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Company:

Freight Payment
Loss & Damage Claims
Overcharge Claims
Post Auditing
Pre-Auditing
Freight Bill Audit and Payment Validations
Transportation Management and Rate Negotiations
Technology
EDI



FAQ's:

Q: Why Consider "Outsourcing"?
A: We are asked this question every single day. There are many reasons; experience, resources, cost savings, the list could go on and on. We explain to anyone that contacts us that they first need to determine what they wish to accomplish. Then determine the advantages that will be obtained from outsourcing.

In today's environment many companies are forced to reduce the size of their staff, either through total elimination of departments or drastic reductions. The advantages of outsourcing vary depending on the services provided. The following questions are just a few examples of such advantages.

Q: If you wanted to audit your freight bills in house, what would be required? Would you have to invest thousands of dollars in current technology to ensure the process is properly done?
A: TSi Logistics has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop the most comprehensive transportation software package available today. This state of the art technology is used in our day-to-day operations.

Q: If you process your loss and damage claims in house, what is the experience level of your investigators?
A: TSi has certified claims professionals on staff as well as paralegals. Our claims staff has over 40 years of experience in processing and collecting loss and damage claims. Efficiencies are improved simply because of the volume of claims filed weekly.

If you are considering eliminating or reducing your staff that presently handles your transportation management or if you are simply considering securing assistance you should consider the success of the parties you are looking at.

TSi Logistics collectively, has over 100 years of proven successful experience in transportation management. We have access to iVelocity™, our own proprietary state of the art Logistics Management System. Many of our present customers save millions of dollars annually as a result of our efforts.

These are just a few examples of the advantages to be obtained from outsourcing. We are interested in discussing further with you other potential savings opportunities.

Q: How does your company handle confidentiality?
A: First, all of our agreements have a standard confidentiality clause. We understand how important it is to ensure confidentiality because TSi has as much at risk as our customers. We allow our customers access to our technology advantages when we provide them a "read only" copy of the iVelocityLogistics Management System. Each customer's database is protected with a security password, as well as a user's password.

In every relationship there is a period of building trust. If you have concerns about this issue, we welcome you to contact some of our customers to see how they feel about our commitment to confidentiality. We still have our very first customer and we have direct access into their host computer system. If there was any doubt about confidentiality, we would not have the access we have been given by our customers.

Q: Does your company provide a primary contact?
A: Our Customer Service Department is setup to provide each customer with a single source contact. Every customer has the option of contacting the specific department that handles the various services we provide or their customer service contact. We also assign accounts to individuals, so we have the same person handling these services every day.

Our entire staff is committed to customer service. The Customer Service Department reports directly to our president. Any customer or associate has open access at any time to discuss any issue. It is our belief that open communication builds stronger relationships.

Our plans this year include the implementation of two vital communication links.
iVelocityUser's Advisory Panel:
We are going to establish a panel of current users to help us continue enhancing our product. Technology is vital and our management team feels to remain ahead of our competition we must constantly focus our efforts on the future. We have budgeted over $200,000 annually for continued development. If we ever stop development we will lose what we feel is one of our biggest advantages.

This panel will also assist us concerning user friendliness. No matter how much you plan, there is only one group of people who can help improve the ease of using the system - the end user. Our users have input with every aspect of the system. The flow of information, defaults that eliminate keystrokes and using maintenance fields to share vital setup information to reduce data entry. As a result of our users, we have made enhancements that have increased the functionality of iVelocity™.

Q: Can you provide information regarding Transportation Solutions Inc.'s financial stability?
A: TSi Logistics was founded in 1993. We are a Georgia corporation. Transportation Solutions Incorporated is a privately held company. Our company has enjoyed very aggressive growth over the past 5 years. We feel this growth will continue as long as we maintain our focus on constant assessment of our processes and customer satisfaction. We have invested over $1,000,000 in technology over the past 4 years and we have budgeted to spend an additional $600,000 over the next 3 years. We feel our technology is a tremendous advantage over our competitors.

Q: Can you provide background information on Transportation Solutions Inc?
A: TSi Logistics is a third party provider of transportation related services. Our main objective is to provide services for companies that are looking to outsource either all or a portion of their transportation functions. Our advantage over our competition is to apply our state of the art technology with our proven successful experience. This combination produces what our customers desire, bottom line results. Our associates have years of proven successful experience in every aspect of the services we provide.

We also sell our iVelocity. Logistics Management System to those companies that are not looking to out source, but are in need of a comprehensive package to assist in the various transportation related functions. Our system is a robust suite of modules developed to handle various transportation processes. It is a true 32 BIT application that functions in a Windows environment. We utilize Microsoft SQL Server as our primary database engine.

We presently have 38 associates; our strategy of using technology to dramatically reduce manual effort lets us employ fewer employees. We are relying on more highly skilled people and fewer clerical people than the typical freight payment vendor. We do not function as a freight payment house and we pride ourselves on the proven recovery results of our freight bill auditors.

Presently our freight bill auditors are finding errors in 1 out of every 9 bills that are submitted to us. The average dollar value of adjustments exceeds $10.00 per bill. Our recovery ratio on loss and damage claims presently exceeds 80 percent of all claims filed. Our experienced staff has been able to increase the recovery percentages for every single customer.

Q: What is your company's recruitment and training policy?
A: New employees receive extensive hands-on training in both our iVelocitytechnology as well as the specific business rules, rates and priorities of assigned clients. Because of the state of the art technology we utilize, we have the ability to improve our efficiencies compared to those of our competitors. Examples of the technology advantages we have are the rating engine and auditing processes.

