Supply Chain Management Archives • McClain & Associates, Ltd - LTL, Truckload, Intermodal 3PL

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5 Things You Need to Know About

McClain Logistics

We are

Committed

  • We are committed to being a trusted partner, advisor, advocate, and consultant to your company. When you grow, we grow.
  • We are committed to finding efficiencies in your supply chain and to reducing risk, with the intention of saving you money, time and stress.
  • We are committed to providing you with revolutionary logistics technology, customized to your business, your needs, and your employees.

  • We are committed to following through with all shipments and ensuring a problem free process for all our customers
  • We are committed to maintaining the original rates that you are given, and do not engage in “bait and switch” techniques.
  • We are committed to providing you with the information you need to know before you need to know it.

We are

Family Owned

Mike McClain’s original footprint in the transportation industry can be found in owning and managing multiple warehousing facilities throughout St. Louis beginning in 1995 before transitioning to become St. Louis’ premiere logistics company. We live and breath for our company, our customers, and our employees, which is why the majority of our clients and employees have never left (and oftentimes even come to our family functions!).

Being family owned, trust, authenticity, and next-gen ingenuity are ingrained within our culture.

We are

Financially Stable

Amid dynamic economic times, McClain has not only survived, but thrive. Being both non-asset based and technology driven enables us to excel in an ever-changing business environment. As a 3PL, McClain has not only grown at consistent double-digit pace annually since our conception in 1995 but has remained a viable competitor in a volatile marketplace. Our financial sustainability and many years of combined employee experience has allowed McClain not only to gain the respect of the industry, but has also given us the opportunity to partner with best in class carriers to foster lasting relationships that in turn, benefit our client’s bottom line.

We are

Contract Free

Many logistics companies enforce strict contracts upon their clients, obligating them to utilize only their services, regardless of cost increases or unreliable service for the duration of the contract. This forces commitment from you, the client, but it doesn’t elicit commitment from the logistics company. At McClain we are committed to earning your business each day, we see no need to force contracts upon our clients. We perpetuate top-notch service, and our clients don’t want to leave. At McClain, your goals are our commitments.

We are

Logistics Experts

At McClain, our employees are what set us apart from the rest. With experience in various industries and a passion for logistics, our team is constantly prepared and on the clock 24-7. Your dedicated logistics expert will get to know you, your customers, and your vendors personally, and will build a relationship that fosters communication, efficiency, and trust. Each time you make contact with McClain, you will know the person on the other end of the line.

Each department (LTL, TL, Intermodal) within McClain is managed by a logistics industry expert, knowledgeable not only in their respective department but in how each department works cohesively together to comprise their customer’s transportation footprint. With this being said, members of all departments are continuously collaborating across modes to uncover cost and time-saving opportunities for their customers.


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How Each Stakeholder Benefits from

Transportation Visibility

If you don’t have visibility into your supply chain you could be (honestly, you are) losing money and wasting time. Article after article talks about the benefits of transportation visibility:

  • Increases customer service & gets info to customers quicker
  • Streamlines processes
  • Uncovers opportunities for route optimization
  • Knocks down silos between stakeholders
  • Mitigates risk
  • Gives better control over the cost of freight/saves money

What many of these articles don’t discuss, is how this is applied to and benefits the roles of multiple stakeholders within your organization. To generalize, and name just a few, C-level, logistics, accounting, purchasing, sales/project managers, and customer service all benefit from increased transportation visibility.

C-Level

C-level execs benefit from transportation visibility. Visibility and big data gives execs the information necessary to evaluate and refine business performance, monitor internal compliance thus giving them more control over their supply chain.

With visibility, you can analyze historical data. Uncover the precursors to past hazards and implement exception management protocol to alert proper stakeholders when these situations have the possibility of arising again. This mitigates risk and reduces the need for excess inventory.

93%

of shippers say success is dependent upon ability to make data driven decisions

Logistics Personnel

Visibility gives transportation and supply chain managers the ability to instantly compare rates and transit times as well as schedule and track shipments in a centralized location. Often times, the transportation manager is the sole repository for tracking data, however, they aren’t the only stakeholders who need access to this information. Giving other stakeholders visibility, allows them to track their own freight without having to get this information through the transportation manager.

71%

of shippers say real-time analytics helps them understand better shipping alternatives

Accounting

Transportation visibility not only saves accounting personnel time, but it saves the company as a whole money. Visibility simplifies carrier invoice audit to a central location accessible at anytime. This freight bills are automatically audited eliminating the need for additional employees to manually audit these bills.

What about if your buyers are sales reps are estimating costs? Wouldn’t it be able to get an accurate quote and/or track these costs to ensure accurate P&L? (more info on this below)

This streamlines processes within both the receivables and payables departments resulting in tremendous savings.

$11

Average internal cost to verify, process & pay 1 freight invoice. Outsourcing is 5-10% of that.

Purchasing

Purchasing benefits from transportation visibility in many ways (and taking things a step further by controlling inbound freight can dramatically impact your bottom line).

  • Integrations connect your ERP with your vendors to streamline PO release, tracking, and monitoring
  • Vendor compliance can be monitored in real-time
  • Ability to quote instantly quote freight costs and take this into consideration when evaluating vendors
  • Visibility of all inbound freight leads to route optimization

58%

of businesses find it difficult to track and report on vendor service levels

Sales & Project Managers

Sales reps and project managers are constantly working freight costs into their estimates and proposals, but how do you/they know these costs are accurate? Furthermore, how do you know there were no changes in freight costs (accessorials, re-classes, re-weighs) after the estimate was given? Oftentimes, without visibility companies have no way to track these costs and their P&Ls end up inaccurate as a result.

