McLeod Software Holds Annual User Conference as In-Person Event in Dallas, TX
September 13, 2021 – Dallas, TX – Today McLeod Software opened its annual User Conference as an in-person event at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center.
Continued Growth and Momentum
McLeod Software saw continued sales growth throughout the pandemic. In 2020, the company set a record for the largest number of new customers in any year of their 36-year history. Revenues have followed and are up 12% in the twelve-month period ending July 2021. Sales growth has accelerated even faster in 2021 so far, with sales up 58% over the same January-to-August period of 2020. The McLeod Software employee base has grown to over 550 people, up approximately 10% since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. McLeod now has over 1,100 active customers, who are transportation providers in the U.S. and Canada.
McLeod Data Fusion Supply Chain Connectivity Framework
McLeod Software’s DataFusion expands the company’s traditional EDI engine to provide a new framework for electronically communicating with customers and trading partners to meet the growing number of unique requirements in the supply chain. The DataFusion Solution Suite of optional modules are integral to the LoadMaster® and PowerBroker® systems, making it possible to offer a wide range of data access and shipment visibility throughout the application.
The world is changing when it comes to methods and integration points for exchanging data. DataFusion brings a framework to give McLeod customers the ability to connect to their customers’ supply chains in new ways, such as API web services. DataFusion includes all of the exiting ANSI standard EDI capabilities built on our current EDI Engine.
DataFusion puts McLeod customers in a position to win more business because of their technical capabilities and flexible communication choices that the modern shipper will want, and may eventually require.
Automation for Onboarding New Drivers
This week at the conference, McLeod introduced a new Driver Onboarding product to help carriers automate tasks and speed up the process of driver onboarding, orientation, and preparing for dispatch. Automation for a driver’s exit or termination can also be managed with this new solution.
Carriers have the opportunity to reduce the time spent prior to orientation by having all the driver’s tasks electronically queued for them to complete with simple automated questions and interaction. Required documents can be transformed into simple electronic forms that make communication with the driver easier.
The new Driver Onboarding system will help the driver to quickly capture images of necessary items, such as licenses and signatures needed for a consent form. The information is then populated directly into LoadMaster, and the documents and/or images are indexed in McLeod’s DocumentPower™.
When it’s time to part ways with a driver, a tailored workflow for driver termination to automate and complete the process is included and can be configured by the carrier.
This solution helps to mitigate most of the back-and-forth delays, including waiting on paperwork. By transforming documents into simple workflows and electronic forms, integrating them with either a web browser or a mobile device, this customized task-driven workflow will help carriers hire drivers and get them on the road faster.
Automation to Streamline Carrier Payments
Also announced at the conference, McLeod’s new Carrier Invoice Processing tool provides brokers with a single location to complete carrier invoice activity, streamlining the payment process. Users can review and index carrier’s documents as they arrive. This workflow-driven process captures the needed load information for billing and payment, storing the indexed documents directly into PowerBroker and DocumentPower.
Today most carriers submit a high percentage of their invoices and documents to brokers via email. Carrier Invoice Processing takes advantage of this and builds the workflow from the point of each document’s arrival. Carriers can submit invoices and supporting documents to a monitored email account. Images that contain previously generated barcodes from the broker are indexed automatically. Using the broker’s order number, data lookups match and display relevant customer and carrier information from PowerBroker. Users are prompted to answer carrier-centric questions, such as Invoice Total, Detention Amount, Fuel Surcharge,
Quick Pay, etc. and select items from drop down lists to complete a workflow process. This solution helps the broker’s staff determine how to index and classify documents faster, so customer billing and carrier payments can be completed faster.
The Carrier Invoice Processing solution automates many tasks to remove the need for human interaction, while providing a complete audit trail. The company developed this solution to alleviate common challenges faced by brokers today, including slow cash cycle, high labor costs, human
Business Intelligence Updates
A new version of McLeod IQ, the company’s business intelligence and data warehouse product for LoadMaster and PowerBroker is being announced at the conference this week. With the 2021 release, the McLeod IQ team has implemented several technology changes that will enable quicker data refreshes, an improved customization process, and allow for a smoother data update process.
McLeod IQ now provides more insight and reporting options for Service. Customers will be able to start tracking details, such as On-Time Metrics, Delay Codes, Reason Codes, On-Time Metrics, Fault types and more. They can slice these metrics by Customer, Carriers, Driver, Lane, Dispatcher, etc. to help determine root cause and identify trends. The company has added more time series calculations for use with measures within IQ to give our customers a clearer picture of their trends over time.