Our rating system is the most flexible and powerful automated rating process in the marketplace. As a result, we don't require a large staff of freight bill auditors who review only a sample of your bills to validate your freight charges. Our customers receive an expert audit on each and every freight bill in seconds. This process is far more efficient and effective than any in-house or third party process. As a result, we primarily employ highly skilled transportation and / or technology resources that already have a solid background in either the transportation business or specific areas of technology.

Our software system was designed by transportation professionals who have first hand knowledge of what is needed to effectively perform the various transportation processes, as well as the need to reduce manual processes.

Q: Can you provide Transportation Solutions Inc.'s key employee experience?
A: We feel all of our associates are key in our day-to-day operation. We know when this question is asked people want to know more than just about our management team members. They want to know about the people who will be assigned to handle the various services we will be asked to perform. Every associate is vital to the continued success of our company. We continuously cross train our associates. We want everyone to know all aspects of the services we provide. We encourage advancement and we pride ourselves on the success we have with taking entry level associates and providing them with the opportunity to learn new duties. They are then able to advance and we add to our staff, as growth requires. Someone once said, "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link".

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Freight Payment:

Q: How much does it cost to pay a freight bill?
A: Potential customers evaluating the outsourcing opportunities want to benchmark their internal freight payable costs against their cost to have TSi Logistics audit and pay their freight bills. These companies frequently ask TSi to define the functional components of processing and paying a freight bill. To each component, a company's own productivity standards, labor rates, and allocation methodologies are assigned. These detailed processing activities may include:Direct Labor Costs • Indirect Labor Costs • Equipment Costs • Postage and Supplies Costs • Administrative and Overhead Costs • Other Costs

In the April 1996 issue of Controller Magazine, the article "Cutting the Fat from Accounts Payable", written by Tad Leahy and Ivy McLemore states:

"Typically, the accounts payable process represents the greatest opportunity for improvement in the accounting function, the stakes are high. The average company processes 190,000 vendor invoices per $1 billion of revenue, pays each employee $36,705 per year in salary and benefits…"

In this same article, Leahy and McLemore interviewed Mark Krueger, Vice President of The Hackett Group, a consulting firm in Hudson, Ohio. According to Krueger,

"The average company processes 11,100 invoices per person per year."

For the analysis of a potential customer's wants, let's consider the annual salary including benefits to be between $18,000 and $26,000 and divide this by the average number of invoices 11,100, this will allow us to determine a direct labor cost to evaluate the potential cost to process invoices internally.

$18,000 ¸ 11,100 = $1.62
$21,000 ¸ 11,100 = $1.89
$26,000 ¸ 11,100 = $2.34

Direct labor cost does not take into consideration any of the other categories we have considered to be a part of the total cost of processing payable invoices. Based on the salaries we used above the average direct labor cost per invoice processed is $1.95.

At TSi, we have determined our direct labor represents 30% of fully allocated payables costs when indirect labor, equipment, postage, supplies, administration, overhead, and other cost components are considered. We believe this ratio holds true for other companies as well. Applying this 30% factor then to the average $1.95 direct labor cost above, yields a fully allocated average payables cost of $6.50 per invoice. In a report prepared by IOMA's (Institute of Management and Administration) "Managing Accounts Payable" publication. In its May 1997 Payables Benchmarking Survey, MAP notes:

"On average, it costs an accounts payable department $16.54 to process a vendor payment. These figures may seem a little high. However, over 7% of the companies responding reported a check-processing cost of over $50. When the numbers were recalculated eliminating all entries over $50, the average dropped to $10.55 for vendor payments ."

In summary, their study showed on average it cost a company probably $10.50 - $11.00 to just pay an invoice. TSi's fee for processing and payment of freight bills including auditing, accounting, payment and information services is generally 7-10 of this benchmark cost, or 8.5% on average.

In December 1994, The Hackett Group and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants co-sponsored a benchmarking study of key corporate financial functions. Four hundred companies, including over 100 major US corporations, participated in this study.

  • Freight Payables Cost Components
  • Direct Labor Costs
  • Incoming Mail Processing
  • Receive, open, and stamp receipt date
  • Sort freight bill and supporting documentation
  • Pre-Data Entry Processing
  • Verify freight bill liability (valid documentation and highlight pertinent information)
  • Assign general ledger codes
  • Calculate allocations of payment for multi General Ledger coded freight bills
  • Separate freight bills for auditing process
  • Pre-auditing
  • Pre-audit validating freight bills
  • Adjust invoices (enter adjustment reasons, tariff authorities, and amounts)
  • Data Entry Processing

Our system is designed to allow us to key over one hundred specific data fields from the carrier's freight bill. Once the freight bill is entered, our system validates certain data elements for accuracy, duplicates, past dues, and balance due invoices. We also key extended data fields for our transportation management reports. iVelocity™ validates and edits specific data fields. We also track exceptions and delivery information for reconciliation.

  • Rate Base Maintenance
  • Interpret, input, and validate rates
  • Maintain rates database
  • Maintain tariff library
  • Indirect Labor
  • Checks and Report Control Processing
  • Prepare batch for period ending and send to the customer for remittance
  • Pay carrier for freight bills processed in the batch period
  • Attach checks to remittance report
  • Balance reports
  • Enter check number into system
  • File control reports
  • Customer Service
  • Inquiry status of freight bill for carriers and customers
  • Furnish check number to carriers for paid freight bills
  • Process duplicate invoices
  • Process and return previously paid past due invoices
  • Process other miscellaneous returns
  • Other Support Processing
  • Reconcile paid and issued checks
  • Maintain Carrier File - adds, changes, and deletes
  • Maintain other validation files
  • Equipment Costs
  • Data Processing Hardware
  • CPU
  • Terminals
  • Disk
  • Printers for on-line and batch payables processing
  • Telecommunications
  • Voice
  • Data
  • Facsimile
  • Postage Metering Equipment
  • Postage And Supply Costs
  • Postage and Envelopes
  • Checks
  • Rejected freight bills returned to carriers
  • Carrier and customer correspondence
  • Check and Remittance Stock
  • Miscellaneous Forms and Supplies
  • Administrative And Overhead Costs
  • Supervisory Overhead - all operational departments
  • Systems / Programming Support
  • Systems Modifications
  • Systems Enhancements
  • Systems Documentation
  • Software Depreciation
  • Personnel Training
  • Occupancy Expense
  • Property lease/depreciation
  • Furniture/fixtures
  • Utilities, taxes, and insurance
    Other Costs:
  • Bank Fees - Paid Checks
  • Telecommunications Charges - between carriers, corporate, and field locations

