New Tool for Optimized Sourcing of North American Truckload Transportation

Decision support specialist CombineNet introduces on-demand solution to streamline transport award process

Decision support specialist CombineNet introduces on-demand solution to streamline transport award process

Pittsburgh — November 18, 2005 — Decision support solution provider CombineNet this week rolled out its first self-service "on-demand" solution for optimizing the sourcing and award of North American truckload transportation services.

Delivering "expressive" bid collection, bid optimization and award scenario analysis capabilities, CombineNet said that its Truckload solution will help corporate supply chain and logistics teams configure, publish and manage a domestic truckload transportation sourcing event using Web-based optimization and multi-user/multi-organization collaboration technologies.

"Facing increasing transportation costs and tight capacity across their supply networks, shippers need a tool that enables them to keep costs low without sacrificing service quality and their carrier relationships," said CombineNet CEO Tony Bonidy. "CombineNet Truckload ensures that our customers get the absolute best value from their carriers while meeting their internal business needs and does so in a self-service format that enables them to configure and complete a sourcing event in a very short timeframe."

Truckload uses CombineNet's optimization technology to help shippers achieve the best value in transportation based on their unique business needs by balancing carrier costs, service quality and internal business constraints through a Web-based tool, the solution provider said. Incorporating best practices for managing complex transportation sourcing events for Fortune 500 companies, CombineNet Truckload offers an array of features intended to reduce complexity and help guide transportation sourcing decisions:

For example, Lane Configuration enables shippers to define lane attributes and shipment related display items to represent their business needs by identifying origin-destination (O&D) pairs (choosing from multiple levels of granularity to match a company's data: ship to/from, state, city, three- or five-digit ZIP code, etc.), equipment type (dry van, refrigerated, intermodal), volume (number of loads, weight, cubic feet; frequency, surge) and special service requirements.

Offer, Negotiation and RFI Configuration help ensure that carriers submit the bid information needed to make award decisions. Shippers can select multiple bid collection information options, such as dollars per mile, minimum charge, mode by service type (truck team, solo, intermodal), transit time, O&D ramp, multi-stop charges and capacity (enabling carriers to share capacity on multiple levels to set upper-bound capacity on a regional or lane-by-lane basis).

Route Plan Output takes the process from award scenario analysis and final allocation to tendering with export of results to the shipper's transportation management system, helping to reduce time to implementation.

Expressive Bidding enables carriers to offer bids that leverage their strengths, letting them offer conditional pricing, equipment alternatives and package offers, CombineNet said. The provider said its expressive bidding capabilities are collaborative by design, enabling win-win scenarios for carriers and shippers.

Scenario Builder was designed to help companies mitigate risk and make better decisions faster by identifying award allocations that meet their business needs. Advanced scenario analysis helps companies understand the cost impact of each business rule and stakeholder preference for quantifiable decision-making across multiple users and organizations in a collaborative environment, according to CombineNet.

CombineNet said that Truckload is available now for shippers, logistics teams and supply chain consultants to configure and implement domestic truckload sourcing events. The solution provider's customers have included Heinz, Procter & Gamble, Siemens and the United States Postal Service, among others.

Additional Articles of Interest

— How can you beat the trends and lower your less-than-truckload costs, even in a seller's market? For a guide to help you get started, read the article "LTL Sourcing: Success for Buyers in A Seller's Market."

— Looking for the best carriers for your organization? Here are seven tips to help you on your way. Read the exclusive, "Need Capacity? Get Flexible."

— In order to perform on a world-class level, companies must redesign the supply and service chains to meet market demands. Dramatic changes are in order. Read more in the article "Leveraging Supply Chain Logistics: Get Physical and Agile."