Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT SPECIFIC ELEMENTS OF YOUR BUSINESS GIVE YOU COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE IN THE 3PL INDUSTRY? TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT?
Ultimately it is the service that we provide that gives us this advantage. Our relentless approach to ensuring that all planned activities occur provides our customer the guarantee that their cost will be reduced.
We believe that without the proper technology a logistics company cannot successfully service its customer base. Considering the state of the trucking industry, there is only so much you can do from a rate perspective. Carriers need to make money and they are highly valued by our company. NAL has made a significant investment into this area both from a Transportation management and a logistics modeling perspective.
NAL provides the power of i2 Supply Chain Software. i2 is the most advanced supply chain software available, providing for tremendous optimization potential which results in cost elimination for our customers. In one such case, we are able to reduce 9% of our customer’s shipments per month via this technology.
In addition, we have invested in nalww.com as an on-line track trace tool for our customers.
PLEASE PROVIDE A DESCRIPTION OF REPRESENTATIVE CURRENT CLIENT OPERATIONS THAT DEMONSTRATE NAL'S CAPABILITY?
All of our customers’ logistics dynamics require high levels of service. Our customers are manufacturers and distributors of products that cover virtually all SIC Codes. Time sensitive/freight sensitive freight is our core competency. NAL Logistics manages numerous projects. We have extensive experience in deliveries of Specialized product to job sites, across border shipments- lean manufacturing programs and freight that is non typical via a dedicated staff that is committed to service excellence.
DESCRIBE YOUR BUSINESS STRATEGY AND APPROACH.
NAL is a Performance Based company. Our Risk Transference Strategy is what sets us apart from the industry. NAL positions itself as a resource as opposed to an outsource to our client base. We do not charge fees. We provide our customers definitive pricing and adhere to our contract. Should a truck not be available at the price that we quoted, NAL pays the difference.
Example: A rate from Pittsburgh to Detroit is $500.00. On a particular day we can only find equipment that will move that lane for $600.00. The customer will be invoiced by NAL at $500.00.
Second example: NAL committed to a transit that cannot be met due to a communication failure of ours. NAL will pay for all expedite cost (including air if necessary) to ensure that all service requirements are met.
HOW WOULD YOU ACCOUNT FOR (COVER) AND OPERATE OUR BUSINESS SERVICES IN THE ABSENCE OF YOUR REGULARLY ASSIGNED STAFF (EXPECTED / UNEXPECTED ILLNESS, VACATION, ETC)?
NAL is structured to provide dedicated Customer Service Personnel to manage the day to day supply chain operation and communicate with our clients. All NAL customers are managed by a dedicated customer service team. This team is cross-trained to ensure that all aspects of your company are properly managed.
Our internal communication within the team designed and designated to your account will ensure your company will not be affected by the unforeseen absence of one or two people. An overall Team Leader supported by executive oversight coordinates your service team, 24/7.
DESCRIBE HOW YOU WOULD PROVIDE CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVES DURING BUSINESS DEFINED HOURS TO ANSWER INQUIRIES FROM US AND OUR CUSTOMERS.
All NAL are provided a dedicated Customer Service Team that includes Operations, IT, Reporting and Value Added Services as well as Financial. Your Customer Service Manager will be available to you 24 x 7 and maintains access to our operating systems should an after hours need arise. NAL Logistics does not own voice mail. Each time you call any of our operations personnel, you will speak to a person who is knowledgeable about your company.
DOES YOUR COMPANY ACTIVELY PURSUE CONTROLLING ACCESSORIAL CHARGES SUCH AS FUEL CAPS, TARP, STOP CHARGES, DEMURRAGE, NOTIFICATION AND VARIOUS OTHER CHARGES THAT SEEM TO BE OVERTAKING THE INDUSTRY?
Yes, we negotiate a “Rules Tariff” for each customer and historically have eliminated several of the more “frivolous” charges from various types of carriers regardless of mode. We leverage our buying power as well as our industry knowledge to reduce, cap or eliminate most accessorial fees.
DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY'S STRENGTH AND RELATIVE POSITION WITHIN YOUR INDUSTRY.
Our strength is first and foremost our people. NAL has the finest collection of service driven people in the industry. Without question it the service that we provide that makes our organization successful. Secondly the i2 Technology we employ is used by some of the largest companies in the world and for good reason. i2 technology gives us a much clearer picture and creates cost saving advantages not used by other 3PL’S. Thirdly, the customer will never be put into box. We can and will fully customize any aspect of our operation to meet your supply chain requirements.
DESCRIBE HOW WOULD YOU MANAGE OUR INTERNATIONAL SHIPMENTS (CANADA, MEXICO, AND WORLDWIDE)?
NAL will manage 100% of your Canada and Mexico shipments internally. All shipments outside NA borders will be managed by our strategic partner. The customer will receive the same “One Call” and Track Trace process regardless of where the product is shipped to or from.
HOW WOULD YOU INTERFACE WITH CARRIERS WHO DO NOT HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY CAPABILITIES TO HANDLE LOAD TENDERS, DELIVERY CONFIRMATIONS, AND LOAD STATUS UPDATES?
Our Website has the capability of enabling our carriers to manually enter (via email) their ETA status. In addition, our Track/Trace Department regularly communicates with our carrier base to gain status information. We maintain communication with drivers (cell phone) as well as mandate a 24 x 7 dispatch phone number with all of our carriers.
DESCRIBE YOUR PROCESS TO IMPLEMENT A NEW ACCOUNT.