For more information on how TSi Logistics can reduce your costs, contact us for a free evaluation.

Q: Can your solution adhere to an accounting calendar for processing cut-off and reporting?
A: Yes. Our system is designed to allow the flexibility of establishing processing closeout dates for each specific account based on their requirements. Customers are asked to provide us with their monthly accounting closeout dates as well as their year-end closeout date. Once we have obtained this information we customize our closeout process based on that customer's closeout dates.

Our reporting capabilities are endless. iVelocity allows us to pull reports on requested date ranges and even allows for shipping dates as well as processing dates. We also have the ability to do comparison reports. We have the most comprehensive reporting engine available today. If we don't already have a specific report designed, our custom report writer allows us the ability to create a report based on all the fields of data entry that are keyed. Our customers do not go lacking for vital information; it is always at their fingertips.

Q: What kind of payment options does your solution provide?
A: There are several options available to our customers. You are allowed to select a process that will conform to your present accounting process. Many of our customers submit wire transfers weekly. You may want to consider account debits or even priority mailing a check weekly. The solution is to customize our process to what best suits our customer.

We provide you with the detailed information and we handle paying the carriers direct. Every carrier is provided documentation to support the bills that are being paid and any adjustments that have been made.

Q: Does your solution provide prompt payments to carriers and accurate cost allocations to our company's operating units?
A: A major strength of TSi Logistics and our software application is the ability to assign multiple accounting codes to each freight bill using a variety of rules that are customized to each customer's operating unit. Freight bill processing is typically completed within 1-2 days of receipt. Payment is determined by your company's payment terms with each carrier.

Q: What is your procedure for processing freight bills?
A: The entire processing history of each freight bill in a batch is available electronically in iVelocity™, whether that bill was received via paper or electronic source. We can perform all processing of duplicate, financial, cost allocation, matching, and payment issues on your behalf, sending the historical results electronically to the appropriate operating unit.

Each of our customer's operating units have their own dedicated customer service representative, and regular access to management for consulting, advice, or project management issues. Our Customer Service Department, with the assistance of our Freight Bill Data Entry Supervisor, sets up all new customers. There will be regular conference calls for status and rules development questions during the implementation period.

Q: What is your solution's process for handling past due and balance due invoices?
A: Past due and balance due invoices are managed electronically in the iVelocity™ system. The status of any invoice or freight bill in the system is easily retrieved online. If a bill has been received multiple times, entering the invoice number or freight bill number retrieves each instance of that bill. The status of how each bill was rated and cost allocated, as well as the check number and dates of payment are also available.

A balance due invoice is first detected as a duplicate in exception processing. Then, based on either automatic rules or manual review and depending on the circumstances, the bill can be declared a balance due, supplemental, original (i.e. not a duplicate), or duplicate (i.e. deny payment) and submitted for further processing.

A past due bill that has not been received previously is processed as an original. Then subject to data validation and audit at the appropriate rates and rules for the actual ship date.

Q: How does your solution handle the identification and application of account codes?
A: Our system excels at analyzing the ambiguity presented on carrier freight bills. Then integrating that information with client-provided reference data, and providing automated, accurate, and efficient cost allocation. Most customers are amazed at our capabilities in this area, and delighted to find that our system can produce dramatic productivity gains as well as improved cost allocation results compared to their existing methods. This includes splitting costs for a freight bill across multiple accounts.

Q: How does your solution validate accounting and other codes?
A: Upon regular receipt of reference files from your company's operating units, validation checks can be built into the application. It does not matter if the transaction is paper or electronic.

Q: How does your solution handle rejected bills and bills with incomplete information?
A: All transactions processed include an extensive history of results including any adjustments and the reasons for such adjustments. This is true whether the freight bill was entered manually or electronically.

Q: How does your solution handle the adjusted freight bill process?
A: All relevant information about adjusted freight bills is available electronically for look up on a bill-by-bill basis or query. In addition, historical transactions may be re-processed to reflect changes in basic rating or other validation rules. This is useful for "what if" analysis or to quantify the impact of changes in rates or transportation policy.

Q: Does your company provide documentation of who handles a specific bill?
A: Data entry processing is coded with a User ID to ensure trace ability of specific actions to individuals. In addition, authorization to perform specific actions is controlled by User ID to ensure proper accountability and control.

Q: Does your solution provide reports?
A: The application provides a comprehensive set of standard reports and ad-hoc reports if you want to create your own. Reports are always available to you 24/7 via our website. If you want your own standard or other special reports these can be made available you.

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Loss & Damage Claims:

Another process that many customers have trusted the experienced staff of TSi Logistics to handle is loss & damage claims. Today's carriers are aggressively implementing issues that reduce their liability for losses caused by them during transportation. The level of experience of the claims investigator has an impact on successful recovery. Many claims are denied because of mistakes made during the filing process.

