More Moving Parcels Equals More Costly Errors: The Importance of Auditing

Explore 3 key areas to audit in your shipping process for significant cost savings

Over the past several years, the surge in e-commerce has been record breaking. Year after year, it’s brought a significant increase in demand and volume for companies around the world. With more orders flooding in, businesses should be making more money, right? The reality is, however, that certain areas in your shipping process could be quietly draining your bottom line.


While e-commerce has transformed from a niche market to a dominant force, this rapid increase in shipping volume has pushed consumers to demand fast and reliable shipping. As businesses handle more products than ever before, the complexity of shipping logistics also grows. More parcels moving through the supply chain means more opportunities for costly errors.


Incorrect addresses, inappropriate shipping methods, and carrier overcharges are common areas where shipping errors occur, not only draining your resources but also impacting customer satisfaction. Each of these errors represents an opportunity for significant cost savings through careful auditing. By identifying and addressing these mistakes, businesses can streamline their shipping processes, reduce expenses, and boost their bottom line.


Let’s take a closer look at 3 areas in your shipping process that could be eroding your profit margins and why it’s crucial to audit them.

One of the most common and costly errors made in the shipping process is entering an incorrect address. Even the smallest mistake in an address can cause significant delays, misdeliveries, customer dissatisfaction, and additional charges. Missing an updated Zip+4 code or errors in spelling, spacing, or abbreviation are very common mistakes when it comes to wrong addresses.


When a parcel is sent to an incorrect address, or delivery is attempted to an address that doesn’t exist, carriers charge an address correction fee to provide the correct, deliverable address information back to you. For major carriers like FedEx and UPS, the average cost per address correction is $18-21 to the shipper. Also, if an address needs to be corrected, it automatically eliminates the on-time delivery guarantee, which can further damage the customer experience.

The Solution

Oftentimes, address correction fees appear on invoices without prior notice, making it challenging to anticipate and budget for these additional costs. That’s why it’s important to review your invoices and record any address changes for future shipments.


It’s also worth updating your database with corrected information for the future, or to consider shipping software that is already integrated with the United States Postal Service’s database. Ensuring your data is CASS-certified, meaning it uses the Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) to check for accuracy against the USPS database, will significantly reduce the chances of address-related errors.


Another effective strategy is to implement multi-carrier shipping software that includes address validation features. Such software can automatically verify and correct addresses before shipping, reducing the likelihood of errors. This proactive approach not only saves money on correction fees but also ensures timely deliveries and enhances customer satisfaction. By auditing your shipping process for wrong address charges and employing these solutions, you can significantly cut down on unnecessary expenses and improve the efficiency of your operations.

Another common reason for unnecessary shipping costs is using the wrong shipping method. Choosing an inappropriate shipping option can result in higher costs, longer delivery times, and additional surcharges. This problem is often due to a lack of awareness about the most cost-effective shipping methods and the variety of accessorial fees that carriers can impose.


Selecting the wrong shipping method typically occurs when employees are unaware of the most current methods, rates, and billing programs. Carriers offer a wide range of services that can differ in rates, delivery times, and conditions. For example, UPS has 10 different service levels with varying delivery timeframe options for sending a domestic package, while FedEx has 9 options for U.S. package and envelope shipping.


Choosing the wrong method can lead to unnecessary accessorial fees, such as:

  • Dimensional (Length or Width) Overages
  • Dimensional Weight Charges
  • Collect on Delivery (COD) Fees
  • Delivery Confirmation Fees (e.g., Signature Required)
  • Delivery Reattempt Charges
  • Inside Delivery or Pickup Charge
  • Fuel Surcharge
  • Third-Party Billing Fees
  • Package Rerouting Fees (Phone request; Web Request)
  • Delivery Area Surcharges (Remote Area; Metro Service Area; Residential Area; Alaska or Hawaii; International)
  • Return Pickup Fees
  • Saturday Delivery or Pickup Fees

While it’s easy to know if you should be looking at a Saturday rate based on the expected pickup or delivery date, it’s not always easy to know if you’re selecting the right service from the right carrier for the lowest price. The complexity and variety of options make it difficult to ensure that each package is shipped using the most cost-effective method.

