Corporate Solutions Logistics is a UK-based leading edge provider of managed logistics solutions for transport, warehousing, health and safety, environmental issues and other key areas of the supply chain. They provide a range of flexible solutions to companies looking to improve the cost and efficiency of their distribution.
With only a small operations team managing around 1,500 shipments a week, a majority of their effort and process time was spent manually rating sub-contractors to find options for job allocations, managing customer and sub-contractor communications, and manual processing of purchase orders and sub-contractor invoices. To enable more efficient operations whilst growing the number of customers and dealing with an increasingly demanding market, Corporate Solutions Logistics turned to soﬅware for the answer.
Magenta Technology was commissioned to deliver CSL Live – a highly customised version of Magenta’s Haulier Management System (HMS) Control Tower – to provide a comprehensive scheduling decision making support tool and an online collaboration platform that allows the sharing of information with customers and sub-contractors in a controlled and secure environment.
Managing up to 1,500 shipments a week manually with a small operational team was a complex and stressful task involving:
- adding new shipments and dealing with complicated customer requests;
- analysing options for shipment allocations from a large fleet of sub-contractors – all with their own preferences, prices, selection of licenses, quality and performance rates;
- handling all customer and sub-contractor communications regarding shipment allocation;
- organising reporting and invoicing for both customers and sub-contractors.
Corporate Solutions Logistics’ aggressive business growth plans and the requirements of modern logistics markets did not allow for inefficiencies of manual processes prone to human error, repeated data entry and unnecessary telephone and email communications and therefore a new approach was required. Aﬅer thorough research on vendors and available soﬅware packages, Corporate Solutions Logistics selected Magenta’s HMS Control Tower.
Magenta’s Dispatch Software
CSL Live, the solution implemented by Magenta for Corporate Solutions Logistics, is based on Magenta’s Haulier Management System (HMS) Control Tower. This comprehensive scheduling, collaboration and decision-making support tool is aimed at helping 3PL and 4PL providers and road freight forwarders manage their margins. It comprises three key modules – back-office job management and scheduling decision-making support tool, and online portals for customers and sub-contractors.
The back-office job management and scheduling decision-making support module allows the operational team of Corporate Solutions Logistics to:
- manage shipments and monitor and track their statuses;
- define pricing and strategies to be used in operations;
- quickly allocate shipments to the most suitable sub-contractors based on a sophisticated automated ranking structure using a variety of factors including customer’s and sub-contractors’ preferences, pricing, dynamic capacity of subcontractors, operating licenses, past performance and service quality;
- find backhaul trips for sub-contractors at a glance;
- review operating efficiency, customer billing, service reports and sub-contractor KPIs.
With the job locations and routes clearly visually represented on the maps, CSL Live gave schedulers an invaluable tool for being in full control of their fleet of subcontractors and status of shipments.
The Online Customer Portal within CSL Live has been designed to enable the customers of Corporate Solutions Logistics to add, manage and track the progress of their shipments online. The automatic notifications and confirmations, reporting and self-billing facilities available online have provided high transparency of the shipping process on the customers’ side, putting them in control and considerably reducing the workload of the Corporate Solutions Logistics operational team.
Magenta’s solution has also provided an Online Sub-Contractor Portal that brought Corporate Solutions Logistics considerably closer to their carriers. Automatic notifications on allocated jobs, facilities for declining or accepting such jobs and updating shipments’ statuses have taken a lot of stress out of Corporate Solutions Logistics’ operational team’s work. The portal also enables sub-contractors to see the list of available jobs and request preferred jobs online.
By delivering the solution and configuring HMS Control Tower to fit Corporate Solution Logistics’ needs, Magenta Technology made sure Corporate Solutions Logistics were not required to adjust their business processes to fit the solution as is oﬅen required by other vendors’ solutions. Corporate Solution Logistics were able to customise the system to ensure it was 100% fit for purpose; reducing implementation time and effort, costs and minimising change management. Magenta Technology proved to be an excellent technology partner for Corporate Solutions Logistics, responding efficiently and quickly to Corporate Solutions Logistics’ change requests and developing new functionality as required for operations and new market developments – again, a service that was not available from other vendors.
Investing in CSL Live proved to be an essential step in achieving the business goals defined by Corporate Solutions Logistics at the core of their development strategy. It has become a vital component of the operational infrastructure which has proved to help Corporate Solutions Logistics:
- Automate business processes and considerably reduce the workload on the operational team. This provided a considerable saving in the operational team’s time with:
- 75% reduction of process time in scheduling and communications due to availability of automatic rating and confirmation emails upon allocation of shipments;
- 75% reduction of process time saved on purchase orders processing through automation of the process and availability of sub-contractor portal;
- 25% reduction of time in processing supplier invoices;
- 10% reduction in time saved on overall shipment management and related communications;
- 14% increase in workload with the same size planning team.
- This enabled the operational team to concentrate more on organising sub-contractors, following up on jobs and focusing on what happens on the site – ultimately enabling better customer service levels with 99% of deliveries being made on time.
- Retain and grow the number of customers who consider availability of the solution an important benefit of the provider, as it ensures accuracy of operations, flexibility of approach and excellence of service. The introduction of CSL Live proved to considerably reduce the sales cycle for obtaining new customers.
- Manage a larger number of sub-contractors, customers and jobs with the same size operational team. Over the two years since the solution has been put in place, there has been a 14% increase in the total number of jobs – with 4% more jobs coming from existing customers.
- Become closer to their suppliers by allowing them to reinforce the quality requirements through improved communications and being able to easily track and trace them.
- Reduced operator stress for the day-to-day operations and created a better working environment.