SLH Transport chooses Transportation Costing Group

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Transportation Costing Group, providers of Profitability Management Tools and activity-based cost analysis for the transportation industry, has announced that Kingston, Ontario-based SLH Transport has implemented its Truckload Cost Information System (TL/CIS) and is benefiting from several specific features of the solution.

Ranked by equipment count, SLH Transport is among the top five Canadian truckload carriers. Founded in 1985 as a regional hauler, today the company provides a full range of transportation solutions across North America. Based at 15 strategically located terminals across Canada, SLH Transport’s 300 company-owned tractors and 4,000 trailers, as well as 450 owner-operators, offer truckload, logistics, intermodal, LTL and dedicated motor carrier services.

“In the past, we used spreadsheets to track and analyze cost data,” says Brent Fowler, SLH controller. “When we began looking for a better solution, we found it in the TL/CIS software from TCG. For an operation as unique as ours, we needed a supplier that was willing and able to provide extreme levels of data vetting support. TCG has done that for us without fail and continues to provide the superb support that we need.”

In place at SLH to handle dispatch, operations, accounting, finance, billing and other administrative functions is Innovative Computing Corp.’s Innovative Enterprise Software (IES). The interface between the IES enterprise management system and the TL/CIS cost analysis solution was co-developed by TCG and Innovative to accurately extract and transfer financial and operating data, and enable carriers like SLH to develop actual cost and profitability information and gain all of the advantages of accurate Profitability Management Tools.

“The excellent support we receive from TCG has included the IES interface, the development of a series of unique and important solutions, and a willingness and ability to address any integration, implementation and operational issues that have arisen quickly and effectively,” Fowler says. “The fact that everyone at TCG is involved and engaged in the process on our behalf is very impressive.”

The specialized and integrated solutions provided by TCG for SLH include:

  • Developing a method for identifying billing and location codes. This is important to SLH because the carrier handles a significant amount of shuttle work, moving trailers within large retail distribution centers. Data on orders for this type of service can be misleading because there is no mileage recorded, so TCG built special costing logic into TL/CIS that is embedded in the carrier’s order entry and billing system to identify and analyze costs for those moves.
  • Providing cost analysis capabilities for intercity, over-the-road and logistics services offered by SLH and requiring separate analysis. With TCG’s customization, the carrier uses codes in its dispatch and billing system to identify separate types of hauls or parts of multiservice loads and effectively analyze their unique and individual costs.
  • Customizing logic around the carrier’s operations and unique costing needs for multiple-dispatch, specialized over-length and triple trailer services.
  • Applying an Accessorial Revenue Costing feature that links specific costs directly to the related revenues on individual orders and invoices. To name two examples, this allows the cost of special services in dedicated operations — as well as the cost of detention and demurrage — to be identified more accurately.
  • Establishing a comprehensive lane look-up function that provides for analysis of profitability and costs in regional groups of provinces and state. These “Multiple Rollups” provide for more detailed analysis than fleetwide views and are more effective than analyses of lanes and loads within single geographic areas.
  • Customizing wage and settlement data based on driver activity from the carrier’s Cancom onboard satellite tracking systems. This data is integrated with the IES system to fully account for and process wages for drivers paid hourly, per trip and per mile.
  • Enabling unique codes that are used to track wages for nondriving helpers assigned to specific loads and lanes.
  • Applying a rate table for transferring data between U.S. and Canadian currencies at fluctuating exchange rates.
  • “Our focus is really not any different than that of any other carrier,” Fowler says. “This is a low-margin business in a tight market, so we need to be able to fully understand and analyze our costs. Our old analysis tools won’t work in this environment. Without a solution like TL/CIS, it would be much more difficult to identify opportunities for improvement.”

    “The TL/CIS solution we have provided SLH Transport is designed to give the carrier the ability to gain all of the advantages of having accurate and efficient Profitability Management Tools at its disposal,” says Ken Manning, president of Rockville, Md.-based TCG. “SLH will benefit from its use of these highly effective cost and profitability measurement tools, and we are very pleased to be able to meet their needs.”