McLeod Users Conference 2016

Posted by Jonathan May 09/16/2016

 

Two Major Releases since UC2015

McLeod Software has continued our rapid pace of development and investment in our products.  Since our last User Conference in Birmingham, nearly a year ago, we have had two major releases of our flagship LoadMaster® Enterprise and PowerBroker® systems, with a broad range of new capabilities and integration solutions in each release.  In this document, we will hit some of the highlights.

McLeod IQ

McLeod IQ gives our customers the ability to access and analyze LoadMaster, PowerBroker and other 3rd Party data simply using Microsoft Excel, or with a wide variety of popular reporting tools. McLeod IQ

utilizes the Microsoft Business Intelligence stack to create a multidimensional cube that aggregates all of the customer’s important metric data in a way that is easier than ever to understand, report, and analyze.

This new product was built using Microsoft’s data cube architecture and lets our customers view their important Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) against any type of dimensional data (i.e. Customer/Location/Driver), to let them explore relationships and correlations that are not normally easy to see from standard reports.

For McLeod customers who already had the most robust reporting tools in the industry, this adds a new way to “slice and dice” the data, giving them the ability to change the way they decide to calculate their KPIs.

McLeod IQ also provides access to the data warehouse for users to pull in other data sources that may not be part of their McLeod system, such as the information from their mobile communications and maintenance systems. Users can access the data warehouse directly using a drag and drop feature with pivot tables in Microsoft Excel.  Customers may also decide to use the full Microsoft Power BI suite of analysis and reporting tools with McLeod IQ.

With the ability to explore relationships between different variables, customers can take their analysis to a higher level and see things that should influence critical decisions about the business.

 

Logix Solutions

Another major new family of products was introduced in the last year, McLeod Logix Solutions.  These applications are integral to the LoadMaster and PowerBroker systems, built with McLeod’s FlowLogix workflow automation product. Each Logix Solutions product provides an out-of-the-box, end-to-end business process automation and business process management solution. These products have the additional advantage of being customizable using FlowLogix Designer and eForms Designer, which allows McLeod or our customer to easily and inexpensively make adjustments and changes to the flow of work, the data collected or used, checkpoints or validation points, and changing the outputs or exception queues for that business process.  There are five new Logix Solutions products for 2016 and many more on the way.

Logix Solutions Automated Collections

The new Logix Solutions Automated Collections module is a comprehensive collections automation solution that can be added to the LoadMaster or PowerBroker system. It is equivalent to gaining a free staff member to manage collections. With this automation, customers will see their DSO drop right away, while they unburden the daily routine tasks in the collections cycle.

 

Logix Solutions eRate Confirmation

The Logix Solutions eRate Confirmation module lets PowerBroker users structure a sound, but completely paperless and fax free, process to quickly send and receive carrier rate confirmations.

 

Logix Solutions Carrier Onboarding

The Logix Solutions Carrier Onboarding module adds another powerful layer of business process automation to give PowerBroker users the ability to cover more loads faster and onboard new carriers with a fraction of the effort or typical delays.

 

Logix Solutions Billing & Settlements

The Logix Solutions Billing and Settlements module delivers all of the business process automation carriers and brokers need to accurately compose and get their bills out the door, while skipping most of the non-value added work and only dealing with the exceptions that need attention.

 

Logix Solutions Accounts Payable

McLeod’s Logix Solutions’ new Accounts Payable module delivers business process automation that our customers have been asking for to help manage their payables process. As with all Logix Solutions products, this module automates the routine and allows  people to deal only with the exceptions that need attention.             

InGauge  and the TCA Benchmark Program

Working with TCA inGauge, TCA’s online benchmarking service, McLeod Software has created automated reporting functions that let our customers generate, with the click of a mouse, the monthly data exports from their LoadMaster system, which are necessary for the Benchmarking program. This includes an automated data export for all 334 items submitted monthly by the Best Practice Group members and the 72 items submitted by the on-line subscribers in this program.