Q: Why should we secure the services of TSi Logistics to process our Loss & Damage Claims?
A: The level of success in claims recovery is in direct proportion to the level of expertise of the investigator. TSi's customers experienced a recovery improvement of 25 to 50 percent since securing our services. This has produced thousands of profit dollars, which normally were lost because of inexperience in the claims filing and collection process.

Claims customers are provided access to Certified Claims Professionals, Paralegals, and Arbitrators from the Transportation Arbitration Board who have been involved in precedent setting issues with years of proven, successful, and professional experience at your fingertips.

The Transportation Consumer Protection Council on numerous issues has utilized our assistance and experience. Two key items were the recent Shippers Bill of Lading Contract and Department of Transportation's Cargo Liability study.

TSi's staff has developed and implemented shipping and receiving procedures for many of our customers. We have provided on site training programs and off site seminars in the areas of loss prevention, security, and claims adjudication. We have developed, implemented and managed several Shippers Load and Count (SL & C) processes for our current customers. This has allowed our customers to recover millions of dollars that were once lost because of inadequate accountability requirements.

Our software application provides over 40 combinations of Loss & Damage Claims reports. Just a click of the mouse provides critical data at your fingertips.

TSi prepares the claims documentation, submits the files to the carriers, handles all correspondence, and provides you with management reports to manage the process.

Loss & Damage Claims recovery exceed millions of dollars annually.

TSi's claims investigators handle each claim pro-actively. We do not sit back and wait. Our staff has established themselves as a force committed to recovering our customers full, actual loss.

Q: What documentation do I need to provide TSi Logistics in order for you to file a claim?
A: The following is a list of the standard documents that may be needed to allow a carrier to process a claim.

  • Bill of lading
  • Delivery receipt
  • Invoice or pricing information
  • Inspection report (if applicable)
  • Itemized list of products lost or damaged
  • Disposition of damaged merchandise or salvage allowance

Many of these are not necessary on all claims. The law states the claim must allow the carrier to identify the shipment in question and must state the specific demand being made.

Q: How long should it take for a carrier to make payment of my claim?
A: The law requires the carrier to acknowledge receipt of a claim within 30 days after it is received. Most claims are settled within 60 to 120 days. The software application, iVelocityallows us to generate an aging letter on all claims. The user is provided the option to set the date parameters and request a letter that will be sent to the carrier requesting status on all open files. Presently over 80 percent of all claims filed by TSi Logistics are settled within 60 days.

Q: If part of my shipment shows signs of rough handling or damage to the packaging, do I have the right to inspect the contents for damage before accepting the shipment?
A: When the shipment is made, the carrier accepts your shipment in apparent good order based on the visible condition of the product or packaging at time of pick up. If there is visible damage to either the product or the packaging, the carrier has a right to inspect the product and make a notation on the bill of lading that is agreed upon between the carrier representative and the shipper representative.

As a receiver of the goods, you have the same right and should be sure to inspect your shipment when apparent damage or mishandling is visible. Be sure to make notations on the delivery receipt that indicates the shipment was in a damaged condition when tendered to you for delivery.

Q: If my shipment is received, but damage is not noticed until after the driver has left, am I allowed to file a claim?
A: Yes. If inspection of the shipment after delivery reveals there was damage, you should contact the carrier immediately. Obtain the full name of the person you speak with and note the date you completed the call. If you report the exception within 15 days, your carrier should arrange for an inspection of the damaged product. It is important that you retain the packaging and preferably, leave the product in the package as it was received. Reporting the damage within 15 days does not necessarily mean the carrier will accept responsibility for the damage. The purpose of the inspection is to determine if carrier negligence was the cause for the damage.

If this can be proven, the carrier should accept liability. If this cannot be proven as an absolute, there may be an opportunity for a compromised payment for the loss as an equitable means of settlement.

Many of our customers simply notify their claim representative assigned by TSi Logistics of the damage and our staff handles the communication with the carrier. We encourage our customers to not have communications with the carriers concerning a claim that has been filed. It has been our experience that all too often our customers claim is denied because of something that may have been said by someone that is not knowledgeable in the laws that apply to loss and damage claims.

Q: I need to be able to review reports such as outstanding claims and all the claims filed against a specific carrier. Does your system allow me to receive such reports?
A: Yes. The Loss & Damage Claims module has over 40 combinations of specific reports presently. Our Custom Report Writer will allow us to create additional reports based on any of the information that is keyed at time of data entry.

Q: When I have received a damaged shipment and have determined the damaged product to be of no value, can I have the product dumped or destroyed?
A: If the product is material that can be hazardous in its damaged condition, necessary precautions for disposal may be required for safety purposes. As soon as it has been determined that this is the case the carrier representative needs to be notified of this condition.

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Overcharge Claims:

Q: What documentation / information is required for an overcharge claim?
A: When the claim is filed, it must identify why you are requesting a refund. The claim has to be specific, stating the reason there is an overcharge. To ensure the claim is valid, TSi Logistics needs to have complete copies of all pricing information. Many of our customers provide this information to us directly when it is available. If the customer does not have copies, we simply go directly to the carrier with approval from our customer and secure the pricing information from them.

Q: Do you have a minimum amount for which you will file a claim?
A: The laws for overcharges are not like those applying to loss & damage claims. Overcharge claims may include numerous freight bills as long as the same issues apply on each bill. This allows you to take minimal amounts that you may consider not worth filing for and recover all of the money you have been overcharged.

Q: What is the average turnaround for an overcharge claim?
A: The law allows the carrier sixty days to acknowledge receipt and finalize an overcharge claim. Our overcharge claims module allows us to send aging letters to the carriers based on parameters we set. We start requesting status on all files once they are thirty days old. Because of our aggressive efforts, we are able to finalize over ninety percent of all claims within forty-five days.

