7 Things You Should Know About the New Catapult QMS
We recently launched a revamped version of Catapult’s flagship product, QMS, on July 11, 2018. As a former user of Catapult QMS while working at a freight forwarder, I’m very confident the new version offers the best of both worlds: full of efficiency boosting functionality and a beautiful user interface. Few offerings can say they have years of knowledge and offer a state-of-the-art system that answers the needs of today’s users. At Catapult, we have worked hard to combine our contract expertise with a focus on system usability to ensure efficiency within your organization.
I am one of the chief designers of the new QMS. Here are seven things that I think new and current users will find exciting:
1. Intuitive and streamlined search
Rates have a lifecycle: Contract, Quotation & Tariff (if filed with the FMC). It doesn’t make sense for a user to navigate to multiple places within a system to retrieve rate data. The new search panel in Catapult QMS allows the user to quickly search various types of rates housed in your environment from a single screen.
Additionally, should the search interface for a Sales person be the same as someone in Operations or Management? We don’t think so. We believe the user should be allowed to define their search interface. The software must fit the user--not the other way around.
2. Simplified quoting
To help our users quickly and efficiently prepare quotes, we created a three-step process for sending rates: Prepare the Rates, Assign the Client, and & Output the Data. This simplified approach improves usability and significantly enhances your quote speed.
3. Self-defined quote forms
Over the years we learned every client requires their own quotation format. Nobody wants to use the same form that is being used by their competitor. Additionally, many clients have regional needs. A branch in North America may need a vastly different quote format than a branch in China. With this in mind, the new QMS allows users to create custom forms for the entire company, region-based forms for different branches or design unique forms for each mode of transportation.
4. Multimodal quotes (Truck + Ocean or Truck + Air + LCL)
A fundamental flaw in many freight rate management systems is storing door (ground) costs as part of the primary mode of transportation (ocean or air). When the client is ready to book, operations is left with many questions: How do I execute this freight? Who is used for the drayage? Is the primary carrier or another party responsible? How, and to whom, do I pay the bill?
In the New QMS, multimodal freight is stored by different legs of the move. Users are not limited to the number of legs in a shipment. Each leg stores who is responsible and the charges associated, ensuring accuracy in execution, billing and payment.
5. Bulk Quoting Tools
It is not uncommon for your clients to request multiple rates to be quoted. We made sure users can execute large requests in the New QMS with two features: Multi-Lane Rate Searches and the Price Editing Wizard.
The Multi-Lane Rate Search provides the user with an interface to search multiple origin and destination pairs and/or multiple modes of transportation at once. Users may input parameters directly into QMS or populate an Excel sheet that is read into the system.
Once rates are returned, the user can quickly modify one or many results through the Price Editing Wizard. This tool shortcuts traditional markup routines. From here, users can quickly add new charges, add margin or modify base rates in a few clicks.
Today’s user is not confined to a cubical in a high-rise building. Working from the road is a common practice. It doesn’t always make sense to turn on a computer just to query rates or to provide a quotation to a client. The new QMS is mobile friendly, allowing users to quickly find rates and send quotations to clients from their smartphone.
7. Enhanced administrator controls
As our customer base has expanded, we have found roles, permission and features needed vary by client. With this in mind, we made the new QMS extremely flexible. Modules can be turned on and off through the Control Panel. Administrators can create custom roles with permissions tailored to fit the organization’s needs.
Simple tasks have also been considered. Our new system strives to eliminate the need for “behind the scenes” work. Users now have GUIs for virtually all needs. Reducing Helpdesk tickets and providing users with tools to “self-help” is a win for all parties involved.
Whether you’re a current customer or just browsing, please reach out for a demo!
About the Author
Chris Dillard (firstname.lastname@example.org) heads up the Product Design function at Catapult, an Accelya Company. He has eight years working in the transportation industry including a stint managing client rates and carrier contracts at TSC Container Freight prior to creating and maintaining a self-designed freight quotation system. Chris is an avid student of technology, process engineering and user experiences.