A hallmark of RateLinx is its sole Rating Engine. While most companies use a separate system for running transportation bids, the RateLinx Rating Engine both drives the Modeling Engine and the ShipLinx TMS. This allows transparent, custom bid packages to be created for carriers in minutes. This feature alone can transform a company into a shipper of choice as it provides lower costs for shippers and a fair profit for carriers. Bid packages are just one of the benefits of this approach.

Creating Intelligence

The entire RateLinx Enterprise shipping solution is designed around this powerful and robust Rating Engine. Using the data being collected by the Intelligent Invoice Management system, the Rating Engine creates insightful Integrated Shipping IntelligenceSM for the shipper. Viewed on the Dashboard, this intelligence reveals how effectively the shipper is using current carrier rates (shown as lost savings KPI), how much their latest strategy saved (savings KPI), and how much their specific business constraints are costing (unconstrained lost savings KPI). These KPIs can answer these questions because of the single Rating Engine which allows the three key elements of logistics management to be integrated:

  • Payment system (Intelligent Invoice ManagementSM),
  • Transportation management system (ShipLinx TMS) and
  • Predictive Modeling.

Rating Engine Drives Rate Modeling

Our Rate Modeling simulates the way a shipper will actually use their carriers and rates. “What if” scenarios are developed around a shipper’s specific service requirements. Do they require one day service on certain lanes? Are other shipments not time sensitive? Do they require special handling for certain products? These “what if” scenarios are then bounced against the Rating Engine to learn how much a given strategy will cost and if there are other options.

It’s important to understand that the Rating Engine used for modeling is the same Rating Engine that will be used to execute on the strategy. Any real-world limitations such as customer routing guides, limited carrier capacity, and accessorial charges will be reflected in the results of the “what if” scenarios that the Rate Modeling displays.

Custom Bid Packages

The real-world constraints that every shipper faces are built into the Rating Engine that the Rate Modeling uses. This allows the Rate Modeling to present only the shipments and lanes that a carrier can truly haul. This decreases the amount of noise that a carrier has to filter out in a typical bid package; it also allows the carrier to truly know how much business they can win from a shipper. Because of the integration between the Rating Engine, Intelligent Invoice ManagementSM, and the modeling engine, these custom bid packages can be created in a matter of minutes.

This modeling approach provides full transparency to both the shipper and the carrier. The carrier receives all of the details for the shipments, such as full origin address, full ship-to address, and total dollar amount. The carrier also is provided with a rate that will allow them to be the carrier for the given lane. All of the guess work around how much a carrier should bid is gone; they don’t have to spend time guessing how much they should bid to win the shipments. It also provides the carrier with the ability to have an objective conversation with the shipper and explain why certain lanes are costlier for them, and what lanes may be less costly. This way the shipper and carrier are able to align, another important element in achieving shipper-of-choice status.

Leverage Your Existing TMS

Shippers can benefit from RateLinx without switching to a whole new TMS. The Rating Engine at the heart of Rate Modeling can be setup to mirror a shipper’s current TMS. Any of the constraints that may exist in the TMS can be factored into the Rate Modeling so that the results of the modeling engine can be executed using the shipper’s current TMS. We built the Rate Modeling to have no theoretical savings, all of the savings that it calculates are real and by leveraging the RateLinx Enterprise shipping solution with the Dashboard you are able to view your progress with the 3 KPI’s: savings KPI, lost savings KPI, unconstrained lost savings KPI.

One Rating Engine Just Makes Sense

When we were developing RateLinx, it just made sense to have one Rating Engine. That way all the real-world rules that have to be enforced by the rating engine are maintained in one place. This also allows us to include complex rating rules faster in the modeling, execution, and analytics modules. As a shipper, how frustrating is it to model a strategy and find big savings, only to learn you can neither execute on the strategy with your TMS nor measure its effectiveness with the analytics. With a single Rating Engine, this never happens in the RateLinx Enterprise shipping solution. If you would like to discuss how the Rating Engine can help you become a shipper of choice, reach out to me here.

Shannon Vaillancourt

Shannon Vaillancourt

Shannon Vaillancourt is president and founder of RateLinx. He started the company in 2002 with the idea that there was a better way to give companies complete visibility to their supply chain. Since then, RateLinx has become a leading supply chain software and data services company with the only integrated Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) technology platform. RateLinx allows companies to gain access to the right data to create world-class logistics strategy, improve supply chain management, solve problems and reduce costs.

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