Q: What is your recovery rate?
A: The recover rate is based on the accuracy of the pricing information we are provided and the date of the freight bills being audited. Some claims are filed and the carrier will deny the claim based on changes in the pricing that we were not advised had taken place. Presently we are recovering over eighty-five percent of all overcharge claims.

There have been many changes to the laws affecting the time periods for submitting overcharge claims. Presently you have six months to submit these claims unless the time period has been extended through contract terms.

We would like to point out the law does not prohibit a carrier from paying a claim if it is not submitted within this time period. Again this is unlike the restriction that is placed on carriers relating to loss & damage claims.

Q: What procedures do you have in place for reviews?
A: We have a process set up in our overcharge claims module where any claims that are not closed within thirty days are reviewed and aging letters are mailed to the carriers. We also call carriers and inquire about the status of our claims.

Q: What types of reports are available?
A: We have over twenty basic overcharge claims reports available and these reports can be retrieved in many different formats.

Q: What or how is the processing fee for this service?
A: We receive a percentage of the amount we recover. If there is no recovery, our customer is not charged for our services.

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Post Auditing:

Q: What is the advantage of having my bills post audited?
A: There are two types of audits: pre and post. The pre audit protects the customer from paying charges that are incorrect. The post audit process allows the customer to recover the charges that were paid in error when the freight bill was originally processed for payment.

The advantage is simply the recovery of your profit dollars that were paid to a carrier in error. The last report published estimated that the total dollar amount recovered as a result of post audits was in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

At TSi Logistics we also utilize the post audit process to analyze our customers freight expense to ensure they are receiving the maximum benefit for every transportation dollar spent.

Q: What information / documentation is required for post auditing?
A: We need the carrier's freight bill and the pricing information that is applicable to the shipment in question.

Q: If I do not have my pricing information, how can it be obtained?
A: You may request it directly from the carrier. We encourage our customers to allow us to provide them a letter requesting the necessary information be sent directly to TSi. Once the letter is placed on their letterhead and signed, we have our staff send it directly to the carrier

Q: What type of reporting data can I receive?
A: This depends on the complexity of the audit. If you want a manual audit without data entry of the freight bill information, your reports are limited to only the overcharge claims reports. If we enter the freight bills into our system, TSi can provide comprehensive traffic analysis and management reports. Presently we have over fifty traffic analysis and management reports. In addition, we have over thirty freight payment reports.

Q: Do you audit all modes of transportation?
A: Yes. Our system allows us to audit all modes of transportation: air, rail, intermodal, motor (LTL and truckload), and ocean.

Q: Do you audit bills for Parcel Package Carriers such as UPS, RPS, and FedEx, both ground and air?
A: Yes. We also audit guaranteed delivery as well.

Q: Can you gather data on service failures (such as guarantee delivery, time sensitive)?
A: Yes. Our audit allows for us to track service failures. Our iVelocity™ freight payment module allows us to capture this information on our pre audits to avoid our customers paying for services that were not provided.

Q: Would you file claims for overcharges?
A: Yes. TSi can take care of the entire process for you.

Q: What or how is the processing fee for this service?
A: The fee will depend on the service requested. If you simply want a manual post audit of your freight bills without data entry, we receive a certain percentage of all monies recovered. This percentage will increase depending on the complexity of the service provided.

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Pre-Auditing:

Q: Does your solution provide an audit process and service that ensures that all bills are rated correctly and that duplicate payments are avoided?
A: iVelocityis designed to enable us to re-price every transaction from your major carriers using our unique and powerful Rate Engine. The system is designed to catch duplicate freight bills through multiple validation criteria. In addition to the simple process of verifying the carriers' freight bill number, our system checks bill of lading number, purchase order number and a combination of zip codes, pieces, weight and ship date.

Q: Why should we allow TSi Logistics to function as our pre audit company?
A: The knowledge of our audit staff is one of the reasons our customers have been successful in maximizing their transportation dollars. TSi's auditors know how to apply tariffs, contracts, classifications, and other pricing related issues to our customers' advantage.

Our experienced audit staff knows that in order for you to receive the most thorough audit possible, the carrier's freight bill must be compared to the bill of lading. Each bill receives detailed verification for accuracy before it is approved for payment.

Many of TSi's post audit customers, (after saving hundreds of thousands of dollars); have converted over to our pre audit and freight payment services. Why? Because they witnessed first hand the success of our post audit efforts. Post audits are an "after the fact" recovery of dollars paid in error. We recommend all companies have us perform a post audit.

By requiring the carrier to properly support their freight bills, we are presently finding errors in 1 out of every 9 bills we audit. Our average adjustments currently exceed $10.00 per freight bill.

Our total freight bill adjustments (pre & post) exceed millions of dollars annually.

Q: It is important for my company to track transportation accessorial charges. Will you be able to provide us a breakdown of this information?
A: Yes. These charges are segregated out at time of data entry. Reports can be provided that give details of these charges for the entire company, or narrowed to a specific division, region or branch location. The reports can also be detailed down to a specific carrier. The reports sort by accessorial type, (COD Fee, Hazardous Materials Charges, Single Shipment Charges, etc.).

Q: I am required to keep a record of all freight payments as they are allocated within my company. Will you be able to provide me with this breakdown?
A: Yes. Your report can be broken down in alphabetical and / or numerical order by account code. The report can be pulled to reflect freight payments by either freight bill entered date range or freight bill shipped date range. In addition you will have the ability to view the information as a total company, or narrow your selection to a specific division, region or branch. You will be able to utilize accounting codes that are specific to your company.

