make strategic decisions to reduce risks that will pay dividends for the rest of the year? How can TMS technology help?
A: You say that the role of a supply chain manager has been elevated and that’s probably true in the last year, but those roles have been critically important to running international business for many, many years. It’s gotten much more visibility in recent times because of some of the supply chain challenges that you’ve seen. But the reality is, it is as important today that we deliver a transportation management system to our shippers that gives them the ability to get full visibility as to where their freight is, and gives them the ability to understand not just where their freight is, but where it’s going to be. When I go and I determine how I’m going to ship orders from a warehouse and the trucks that I’m going to put them on to ensure that those trucks are loaded properly. Transportation Management Systems have to help our customers make sure that those loads are loaded properly because every time that there’s an error or a mistake, that creates a problem with the delivery of freight. It’s also important that shippers have a clear understanding of the inbound freight as well. If I’m in a manufacturing warehouse, I need the ability to understand where my freight is. If it’s coming in containers across the ocean, and when they are going to arrive in my warehouse so that I have those goods and can redistribute those goods across my transportation network.
Q: Freight rates hit record levels last year and continue to challenge transportation budgets. To mitigate cost risks, what tools can shippers use to analyze and, in some cases, optimize their operations? For instance, how can tools improve routing or modal mixtures to help stabilize costs and service levels?
A: When shippers are using transportation management systems, what they are doing is looking at all of the orders that are getting in from their ERP system. And they’re determining how best to load those orders onto a truck or set of trucks or rail. And then they’re trying to determine the most efficient way to deliver those orders to market. The most important thing that a shipper can do to drive down freight costs is make sure that that operation is as efficient as possible. Let me give you an example. The example would be if I’ve got 500 orders and I’ve got to put those 500 orders onto trucks. If I don’t do that properly, I could actually end up with one load per order. I could literally be delivering 500 orders independently. Whereas if I have some capability, such as PCS’ load optimizer or load fusion. We have the ability to say you have a grouping of orders, split those orders into loads, and then put those loads on the trucks based on the routing of that truck. And I can literally save myself hundreds of trips per year simply by optimizing the way that I’m loading my orders on the trucks. That’s probably the number one thing you can do when you’re looking at saving money is to make sure that you’ve got TMS that actually gives you the ability to optimize the orders as you’re putting them into loads on trucks. Otherwise, you will make many unnecessary stops. I’ll give you an example. This is kind of a funny story. But Amazon came to my house three times yesterday. I honestly believe that Amazon could have come to my house one time yesterday. I know where their warehouse is, but because they’re not running as efficiently as they can, they are making multiple stops that cost them a lot of money. By appropriately putting orders on the trucks and delivering the market in the most optimized way, and leveraging AI technology to do that. You can actually reduce those numbers of stops by hundreds.
Q: The state of the supply chain has made it necessary for shippers to re-evaluate and change their sourcing strategies to get materials and transport capacity. Are there new tools available that can help with capacity procurement?
A: At PCS we’ve been focused just on this problem. And what the problem is putting the right carriers in contact with the right shippers. There are new innovations coming out that give shippers that are on the PCS platform, the ability to get visibility into all the carriers on the PCS platform. Of course, the carriers that have asked to give visibility to our shippers. This capability, called carrier address book, shows that we are certainly doing our part to make sure that our shippers have more carriers to choose from. We also have the ability to ingest data from a wide variety of sources and connect to partners. For example, our shippers now have the ability to distribute freight using Uber freight. They can tender loads to Uber freight, where they now have access to the huge array of carriers that are available to Uber. These partnerships and to our own carriers, and through third parties such as Uber freight provide much more capacity to our various shippers and all the shippers that are using the platform.
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TMS solutions were among the first enterprise applications to move to the cloud, and software-as-a-service is the preferred deployment model today. Cloud-based TMS solutions save time, money and give shippers a scalable solution that can grow with their business.
These were among the points made by Chris Noble, senior product manager of PCS Software, when he recently discussed the benefits of cloud based TMS systems with Adrian Gonzales, president of Adelante SCM and host of Talking Logistics.
One of the primary benefits is the ease of use. On-premise solutions require extensive investments in hardware and data redundancy, such as server racks, and an IT team to maintain these systems. On-premise solutions also need a disaster relief plan or secondary service in case something goes wrong.