The Solution

To address this issue, it is important to train employees to understand and select the most cost-effective shipping options. Employees should also be aware of new offerings for residential deliveries and how those prices compare with standard/saver delivery options with a residential surcharge. Regular training sessions can help keep your team up to date with the latest shipping methods, rates, and billing programs.


Additionally, using advanced shipping software that performs rate shopping can be a game-changer for your shipping operations. Rate shopping tools work by allowing you to enter your contract rates for each carrier and then automatically compare them to find the best shipping method based on your specific criteria such as fastest delivery, least expensive option, or to meet a specific delivery date. By implementing multi-carrier shipping software with a rate shopping tool or feature, you can avoid unnecessary surcharges and ensure that your shipping process is as efficient and cost-effective as possible.

Even with accurate addresses and the correct shipping methods, your invoices may still be higher than expected due to carrier overcharges. These overcharges can result from a variety of errors, including incorrect billing rates, unanticipated accessorial fees, and miscalculated weights or dimensions. Without careful monitoring, these charges can significantly erode your profit margins.


Carrier overcharges often stem from discrepancies between the agreed contract rates and the actual charges applied to your shipments. These discrepancies can occur for several reasons:

  • Incorrect Rates: The carrier may bill at a higher rate than what was negotiated in your contract.
  • Unexpected Fees: Additional fees for services such as residential delivery, fuel surcharges, or Saturday delivery may be applied incorrectly.
  • Weight and Dimension Errors: Miscalculations of package weight or dimensions can lead to inflated charges.
  • Duplicate Charges: In some cases, the same fee may be applied multiple times to a single shipment.

Manually auditing every invoice for these errors is time-consuming and prone to human error, making it difficult to catch all discrepancies. As a result, many businesses unknowingly overpay their carriers.

The Solution

To combat carrier overcharges, it is essential to implement a robust auditing process that can catch these discrepancies. Here are a few strategies to consider:

  • Regular Invoice Reviews: Schedule routine audits of your shipping invoices to identify and dispute incorrect charges promptly.
  • Contract Rate Awareness: Ensure your team is fully aware of the contract rates you have negotiated with your carriers. Keeping a reference document handy can help quickly verify whether the charges match your agreed rates.
  • Dispute Mechanism: Establish a clear process for disputing incorrect charges with your carriers. Promptly addressing discrepancies can help recover funds and deter future errors.
  • Training: Regularly train your staff to recognize common overcharges and understand the importance of accurate documentation and prompt dispute resolution.

Another option to avoid these overcharges is hiring a third-party service. These auditors conduct thorough line-item audits of your invoices for you, utilizing their expertise to uncover billing errors and ensure compliance with contracted rates. However, while these auditors can be helpful in finding the overcharges, they end up keeping a significant amount of money for their services. This strategy can be helpful for shippers in identifying leaks in their bottom line, but the cost-sharing aspect means it isn’t the most cost-effective option.


By implementing these strategies, businesses can mitigate the financial impact of carrier overcharges. While manual auditing and monitoring are essential, they can be labor-intensive and may not catch all errors. The good news is that there are advanced solutions available to streamline and enhance the accuracy of managing shipping costs.

When it comes to auditing in the modern shipping landscape, the most invaluable option to combat overcharges is to implement automated invoice auditing as part of your comprehensive shipping software. This involves using specialized auditing functionality to review each line item on your carrier invoices, compare them against your contract rates, and rectify any discrepancies. Automated auditing software offers several key benefits:

  • Accuracy: This software can precisely match billed rates with contract rates, ensuring no discrepancies go unnoticed.
  • Efficiency: Automated processes can handle large volumes of invoices quickly, freeing up valuable time for other areas of your operations.
  • Comprehensive Review: The software can detect a wide range of errors, from incorrect rates to unexpected fees and duplicate charges.