Q: Our Transportation Department utilizes several carriers that are on different rate bases. How will this affect your audit system?
A: There are both automated and manual auditing systems in place that allow access to multiple rate bases. Both systems ensure the proper rate base was used as part of the audit process.

Q: Our company ships a large amount of COD shipments. Will these freight bills require a manual audit?
A: No. Our system has parameters for additional charges such as COD fees and identifies these at time of the audit. Once this is set up in our system, these freight bills will run through the automated batch audit system along with your other freight bills.

Q: We have multiple layered discounts in place with many of our carriers. How will this affect your auditing abilities?
A: There are automated and manual systems in place as part of the audit process to ensure the negotiated pricing (which includes multiple discount scenarios) is verified for accuracy.

Q: Many of our carriers are set up with multiple FAK structures. Will your audit check for accuracy of the applied class?
A: Yes. We have both automated and manual processes in place to verify the accuracy of the class that is applied versus the negotiated classification structure.

Q: When you have made an adjustment to one of our freight bills, how is this communicated to the carrier?
A: At the end of each audit and closeout, a Freight Payment Remit report is pulled for each carrier. This report itemizes all freight bills that were processed. The report indicates information such as billed amount, paid amount and allows a section for comments to provide an explanation of any adjustments.

Q: What processes are in place to ensure the carrier has submitted a valid freight bill?
A: In order to complete a thorough audit, the carrier is required to submit supporting documents with their freight bill, which includes a copy of the bill of lading. This document is important to not only confirm a valid freight bill, but to ensure other items were entered correctly including weight and product classification.

Q: Our Accounts Payable Department requires a report of all freight payments for specific time periods. Will you be able to provide reports of this nature?
A: Yes. There are multiple report options that allow for printed reports with this information. In addition, this data can be provided through an export process and given to your accounts payable department on diskette.

Q: We would like to track our freight cost by specific customer. Do you have any reporting options that would capture this information?
A: Yes. We can provide you with freight payment details for specific customers and vendors. This information can be provided in both freight bill entered and shipped date ranges. The information can also be provided on a total company level, or narrowed to a specific division, region or branch.

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Freight Bill Audit and Payment Validations:

Q: Does your solution provide an audit process and service that ensures that all bills are rated correctly and that duplicate payments are avoided?
A: Our system is designed to enable re-pricing for every transaction from your major carriers using our unique and powerful Rate Engine. The system is designed to catch duplicate freight bills through multiple validation criteria. In addition to the simple process of verifying the carriers' freight bill number, our system checks bill of lading number, purchase order number and a combination of zip codes, pieces, weight and ship date.

Q: Why should we allow TSi Logistics to function as our pre audit company?
A: The knowledge of our audit staff is one of the reasons our customers have been successful in maximizing their transportation dollars. TSi's auditors know how to apply tariffs, contracts, classifications, and other pricing related issues to our customers' advantage.

Our experienced audit staff knows that in order for you to receive the most thorough audit possible, the carrier's freight bill must be compared to the bill of lading. Each bill receives detailed verification for accuracy before it is approved for payment.

Many of TSi's post audit customers, (after saving hundreds of thousands of dollars), have converted over to our pre audit and freight payment services. Why? Because they witnessed first hand the success of our post audit efforts. Post audits are an "after the fact" recovery of dollars paid in error. We recommend all companies have us perform a post audit.

By requiring the carrier to properly support their freight bills, we are presently finding errors in 1 out of every 9 bills we audit. Our average adjustments currently exceed $10.00 per freight bill.

Our total freight bill adjustments (pre & post) exceed millions of dollars annually.

Q: It is important for my company to track transportation accessorial charges. Will you be able to provide us a breakdown of this information?
A: Yes. These charges are segregated out at time of data entry. Reports can be provided that give details of these charges for the entire company, or narrowed to a specific division, region or branch location. The reports can also be detailed down to a specific carrier. The reports sort by accessorial type, (COD Fee, Hazardous Materials Charges, Single Shipment Charges, etc.).

Q: I am required to keep a record of all freight payments as they are allocated within my company. Will you be able to provide me with this breakdown?
A: Yes. Your report can be broken down in alphabetical and / or numerical order by account code. The report can be pulled to reflect freight payments by either freight bill entered date range or freight bill shipped date range. In addition you will have the ability to view the information as a total company, or narrow your selection to a specific division, region or branch. You will be able to utilize accounting codes that are specific to your company.

Q: Our Transportation Department utilizes several carriers that are on different rate bases. How will this affect your audit system?
A: There are both automated and manual auditing systems in place that allow access to multiple rate bases. Both systems ensure the proper rate base was used as part of the audit process.

Q: Our company ships a large amount of COD shipments. Will these freight bills require a manual audit?
A: No. Our system has parameters for additional charges such as COD fees and identifies these at time of the audit. Once this is set up in our system, these freight bills will run through the automated batch audit system along with your other freight bills.

Q: We have multiple layered discounts in place with many of our carriers. How will this affect your auditing abilities?
A: There are automated and manual systems in place as part of the audit process to ensure the negotiated pricing (which includes multiple discount scenarios) is verified for accuracy.

Q: Many of our carriers are set up with multiple FAK structures. Will your audit check for accuracy of the applied class?
A: Yes, we have both automated and manual processes in place to verify the accuracy of the class that is applied versus the negotiated classification structure.

Q: When you have made an adjustment to one of our freight bills, how is this communicated to the carrier?
A: At the end of each audit and closeout, a Freight Payment Remit report is generated for each carrier. This report itemizes all freight bills that were processed. The report indicates information such as billed amount, paid amount and allows a section for comments to provide an explanation of any adjustments. In addition, carrier would have access to our iFBStatus web site for real time status information on any of their freight invoices including an explanation of any audit adjustments.

