in this issue
· User Group Meeting a Success
· Five Reasons to Quantify the Value
of Your Technology Investment
· Welcome New Customer: DHL
· Success Stories
· Personnel News
· Calendar of Events
the April 2005 CLI newsletter. This issue's feature story is a recap of the
User Group Meeting held in Tarrytown, NY last month. The well-attended
program was a huge success bringing together CLI customers for two days of
learning, networking and idea exchanging. Please read the article for a full
introducing a new section to the newsletter entitled, "Success Stories."
In this issue we are highlighting CLI customer Billings Freight Systems and
its highly successful use of the web as a customer service tool. Please read
the article for ideas on better utilizing your own website as a customer
service vehicle. If you would like to see your company featured in this
section of the newsletter, please e-mail CLI with your story. We may feature
it in a future "Success Stories" article.
issue also has stories on one of CLI's newest clients, DHL Canada, Personnel
News, and an important article on "Measuring the ROI of your
Technology." Written by Michael D. DuVall, a principal at Charter
Consulting, this article highlights the critical importance of using
measuring tools to determine the value of your technology investment. We hope
that you find the information valuable.
again for reading. Enjoy the issue.
Group Meeting a Success
from Companies Large and Small Meet, Mingle and Learn
CLI User Group Meeting was two days of learning, networking and idea sharing.
The event, held at the Doubletree Hotel in Tarrytown, NY, covered a wide
range of topics related to CLI's FACTS™ system. There were general sessions,
panel discussions, roundtables and breakout focus sessions. Topics ranged
from Route Engineering to Business Analysis to Billing Issues and everything
in between. The sessions, led by a combination of CLI trainers and outside
speakers, were well received by those in attendance.
pleased with the whole event," said Terry Olsen, vice president of
Operations at Standard Forwarding. "It was well worth the trip."
of the program was the roundtable discussions, which provided a lively
interchange between participants on a variety of issues. Many of the
participants noted the value of being able to network with other system
users, trading ideas and solutions. "The opportunity to meet and share
ideas with other CLI customers and CLI staff is priceless," said Jared
Harris, a systems analyst for Rist Transport, d.b.a. Howards Express. This
sentiment was echoed by others at the program who also enjoyed meeting face
to face with CLI staff whom they've been working with for years.
like to thank all of the participants who took time out to attend the free
event. We look forward to hosting another User Group Meeting next spring.
Look for future newsletters for dates and location. If you would like to
access the PowerPoint presentations from the event, they are available in the
Transport Forum on the CLI website under the "2005 User Group"
Five Reasons to
Quantify the Value of Your Technology Investment
Measuring the return on investment (ROI)
of technology expenditures has become increasingly critical for all types
and sizes of companies. In a 2001 InformationWeek study, 80 percent
of the respondents indicated that the importance of measuring the ROI of
technology investments had increased from the previous year. It is of
particular importance in the transportation industry, where margins tend to
be slim. Every dollar must be accounted for and technology investments can
be a difficult sell.
in mind, I believe there are five reasons to quantify value. Determining
the ROI of your technology investment improves:
Decision Making - It allows you to identify the best investments
2. Communication - One can clearly articulate the value of an investment
3. Value - The company can maximize the value of an investment
4. Budget Planning - It allows you to build projections into the company
5. Accountability - You can identify the value drivers and track them
ratio of net benefits to total investment cost, is the most traditional
value measure, but there are other techniques to consider. Net Present
Value (NPV) accounts for the time value of money by stating future net
benefits in today's dollar terms. Internal Rate of Return (IRR) provides
the predicted yield of an investment. Finally, Payback Period estimates the
time at which the project achieves breakeven. Each of these measures
provides a different perspective of an investment's viability.
multiple measures to provide the most comprehensive view of a technology
investment's viability. However, don't get bogged down by the various
evaluation measures, as no matter which measurement you choose, the
important thing is to make the effort to measure. If not, you may just discover
the high cost of NOT investing in your technology.
article was adapted from a presentation by Michael DuVall, Principal,
Charter Consulting at the recent TSMA Conference in Orlando, FL. Charter
Consulting provides management consulting services for companies in
transportation and other industries.
visit Charter Consulting's website by clicking here. »
DHL Express Canada, a leading Canadian package delivery
carrier, has chosen the FACTS™ highway freight operations management
system. The highway system provides full control of manifesting, trip
management, driver settlements, equipment control and fuel tax reporting.
Like all FACTS systems, it provides a complete set of operations reports
and other management tools.
new system, DHL expects to achieve more precise control of operations and
administration by locating missing trailers, developing accurate costing
per load or per trip, creating performance reports (scheduled vs. actual
times at selected locations, planned vs. actual trip times, etc.) and by
matching accounts payable to actual trips to avoid paying for trips not
have known of CLI's reputation in the transportation industry for
years," said Carl Dinis, national linehaul director. "Their FACTS
highway application is an excellent fit for our operation, making our
decision to go with CLI an easy one."
DHL is a
global market leader in the international package express, logistics and
delivery industry, providing innovative and customized solutions from a
single source. The company has 160,000 employees and an international
network that links more than 220 countries and territories worldwide.
Billings Transportation Group
choice, customers at Billings Transportation Group, Inc., a North
Carolina-based carrier, much prefer tracing shipments and determining rates
by clicking on a website as opposed to using the phone. In fact, Billings
saw a sharp rise in website hits in the second half of 2004 following the
installation of FACTS™.
soon as the system was up and running," says Wayne Bersch, vice
president, Operations at Billings, "we noticed an uptick in website
use. We began a study of website usage during a seven-week period, from
mid-July to early September."
the site were up to 11,000, an average of 212 a day. More than half of
visitors, 6,500, looked at multiple pages. Typically, visits lasted nine
minutes. Many visitors downloaded documents, and 25 percent came back to
the site for second and third visits.
study conducted for 13 weeks from October through December 2004 showed an
even busier site. Hits almost doubled to 652,000. Site visits rose to
18,700, and daily visits jumped to 215. Average time per visit rose to ten
of this growth in traffic," says Bersch, "is attributable to
customer searches using the FACTS system." Trips to the site beyond
the home page probably replace phone calls. For example, the rates page is
the second busiest on the site.
who returns to the site a second or third time, about one out of four, is
an example of a shipment trace online instead of by phone.
advantage to Billings," Bersch adds, "is that employees get more
work done since they no longer have to answer customers seeking rates and
shipment traces. And customers like the immediate answers."
employees and happy customers...Sounds like a success story to us.
here to visit the Billings website. »
CLI welcomes its newest employee, Peter Liu. Peter will be
working with CLI customers to define needs for enhancements and changes to
their systems. Peter has been active in the trucking industry since 1984
when he was involved in providing customer service for LTL packages. After
that he developed a software package for LTL. Peter was most recently at
Salson Logistics, Inc. where he was vice president of Information
Technology. The combination of Peter's extensive background and his past
job responsibilities makes him a great asset to and resource for CLI
customers. Please join us in welcoming Peter to the company.
personnel to personal, Kevin Linardic and his wife Amy welcomed a son,
Grant Thomas, into their family on March 30th. Congratulations Kevin and
Conference Close-Up: We're often asked about programs for
Finance and Accounting professionals in the transportation industry. Please
note that the National Accounting & Finance Council (NAFC) of the ATA
will be holding their annual program for financial professionals on June 26
- 28 in Nashville. Click on the link below for program details.