This new product makes the accurate export of the required data as simple and fast as it can possibly be; it has been tested with the InGauge system used to collect the benchmarking data. This saves labor hours and ensures consistency in creating the data imported by inGauge.

Google Places

McLeod customers can now leverage “Google Places” to help them clearly identify stops. This new integration with Google Places API has been added for LoadMaster and PowerBroker. As a user adds a new location or customer, a search string can be sent to Google Places to return the appropriate match. Once selected, all of the available master file data is updated with the information. This simplifies the data entry process and provides a mechanism to prevent duplicate records by utilizing the Google Places ID.

McLeod Market Insight

Market Insight collects rate data from hundreds of active McLeod customers every day, and compiles detailed average rate data for lanes between 130+ markets in the U.S. Because all of the contributors are current McLeod LoadMaster or PowerBroker users, this view of the market rates represents companies of substantial size, and gives a different perspective for McLeod customers when compared to the data sourced from other rate aggregators.

We continue to add enhancements to Market Insight, and one goal this year was to help our customers understand current market rates at a deeper level to help guide their internal pricing decisions. Power Matrix is a new Market Insight tool designed to help our customers become smarter and more efficient with their lane pricing. This feature will generate a spreadsheet, complete with average linehaul rates for quick state-to-state pricing based on a variety of available parameters. including time frame, rate type, and trailer type, in order to generate a matrix that can be printed or referenced in situations where an average rate-per-mile is quickly needed.

Another new Market Insight tool, the Bulk Rate Template, has been created to allow users to submit a spreadsheet of city, state, lane pairs and receive Market Insight rates of their choosing. The new template will calculate billing and fuel miles for the lane pairs during the process. These enhancements make it easy for users to provide flat rate quotes a customer bid proposal.

 

Pricing & Bid Management

Adoption of McLeod’s Pricing & Bid Management product for PowerBroker and Loadmaster has continued to grow, spurred especially by the uptick in shipper RFPs this year. New features added during the last year make this product more attractive than ever. Pricing & Bid Management provides an environment inside the customer’s system to import shipper RFPs, work them, then export the finished bid in the shipper’s required format.

The Pricing Scoreboard within McLeod’s Pricing & Bid Management module presents each lane in the bid as a row in a configurable grid within the LoadMaster and PowerBroker environment to make it easier to sort columns of data in any order and compare rates by lanes. A new Excel export lets customers move the data to that tool in the same format.

Market area definitions have been added to lane segments, so customers can use them to group lanes within the scoreboard and make it easier to sort, see, and address similar lanes. The Bid Processor import tool will complete missing city/state/zip detail by validating the imported details from the shipper RFP against the city table, and compare the detail against the system’s city table to find missing fields. Completing the lane bids in the scoreboard with valid cities ensures accurate mileage lookups and the correct assignment of market areas in the bid process. This is important since shipper RFPs tend to shortchange lane mileage from what the carrier or broker actually needs to cover.

PNN & Carrier Preferences for Brokerage

PowerBroker’s Private Notification Network (PNN) module helps brokers identify the right carriers in their existing carrier base to offer the types of loads that fit their preferences. PNN automates the entire process to save time and help brokers cover more loads faster. In the last year, the capabilities of this module were improved and expanded based on user feedback. PNN has a brand new version of the Available Loads report, sent to carriers, that makes it easier to read and understand along with new built-in hyperlinks for loads, which carriers simply click on for the loads they are interested in.

PNN’s carrier preferences have been restructured to create a more detailed carrier lane definition for a carrier’s preferences. Using the more detailed data in lane definitions, it is possible to set up very finely tuned lane filtering for the broker’s existing carriers, and get faster, more accurate representations of the lanes that are truly of interest to those carriers. The new automation and presentation options in PNN make it simple to identify the loads that match the freight a particular carrier is looking for and offer it to them.