Oftentimes, customers contact their sales reps for tracking info, which is not readily available to them (as most of this information resides in the brain of the transportation manager). If sales reps have access to this information through a portal, automatic email notificiations, and website tracking, they can relay this information to customers without skipping a beat.

Furthermore, oftentimes shipments are going to job sites and receivers need tracking information ASAP. Project managers can access tracking information in the same manners as sales reps: through a portal, email notifications, website tracking.

70%

of buyers experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated

Customer Service

If your customers aren’t contacting your sales reps for tracking information, they are more than likely contacting your customer service. Again, tracking information is often only available through the transportation manager so your CSR will have to spend time contacting them (who might have to contact the carriers) to get this information back to the customer. It’s a huge waste of time and can be avoided through transportation visibility.

86%

of shippers report 3PLs have contributed to improved customer service


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Shipment Tracking

Your Way

Most companies understand the significance of order management, however, they don’t always understand the numerous ways in which 3PLs and their technology can improve these processes. McClain’s TMS is able to integrate with all ERP systems so when a customer creates an order, a carbon copy of that order is sent into the TMS. At this time, all line item information is now visible and ready for analysis with shipment data.

Real-Time Tracking Updates

Real-time tracking updates can be sent via email to customers or stakeholders within your organization. These notifications are customizable with your logo, color scheme and any additional notes or information pertinent to your freight.

McClain Website Tracking

Using McClain’s tracking number, all stakeholders can track shipments through McClain’s website without a portal. Additionally, this tracking link is sent in notification emails and can be found in customer portals to be easily sent to employees or customers.

Inbound Freight Tracking

Customers with a substantial amount of freight coming into their facility want instant access to their product at all times through customizable portals. In some instances, it may be beneficial to integrate McClain’s TMS with your ERP system or dictate on your PO that inbound freight be routed through McClain.

Bypass Transportation Manager

In many companies, many people are intersted in the location of inbound freight, however, the information is often only quickly accessible by the transportation manager. Employees can call or email McClain to get important tracking info freeing up precious time for your transportation manager.

Auto Tracking Shipment Reports

With or without a portal, customers can receive reports (you determine how often and when) with criteria they specify with tracking information. This can include links to real-time website tracking and can be forwarded on to other stakeholders.

Customizable Portals

Your customers call various people within your company to track your freight, and probably expect them all to know the answer, quickly at that! Oftentimes however, the transportation manager is the only one with access to this information. By giving your employees a portal with just the right amount of information, they can search by PO, SO, Pro, McClain Tracking Number, etc. to quickly find the shipment and relay info to customers in a timely manner.


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Inbound Logistics

Economic Development Supplement

Logistics and Transportation in the St. Louis Region

Each year Inbound Logistics publishes a supplement highlighting the St. Louis Region. This year, McClain was fortunate enough to be asked to participate in the action! Check out the link below for the full digital issue and let us know what you think about McClain’s view on logistics and transportation in the St. Louis Region.

McClain and Associates’ location in the St. Louis region provides another advantage to its customers, no matter where they are based. “We’re able to expand our network,” McClain says. “Because we’re right in the middle of the country, that gives us access to carriers everywhere, on all coasts, and moving in all directions. We can be more competitive with our rates, because our network is larger.”


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Don’t let truckload capacity derail your supply chain

We live in a world where CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, COOs, Presidents, VPs, Managers (you get the point) are pressuring logistics managers to cut costs, improve customer service, and utilize data to implement cost saving strategies. Intermodal transportation is a strategic solution that helps to solve these problems and many more, that is often overlooked due to its less than [trustworthy, reliable, competitive, efficient] reputation that it earned in the past.

What you may not know, is that the intermodal transportation industry has invested billions into:

  • Augmenting Safety Procedures
  • Improving & Maintaining Infrastructure
  • Expanding Network of Lanes
  • Strengthening Regulations
  • Advancing Technology
  • Training Employees
  • Damage Prevention

These efforts have allowed railroads to reposition themselves as an effective and trusted alternative to OTR Transportation. In fact, railroads have invested their own capital (with no help from the government, as in other sectors or modes of transportation), approximately, $600 billion since 1980, and $25 billion annually over the last 5 years, to accommodate the 45% expected increase in freight shipments by 2040, according to the US Federal Highway Administration.

Benefits of Intermodal Transportation

Converting truckload shipments to intermodal with a trusted IMC has cost benefits, service benefits, and environmental benefits, however, we have found that many shippers still have a (false) negative perception of intermodal transportation. As a result, we have created our Intermodal Myth-Conceptions info-graphic, putting shippers minds to rest and ensuring them that rail is a viable alternative to OTR transportation.

  1. 1 Train can take 280 trucks off the highway
  2. Intermodal loads boast 98% accuracy for on-time deliveries
  3. Trains, on average are four times more fuel efficient than trucks
  4. A train can move freight 450 miles on ONE gallon of fuel
  5. If just 10% of OTR freight was converted to rail, fuel savings would exceed 800 million gallons, per year and greenhouse gas emissions would fall by more than 9 million tons
  6. Removing 10% of OTR freight is equal to taking 1.8 million cars off the road or planting 215 million trees

For More Info on Intermodal Transportation

Download our Intermodal Myth-Conceptions Infographic or Check out our website or contact McClain for a quote/consultation!


Location

Address

2458 Old Dorsett RD, Suite 250
Maryland Heights, MO 63043