Another element in becoming a shipper of choice is using a useful supplier portal. It allows a company to more easily enforce inbound routing rules along with providing both visibility to the inbound shipment and the status of a purchase order. Inbound shipments are frequently the overlooked sibling. While much energy is usually focused on outbound strategy and choosing the best carriers, often inbound strategy is mostly ignored or poorly enforced. It’s important to remember that one company’s inbound is another company’s outbound and it deserves the same level of attention.

Lack of Technology Limits Inbound Choices

The RateLinx Supplier Portal Module is an essential component of our Enterprise Suite. When we implement the supplier portal, we take to heart that one company’s inbound is another company’s outbound. So we follow the same principals to an outbound install: we customize it to make it simple for the supplier to use while still enforcing our customer’s rules, and we integrate it with our customer’s purchase orders. Now when a supplier uses the portal, they are shipping against a PO in real-time as well as entering the quantities of each line item filled.

This information is then integrated back to our customer’s PO systems, so their purchasing team has real-time visibility to the status of a PO along with the track and trace information of the shipment that contains the PO’s items. The supplier portal also uses the rating engine of the RateLinx solution, allowing our customer to be very nimble and adapt to any carrier changes quickly. Once new rates are in place, they can be taken into account by the inbound portal immediately, and you don’t have to create a new paper-based routing guide to be distributed to 1,000’s of suppliers letting them know that they shouldn’t use carrier X and should instead use carrier Y.

Customized and Integrated for Real Time Visibility

The RateLinx Supplier Portal Module is an essential component of our Enterprise Suite. When we implement the supplier portal, we take to heart that one company’s inbound is another company’s outbound. So we follow the same principals to an outbound install: we customize it to make it simple for the supplier to use while still enforcing our customer’s rules, and we integrate it with our customer’s purchase orders. Now when a supplier uses the portal, they are shipping against a PO in real-time as well as entering the quantities of each line item filled. This information is then integrated back to our customer’s PO systems, so their purchasing team has real-time visibility to the status of a PO along with the track and trace information of the shipment that contains the PO’s items. The supplier portal also uses the rating engine of the RateLinx solution, allowing our customer to be very nimble and adapt to any carrier changes quickly. Once new rates are in place, they can be taken into account by the inbound portal immediately, and you don’t have to create a new paper-based routing guide to be distributed to 1,000’s of suppliers letting them know that they shouldn’t use carrier X and should instead use carrier Y.

Remove the Burden of Data Collection

RateLinx Supplier Portal Module helps a shipper in its quest to be a shipper of choice by removing the burden of the data collection from the carrier. Many large companies require the carrier to capture the purchase order number and place it on the freight’s invoice. If the PO on the freight invoice is not noted or is not valid, then the company will not pay it, and they require the carrier to hunt this down. With the supplier portal, the system now captures all of this information, can electronically match it to the invoice using our Intelligent Invoice Management TM (IIM). The supplier portal also provides a way to utilize each carrier on the lanes that they perform well in because the entrance is choosing the carrier based on complex routing rules which would not have been possible using a paper-based static routing guide.

Smart, Secure Inbound Shipments

Many of our customers get started with RateLinx by using ShipLinx as an analytics engine alongside IIM. When the customer begins monitoring their freight in the Dashboard using the Lost Savings KPI, they can see the non-optimal shipments are usually being caused by the inbound freight that had to have the routing rules simplified on paper. The smarter way is to use the technology behind the RateLinx Supplier Portal Module. Shippers not only have more choices for carriers but also more opportunities for cost savings. Also, security is paramount with the portal, and we leverage all of the latest protocols. A supplier has to register on the portal using a valid PO.
Moreover, without the burden of data collection, carriers more often see RateLinx customers as the shipper of choice.