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Precision Quality Software, Inc.
In 1996, our company created a fuel expense tracking system for Younker Trucking, a local trucking company in northern Nevada.
In 1998, our company worked with Trade Show Express, a trucking and logistics company based in Fountain Valley, Southern California. They were transitioning away from a non-DOS, non-Windows database that automated the heart of their operational work flow. Using the software library that we’d developed and polished in-house, we rapidly created a working custom database software system that they then used and extended over many years.
In the early 2000s, our company started working with Pyramid Logistics, a trucking and logistics company that currently has three branches: Westminster (Southern California), Las Vegas (Nevada) and Orlando (Florida). They became a Mayflower agent in 2007, and we assisted them with a variety of Mayflower-specific process automation extensions to their custom database software, which we had created.
Pyramid Logistics is probably a case study in good automation and high operational efficiency, and we’re proud to have been the software developers enabling each of the items below:
Minimized Data Entry Effort
Pyramid Logistics enters its shipment information using a very efficient custom database system that tracks clients, trade shows, addresses and such. To the extent that a shipment involves data with a value that has been used before, the data entry person simply points to the pre-existing record. This reduces data entry time, mistakes and disk space.
Data Feed to Mayflower
Fairly recently, Mayflower introduced a process whereby much of the data underlying a shipment need not be hand-entered into their RORD mainframe system any more. A Mayflower agent can upload the data automatically. This reduces mistakes, and the time required to process a shipment.
To maximize clarity in communications with its clients, Pyramid Logistics designed its own custom invoice format, and with permission from Mayflower, it generates its own invoices for some of its clients. The invoices are automatically printed for mailing and generated as Adobe PDF images. The images enable customer service agents to conveniently access relaible invoice information for any shipment, in case of an inquiry or the need to reprint the invoice.
For many years now, Pyramid Logistics has provided a Web-based gateway with which clients can check on the status of a shipment.
Web-Based Shipment Details
Pyramid Logistics has extended its Web-based gateway so that clients can log in and review the details of a particular shipment, and thus interact with customer service via the Web. This provides convenient 24x7 access to the client without having to answer the phone for such inquiries.
Pyramid Logistics is highly automated yet also realizes the value of paper. A great many optimized reports have been created, automatically extracted from the database, increasing operational efficiency more yet.
Integration with ALK Technologies' PC Miler
Pyramid Logistics tracks its own data even while uploading data to Mayflower. Part of this involves determining the miles that a particular shipment will travel. Mayflower uses the PC Miler software from ALK Technologies, and Pyramid Logistics has successfully implemented a seamless behind-the-scenes look up to PC Miler.
The data entry person provides the addresses involved in the shipment, and the database software automatically looks up the miles. There is no need to manually enter the PC Miler program, manually key in the address data, look up the miles and transcribe them.
Calculations using Mayflower Business Rules
Because Pyramid Logistics tracks its own data in parallel with Mayflower, it needs to calculate the charges precisely as Mayflower would. The Pyramid Logistics database software calculates the freight charge, adds in the fuel surcharge amount, factors in the insurance charge, calculates discounts and escrow amounts, and much more.
Database-Enabled Tariff Lookups
When Pyramid Logistics became a Mayflower agent, the Mayflower tariff data was provided to them in spreadsheet format. We converted this data to a database format, enabling automatic lookups and calculations. The database already handles getting the relevant miles, and so the data entry person merely needs to point to the relevant tariff and section, and provide the weight. The database software performs the rounding according to Mayflower business rules, looks up the correct rate/CWT, and calculates the freight charge based thereon. This high degree of
automation reduces mistakes, tedious effort, and time.
… and much more.
The above list is just a subset of the large amount of automation that we have enabled for this Mayflower client. We’re omitting some processes from our list because they might involve sensitive information, and in the interest of brevity.
Without these limitations, the list of process improvements that we have enabled for Pyramid Logistics, over the last several years, would probably take several hours to read.