Helping Brokers Better Manage and Grow their Carrier Base

Another significant area of investment in the last year has been finding new ways to help brokers grow and sustain their base of high quality carriers. New features in PowerBroker put McLeod customers ahead of the game by having the best tools in the industry.

Carrier Relationship Management

Just as McLeod’s Customer Relationship Management system, integral to LoadMaster and PowerBroker, is about finding new customers, we have added a new product within PowerBroker that shares most of the same capabilities, but aimed solely at building and executing the broker’s carrier recruiting strategies. These new Carrier Relationship Management capabilities allow management teams to establish defined action plans to contact and maintain carrier relationships.

And just as Customer Relationship Management works, each carrier can be assigned a salesperson and/or a carrier relationship manager. Marketing programs and recurring calls can be set up and tracked. The module provides a CRM type workflow for carrier recruitment. 

 

Carrier Onboarding Automation

Earlier in this document, we referred to the Logix Solutions Carrier Onboarding product that is now part of PowerBroker. This solution not only to automates the onboarding process, but also makes it easier for carriers to do business with McLeod PowerBroker customers, because  they no longer have to print out forms, fill them out, then fax them back.

With absolutely no paper required, the solution utilizes our Carrier Packet eForm and is driven by a detailed workflow. The evaluation of prospective carriers is fully automated, utilizing PowerBroker and specific rules the broker sets to determine if the carrier meets the requirements. Criteria collected from

3rd party carrier services, as well as insurance information in PowerBroker, are all used in qualifying carriers and determining if they are acceptable within the broker’s defined levels of risk tolerance.

The system is setup to automatically review, approve, or reject the prospective carriers quickly, while giving the broker visibility into the entire onboarding process. Following carrier activation, the management solution monitors PowerBroker for expiring insurance documents, and automatically sends an eForm to those carriers, prompting them to submit the updated paperwork.

New Integration Solutions

McLeod Software is differentiated in our industry by the number of fully supported integration solutions we offer with industry leading products offered by our over 87 certified integration partners.  And this list continues to grow. Below are listed the new integration solutions and enhancements to existing integration solutions that have been added since our last User Conference.

Load Tracking for PowerBroker

In-Cab Mobile Communications

Trailer Tracking

VoIP Phone Systems

Fuel Cards

Carrier Onboarding, Monitoring, and Loadboards

Preparing for the Food Safety Modernization Act 

Since the new food safety rules for transportation were published back in the spring of this year, McLeod Software has been studying how the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is going to impact our customers. We have been in discussion with our refrigerated carriers and brokers, who will need to work with their food shippers to put in place the right training, procedures, processes, and reporting for compliance. These changes have great potential to add to the total cost of handling refrigerated food shipments. While our current LoadMaster system has all the elements to support the FSMA requirements for carriers, we see a great opportunity to help both our carrier and brokerage customers with robust automation that helps them deal with the wide variety and diversity of shipper FSMA requirements they are likely to face. 

Upcoming Products Announced at this Conference

McLeod Software continues to be the industry leader in providing mobile applications that expand our customer’s ability to use their system away from the office. We have over two hundred current LoadMaster and PowerBroker customers who have deployed McLeod Anywhere, our mobile application that extends the functionality of LoadMaster and PowerBroker to phones and tablets.

At last year’s conference, we introduced our Customer Branded Driver App for carriers, and it has already been deployed to thousands of drivers across the country. This year we are pulling the wraps off even more mobile solutions for our customers.

McLeod Logix Anywhere

This product will take FlowLogix applications and use cases to mobile devices and web browsers with a development environment that lets customers structure workflows or whole applications, using McLeod FlowLogix, then deploy them across the full spectrum of mobile devices.

McLeod Carrier Mobile App for PowerBroker

This new mobile app for iOS and Android devices offers the same capabilities of the current PowerBroker carrier portal, and much more. It can be used by the office staff at the broker’s carriers to see and accept load offers and view settlement information. A separate component app can be downloaded by the carrier’s driver to provide load tracking, collection of trip documents, and capturing OS&D Claims.

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