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Logistics as a Service

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AM Transport is the leading provider of Logistics as a Service–outsourced logistics solutions–for manufacturers and distributors. We provide proven technology, exceptional service, and a plan customized to your company’s needs.

Benefits of Outsourcing

Are you resistant to the idea of outsourcing your logistics? We understand many small businesses operate under the mindset that they can and should handle all business functions in-house. But the truth is, you don’t have to be the Lone Ranger. Think about it–it’s not uncommon for small business owners to outsource executive level positions such as Chief Financial Officer or Chief Marketing Officer. In the same way, outsourcing your logistics to or seeking fractional leadership in your supply chain with experienced transportation professionals makes sense. You receive the full power of our team to craft global strategy solutions rather than single functions such as moving a particular load.

We encourage customers to consider both overhead costs and non-productive hours. When you outsource your logistics, you’ll see cost savings in payroll taxes, insurance, and benefits paid to full-time employees. Lunch breaks, doctor appointments, and other gaps in working hours double the actual cost of a full-time employee. In fact, when you outsource your logistics functions you’ll be able to eliminate positions, or better yet, freeing up employees to do more meaningful work for your organization. When you have the right logistics partner in place, you have the power to manage the KPIs most important to YOUR organization. You’re not spinning your wheels responding to emails and updating spreadsheets.

Logistics as a Service consists of two unique and necessary components–innovative and customized technology and superior logistics consulting from a 3PL with 30 years experience.

Part 1: Technology

You can’t manage what you can’t measure.

 

In order to truly manage any logistics operation, you must implement a formalized process that forces everyone to consistently follow the same process. This is an impossible task without the right software. Savvy freight brokers recognized this two decades ago.

 

At AM Transport, we began using our first transportation management system (TMS) 25 years ago. Over the years, we have continually upgraded and top-graded our systems in a concerted effort to create an unmatched technology suite. Our unparalleled understanding of the capabilities necessary to a solid logistics system will ensure the implementation and operation of a system that will exponentially increase efficiency and boost cost savings for your business.

 

Your TMS must incorporate these four pillars to be truly flexible and dynamic.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

 

Any adaptable and scalable TMS must be cloud-based. The reasons for this are quite simple: security, flexibility, and accessibility.

 

  • Security: Leaving your operations vulnerable to viruses, malware, and ransomware is bad business. Unfortunately, manufacturing companies and factories often employ less-than-stellar network security (and we’re being kind here). Why invest a substantial amount of both time and money on a TMS to leave it insecure? A SaaS-based system completely alleviates those concerns by storing sensitive information in remote cloud-based networks. These networks are backed up and use industry-leading uptime standards. We’re talking 99.999% uptime!
  • Flexibility: A cloud-based system automatically understands the amount of strain on the system and auto-scales as needed. Think about the alternative–when your personal computer begins to run slowly, you have to add memory or a bigger hard drive. The cloud-based system expands or shrinks according to your needs in real-time.
  • Accessibility: You can access SaaS systems on a PC, a mobile device, a home-based device, or a work-based device. All you need is an internet connection. This enhanced accessibility allows you to work whenever necessary.

DIY Robust Reporting

 

Our TMS is designed to help you create powerful, “move-the-needle” reports because your capabilities are coupled with an easy-to-use system. Too often, you pay a TMS vendor to create these reports and what should take minutes takes months in backlog; in the meantime, you lose valuable time and money. Robust and indispensable reports are created only after users have a solid grasp of the system with an in-depth understanding of which KPIs should be given the requisite attention. This sort of expertise occurs only after a honeymoon period with a vendor and after implementation with YOUR in-house IT team. If your users do not have the skills or capabilities to create reports independent of software vendors, you are set up for failure.

Open API

 

Open APIs are characterized by their free availability to developers. Backed with access to open data and based on an open standard that developers abide by, an open API (often referred to as a public API) is a publicly available application programming interface that provides developers with programmatic access to a proprietary software application or web service. When you choose a system with an open API, you automatically extend the shelflife of your TMS. While you cannot predict the future and therefore it’s impossible to know the integration capabilities of future partners, an open API is a pipeline that ensures such integrations are possible.

Supply Chain Visibility

 

You’d be surprised by the number of ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems that claim to have a TMS component but are little more than a procurement tool. Managing your supply chain differs from sourcing a vendor. Your system must be agile enough to provide end-to-end visibility based on your requirements (here’s where flexibility comes in). You are better off with a robust tool offering additional functionality (you can turn off what you don’t need) than not having functions you need due to software limitations. For example, the ability to drill down into each shipment and quickly display important information is a must, whether its purchase order numbers or location of freight at any given time.

Here’s our promise to you

 

At AM Transport, we eat our own dog food. Our entire operation uses the same system we provide our customers. You have a private and secure server, but it’s the same technology. Too many companies sell technology they haven’t mastered because they don’t use it in their own operations. That’s not how we do business. We use the technology, and that means we understand it, know its capabilities and limitations. We have built a vast network of contacts, users, and vendors. We never ask the question, “Can that be done?” because we’re already in contact with someone who knows the answer.

Part 2: Exceptional Service

The Difference

 

There is a big difference between enabling technology and technology of experience. Technology of experience is better with the people behind the tech making the difference. If you don’t have a professional logistics team in place, your technology won’t significantly improve your processes and you’ll NEVER see any ROI. We’ve seen too many companies begin to implement silver bullet technology to great expense and unfortunately, it never gets past a splashy and ineffective rollout.

