Tuesday, June 16, 2009

SQL Reporting Services - Your "Free" BI Tool

Many senior level executives and IT Professionals are not aware of an extremely powerful report writer that is already part of their database SQL Server installation and it’s free!

This report writer has come a long way from its initial SQL 2000 debut. With the newest release under SQL 2012, SQL Reporting Services or SSRS as its’ known, delivers enterprise, Web-enabled business intelligence (BI) reporting functionality so you can create reports that draw content from a variety of data sources, publish reports in various formats, and centrally manage security and subscriptions.

SQL Server Reporting Services combines a single, complete reporting platform with a scalable and extensible architecture to meet a wide variety of reporting needs, including:

o Enterprise Reporting: Enterprises can use Reporting Services for their operational reporting or business intelligence applications. Using Reporting Services, corporate IT staff can design a variety of reports and deploy them to individuals throughout the enterprise.

o Ad-hoc Reporting: SQL Reporting Services includes Report Builder 2.0, a new ad-hoc reporting tool that enables business users to create their own reports and explore corporate data. Report Builder incorporates a user-friendly business query model that enables users to build reports without deep technical understanding of the underlying data sources.

o Automated Subscriptions: Users can create reports and have the system automatically run the reports at specific times along with distribution of those reports via multiple methods such as email in different formats including CSV, PDF and Excel.

o Embedded Reporting: Organizations can access predefined or ad-hoc reports from third-party applications that use Reporting Services and use these reports as-is, customize them, or create new ones for specific business needs.

o Web-based Reporting for Internal Users and Customers. Organizations can deploy interactive Web-based reports to deliver information to customers or partners over extranets or the Internet. SSRS isolates report consumers from the complexity of the underlying data sources, while providing personalization and interactivity.

Whether you want to outsource or do it yourself, SSRS allows you to write sophisticated reports that leverage your existing database investment! Besides, the price is right as well!

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Danger of Over Utilizing "Spot" Market Rates with Carriers

As most transportation management professionals know, the last several months have been a buyers market for motor carrier transportation, a trend which seems may continue for the immediate future. In the normal course of conducting business, I have run across several organizations that subscribe to the tactic of sending out their entire dispatch for a daily "spot" market quote.

This process can take the form of calling, faxing, Internet load posting, or utilizing sophisticated software provided and encouraged by leading TMS companies as a "best practice".

Although in the short term this "bottom feeding" tactic could reduce freight spent, it does nothing to promote a longer term strategic partnership with the motor carrier community. I believe that a shipper should have an established carrier base to which they can depend on with competitive rates and excellent service levels.

There are various legitimate scenarios in which using the "spot" approach is beneficial without putting at risk your established carrier base, but it should not be used as the only method.

Carriers I have spoken with understand that shippers need to be "opportunistic", but they also indicate that, taken too far, this technique will eventually work against the shippers especially when the economy begins it's turnaround and the "struggle to book a load" becomes reality once again.

What do you think?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Next Generation Logistics The Value Leader

Many companies have discovered that they are overpaying for managed transportation services as well as transportation management software. In these times, paying for the "crystal chandelier" is not wise or popular. Many of the so called Tier 1 providers have set arbitrary minimum sales volume targets of $30 million or below which is not worth their time or money. Yet the majority of opportunities for ROI as well as benefits to the customer rests with exactly those customers.

Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, Next Generation Logistics (NGL) is the only supply chain management company that can provide both leading edge services and software without overpaying. A large customer of NGL has described the company as "Large Enough To Serve, Yet Small Enough to Care".

Reduce your supply chain management costs without mortgaging your company's future - call NGL http://www.nextgeneration.com