Transportation Costing Group, a provider of profitability management tools and activity-based cost analysis for the transportation industry, has announced that it is enhancing its product line with the addition of Factsview, the business intelligence module of the Facts suite of software from Carrier Logistics. Mystic Tank Lines, based in Astoria, N.Y., is the first customer to use the integrated solutions.
“This integrated solution our two companies are providing will allow a comprehensive analysis of operational factors that impact costs and profitability,” says Kenneth Weinberg, vice president of Tarrytown, N.Y.-based Carrier Logistics. “It’s a product that will be used by small and large carriers alike because it gives managers the ability to quickly spot trends in performance or analyze variances, and use that information to make more effective business decisions.”
Factsview is a business intelligence tool based on Microsoft’s Excel platform. Utilizing information provided by TCG’s Cost Information System, Factsview is designed to give users the ability to drill down into more than a dozen metrics associated with shipments, lanes, customers, and origin and destination points.
“TCG’s advanced activity-based costing and other software has gained wide acceptance among leading less-than-truckload and truckload carriers because its accuracy gives it a high level of credibility,” says Ken Manning, president of Bethesda, Md.-based TCG. “Our CIS solutions are currently the only systems that offer a complete, accurate and fully replicable costed traffic database that ties back to the general ledger. The capabilities provided by integrating Factsview will further enhance this highly effective profitability management tool.”
Already experiencing the combined TCG and Carrier Logistics offering is Mystic Tank Lines, a bulk hauler of heating oil, gasoline, kerosene, diesel, jet fuel, av gas, lubricants, asphalt, cement, cement by-products and nonhazardous materials throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. Mystic Tank Lines operates more than 300 vehicles from four terminals.
“The combination of TCG’s software and Factsview is enabling us to have our analysis tools in one package, rather than in different applications,” says Jack Lebovic, Mystic’s chief information officer. “The TCG database spins off a flat file that Factsview uploads into a sequel server with an Excel application. That software produces an easy-to-read, familiar spreadsheet detailing costs and profits over routes, lanes and for specific customers.”
The combination of TCG and Carrier Logistics, noted Mystic’s vice president Salvatore Sammartano, allows the carrier to look at any factor or group of factors that impact costs, revenue and profits. “We want to be sure we’re fairly charging for expenses that are applicable,” Sammartano says. “In one instance, for example, we had an account where we thought our margins were greater. With the integrated capability of Factsview and TCG, we were able to determine that we weren’t properly allocating expenses for deadhead time and mileage.
“That type of information is very helpful when setting rates that are fair to customers and enhance our profitability,” Sammartano says. “Without the integration of TCG and Factsview, we wouldn’t have such accurate data to analyze and use to run our business. The integration of these solutions is very valuable to us, and that’s a return on investment you can measure.”