Complete, accurate, and up-to-date data can be a managers best friend when it comes to monitoring carrier performance and reducing shipping costs. It can be tricky to capture all of the data you need from all of your carriers in a timely and consistent way that easily supports operations reviews, carrier performance meetings, and even new carrier bid processes.
Fortunately with some upfront planning, a few systems considerations, and a little help from Pacejet, you can get the data you need to manage the analytics you want. Read on to learn more and see a video demo of the Pacejet Freight Data report for exporting data to Excel.
Data You Will Need
While the types of shipping data you need can vary by the analytics you want there are some core data types you'll want to make sure you have handy. Our list of the basic data you will want includes:
- Address Detail: The from and to detail for every shipment.
- Reference Numbers: Sales orders, purchase orders, tracking #'s or other unique identifiers that can tie together your analysis with your carriers.
- Prices and Costs: Your negotiated cost, the price you charge customers, a list price, and any other break-down you can get your hands on.
- Shipping Services: The specific list of accessorial services such as lift gate, inside delivery, or other services that will likely end up on your invoices.
- Container Detail: Physical container detail on boxes or pallets along with the dimensions, weight, and freight class.
- Carrier and Services: The specific carriers and classes of service for each shipment you have processed.
- Shipping Dates: Dates such as the shipment date or the expected delivery data based on transit time to help track performance.
Get Control of Shipping Fragmentation
Small shippers often start out by using one carrier and, if volume is low enough, use a carrier website or free PC-based shipping software, enter shipments manually, and use basic reports from the one carrier in use. With growth and customer demand to use more carriers, however, the shipping team can end up getting "fragmented" into multiple websites, software applications, and other tools. Unfortunately, when your shipment process is fragmented across multiple tools, so is your shipping data. If that sounds like you, your next step is to look into multi-carrier shipping solutions (like Pacejet!) that can centralize all of your shipment processing and data in one solution.
Other Considerations for Better Data Quality
Beyond using a multi-carrier shipping solution to centralize your shipping process and data, give some thought to the following considerations to improve the quality and depth of data you build up for freight analytics:
- ERP Integration: Electronic integration of data flowing between your ERP system and your carriers is key to improving the quality and depth of your shipping data without the time and errors of manual information re-entry.
- Carrier Connectivity: Carrier connectivity should be online, real-time, and not use tariff files or other locally-maintained resources if you want to build up a repository of accurate and reliable shipping data.
- Packing: Carrier pricing is increasingly reliant on dimensions, weight, and the types of products you are shipping. Better packing management can help you efficiently record shipment details that will improve accuracy of your shipment pricing and analytical data.
- Quoting and Services: As your analytics uncover problems or opportunities to save, you will need tools like freight quoting and shipping services management to help users outside your shipping team.
- Export to Excel: Some level of standard reports is very helpful but at some point you will want the ability to simply export a full range of shipping data to Excel to share with carriers, managers, and others.
Demo Video of Pacejet Freight Data Report
If you are an existing user, you know that multi-carrier shipping, ERP integration, cloud/SaaS, and carrier connectivity are central to Pacejet "DNA" and provide a good foundation for multi-carrier shipping analytics. For existing or new users, the demo video below brings together some of the concepts outlined in this post using a simple freight data report as an illustration.
Want more information? Contact us today at 877-722-3538 or send us an email.