Another great addition for McLeod IQ in 2021 is LTL features. McLeod has added the ability to track pickup and delivery details by responsible terminal, including information on weight, spots, and shipper metrics. With the addition of stop level details, LTL carriers can now run metrics on stop duration by responsible terminal.
On the financial model within McLeod IQ, a balance sheet reporting category attribute has been added to allow for a current year retained earnings grouping when creating a balance sheet. The beginning balance measure has been improved and the sort order has been updated for account category, account type, and the newly created balance sheet reporting category attribute. These enhancements allow for IQ reporting across companies and account segments that more closely resembles standard financial statement reporting.
New Mobile Apps and Web Portals
For years McLeod Software has offered customers both web portals and mobile apps tied directly to their systems that serve their customers, their drivers (for carriers), and their carriers (for brokers). In the last year, the web portals have received a complete makeover, expanding the capabilities and using an entirely new set of web technologies to update the ease of use and visual appeal of these portals that they use to serve their stakeholders. The McLeod Anywhere Mobile apps have also been updated with expanded functionality.
Insight to Help Customers Stop Leaving Money on the Table
McLeod’s MPact™ rate analysis tool has seen dramatic growth in user adoption over the last year. McLeod’s Market Insight is large rate database collected from over 1,000 rate contributors who are McLeod customers. That rate data, sent directly from McLeod customers’ systems every night, arrives every evening and is aggregated, then processed, to provide a daily and historical pictures of accurate lane rate data for different types of freight and equipment, while keeping the individual carrier’s or broker’s submission confidential.
McLeod MPact was developed by McLeod’s Data Science team to provide detailed analytics on this rich market database. It is available to all McLeod customers who are rate contributors. It provides insight to those carriers and brokers on market rates in lanes every day, along with historical trends that help them make pricing decisions on both spot and contract (bid) rates and helps them to avoid leaving money on the table in our very dynamic trucking market.
Open Digital Freight Matching Integration
Adoption of McLeod’s Digital Freight Matching (DFM) API within PowerBroker continues to grow and expand. The company now has six DFM services who have adopted this interface and either completed or are starting to write their own integrations with PowerBroker, all in a short period of time. The DFM API capability allows PowerBroker users to simultaneously use different DFM services and service offerings, ensuring they can take advantage of the wide range of innovations happening in the DRM product space. In every case, it enables PowerBroker customers to cover more loads faster, with less labor - an advantage in both speed and labor overheard.
Data Science Initiatives
This year McLeod has continued to expand their Data Science team and added our second Data Scientist who holds a PhD to the organization. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning are crucial to the types of solutions that the company wants to deliver for their customers. McLeod has seen great results from early efforts, such as the McLeod MPact market rate analysis tool that hundreds of customers now use to guide their daily pricing decisions. McLeod’s goal is to provide more insight to guide decisions at every level of the customer’s organization, from strategic to tactical.
McLeod MPact currently gives customers a clear picture of the current market for the various categories of truckload freight on a lane-by-lane basis. MPactPro will integrate the customers internal data to present a picture of the market that is more specific for their company and operating costs and will enable McLeod customers to improve load profitability and lane optimization for their own network.
MPactPro includes a new visual analysis tool to bring multiple data points into a single view and help their customers determine the “why” of things that are profitable, or not. It gives the customer insight into what is driving the margin behavior and trends.
Productivity Benchmarks in MPactPro will show McLeod customers how their employees are performing relative to operations in similar like size companies in their revenue category. MPactPro gives the customer a tool that compares their data to a large composite group of other similar McLeod customers.
MPactPro will bring a new point of decision analysis window in the right places in LoadMaster and PowerBroker that will quickly display highly relevant graphic analysis to users at the right time and place to support their decisions. This feature will be incorporated for a wide number of users and roles within their customers’ organization.
Consistent with McLeod’s open system approach to everything they do, MPactPro will offer an Application Programming Interface (API) to the aggregated MPact data that will allow customers to build out their own reports, analysis, and metrics. A new feature coming to MPactPro will support the concept of “natural language processing,” designed to give less technical users the specific information they are looking for, without the need to get help from a BI Analyst or Programmer. For example, a user can request, “show me my most profitable lane.”
About McLeod Software
The companies who run McLeod Software are the transportation industry’s innovators. They consistently improve their customer service and operating ratios, attract and retain the best drivers, and automate their crucial business processes. Visit us at www.McLeodSoftware.com.