By: Steve Briggs
VP of Information Technology
ICAT Logistics, Inc.
As a non-asset based company, the biggest challenge is how to best use technology to the fullest to help customers grow more profitably. Because of this, CATS 2.0, a cloud-based system, was developed to provide the best value for the customers’ transportation dollar.
In order to develop CATS 2.0, we needed to understand and analyze the customers’ needs beyond getting freight from point A to point B, such as regular reporting and instant notifications based on a shipment’s current status. Customer feedback was used as direct input in the development of CATS 2.0. From their feedback an online customer portal, WebTrak, was incorporated along with other technologies such as an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). WebTrak allows customers to remotely access and view shipments in real-time, input domestic and international shipment entries, access shipment history up to one year, have the ability to send tracking links to their clients as well as manage shipment documents. EDI allows the customer to seamlessly enter, confirm, track and invoice shipments to their end customers.
We also have the ability to generate customized reporting on a schedule based on our customers’ specifications as well as send them weekend shipment reminder emails. This reminder notifies the shipper of a weekend shipment via email so that they can confirm that they are the onsite contact or direct us to the person who will be. CATS 2.0 offers a more hands on experience for the customers and allows free and easy communication which results in more efficient and effective projects. The translation of incoming data into useful and automated outgoing data not only speeds up the process but makes it more accurate.
Moving forward with CATS 2.0 there are many priorities that can be updated. Priorities both from developers and more requests from customers will be taken into consideration, such as a smart phone app, access to more customized reports in the WebTrak system, and increased data mining capabilities. We are also adding more and more EDI-enabled vendors to our pool in an effort to improve our internal process. This will enable our customer service representative to provide just that — customer service.