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Step by step walkthrough

The Shipper TMS, or Transport Management System, is designed to streamline the workflow of brokers and shippers. It automates time-consuming tasks, provides order tracking and carrier updates, and includes our powerful price quoting tool, Calcatron. 

Shipper TMS is a completely integrated end-to-end solution, from furnishing your customer with a quote, to posting to a load board, to dispatching to the carrier and managing the order to completion.

Let us walk you through the process...

Preparing a quote 

Quotes can come into your system in three main ways. Those that are generated by the customer (though your API) appear in the Quotes tab, either as a full quote, ready to order, or as a dropped order to be followed up on. There are also the quotes generated by your sales agents. 

To generate a new quote, click on the Calculator icon in the top right of the screen to enter the price generator tool. This is the most advanced in the industry and uses current market trends and advanced machine learning in addition to historical data to provide the most accurate price for the customer and carrier. 

For a full quote, enter the customer’s details, followed by the pick-up and drop off information by city, state or zip code. Then add the car details and required transport type. Hit Calculate to generate the quote.

The detailed quote shows all the factors that have been taken into consideration for the price. The vehicle details are compared against a mid-size sedan (2012 Honda Civic), with the price differential shown. A price difference is also shown for the enclosed transport, if selected. 

Clickable items in the quote provide a map of the quoted journey, images of the selected make of car and a map of the available zip codes in the pick-up and drop-off areas. You can also see more detailed route information, including population sizes, states and total distance, to help explain the price to the customer. 

The price is shown to the right of the quote, starting with the carrier charge. Then, under the Total column, your deposit, which represents your company’s pre-set margin, the discounted price for cash payment and the regular price. Underneath are the discounted and regular prices for the reverse journey. 

Below your quote, you’ll see similar quotes and orders that have been previously generated, with information on the price to the customer, as well as how much the carrier was paid for the job. You can also click the Central Dispatch button above, to view similar live posts on the load board. 

Brokers can then email the quote straight to the customer for consideration, with the ability to add any extra comments or files before sending. The quote is then stored in the system for when the customer responds or the agent follows up by phone. 

To complete the quote process, use the buttons below to create an order, either at the discounted or regular rates. To create an order, all the customer information must be complete. 

Creating an order 

To create an order from an existing quote, find it under the Quote tab and click on the quote number. Here, you can make any necessary changes in the Edit Quote tab and add notes. Once you’re happy, under the Take Action menu, select the Promote to Order button and choose the appropriate referrer and price type. 

To create an order from scratch, go to the New Order icon at the top right of the page. Fill in all the customer details, pick up and delivery information. Use the drop-down lists to select an existing customer in your system, and to copy the contact information into either the pick up or delivery section.  

When adding the First Available shipping Date (FAD), you should input the customer’s availability for pick-up and delivery, along with any restrictions. You can also choose to adjust the dates or restrictions that are posted to the load board. 

For the vehicle information, select if they are operable, the type of transport required, the damage report type and any relevant comments. Vehicles can be added individually by year, make and model or by VIN. Multiple cars can also be added using the import by VIN button. 

Hit the Suggest Rate button to use the integrated price engine for either a regular or discounted price and the Calculate Pay button to update the carrier price, based on your vehicle pricing and margin. You can also check current values on Central Dispatch for reference. 

Hit Create Order to move this into the main Orders tab. The orders are color coded in each of the tabs, depending on their status. Green orders are ready to post, blue needs verification and orange have an AVS mismatch.

Posting to a load board

Find the order from the Order tab and click on the order number to open. Check all the details are correct, including the delivery and availability dates. If you need to change or add information, use the Edit Order tab and hit Update Order at the bottom to confirm. 

If there have been required changes to the order, you can send a Revised Receipt (ROR) request to the customer, from the Take Action menu, or choose from one of the email templates in the drop-down list.  

To ensure a smooth workflow, you can set a verification note on the order when waiting for the customer to come back on details, request authorisation on a price change from a supervisor, or set a series of reminders for you to come back to the order. 

The payment details must be completed before the order is posted. Within the Payments tab, select a customer profile from the Authorize.net drop down menu, or create a new profile if the customer is not already on the system. This will allow you to verify the payment in advance. 

You can then use the Payment tab, to record any payments made on the order, between the broker and the carrier or the customer. 

Use the Suggest Carriers button to find carriers in your database that have taken similar orders in the past, and email them the information directly, even before it goes onto a load board. 

To post the order to a load board, click the Setup Posting Strategy button to create an offer that increases in price over time, automatically. Alternatively, choose the Setup Single Posting button for a set price. You will be offered a choice of posting to Central Dispatch in addition to the Ship.Cars load board, and to offer instant booking for verified carriers. 

With the posting strategy option, you are asked to choose an initial carrier fee. The price will then be raised automatically over a number of days until the order is taken or your maximum price is reached. By dragging the handles above the calendar across multiple days, you can change when the price rises. 

Add any relevant notes to the posts for each chosen load board platform, and then hit the Post button to schedule it. 

Order management 

Posted orders appear in the Posted tab, and you can filter them based on where they are posted to, as well as by those that are at the end of their pay posting strategy but are yet to be accepted. 

To view your current orders on the Ship.Cars Market Load Board, click on the Market tab at the top right of the page. From here, you can accept orders from carriers directly or negotiate by offering an alternate price.

Orders can be dispatched from the Market Load Board by accepting an offer, or manually, under the Take Action menu from within the order on the Shipper TMS platform. 

Check the pick-up and delivery details and add the dispatch sheet dates as agreed. Add the carrier information, either by name, MC number, DOT number or phone number. 

Depending on the carrier, you can choose between paper BOL and dispatch sheets, or digital records using the Ship.Cars system. Add any relevant comments or instructions below and check the pricing information and terms before hitting Dispatch Order.  

Orders should move naturally through Posted, Not Signed, Dispatched and Picked-Up, with real-time updates, or using the Take Action menu to move it along manually, if the carrier is not using the Ship.Cars system. 

If there are problems with the payment, the order can also end up in the Issues tab for your accounting team to examine. 

Extra features 

The color coding within the tabs helps to identify any problems along the order process. While Green indicates that all is good to go, Orange suggests that the billing info doesn’t match, Yellow that the order is nearing or at its due date and Red that it is past due. 

The smart search bar allows you to quickly find your order using a range of identifiers and will recognise the type of information you are searching with. You can also use the Tags to search across all tabs and the My Orders to identify your loads.

Use the Customer and Carrier directories to store your returning contacts to make the ordering process faster. Names can then be picked from the dropdown list in the order to autofill the information. The User list is to allow you to add multiple users within your company.

The Reports section provides a vast selection of reports to monitor your team’s performance, from financial to operations, that can all be customised and downloaded. It also allows you to monitor users and logins to your system by email and IP, to avoid any bots or hacks. 

The preferences option is available for your admin users and allows you to not only input your company information, but also set margins for quotes, email templates and access settings. 

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