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It's a common dilemma for organizations that make multiple moves. How can you best distribute your transportation business among qualified carriers–and be confident in the data to support your decisions?
Here's the good news. Avail Resource Management has solved the dilemma with a proprietary process called AOM (Avail Order Management).
"Organizations today scrutinize expenditures like never before," says Senior Vice President Richard Clarke, Ace Relocation Systems (75). "AOM gives relocation managers a means to get the best value from their transportation dollar, and justify their choice of providers with the facts."
The process begins when a client submits a move request into the AOM system. AOM notifies Avail Resource Management, via email, to assign the approved carrier based on guidelines set by the client. For example, XYZ Corp. has authorized three carriers: one provider for 50 percent of its moves and two others for the remainder.
When notified of a move order, the carrier provides a budgetary estimate. AOM sends the estimate to the relocation company for approval, following which the carrier performs the in-home survey.
"When the move is completed, the invoices come to Avail and we can make sure the actual price is in line with the estimate," says Director Mark Haller. "If there are discrepancies, we note the differences and find out why."
As well as a tool for assigning and shepherding moves, AOM provides feedback that enables corporate move managers to make decisions supported by objective data.
"AOM creates a level playing field in which to evaluate carrier performance," says Senior Move Management Coordinator Stephanie Shelton. "Managers get reporting customized especially for them. For example, we can show variations in costs among carriers per mile, per shipment, per unit of weight, per transportation lane, and so forth. Whatever the expectation, AOM brings virtually unlimited flexibility for informed decision-making."
"What's more," says Stephanie, "the AOM system is totally transparent, giving the corporate manager the ability to view all the company's moves online at any time."
Avail developed AOM in 2009 in answer to a client's specific request. Today, several national accounts rely on it to make the best use of their transportation budgets; Richard manages three of them. He says his clients have found it's not always the carrier with the lowest shipping cost that represents the best value. But, with facts in hand, they can make the right choices – and justify them.
"A client might save $500 in transportation costs on an international move, yet incur $4,000 in temporary housing and per diem expense because the shipment was delayed," says Richard. "When you factor in such things as timeliness and claims, you get a clearer picture of the cost to use a carrier. AOM makes value comparisons crystal clear."