Streamline ERP Helps International Ocean Carrier Expand Operations And Increase Revenue
Updated: Dec 7, 2021
World Direct Shipping (WDS) operates three of its own container ships, which offer direct, weekly sea transport between Coatzacoalcos, Progreso, Tampico, and Tuxpan, Mexico and Port Manatee, Florida for refrigerated, dry and oversized cargo. Featuring door-to-door service, WDS connects the key Central and Southern markets of Mexico, including Mexico City, to West Florida and the Eastern United States.
WDS’s short transit times (2 ½ days) and frequency (weekly) is ideal for perishable cargo and for customers that need reliable transit with less handling than conventional over-the-road trucks provide.
WDS operates offices in the Tampa Bay area and in Mexico.
WDS started weekly shipping operations between Mexico and the United States in the fall of 2014. It was looking for an enterprise resource planning platform for logistics information that was flexible and adaptable to its needs.
“We didn’t want the system to run us,” said Carlos Diaz, WDS’s Director. “We wanted to run the system. We want to keep service personalized for the customer, and provide flexibility to accommodate what they need. We had the capability for our employees to engage with customers. A system was needed to relieve them of mundane tasks and provide checks and balances.
“Ultimately our business is between people. The system is simply a tool to help people run the business.
“We needed somebody who was willing to work with us to conform their system to our style of work. The use of two languages was a key factor. In our office in Mexico, some of our people do not speak English. So instant translation was going to be helpful.”
“Ultimately, our business is between people. The system is simply a tool to help people run the business.”
World Direct Shipping
Streamline ERP provided a perfect, off-the-shelf starting point for WDS.
The Streamline solutions/ tools that were offered and/or adapted for WDS included:
Seamless communications and transparency with clients, carriers, operators and more in one system.
Manifest Generation, Booking and Invoicing – Complete expense tracking for every shipment, including income, balance due, profit and loss per shipment, and costs.
Pricing and financial management built-in through with native ledger, chart of accounts and more along with integration for Quickbooks Online.
General Ledger – Complete accounting system to track all accounts.
Equipment and Asset Management – Containers, chassis and trucks are tracked for private and OTR fleets.
Alerts and Notifications for customers (e-arrival and e-departure notices via email).
Mobile Access/Customer Portals/Experiences – Access via iPad, iPhone and Android. Customers/Brokers/Forwarders/NVOCCs can see their shipment status and orders as they progress through the supply chain.
Instant Translation (Spanish to English/English to Spanish) applied to all forms (Streamline provides support for eight languages).
Schedule Management – To manage multiple schedules across multiple vessels, enabling each client’s shipment(s) to be tracked and documented for every trip. Arrival and departure notices provided to WDS’s clients.
Document Management – Built-in for each shipment on every trip, supporting each mode of transportation (from ship to train to chassis/truck), from shipment to delivery (bill of ladings, manifests, packing slips and more). Vessel manifest generation (at shipment level, client manifest generation).
Integration with U.S Customs and AES as certified software vendor and soon deeper integration with ACE (Automated Commercial Environment )
Out-of-the-box Port Management solutions along with integration to 3rd party operating systems like Navis OS, covering 200+ ports. Port Management solutions provide deeper visibility of operations at the terminal, yard, vessel, carrier, rail and intermodal operations for your customers.
Tracking of shipments of multi-mobile shipments via air, land and sea.
Analytics – Dashboards and reports:
Industry and modal-specific dashboards and reports
Measurement of Key Performance Indicators ( KPIs ), TEUs, schedules, departure/arrival and more
Automated rollups & calculations throughout the system
Integration with Google Apps, Exchange and Outlook for greater ERP support.
Visibility and Transparency: Streamline gives shippers a 360-degree view of their clients so they can provide up-to-date information on shipments from manifests down to each purchase order.
Tracking Assets and Costs: Streamline helps shippers track containers, orders and contents, chassis and trucks – from door-to-door across multi-modal environments. “As a shipping line, we have more assets we have to track than NVOCCs and FFs. We use our assets not only as a tracking tool, but as a revenue generator. We must ensure our vessel and each voyage is making money. We must attach every booking as a revenue generator. Each container has a cost and must generate money. Now we are working on the equipment tracking program and vendor payments so we can associate costs with each container. We have a couple of things we want to add, but really there are very few modifications between Streamline and WDS. So we are changing the mindset of the system, reconfiguring it to what we need.”
Yard/Stevedore Management: Streamline provides tools to route/track containers to proper locations in port for storage or onto the appropriate chassis/truck(s) for delivery to customers. It also accommodates cross-stocking for OTR shipments and warehouse operations.
Instant Translation: “Language was a factor. In our office in Mexico, some of our people do not speak English. So the instant translation is helpful.”
Customer Dashboard: “At this stage, we are working on the customer interface, or what the customer sees. We think it’s very important. We want to make sure it’s orderly and aesthetically pleasing. And whether it’s the bill of lading, booking or arrival/destination, if you change one area, it populates the others with that change. And that benefits our customers by making sure data is accurately archived across the entire system.”
Sharing Information with Customers: “We don’t yet send manifests to customers, though we plan on incorporating that in our system. The more we can reduce the number of emails back and forth, the better.”
Responsive, Innovative and Adaptive: Streamline provides a multitude of innovative solutions to our clients, while delivering responsive tailored customization that adapt to market trends.
Aiding WDS’s Growth: Since WDS adapted Streamline ERP in 2015, its shipping growth has been steady despite economic fluctuations.
“We think Streamline facilitates our growth. It’s good for providing customer service and maintaining customers. We don’t have to focus on the back room so much. We can focus on sales.”
Added Shipping Capacity: Starting with one ship traversing weekly between Coatzacoalcos, Mexico and Port Manatee in 2014, WDS has since expanded its fleet to three container ships transporting goods weekly between four ports in Mexico and Port Manatee.
Maintaining Customer Focus: “We are very customer focused. Our business model is designed from a customer viewpoint. Streamline complies with that and has the ability to adapt.”