Once the project is awarded the first agenda item is to assign a cross functional team comprised of key stakeholders from each organization to design the Implementation meeting. This is a formal meeting where deadlines for start up are assigned along with the necessary action items (in Project form). The NAL Implementation Team is dispatched to your site(s) to meet with and review documents as the following statement addresses, it is equally critical for NAL for the start up to be as seamless as possible. This can only be accomplished with a comprehensive team that is mutually committed to the success of the project.
HOW WOULD YOU INSURE THAT ALL SHIPMENTS ACTUALLY SHIP, AND AT THE MOST FAVORABLE COST TO US?
The NAL Value Added Services Team that has the sole responsibility to track and trace every shipment everyday. Our process calls for NAL to manage the shipments. As shipments are tendered, our staff monitors shipment activity immediately including verifying that the order actually shipped. We will have direct communication with each of your shipping locations as well as your vendor sites. There will be a robust and active communication between our Operations Center and the shipping location that will verify the shipment.
Our process calls for Schedule A rating that has savings built in to our customer that aligns with the savings guarantee that we provide prior to implementation.
As we are a performance based company, we will absolutely ensure that the carrier best in both service and low cost is used for each opportunity.
WHAT IS YOUR PROCESS FOR NOTIFYING US IF A SHIPMENT IS DELAYED, DAMAGED, OR IS NOT GOING TO MEET THE SCHEDULED PICK-UP OR DELIVERY TIME?
This information will be made available through many means. First, all shipments are dynamically tracked and communicated via real time in the event of delay. All shipments will be posted on our website.
Freight that is damaged in transit will be communicated immediately by phone, email or what ever means your need to the site for disposition and instruction if an expedited replacement shipment is necessary. Our Track Trace Department is trained to communicate any out of plan activity to their Team Leader as well as the customer.
DESCRIBE YOUR PROCESS OF RESOLVING AND TRACKING OVERAGE, SHORTAGE, AND DAMAGE CLAIMS, INCLUDING HELP WITH FREIGHT CLAIMS, RESOLVING AND MINIMIZING FREIGHT DAMAGE, INVESTIGATION OF CLAIMS, ISSUE RESOLUTION, AND FINANCIAL RESOLUTION?
NAL manages all claims for our customers. We provide weekly status reports of all claims to key stakeholders. Should we determine that repetitive damage is occurring, NAL will schedule site visits with carrier and customer representatives to provide training on the care and custody of your freight and design an SOP for same.
HOW WOULD YOU MANAGE A PROCESS TO ACHIEVE OPTIMIZED BIDS FOR EACH TRANSPORTATION NEED?
We look to receive a minimum of 90 days of your shipment history. This data gets modeled in i2 to find opportunities for cost reduction (rates) shipment optimization, frequency analysis and the like. Once complete, we submit our findings to our customer’s Senior Management. We will work with your sites in concert to determine the process and establish the proper metrics to measure our collective result.
DESCRIBE HOW YOU MANAGE AND DEVELOP A CORE CARRIER PROGRAM.
Currently our carrier base exceeds 10,000 asset based vendors. NAL manages the carrier base on the following criteria:
- Accurate Pick Up Time
- Accurate Delivery Times
- Damaged Claim Issues
- Operating Authority
- Insurance Coverage
- Fleet Capabilities
- Coverage Area
- Fleet Maintenance
Our Procurement Department will solicit commitments from our carrier base providing benchmark pricing and service levels that will meet the savings and service criteria of our customers. Once complete, lanes and volumes will be assigned and committed to. All loads will be tracked and on time service will be monitored and measured as one of the Key Performance Indicators.
These are just a few areas we monitor on a daily basis. Our IT Systems allow for prompting in certain areas to ensure we receive the information on a timely basis.
GAIN SHARING- IS THIS SOMETHING YOUR COMPANY DOES WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS?
It is not the philosophy of NAL to practice gain sharing. We see gain sharing as a “year 1” solution and it does not challenge a logistics company after the first year, although the customer is made to pay for future years for no continuous improvement. We do not feel that it is fair to our customer. Ours is an analytical approach utilizing sophisticated modeling tools that are aimed at producing guaranteed savings to our customer. All of the savings that we produce are for the benefit of our client base. Our practice is to produce new savings each year for our customer base. We employ metrics to monitor the savings that we create, and report them to our customer on a quarterly basis. All savings are guaranteed, as NAL also manages the freight to ensure that all things occur as planned. Once year 1 is complete, we do it again.
HOW DO I COMPLETE A HAZARDOUS MATERIAL BILL?
Each hazardous material must have its own bill completed. Please contact one of our specialists.
WE ARE PREPARING TO EXPORT MACHINES WHICH HAVE BEEN RETURNED DUE TO DEFECTIVE OPERATION. THE MACHINES WERE ORIGINALLY IMPORTED THEN SOLD TO DOMESTIC CUSTOMERS. OUR BROKER ADVISED THAT THE MACHINES DO NOT QUALIFY FOR UNUSED DRAWBACK. IS THERE ANYTHING WE CAN DO TO RECOVER THE IMPORT DUTY?
Although the machines do not qualify for unused drawback (based on the fact that they were sold and used for their intended purpose prior to being returned due to defective operation), they should qualify under rejected merchandise which has no restriction on use and which, under the Mod Act, has been extended to 3 years from date of import to date of return to customs custody. Please contact one of our specialists to discuss this further.
OUR COMPANY HAS BEEN DOING DRAWBACK FOR EXPORTS INTO CANADA. WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED THAT UNDER NAFTA, EXPORTS TO CANADA ARE NO LONGER ELIGIBLE FOR DRAWBACK.
Substitution drawback was eliminated on exports to Canada and Mexico effective January 1, 1994. However, exports to Canada are still eligible for drawback under same condition direct identification. Please contact one of our specialists.