Flat Bridge associates have one goal in mind. They are to treat every driver with courtesy and respect. Although we speak with hundreds of drivers every day our objective is to give them the individual attention they deserve. Drivers are our best resource for accomplishing organizational goals. By listening to their needs, quickly addressing their problems, and keeping them on the road we create value for our clients, and provide an environment where drivers can thrive and feel appreciated for the hard work, they do every day.
Tracking & Tracing
Transparency is key to maintaining healthy supply chain resources. This begins by providing clients, shippers, consignees, dispatchers and drivers with accurate information and timely updates when changes occur. Your Flat Bridge associates operate in a system designed to ensure constant monitoring of a shipment from origin to destination. Layered into this approach are processes for retrieving proof of deliveries, lumper receipts, detention verification and the imaging of all pertinent documentation.
Data entry is a key function of any operations department. Our processes are fast, accurate and reliable. Flat Bridge associates are familiar with a host of transportation and warehouse related enterprise software platforms. Multiple layers of authentication ensure the integrity of your data, and KPI reporting allows for transparency throughout the process. Reliable data allows for process improvement.
Air Waybill and Bill of Lading Processing
As the legally binding documents that define any shipment, Air Waybills and Bills of Lading are vital to the supply chain process. Accurately creating these forms prevents delays. Putting these documents in the hands of the right parties in a timely manner ensures that expectations are met, and promises are kept. Flat Bridge is dedicated to achieving quick turnaround times, data security, and the highest standards of quality.
The process of scheduling pickups and deliveries has become ever more complicated and time consuming. Our staff schedules (and reschedules) tens of thousands of appointments each year with major retailers and distribution facilities throughout North America using platforms such as One Network Enterprises, AppointmentPlus, and Retalix. Keeping drivers, dispatchers and clients aware of these key ETA’s and ETD’s makes for fewer wasted hours, effective facility planning and on time production schedules.
Often times load boards are the best platform for marketing available shipments. The Flat Bridge training process includes multiple workshops on how to effectively interact with over 100 load boards throughout North America. Our customized software solutions post available loads to these various load boards EVERY 7 MINUTES 24 HOURS A DAY. Every year our team attends user conferences for all the major load posting services so that we understand these systems and learn from the people who design them. These efforts ensure that your loads receive preferential treatment, and high visibility. Your Flat Bridge team is then responsible for fielding inbound calls from carriers regarding your postings. Carriers are run through our rigorous qualification process at which point our staff negotiates the most favourable rates to keep your transportation costs within budget.
Flat Bridge team members run multiple searches simultaneously for available trucks throughout North America. Finding available equipment is only the beginning of the process. Just as important is securing the right type of equipment that can also accommodate the clients pickup and delivery requirements. Each carrier is then vetted for appropriate safety scores at which point Flat Bridge can engage in rate negotiations. All staffers are trained in freight rate negotiations to ensure that our clients are paying below market rates for qualified equipment.
Developing relationships with reliable asset-based transportation providers is the best defence against a dynamic freight market and an organization’s changing supply chain needs. Flat Bridge marries best-in-class technology with interpersonal relationships to grow carrier bases on behalf of our clients. Regularly scheduled “Requests for Pricing” projects ensures your pricing in line with the current market conditions. We make it easy to outsource these tasks and deliver organized results. In the meantime, our highly trained Carrier Representatives maintain the human contact needed to foster any relationship and quickly resolve issues. Clients will also have access to the hundreds of in-network carriers that are already trusted Flat Bridge partners.
Vetting carriers is not only a good business practice, it can save you millions of dollars in litigation, cargo loss, and damage claims. Flat Bridge processes are designed to monitor our client’s current carrier base safety scores and insurance levels. New carrier partners are introduced only after a thorough investigation process. Any changes to a carrier’s qualifying criteria is automatically reported to the client for further review.
Flat Bridge has been identified as an industry leader in claims processing and loss/damage mitigation. Our systematic approach has been refined over the last 25 years during which we have processed and resolved thousands of claims. One of the keys to our process is regularly engaging all parties involved to ensure that a claim does not languish, and our clients receive a timely and favourable result.
Transportation Management Systems
In order to effect change, you need to understand the infinite bits of data your business generates every day. Deploying a TMS is an important step in the right direction. Our experience with TMS offerings from Oracle OTM, SAP Transportation Management, MercuryGate, BlueJay, One Network, Realtime Freight, LoadTech, and Freight Management Systems, means that Flat Bridge is ready to immediately add to your TMS IQ. Increased reporting, analytics and visibility are only part of the process and although you TMS implementation staff may know coding, they often lack relevant experience in the industry. We have processed tens of thousands of shipments in a variety of industries over a host of platforms allowing our clients to understand cost and savings in real time. Flat Bridge has TMS implementation expertise that delivers.
Freight Audit and Payment
Flat Bridge offers freight audit as a business process service where our client’s freight bills are examined, adjusted and verified for accuracy. Freight pay is the accounts payable service which includes compiling, and processing various carrier invoices, for payment by a direct clearing house, individual checks. In the course of processing over 10,000 invoices annually, we find that 25% of freight bills contains an error. Our 11-point system is used to check item descriptions, shipper information, consignee verification, carrier details, mileage, shipment weights, Bill of Lading, tracking number, discounts, notations regarding overage/shortage/damage, and price. If errors are found on the invoice, the Flat Bridge team contacts the carrier to mediate discrepancies and request an amended invoice. In this way, Flat Bridge freight audit and pay saves money catching those data errors and eliminating clerical costs associated with the recovery of these monies.
Keeping up with the constant flow of changing carrier rates is the most frustrating part of maintaining a logistics strategy. Every year Flat Bridge negotiates and maintains tens of thousands of rates for our clients. Our pricing engine allows you to compare rates from your incumbent contract carriers, to any common carrier tariffs you maintain, with the capability to add market pricing from a host of subscriber-based rating services. This side by side comparison even includes transit times and the functionality to rank preferred vendors. Selecting the most appropriate carrier is as easy as the click of a mouse. Your Flat Bridge representative can have a pricing engine in place for your organization in less than 24 hours. Contact us today for a demonstration.
EDI and API Integration
Transportation companies who are EDI/API compliant can communicate seamlessly and electronically with all parties in the supply chain process. Flat Bridge provides the guidance in identifying your operational requirements and connects them through the integration with your in-house applications. Utilizing EDI’s and API’s in the transportation industry ensures that routine, high volume communications can be automated, allowing dispatchers, back-end accounting, and order processing staff more time to focus on more productive/profitable tasks. The Integration solutions from Flat Bridge are tailored specifically to suit your business processes. allowing for scalability as you business grows to give your supply chain a definitive push.
Posting your available trucks on load boards like the DAT and Truckstop.com can be a very effective way to market your equipment. Did you know that there are over 100 such load boards? Some are specific to certain regions of the country. Others are better suited to specific types of equipment. All these resources take CONSISTENT time and effort to manage and understand. Flat Bridge interacts with these truck posting services every day…all day. Our software systems post and update your available trucks EVERY 7 MINUTES 24 HOURS A DAY. Your Flat Bridge team is then at the ready to field inbound calls from brokers and shippers. Each associate attends multiple workshops so they understand seasonal freight markets throughout North America, and can rigorously negotiate the best rate for your truck.
Flat Bridge principles have been working with public load boards like the DAT and Truckstop.com for over 20 years. Our staff is well versed in the process of engaging brokers and shippers regarding their posted loads and vetting their financials to qualify them as credit worthy. Finding available loads takes vigilance. Negotiating profitable rates takes practice. Put Flat Bridge’s decades of experience to work for you and your drivers.