Case Study - Dock Scheduling
Using C3 Reservations to Manage Freight Billing
How to Use C3 Reservations for More than Just Dock Scheduling
We regularly obtain compliments from customers saying that implementing C3 Reservations has been a game-changer for their operations. The process efficiency, visibility and reporting analytics provide benefits beyond minimizing driver wait times and eliminating emails and phone calls related to scheduling.
Few have been more insistent than the transport manager at a major home furnishings retailer who even ventured to say we "sell ourselves short’" by simply calling it a 'scheduling software.'
In this case study, we’ll touch on how this dock scheduling software saves them hours of tedious labour related to freight billing.
In a Hurry?
This retailer’s transportation department needed to approve carrier invoices every week.
The customer receives a spreadsheet from each carrier with an established contract rate and fuel surcharge clause based on the weekly DOE (Department of Energy) fuel index.
Before forwarding invoices to the payment office, the team needs to reconcile, go back and forth with the carriers, and receive the manager’s approval on changes.
The frustration - and labour-consuming nature - of constantly having to process this data with Excel sheets manually was what eventually pushed the manager of this retail operation to begin searching for better solutions. They started searching online for a freight billing software tool but quickly realized that most of the information (the suppliers, the carriers, the FOB (Freight on Board) point, their warehouse destinations) was already in C3 Reservations.
Never one to back away from a challenge or opportunity to put our system to the test, the C3 Team gave it a shot, and the results were surprising! The big question was, could we upload the carrier rate file and automatically create a weekly report based on all the arrived delivery appointments? We had never done that before, but it sure made sense.
The C3 Solution
Leveraging the strengths of C3 Reservations, including the highly configurable workflows and layouts, extensive Web APIs and a rule engine that includes the possibility of uploading a data file, C3’s Business Analyst went to work on creating a report tailored to the retailer’s needs.
The carriers were already an integral part of the process. They all used the scheduling portal to confirm the pickup at the supplier and select an appointment time at the retailer’s warehouse. Luckily, C3’s system sends the FOB point through Web APIs with the PO header and line details. What was left was to import the data file with the fuel rates and surcharges and create rules that mapped the relationships between FOB points, destination and the rates.
The result is that now, every week, the retailer uploads the latest DOE fuel data file and runs the report on the weekly carrier deliveries across their network. This report is visible on their carriers’ portal and gives the billing department access. The benefits include eliminating hours of tedious data entry, Excel manipulations and most importantly, the risk of human error.
Kudos to the transportation manager for thinking outside the box and challenging us to be creative in applying our scheduling software in innovative ways.
C3 often improves its products based on customer feedback and real-world experiences like the one described.
We often say scheduling is much more than booking a time slot. It’s a cornerstone of supply chain visibility, improved flow-through traffic, and creating more collaboration at each link in the supply chain.
There's nothing we love more at C3 than when a client comes to us with a pain point that inspires us to configure our solutions in ways that get us thinking outside of the box!
- Alexandra Imhof,
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