SCATS©: Transportation Management System
The dynamics of an integrated supply chain demand controlled and timely supply channels. The effectiveness of each logistics partner in responding to supply chain requirements is dependent upon timely receipt of logistics data. SCATS©, a transportation management system, provides the environment where logistics information is rapidly exchanged among all partners world-wide and instantly retrieved as needed.
How SCATS© receives information
Purchase orders are transmitted to SCATS© through the Internet or EDI. Purchase orders are accessible through SCATS© by the authorized Supplier. Advance shipment notification is posted to the PO-Line item when the Supplier is ready to fulfill the order.
Suppliers can also transmit electronic information to SCATS© either through the Internet or EDI, providing operational information relevant to the processing of the purchase order/release, such as costing, carrier assignment, and shipment pick up. Supplier updates match and update the purchase orders downloaded into SCATS©.
Worldwide Distribution System
SCATS© is a worldwide transportation managament system easily accessible by all logistics partners through the Internet. The operational database is maintained by the supply chain partners as a byproduct of operational events, such as order scheduling, shipment notification, shipment pick up, in transit movement, arrival at destination, and ultimate delivery. Operational events are reported as they occur. SCATS© maintains an in-transit database identifying shipments that are yet to be delivered as well as a historical database containing shipments that are delivered. The SCATS© database can be rapidly queried by a broad range of elements to extract the desired information. The elements include the following, as well as a date range:
|Bill of lading number||Purchase order number|
|Supplier/vendor number||Master bill number|
|Part number/sku||Shipper name|
|Consignee name||Carrier origin|
|Carrier destination||Freight carrier|
The SCATS© database also includes facilities for downloading the purchase order along with detailed line items. The cost reported by the transportation companies is prorated to each line item.
An extensive reporting facility is available enabling the selection and printing of exception reports as well as management reports. Transit time analyses, activity by shipping facility, activity by transportation carrier, and many more combinations are possible. When suppliers participate in SCATS©, frequency cycle analyses can be extracted as well.
Operational Management Facility
SCATS© can be used to locate, identify, and communicate with logistics partners through operational e-mail messages. A shipment reported to SCATS© can be rapidly retrieved and operational routing instructions issued to specific parties. A detailed report of the shipment along with instructions can be sent to the receiving party. This facility can be used to communicate with:
|Suppliers requesting that a shipment be expedited, or the transportation company changed, or simply requesting the status of an order.||Operational alerts can be issued to the transportation companies involved in the movement and provide routing instructions or follow up on the movement of the shipment.|
SCATS© maintains a customized e-mail address book to facilitate communications.
Automated Event Control System
SCATS© is designed as a pro-active exception management system. SCATS© maintains a three priority level exception system. Scheduled events that are not reported by a particular party within a designated tolerance are extracted and reported to responsible parties through e-mail. Failure to resolve the exception within 24 hours results in reporting the exception to the second management level as well as the party responsible for action. Failure to resolve the problem within 48 hours is reported as a critical exception to the third management level as well as the two lower levels. Concurrently, the transportation company is also notified that an exception has been noted. SCATS© alert exceptions are as follows:
|Supplier. Report shipment as picked up on anticipated pick up date. SCATS© system will email the party responsible for action at the supplier. Once the supplier reports the shipment as shipped, the exception is turned off automatically.
Transportation companies. Shipments not delivered by the ETA will be automatically reported as exception to the pertinent transportation company.
|Company management will be advised through e-mail as follows:
One day exception is reported to first level management.
Two day exception is reported to first level management as a serious exception and simultaneously reported to second level management.
Three day or longer exception is reported to first level management as a critical exception and simultaneously reported to second and third level management.
Exceptions are automatically removed once the delivery information is posted.
Inventory and Parts Bank Facility
SCATS© design can also be used to administer parts banks and inventory at public warehouses and third party logistics companies. SCATS© reports order movement over five major operational events, such as pick up date, confirmation on board the line haul carrier, at destination, out for delivery, and delivery. Orders entered without pickup date are considered on hand.
|Parts banks. To administer the parts bank, parts are shipped to strategic locations for rapid 2-4-8 hour turn around time. When a part is needed, it can be retrieved through SCATS©, and instruction issued through the operational alerting system to the parts bank operator requesting shipment and ETA. The part is then picked and shipped. Delivery exceptions are reported automatically through the SCATS© event control system.
||Inventory at third party logistics sites or other locations. When an order needs to be filled, the appropriate part/item is retrieved and instructions are issued to the operator for the movement of the shipment. This concept is intended to supplement the daily download of orders from the order entry system to the third party operations. The downloading is a function that can be accomplished through SCATS©.
SCATS© operates as a global network, accessible to suppliers, shippers, transportation companies, brokers, warehouses, third party logistics companies. A transportation company can service all their customers through SCATS©, routing data to their own SCATS© database as well as each individual customer database. A supplier can receive orders from all their customers, each customer sending the purchase orders from their database into a common SCATS© database for the supplier. And of course a customer maintains a SCATS© database that is serviced by all the transportation companies and suppliers.
SCATS© Inbound Shipping
SCATS© provides purchase order tracking, reporting, and shipping functionality to suppliers. Suppliers have visibility only to their purchase orders, and shipping access to particular POs is controlled by date management. Shipments by suppliers are posted to the first open quantity at the delivery schedule level, thus also controlling quantity shipped against quantity ordered. Quantity management includes quantity tolerance as provided in the purchase order data. Shipping screens are populated with purchase order data (including ship from, ship to, quantity ordered, part number and description, and other pertinent data).
SCATS© enables the identification of special handling and equipment requirements, as defined by customer profiles. SCATS© inbound shipping functionality includes pull down menus for selecting special equipment and handling requirements for all transport modes. Shippers are able to identify shipments needing urgent operational attention through a checkbox in the shipping screen. Shippers are able to print bills of lading, carrier tracking labels, and receiving barcodes at the conclusion of the shipment process.
SCATS© provides suppliers with the ability to identify "vendor truck" as the carrier for shipments moved to the customer via supplier truck. Application of vendor truck to the shipment precludes carrier routing in SCATS©.
Once suppliers post the ASN (Advance Shipment Notification), SCATS© automatically evaluates all shipment parameters (including pieces, weight, dimensions, special handling and/or equipment requirements, ready date/time, required delivery date/time, and applicable business rules) and determines the best carrier at the best cost. SCATS© assigns the carrier and service levels and tenders the shipment to the carrier. SCATS© provides the shipper with all required shipping documents. SCATS© receives tracking events from the carrier, from confirmation of dispatch through pick up and delivery. SCATS© also receives receiving signals from the ERP system to confirm the material is available in inventory.
SCATS© Outbound Shipping
SCATS© provides two alternative facilities to users for outbound shipping:
SCATS© Outbound: The standard outbound shipping screen, programmed to identify all mandatory account coding data elements and provide options to ship prepaid, collect, third party or Government Services Administration of DoD account shipments. This facility is used for all modes/services.
QuikShip: Outbound facility designed only for small parcel. Shipper profiling, shipment save feature, and specialized programming enable small parcel shippers to quickly post shipments and receive shipping documents. QuikShip enables high volume small parcel shippers to add additional shipments to the same consignee(s) throughout the daily shipment cycle before posting. All outbound shipping facilities provide bills of lading and carrier tracking labels.
SCATS© enables shippers to select special handling and equipment requirements, as defined by the customer via special pull down menus. Shippers are able to identify shipments needing urgent operational attention through a checkbox in the outbound shipping screen. Completion of the shipping screen automatically triggers carrier selection and routing, generation of the shipping documents, and electronic dispatch to the carrier.