 

Here at AM Transport, we operate as fee-only advisors. This means we work for clients who pay us a fixed rate. We provide expert advice independent of recommended products. When you entrust us with your supply chain, we have a moral obligation to act in your best interests.

Our Service Model

 

We have both experience and longevity in a notoriously fickle industry. We cannot overemphasize the advantage this gives our customers. For 30 years, we have worked with the best logistics professionals in the transportation business. We’ve made it our job to learn, invest in, and use the best practices of the most advanced supply chains in the world. We’ve experienced “The Toyota Way,” worked with Fortune 100 companies, and studied the growth and success models of 100-year-old companies.

 

We provide a variety of offerings for shippers with one goal in mind–to deliver the level of support you need. We know that this level of support can expand or contract according to your needs. You can outsource your entire logistics department to our team, or you can hire us for fractional leadership engagements according to your unique needs.

 

In fractional engagements, we act as a vital member of your leadership team to direct and guide your logistics department in achieving supply chain objectives. In our experience, supply chain doesn’t typically have a seat in the c-suite of most organizations. While unfortunate, we understand that often it simply doesn’t make sense. However, greater insight into your supply chain is quite valuable when you are creating a new product strategy or forecasting upcoming year fiscal costs.

 

While we don’t have a crystal ball, we do have 30 years of experience and first-hand knowledge of diverse supply chain environments. For example, manufacturing companies who work on a project basis are often required to bid the work a year in advance. It’s not unusual for these bids to require freight expense in the total bid price. How do you know what to charge when historical or current market conditions do not always indicate future conditions? That’s where we come in.

 

Here are two simple examples of how we add value to your bidding process.

1. Our team of experts can help create a pricing modeling process, building out different scenarios to equip you with the best possible knowledge in order to submit an aggressive and comfortable bid.
2. “We have always done it this way!” is one way to make decisions about the best mode of transportation for your products. But that’s not how we do it. When you trust us with a seat at the table, we take a long, in-depth look, analyze the data, and give you the advice you NEED even when it’s not easy.

The Accountability You Deserve

 

The service we offer is relationship-based–that means our work is more interesting and meaningful because of human connection. We get to know our customers and have created valuable friendships over time. We know that healthy relationships are win/win for both parties and based on mutual trust and respect.

 

Without accountability, your logistics partnerships will never work. Ask yourself these questions:

1. Do your current transportation partners know your expectations?
2. Do you have a means of consistent evaluation?
3. How do you hold partners accountable?

 

When you partner with AM Transport Services for Logistics as a Service (LaaS), we outline the objectives most important to you. It might be cost, service, communication or a combination. When we have agreed on the criteria, we share this with your transportation providers because we want them to have success with your company. We create reporting standards, reports, and dashboards in service to transparency across the board–everyone knows where they stand according to agreed-upon criteria. Furthermore, we schedule quarterly conferences with providers for feedback on what they’re doing right and where they could improve. We leverage our freight broker experience to implement the best holistic plan.

Communication

 

In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey writes, “When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.” Covey is correct, communication and trust go hand in hand. We believe this and it is evident in the way we do business. Give us a call, and you’ll find out that even after 30 years in the business, we don’t have voicemail. Sure, we could implement a state-of-the-art AI-based answering system, but when you reach out to us, you probably need to talk to a person. You don’t have time to wait on an email or make your way through an irritating phone tree. When you call us, someone from our office in Olney, Illinois will pick up the phone and get you the answers you need.

Core Values

For 30 years, the team at AM Transport has subscribed to four core values: commitment, community, consistency, and integrity, that inform everything we do.

Commitment

 

No-load left behind has been our motto for 30 years. This carries over into our LaaS product. Our commitment to you is that we’ll help you establish a robust routing guide and ensure all parties are following it as closely as possible. Here’s where we’re different. We’re not just committed to you, we’re committed to your customers as well. All routing guides have exceptions, and we create a playbook for how to handle those exceptions allowing us to fulfill our commitment to keep your supply chain moving.

Consistency

 

Success isn’t a result of occasional actions but rather comes from consistency. We employ a two-prong approach to consistency. First, we work tirelessly to create a comprehensive process with you. We uncover every rock in your supply chain, document all the intricacies, and develop a detailed plan. Secondly, we ensure our team executes this plan. Our organization is built on the premise that every customer deserves the same level of service, no matter what. Consistency does not equate mediocracy, but it’s opposite. We optimize your account processes and put controls in place to ensure your account stays there. You receive a high level of predictable service that delivers piece of mind and enables you to put your focus where it’s most needed.

Integrity

 

Integrity means having the courage to conduct honest conversations (even when mistakes have been made). Logistics is rife with canceled shipments, broken down trucks, and human error. We all know providers who find it easier to pass along the blame or fabricate excuses. We don’t operate that way. In fact, we know the most proven way to control costs and reduce liability is to create a consistent routing guide. We approach this with a long-term desire to do the right thing by our partners every single day. That’s integrity.

Community

 

Founded 30 years ago in Olney, Illinois, AM Transport Services has made this small community of 10,000 in Southeastern Illinois its forever home. We knew from the beginning that to attract the best talent for our team we had to offer more than just a job; we had to provide a culture that embraced the community at large. To that end, we give back by sponsoring scholarships, volunteering in a variety of programs, and participating in community events, with a focus on providing business and financial assistance and expertise to the youth of our community. But we don’t stop there because our customers are community too. We love sharing best practices, problems, and solutions while getting to know you and your customers. We consider ourselves lucky that our community doesn’t stop with our next-door neighbors.

ASSOCIATIONS