BIRMINGHAM. McLeod Software rolled out a bevy of new products and updates to existing programs here at its annual Users’ Conference. “Our goal with this conference and with everything we do is to help you run your businesses more effectively, serve your customers better and to compete more effectively,” Tom McLeod, president & CEO, said in his opening remarks. “We want you to serve your customers better … and we want you to have the tools and platforms to be able to take advantage [of opportunities].”
McLeod introduced its Business Intelligence (BI) Foundation and the Software System Performance CheckUp in addition to new versions of its PowerBroker and LoadMaster software programs. Tom McLeod also announced a new iPhone and Android phone application that will allow customers to access their software through their smart phones. Attendees of the conference received the application for free.
The BI program is designed to work with the Microsoft Business Intelligence Suite of tools to provide more reporting capabilities, more analytics, and more decision-support tools. It includes pre-built multi-dimensional data cubes, reporting tools, and training.
Because the BI pulls information out of existing systems to run the reports, reporting and analytics can be run on the data without affecting or slowing day-to-day operations, said McLeod.
The system includes some pre-configured reports, a BI dashboard and tools to build more; Excel extractions and spreadsheets; a full week of standard McLeod BI training and necessary MS SQL Server licenses. It is expandable for up to a dozen users.
Additional modules will be added, including dispatch operations BI Universe, Profitability BI Universe; Financial Management BI Universe; and Brokerage Management BI Universe.
McLeod also unveiled is Software System Performance CheckUp, which will scan a current system and provide a snapshot of the system’s performance, security levels, and backup/recovery status plus a plan to address concerns.
CheckUp is performed remotely by a McLeod Systems Analyst and does not disrupt a customer’s operations, McLeod said. The analyst will provide a report with insights into how the McLeod system is running and any recommendations for improving performance. Among the items CheckUp will look at are database performance, system performance, network, and data backup.
LoadMaster Version 10.1 was also unveiled. The new version adds a process log to assist customers with the history of transactions by LoadMaster and PowerBroker processes; new permissions that prevent unauthorized printing, faxing, emailing or exporting of data; the ability to pre-assign trailers during order entry by “seeing” the available trailer pool; and a management control has been added that requires a reason whenever an order is voided.
Other new features include the ability to allow customers who broker loads to receive electronic invoices from those carriers along with an auto-compare option that compares predefined information on the received invoice to the order/movement in PowerBroker; an office payroll system to track vacation and sick time; and a profitability order lane analysis view screen that provides both a graphical and summary view of lanes.
Enhancements include tax law updates, customer history records that now capture fuel surcharges; a control file that prevents pre-assignment and/or dispatch of orders on hold; an inactive status has been added to the contact management screen; permission manager now prevents the deletion of comments by anyone other than the user who entered the comment; and custom buttons can now be added to field marshal manager.
Toolbars have also been enhanced. Changes have also been made to the top customer and top shipper reports to show fuel surcharges and other charges.
PowerBroker also added several new features and enhancements in its Version 10.1 release. Much of the functionality available in both LoadMaster and PowerBroker received the same upgrades. PowerBroker, though, also has added several other new options.
Specific carrier comments can now be noted for display to the dispatcher at the time of pre-assignment or dispatch and a new feature that tracks a carrier’s history of orders assigned but not moved. A carrier’s hazmat certification number and expiration date can also be added and will notify the brokerage if a hazmat certification is not up to date.
The single integrated Carrier Search screen has been incorporated into the brokerage planning profile and brokerage planning screen. Also, a carrier payee can be set up to provide a “quick-pay” option that will deduct a flat or percentage amount in exchange for a shorter number of days to receive a payment from the broker.
New carriers can be added along with their MC number, and if available, the carrier will be added with data from the Carrier Insurance Monitoring service.
In all, PowerBroker has received 17 new features and one new module.