Q: What processes are in place to ensure the carrier has submitted a valid freight bill?
A: In order to complete a thorough audit, the carrier is required to submit supporting documents with their freight bill, which includes a copy of the bill of lading. This document is important to not only confirm a valid freight bill, but to ensure other items were entered correctly including weight and product classification. We are also capable of matching a freight bill submitted by the carrier to a bill of lading, purchase order or other proprietary file submitted from our customer.

Q: Our Accounts Payable Department requires a report of all freight payments for specific time periods. Will you be able to provide reports of this nature?
A: Yes. There are multiple report options that allow for printed reports with this information. In addition, this data can be provided through an export process and given to your accounts payable department on CDs. We further can provide an export that is stored in an Access Database and financial reporting can be gleaned directly out of the Access Database. Lastly we have Ad Hoc query capability that would allow for the ability to extract financial information in a customized format.

Q: We would like to track our freight cost by specific customer. Do you have any reporting options that would capture this information?
A: Yes. We can provide you with freight payment details for specific customers and vendors. This information can be provided in both freight bill entered and shipped date ranges. The information can also be provided on a total company level, or narrowed to a specific division, region or branch.

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Transportation Management and Rate Negotiations:

Q: Can TSi Logistics just negotiate transportation programs for our company?
A: Yes, we have the ability to either manage your day-to-day carrier programs and shipment routing or to just develop a bid package containing your specific requirements, pre-qualify carriers, distribute the bids to carriers, and analyze the carrier’s responses and recommend the compliment of carriers to best satisfy your requirements. Either process will deliver a program that will provide value to our customer.

Q: I am not sure I understand the difference between volume LTL and what I would consider normal LTL, can you explain?
A: Today many carriers offer better pricing for larger shipments that may be utilized to assist them in repositioning equipment. These shipments usually require 10 feet or more of floor space and / or weigh in excess of 7500 pounds.

Q: What are some of the benefits of volume shipment?
A: By knowing critical information about the size of the shipment our staff has the ability to shop around for better pricing. They are aware carriers have to reposition equipment because the volume of freight in their system is not always balanced.

This is often referred to head-haul and backhaul traffic.

This knowledge allows our staff to consider options such as head load rates, partial truckload rates, pup load rates, and consolidation of shipments.

Q: What is Shipment Consolidation?
A: This option is available when you have multiple shipments that can be combined on the same truck for either pickup or delivery. Consolidation allows you to utilize the effectiveness of combining multiple modes of transportation to reduce the overall transportation costs. Typically, the additional cost incurred for the additional pickup or delivery is less than the total cost of shipping multiple shipments as LTL.

Q: What are the benefits of "Over the road" vs. Inter-modal?
A: The cost of transportation is the single greatest factor. Before considering the utilization of inter-modal as an option you must fully understand your transit time requirements. Normally the transit time is greater via inter-modal than it is over the road.

This is not always the case but you must be aware of possible service constraints. An additional concern would be the susceptibility to potential damage incurred where rail service is one of the components of the intermodal movement

Q: How does TSi's truckload management process save us money and reduce our workload?
A: We have over 1000 truckload carriers we do business with. Once you advise us you have a shipment, we do the rest. We call the carriers, secure the best rate available, arrange pickup and delivery appointments and follow through to make sure everything is handled as scheduled. You simply make one call and we do the rest.

Our truckload staff takes the guesswork out of finding reliable carriers, negotiating rates, and handling phone calls from carriers and suppliers. We screen all of our carriers before we allow them to handle any shipments from our customers.

Q: Would we also assume that we would work with any truckload carriers they may be using currently?
A: We would consider their existing carriers in the carrier base and hierarchy.

Screen Carriers:

  • Proper authority and insurance
  • Type of equipment and accessories
  • Regional, Longhaul or Local
  • Evaluate service and reliability
  • Tracking of shipments
  • Negotiate rates
  • Constant search for new carriers to enlarge the carrier base

Q: Give me an example of how you can reduce my truckload cost.
A: Our staff considers the potential consolidation of shipments to maximize the utilization of equipment. They match pickup (outbound) loads with loads at the delivery point to obtain better pricing. They work to establish regular carriers on regular loads to keep rates low and service constant. Carriers are constantly evaluated for their strengths, and where their greatest needs exist. By matching available freight to a carrier’s specific needs, we are able to leverage the loads against the carrier’s needs to secure the most cost effective transportation alternatives.

Q: What are the benefits of managing "Inbound Freight" vs. buying product FOB our door?
A: Volume drives pricing. Our experience has shown we are able to reduce our customer's transportation cost and the cost of their raw materials by managing their inbound purchases. The supplier either provides you with a freight allowance that is much too low or they increase what they tell you it will cost to ship the product and that is added to your cost of materials purchased. We encourage our customers to always obtain two prices: one delivered and one will call. This allows us to know what the anticipated freight cost is and we work from there.

Another advantage is if you have a lot of inbound loads you can utilize the carriers coming into your facility to move your outbound loads. This allows us to reduce the transportation cost because we have been able to reduce the carrier's cost of securing another load.

It also improves your ability to trace the shipment to ensure the shipment arrives as scheduled.

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Technology:

Q: Does your system provide flexibility for processing logic to accommodate changing business needs or custom requirements by operating divisions?
A: Our software application system iVelocity™ is the most comprehensive and revolutionary tool in the market today. It has been designed specifically to provide the flexibility you seek, and its proven capabilities exceed that of any other in-house or third party application in the transportation market.

