Syfan Logistics’ relationship with McLeod Software, the national leader in freight brokerage logistics automation technology systems, dates back to the late 1980s.

The latest example of the partnership is Syfan’s use of McLeod’s FlowLogix Designer to build customized business process automation solutions. The BPA solutions Syfan has designed and implemented are boosting productivity by making the work routine flow automatically without intervention.

Business process automation is essential for success today. Logistics automation tools like FlowLogix streamline business processes. So, we worked with McLeod for a logistics case study to see how well the software helped with our efficiency.

Harnessing the Power of Business Process Automation

What struck Diana Bullington, Syfan Transportation Management System manager, about FlowLogix was its flexibility which gave her team the ability to create custom solutions.

“One great thing about it is that pieces can be reused,” she says. “If you need the same action in different programs, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. The tool has a copy-and-paste function that allows you to use the same function in multiple programs or multiple places within the same solution.”

FlowLogix allows us to create workflow-based process automation using a visual design tool instead of writing code. The programs we create can be as simple as a series of “If this, then that” actions that allows our team members to avoid repetitive manual tasks. Then we can create programs that pull data from LoadMaster tables or from other systems through an API on the back end. We can set up a process to gather data, summarize it, analyze it, and then push it to the right user in at our company.

You don’t have to have a programming background to create the programs. A tool helps guide you through the work. Diana says to get the best results you do need to be detail-oriented, and you need to have a solid grasp of your business processes.

Solving Logistics Automation Challenges

FlowLogix helps correct problems within your logistics automation system. For example, Syfan created a solution that runs two or three times a day and looks at a field called Total Charges. The solution finds any discrepancies and corrects the problems. It makes sure the Total Charges on that screen are accurate for our specific purposes. Another example is mismatched allocation codes. Sometimes the code is changed in one field and not others, and this causes problems with the figures on the general ledger.

Syfan has discovered that with FlowLogix it was able put in place a business process automation solution for mass assigning loads.

‘Sometimes when we have a carrier with a specified rate we want to put them on multiple loads,” Diana says. “This could be several hundred loads. It’s time consuming for our carrier sales staff to handle this manually, so we created a FlowLogix program that can mass assign these loads.”

The program uses a PowerBroker menu item and uploads a spreadsheet that includes how the carrier gets paid, the carrier code, and the dispatcher code. It updates the loads, marks the movements as covered, handles the pay, and anything else it’s told to do, such as sending an eRate confirmation. This is a perfect example of work that should be automated.

With FlowLogix, we can literally pull up a BPA solution we have built with the touch of a button. For example, sometimes we use carriers that have more than one motor carrier number and we don’t know until the final delivery which motor carrier number is the one that was used for that load. Fixing this manually can be a headache, so we have a FlowLogix solution that manages it. With one click, the business process automation solution kicks in, and it’s done.

With FlowLogix, we are able to generate analysis reports based on work queues such as billing which allows our controller to see how many loads have been released, how many have been billed, how many are sitting and waiting on paperwork.

Logistics automation is important in the fast-paced 3PL world. We are staying ahead of the field with a FlowLogix, a quality business processing automation system.

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