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CEVA & Prompt

Optimizing CargoWise for the leading French logistics company

CEVA Logistics Uses Prompt Global Rate Solution to Automate Rate Management and Eliminate Human Error While Saving Time and Money.

CEVA is a leading global logistics company based in Marseille, France. As a mainstay in the top 10 global freight forwarder landscape, CEVA looked to CargoWise as part of their IMPACT 2020 plan. Their global rollout commenced in Q3 of 2020, with the goal to simplify and standardize processes across its over 1,000 locations in 160 countries.

As many forwarders using CargoWise know, the platform is powerful, and a leading solution for top 3PLs. However the perfect solution does not exist, and that is where CEVA’s challenges begin.

Key points

  • Replaced manual rates entry with automated rates upload solution
  • Handles a large number of factors including origin/destination, mode, chargeable items Over 1.5 million rates uploaded since the solution was implemented by CEVA
  • If we assume that manual rate entry in CargoWise takes 30 seconds per rate (conservative estimate), that’s over 30 years of staff hours saved
  • These time savings were achieved along with error-free usage within 2 weeks of launching
  • The above was achieved in compliance with a strict Cyber Security audit required by CEVA

Why do FMS platforms struggle with rate management?

As a large organization working with multiple carriers across modes, rate management becomes a serious challenge and one that out-of-the-box Freight Management Systems fail to address properly. Sure they can handle simple tasks such as managing contract rates for a handful of carriers through manual data uploads or entry. But manual processes are no longer sufficient, with human error and time requirements leading to costly quoting mistakes and client frustration.

What makes rate management so complicated that even leading FMS platforms struggle?

  • Dynamic Market Rates fluctuate due to supply and demand – in the past, it was easier to predict rate changes based on seasonality but in today’s post-Covid world…
  • Complex Rate Structures involve various factors such as cargo type, weight, transport distance, and mode – multiplying the data required for optimal rate calculation.
  • Contract Management can lead to rate nightmares with forwarders dealing with multiple carriers, each with different rates and terms.

The impact of bad rate management on a forwarding business is not only a potential loss of revenue when quoting the wrong rates, but also an impact on the customer experience that will see them heading to someone who does it better.

Bad rate management includes the time it takes to enter each rate. CargoWise spreads the different aspects of Client/Costing/Quotation rating across multiple sections, requiring varying degrees of data entry on different screens.

And as with many freight forwarding challenges, the onus is on logistics technology to make things right.

Integrating rate automation with CargoWise FMS

CEVA was looking for a solution that enhanced their existing CargoWise installation, rather than one that sidestepped or replaced it together. The need was not only for an improved rate management solution, but one that would integrate seamlessly with CargoWise, allowing CEVA to pursue their global rollout. A common requirement we’re seeing with forwarders today is the desire to improve existing technology stacks, rather than replace them with further solutions.

Prompt’s rate management solution is designed to integrate with existing FMS solutions, streamlining the user experience. CEVA’s users can continue to do the majority of their activities in CargoWise, with straightforward steps in place to push rates into CargoWise from Prompt’s rate management solution.

The out-of-the-box integration with CargoWise and removal of any manual data entry into CargoWise allowed CEVA to make the right decision and choose Prompt’s rate management offering over the competition which requires manual data entry or the use of a second interface on a regular basis.

From free trial to confirmed product fit within days

Modern software implementation needs to be fast, relatively painless, and practical. Forwarders do not have the time for drawn-out implementation processes that can lead to increased costs and resource usage. They’ll drop that project overnight and move on to the next one.

All Prompt solutions are designed with implementation speed in mind. We also trust our solution can deliver on what we pitch, which is why we provided CEVA with a free trial of our rate management solution.

The free trial proved that the platform was the real deal, and we went to town optimizing processes for CEVA, to make sure the product fit their processes, not the other way around.

From start to finish, here’s an overview of the process:

  • A user receives a set of rates that need to be captured in CargoWise
  • These rates are converted into Prompt Rates format, which is purpose-built to fit CargoWise’s complicated data architecture
  • When ready, the file is uploaded to the Prompt Rates tool
  • The tool works AI and ML magic, capturing the data
  • The data is then converted to XML format and uploaded to CargoWise
  • The user receives a detailed confirmation of the upload

The tool effectively eliminates all manual data entry into CargoWise, and consolidates individual rate entry into a single line of a spreadsheet, rather than three distinct CargoWise screens.

Cybersecurity: a logistics technology priority

Cybersecurity, data ownership, and data protection were three key criteria for CEVA when choosing a platform to work with for their rates management. They require vendors to pass a significant cybersecurity audit and to have things in place to protect their data.

Prompt Rates is not only compliant with the cybersecurity audit but provides CEVA with full control over the protection of the data transmitted. Meeting the highest standards of data security and cybersecurity should be a key part of any new logistics technology implementation.

Proactively tackling logistics data entry pain points

How do you quantify results when there was no precedent? CEVA had identified before moving forward with the CargoWise implementation that rates management would be an issue. They decided to get ahead of the problem and implemented a solution proactively, a decision that continues to make sense today as composable tech stacks continue to gain traction vs monolith solutions.

Since implementing Prompt’s rate management solution CEVA has eliminated the majority of manual intervention, which is now reserved for exception management, in the rare cases where the carriers do not play ball and “forget” to send updated rates on time.

CEVA has uploaded over 1.5 million rate lines over 12 months, essentially saving over 30 years of labor hours. At Prompt, we fully expect CEVA to expand the use of this solution with the acquisition of Bolloré Logistics by CMA CGM, owner of CEVA.

CEVA’s CargoWise implementation was managed by some of the most knowledgeable and respected third party platform specialists in the industry. Here’s what Arwa Ghazal had to say about our partnership:

“Prompt’s Rates solution allows us to remove manual data entry and have a fully automated approach to custom rates with a set of attributes that helps in catering for all the modes.” – Arwa Ghazal, CEVA Logistics

Although our industry is largely driven on the tech side by monolith platforms that do not necessarily play well with others, you do not have to settle for what they consider industry-standard functionality.

The best conclusion to any case study is a successful outcome, which we feel Arwa’s words describe better than we ever could:

“We schedule updates and everything runs like clockwork, without any intervention needed.”

How’s that for a customer endorsement?

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