Q: Can your solution provide on-line access to historical data received via either electronic or paper source?
A: Yes. Through the use of an ordinary web browser, our customers have the ability to securely access their data at any time. Just enter our URL http://www.tsilogistics.com and log in. You will have instant access all your freight bill processing data. With our imaging technology you can also view the paper freight bills on-line as well.

Q: Does your solution offer flexible reporting to multiple organizations inside a company or to designated third parties?
A: Our software was designed to allow for multiple facilities operating under the corporate umbrella either as a division, region or branch location. We can even track data for subsidiary locations as well. Our application can be customized easily to create reports, queries, or electronic files and send them to any source you authorize. Your units can generate their own reports and files using our ad-hoc capability or we can generate them for you.

Accountability is important, TSi Logistics will provide either summary or detail information to allow you to be proactive instead of reactive.

Q: Does your solution offer access to historical information by any company-operating unit while maintaining data integrity and process control?
A: Yes, a security login and password control access and the capabilities of the user are controlled by the security setup. A user wanting to view data is not provided the ability to change any information in the database unless those rights are assigned when the user is setup. iVelocity allows for multiple user groups to be setup.

The comprehensive databases, easy access to information, and flexibility has enabled our clients to greatly improve their control over transportation spending while reducing costly manual efforts using our technology and services. Data integrity is always protected. Access to data is easily achieved either by website, email, FTP, or CDs.

Q: Can you capture all required fields of data our company needs to analyze its transportation information?
A: Our data entry screen is designed to allow us to capture all the information contained on the carrier’s shipment documents. We have also developed the ability to capture and store information such as the actual and FAK class of product shipped. Each field you specify can be made available in the database. All information provided on an electronic invoice is stored in the historical database for later analysis. No data is ever lost or stripped away. Our experience has shown that you can never anticipate what information will be necessary for analysis at some point in the future.

The data will be captured during processing based on your own definitions and interpretations. This is done in a way that enables your company to better manage transportation at the operating unit level and at the corporate level. This logic is very easy to modify, if necessary, as your business needs change. Our system can easily accommodate carrier specific codes and descriptions for accessorial charges. It will also translate these to common codes for your company's historical reporting.

Q: How does your solution protect against duplicate payment?
A: A pre-audit is performed on bills to ensure validity. Our pre-audit process is designed to search for duplicates based on validation of freight bill number, bill of lading number and purchase order number.

We also check a combination of the ship date, pieces, weight, and the zip code patterns to determine if a bill has been submitted with the identical information. Each freight bill regardless of how it was received is run through a series of 33 validations to ensure the integrity of the data. A number of key data fields are double entered for paper invoices to ensure data accuracy.

Our system is also designed with an activation date to ensure freight bills that are presented with an earlier date are not processed without customer approval.

Q: Can you accept or produce electronic information in many formats?
A: We are able to accept any type of electronic file format. We have the knowledge and tools in place to map or convert any format.

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EDI Resources at TSi:

Q: What information is required for S5 segments for multi-stop invoices?
A: An S5 segment is required for each stop including the original pickup and final destination.
Each S5 segment is required to have the following elements:
S5*Stop Sequence*Stop Reason Code*Weight*Weight Qualifier*Pieces* Pieces Qualifier*
Example: S5*1*CL*42000*L*117*PCS
Valid Stop Reason Codes:
CL: Complete Load
PL: Partial Load
PU: Partial Unload
CU: Complete Unload

Q: Where should the Bill of Lading/Purchase Order number be sent in an EDI file?
A: Bill of Lading number may appear in one of the following elements:
B303 element : Identification number assigned to the shipment by the shipper that uniquely identifies the shipment from origin to ultimate destination and is not subject to modification. (Does not contain blanks or special characters.)
Example:
B3**I25988*924007495802*PP*L*20031016*17860**20031015*035*Carrier SCAC

N9 segment: With a BM (Bill of Lading) Qualifiers

Examples:
N9*BM*924007495802
Purchase Order number:

N9 segment: With a PO Qualifier
Example:
N9*PO*2210044451

Q: How do I reflect minimum charge shipments within my EDI data?
A: An ‘MN’ (Minimum Charge) Qualifier will need to be submitted in the L1 segment.

Example: LTL Shipment
LX*1
L5*1*Product Description
L0*1***46*N***1*PCS**L
L1*1*38*MN*3800
L7*1******55

Example: Truckload Shipment
LX*1
L5*1*Product Description
L0*1***40000*N***20*PCS**L
L1*1*15000*MN*15000

Q: How do I send deficit weight within my EDI data?
A: You have two (2) options to submit Deficit weight loops.
LX*3
L5*3*BILLED AS WEIGHT
L0*3***80*F******L Change L005 to "F"
L1*3*21.61*PH*-1729
L7*3******60

OR

LX*3
L5*3*BILLED AS WEIGHT
L0*3***80*G******L
L1*3*21.61*PH*-1729
L7*3******DEF Change L707 to "DEF"

Q: When is an L7 segment required?
A: An L7 segment (Tariff Reference) is required in the following instances:

LTL Shipments: For each LX Freight Loop.
You are required to submit the L701 (Sequence line number) & L707 (Code indicating Generalized Classification, i.e. 50, 60 77.5) positions only.

Example: LTL Shipment
LX*1
L5*1*Product Description
L0*1***993*N***19*PCS**L
L1*1*4.73*PH*4697
L7*1******55

Truckload Shipments: An L7 segment is optional.

Q: What is an accessorial charge?
A: An accessorial is an extra charge other than freight.
Example:
Fuel Surcharge, Discount, Inside Delivery.

Q: What are the most common accessorial codes used?
A: Accessorial codes can be found in the L1 segment in the 8th element (L108).
Example:
LX*4
L5*4*Accessorial Description
L1*4*2.67*PH*267****Accessorial Code

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