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The Custom Companies: Receiving Data Faster with DDC Sync

SUMMARY

A leading third-party logistics provider needed better visibility into near real-time data, sourced from their nationwide fleets.

DDC FPO built and implemented DDC Sync, an enterprise application that improved their data visibility by 6 hours.

Improved access to bill of lading (BOL) data allowed leadership to make more efficient and profitable routing decisions, supported valuable relationships with partner organizations, and helped to streamline back-office operations.

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BACKGROUND

The Custom Companies, Inc. is a full-service transportation company dedicated to meeting shippers’ needs by providing world-class service with a hands-on, personalized approach. The company offers a complete range of transportation services, including less than truckload (LTL) services, in all 50 states.

The Custom Companies had already partnered with DDC for other solutions, including Freight Billing. Now, they were seeking a solution that would enable them to access data faster, build informed contingency plans, and optimize resources in near real-time. DDC offered them an opportunity to try DDC Sync, a new enterprise solution for capturing and transmitting bill of lading (BOL) data.

The challenge

Prior to DDC Sync, The Custom Companies’ BOL data was not being used in a timely manner. Drivers manually keyed BOL data, which then had to be transmitted to and validated by the back office. This meant that data could only be used for decision-making hours later.

“All it takes is one driver to miskey a zip, and that could cost you thousands,” explains Joseph Klikas, Chief Experience Officer at The Custom Companies, Inc. “You tend to overlook that information just because you don’t have the confidence level that you’d like.”

As a result, The Custom Companies couldn’t confidently provide their customers with the most up-to-date information on their shipments. They needed a technology solution to process BOL data in near real-time and make it available to their in-house analytics team faster.

The solution: DDC Sync

DDC Sync is an enterprise technology solution that contains a native Android app for truck drivers and a powerful web-based portal for terminal administrators and management.

This solution optimizes data flows, workforce management, and logistics planning by empowering drivers to capture BOLs faster with greater accuracy, streamlining cross-team communication, and enabling system interoperability.

This software suite comes with several features that align well with The Custom Companies’ needs, including:

  • Smart mobile capture technology
  • Cutting-edge driver tracking and GPS tagging
  • Secure two-way and group communication
  • Real-time reporting, dashboards, and automated alerts
  • Engaging, adoption-driving gamification

Learn more about DDC Sync

At the time, DDC Sync was still in its development phase, and DDC offered The Customs Companies an opportunity to beta test and provided feedback on the solution.

RESULTS

DDC Sync expedited BOL processing and data transfer rates from the word “go.” The results speak for themselves:

From 1,320 BOLs received in the proof of concept, just 41 images were rejected — a real-world success score of 97%. DDC has since corrected glitches in the early versions of the system, increasing the success rate to 98%.

DDC Sync is also easily integrated with The Custom Companies’ transportation management system (TMS), which Carrier Logistics, Inc. manages (CLI). “Because we have our hands on the data earlier, the ability for the labor force to execute — and execute flawlessly — is directly impacted,” says CLI President Ben Weisen.

The Custom Companies was also able to allocate resources in their back office more efficiently. Thanks to DDC Sync, they received fewer calls to customer service looking for updates because up-to-date information was promptly available to end-users in the system.

Most importantly, leveraging DDC Sync resulted in a six-hour gain in visibility and access to freight data per shipment, on average.

“Prior to DDC Sync, our operations team would create a load optimization plan based only on destination zip code and tonnage from the driver at the time of pickup,” Klinkas says. “Now we can make more efficient and profitable routing decisions.”

GOALS ACHIEVED

  • Improved data visibility by 6 hours

  • Expedited data capture with mobile, in-cab smart OCR

  • Proactive load planning, dock operations, route optimization, and asset utilization

  • Successful driver adoption and overall improved driver experience

  • Reduced inbound customer service concerns

  • Empowered better, faster data-driven decision making with validated and verified data

KEY TAKEAWAYS

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Smart, in-cab BOL processing

DDC Sync successfully processed 98% of BOL images.

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Real-time visibility

DDC Sync helped the client achieve a 6-hour gain in visibility and access to freight data, empowering the company to win more loads.

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Improved service delivery

Accelerated data visibility facilitated better logistics planning, improving The Custom Companies’ core service and client retention.

CONCLUSION

The Custom Companies, Inc. looked for a flexible solution to expedite and streamline their freight data processes and turned to DDC FPO to build on their already-successful relationship.

Thanks to DDC FPO’s DDC Sync platform, they got the solution they needed — and more. Leveraging DDC Sync has improved internal decision making, better back-of-house resource allocation, and improved customer experience.

“Now we can make more efficient and profitable routing decisions.”– Joseph Klikas, Chief Experience Officer at The Custom Companies, Inc.

DDC implemented a system that achieves near-perfect performance on BOLs received, so The Custom Companies can feel confident taking action based on their data. In a rapidly changing world, this kind of assurance allows them to be where their customers need them when they need them.

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