With SaaS, the provider takes care of data redundancy and security, which all but eliminates the overhead for maintaining IT systems, since everything is in the cloud and accessed via the internet. “It is on the software provider to have the 99.5% uptime. They’re leveraging the solutions that are out there,” Noble said.
Cloud-based solutions are also portable and can be accessed from anywhere, providing added convenience. Even more important is the scalability that cloud-based solutions offer. With SaaS, companies can scale up and down as their needs grow.
For companies looking to invest in a transportation management system for the first time or replace an outdated solution, Noble said they should look for a scalable, modular type of TMS solution to navigate the road ahead.
Besides evaluating whether a TMS meets your present needs, Gonzales emphasized the need to consider future needs, such as if you decide to add a private fleet.
“As the business changes and business needs change, you want a solution that will be there for a long time,” Noble said. He added that TMS providers are continually making investments in software to make it better, faster and stronger.
It is more important than ever for shippers to become a ‘shipper of choice’ to effectively source capacity. A capacity shortage is affecting the entire transportation industry, but shippers can set themselves apart in the eyes of carriers by doing two things better than the rest: minimizing dwell time and improving communication.
Shippers can accomplish both with a transportation management system (TMS), according to Chris Noble, senior product manager of PCS Software. During a recent webinar, Noble discussed with supply chain logistics analyst and advisor Adrian Gonzales, president of Adelante SCM, how shippers can use a TMS to better source and retain capacity.
Dwell time is a top concern among transportation providers because it creates a ripple effect throughout their networks. It can cause drivers to miss their reloads, to run out of legal driving hours, or not arrive home on time to be with their families.
TMS platforms that connect shippers and carriers give both sets of users insights by capturing and analyzing data to identify arrival and departure times. If there are consistent delays, carriers can use data to steer conversations with shippers, and vice versa.
Carriers have options in today’s market, and “if I am looking at two shippers or two consignees with similar lanes, similar origin, definition and similar rate, I’m going to pick the one that I can get into and out of,” Noble said.
Another way that shippers can use a TMS to reduce dwell time is by identifying when it occurs. For example, it might take a consignee six hours to unload a truck when drivers arrive at 6 a.m., but the dwell time drops to one or two hours if drivers come at 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. With these insights a shipper could work with carriers to create an ideal schedule.
The last couple of years have prompted shippers and carriers to remove data silos and increase collaboration. Historically there has been an “us versus them” mentality where shippers want to get the best discount and carriers want to get top dollar for a lane. Today they are working together to create a win-win scenario, said Gonzales.
Data must be at the center of any effective carrier and shipper conversations. “Grounding the conversations in data will typically provide a more robust and less emotional conversation,” Noble said. Using a TMS platform that gives shippers and carriers a single version of the truth helps both parties create mutually beneficial transportation plans.
Shippers take multiple approaches to transportation procurement, from conducting annual bids and mini-bids to using the spot market, but in today’s operating environment no one can afford to take a set-it-and-forget-it approach.
In response to dynamic market conditions, a growing number of shippers and carriers are finding ways to work together to create mutually beneficial outcomes.
Chris Noble, senior product manager of PCS Software, sat down with Adrian Gonzales, president of Adelante SCM and host of Talking Logistics, to discuss how the procurement process has changed.
Pre-pandemic, there was typically an annual bid process whereby shippers would contract with carriers, line up their routing guide, make buying commitments, and then execute the plan with monthly or quarterly reviews. All of that changed as price volatility increased the differential between contract rates and the spot market.
Unfortunately, many shippers had to discard contract rates because carriers weren’t accepting loads for various reasons and move to the spot market.
Today, the bid process from a rating perspective is shorter, and shippers and carriers have to communicate more. “When you’re in a rising rate environment or a fluctuating rate environment, which is where we are, you really have to go back to the data,” Noble said, adding that it is essential to have access to information on lanes, historical rates and previous business practices.
Gonzalez noted that a transportation management system is a business intelligence and analytics tool rich in data. It can help provide a single source of truth for both parties to rely on when having conversations and making decisions. “You can take historical and operational real-time data and leverage that as you’re having conversations with your carriers,” he said.
As part of the new normal, both Noble and Gonzales say to expect a lot more communication and collaboration. What’s more, the ability to make decisions and have conversations based on data means everybody is grounded, and no one is trying to hide information.
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