Technology: Platform Details

The Odyssey Global Logistics Platform SM provides comprehensive, Web-based functionality that automates logistics processes, and provides accurate analytical data so clients can make sound, strategic decisions. The client-proven platform is exclusively available to Odyssey’s logistics services clients and is not licensed separately.

Shipment Optimizer and Booking Manager

The Shipment Optimizer and Booking Manager module supports automated carrier selection (via an electronic route guide), the optimization of shipments through techniques such as consolidations and continuous moves, shipment rating, and booking (tendering) of shipments with carriers and other Logistics Service Providers (such as freight forwarders).

The Shipment Optimizer and Booking Manager provides the following features:

•Planning and execution of tank truck, truckload, less-than-truckload, air, and ocean shipments.
•Automatic carrier selection based on a routing guide and client-specified business rules.
•Supports Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for shipment planning and execution, such as carrier performance and customer conformance to the routing guide.
•Extensive support of global geographic location data, including native languages such as Chinese and Japanese. This permits clients that use, for example, Japanese language customer address data in their ERP system to send to OL&T for use in transportation planning.
•Automated carrier and LSP booking and tendering.
•Shipment optimization to reduce overall transportation costs through algorithms that look for savings opportunities such as multi-stop consolidations, aggregation (grouping of shipments between a single origin and destination), and continuous moves.
•HazMat support to ensure correct carrier selection (i.e., HazMat certified carrier) and visual flagging of Hazmat shipments to carriers.


Web Freight Explorer

Through Web-based access, authorized users can query the Odyssey system for freight rates and carriers. The system selects the appropriate carrier and rate based on a number of parameters such as origin, destination, weight, requested delivery date, hazard class, etc.

•Authorized client personnel can access a Web-based routing and rating tool
•Client-specific rates and routes are retrieved
•Client logistics and sales staff can access freight rates information
•Access available for suppliers to enable them to route inbound shipments


Freight Settlement Manager

The Platform automates activities related to freight billing, freight audit and payment.

Key features include:

•The system receives freight invoices directly from carriers and other logistics service providers, who send EDI invoices to Odyssey. Hard-copy carrier invoices are imaged and are available to customers over the Web. Spreadsheet invoices (common in Asia) can be uploaded as well
•Freight invoices are compared with actual shipment data and with Odyssey’s rates master data
•Freight invoice and spending data is available to clients, for immediate visibility and control
•Electronic freight cost estimates are provided prior to invoice receipt, allowing the client to accrue accurately for anticipated freight costs
•Notifications of actual shipment and cost details are broken down to a line-item level, and sent to the client’s accounts payable systems
•Pre-audit occurs at the line-item level (e.g., line haul, fuel, demurrage, assessorials, etc.), allowing accuracy and control of the audit and payment process
•The process ensures a smooth flow of payments to carriers. Any disputes are settled in advance of payment, and carriers are provided with feedback to enable accurate billing in the future
•Auditing can provide savings of 1-3% from incorrect billings


Visibility Manager and Event Manager

The Platform provides near real-time shipment visibility across all modes of transport, globally. To facilitate immediate issue resolution, automated alerts can be generated, based upon customer business rules.

Features:

•Visibility Manager allows clients Web-based visibility into all shipments, which appear on a single screen, regardless of the carrier or mode of transport (tank truck, truckload less-than-truckload, rail, air, ocean, small parcel).
•Users can perform sophisticated queries, or just do a simple search. Search output can be downloaded into Excel.
•Event Manager allows Odyssey personnel and clients to set up automated notifications and alerts based on tailored business rules.
•Clients can provide a login ID and password to customers, so they can have secure access to visibility on their incoming shipments.
•Odyssey provides customers with a Web service that allows them to integrate shipment tracking information into their own applications, such as customer-facing e-commerce sites.


Dashboard

Odyssey has developed a Web-based dashboard to allow graphic representation of key metrics and performance indicators, configurable to meet the needs of each user. Graphs can be displayed in several ways, and all the data can be exported to either an Excel file or PDF document. The data is kept current to within 24 hours and all modes of transport can be displayed on a single display.

Sample dashboard metrics include:

•Shipment volumes (by mode and carrier)
•Top shipping sites
•Distance shipped
•Pounds shipped
•Export containers shipped (by country)
•Carbon footprint


Bulk Rack Scheduler

Through this Web-based tool, carriers can easily schedule pick-up appointments, ensuring load rack resources are efficiently used and providing carriers with the ability to select the time slots that are most suitable. In conjunction with the client, Odyssey configures the system with loading times based on pumping capacity and product characteristics. The system applies these rules during the scheduling process.

Some features of the Bulk Rack Scheduler include:

•Plant personnel and customer service staff have convenient access to each loading rack’s daily schedule over the Web.
•Business rules such as rack operating hours and restrictions on which materials can be loaded on each rack are enforced.
•The workload required at each plant to manage rack schedules can be reduced and can also replace ad-hoc methods, i.e. spreadsheets.


Quality Manager

Quality Manager is used to manage shipping process non-conformance reports (NCRs) or carrier claims. Odyssey can track non-conformances such as late deliveries, driver issues, damaged cargo, etc. The tool allows Odyssey to report on NCRs by root cause. Quality Manager is also used to manage the claims process on behalf of clients.

The Platform maintains a performance history for all carriers. Performance is logged as shipment transactions take place. Some of the event-driven performance indices include the following:

•On-time delivery
•On-time pick up
•Tender no response
•Tender rejection
•Tender waffle
•Proof-of-delivery turnaround time
•Claim turnaround time
•Claims cost ratio


Export Manager

Key features include:

•Visibility by all authorized parties to each step in the export process, regardless of where in the world they may be located
•On-line access to shipping documents, with automated notification when documents are ready for viewing by interested parties
•Integration to government export systems (i.e., U.S. Automated Export System)
•Electronic communication with carriers for bills of lading and shipping instructions
•Automated notification when documents are ready for viewing by interested parties


Asset Manager

The Asset Manager is a Web-based tool designed to allow a client to monitor any type of asset from drums to totes to rail cars, for any number of process steps or stages. The system can accommodate any type of Global Individual Asset Identifier (GIAI) from bar codes to RFID tags. In conjunction with the client, Odyssey configures the system with the process events to be monitored, and the assets to be tracked.

Some features of the Asset Manager include:

•Flexibility to monitor the status of multiple types of assets
•Tracks maintenance events, and highlights assets that are due for maintenance
•Assets can be tied back to a shipment record to determine its last location
•Records can be sorted or searched by any parameter and can be exported to Excel