By integrating automated auditing as part of your shipping software, you can ensure that all overcharges are identified and rectified. This not only recovers lost funds but also provides valuable insights into recurring issues, allowing you to address the root causes and prevent future errors.

To effectively address the challenges of wrong address charges, incorrect shipping methods, and carrier overcharges, a robust, integrated solution is essential. Varsity Logistics offers automated auditing solutions as part of their advanced supply chain execution modules, with ShipAudit for parcel and FreightAudit for freight shippers. Both solutions provide a comprehensive toolset designed to streamline your auditing process and maximize your savings.

ShipAudit

The ShipAudit module is integrated with Varsity’s ShipSoft parcel shipping and rate shopping software. With ShipAudit software, all overcharges are credited back to your company, not just half. Plus, having the shipping software gives you the tools you need to validate addresses in advance, keep your database up-to-date, and to find the best rates to satisfy your customers.


ShipAudit integrates address validation features to ensure accurate deliveries and minimize wrong address charges. Through sophisticated rate shopping capabilities, ShipAudit identifies the optimal shipping methods, reducing the risk of using incorrect options and avoiding unnecessary surcharges. Additionally, its automated invoice auditing functionality meticulously reviews each line item against contracted rates, swiftly identifying and rectifying carrier overcharges. This comprehensive approach not only streamlines shipping operations but also enhances cost-effectiveness across the board.

FreightAudit

For Varsity’s ShipSoft-Freight users, FreightAudit offers an advanced solution tailored for freight shippers to automate and streamline the auditing of freight bills. Designed to reconcile estimated costs with actual billed carrier costs, FreightAudit ensures accuracy and cost control across less-than-truckload (LTL), truckload (TL), and rail shipments.


FreightAudit automates the entire freight bill audit process by comparing carriers’ actual invoices with pre-negotiated rates and anticipated costs generated at the time of shipment. This meticulous comparison includes tariffs, accessorial charges, and incentives to ensure accurate billing. When bills fall within the user-defined area, FreightAudit authorizes payment automatically. In cases where discrepancies occur, bills are flagged for review, rejected, or short paid, minimizing errors and avoiding overpayments.

Take the Step to Eliminate Costly Errors

In today’s competitive logistics environment, controlling costs and optimizing efficiency are crucial to achieve and maintain success. Taking the step to address challenges such as wrong address charges, incorrect shipping methods, and carrier overcharges requires proactive strategies and advanced solutions.


Whether you’re managing parcel shipments, overseeing complex freight logistics, or both, incorporating robust auditing capabilities into your shipping software not only mitigates financial risks but also enhances overall supply chain performance. With real-time monitoring, precise invoice reconciliation, and seamless integration capabilities, Varsity Logistics’ industry leading shipping software, complete with integrated auditing solutions, empowers businesses to stay competitive in a rapidly evolving marketplace.


Ready to eliminate costly errors and automate your auditing process? Reach out to our team of Varsity Logistics shipping experts to learn more about how our top-tier shipping solutions for IBM i (AS/400) shippers can transform your operations and bring in significant savings.

[Supply Chain Tech Masterclass] How IBM i Users Unlock Hidden Savings & Customer Delight with Optimized Shipping Strategies

Industry experts from Varsity and Friedman breakdown hidden costs and customer satisfaction issues plaguing IBM i shippers

What do efficiency, reliability, and customer satisfaction have in common? They’re all crucial elements for shippers in the modern, ever-evolving world of logistics. As businesses of all sizes strive to meet increasing customer demands for faster, cheaper, and more dependable deliveries, the need for optimized shipping strategies has never been more important. For IBM i (AS/400) Power users, the challenge is even greater, with manual shipping processes and disconnected systems throwing a wrench into daily workflows, slowing operations and frustrating customers.


In such a competitive environment, businesses cannot afford to overlook the importance of optimizing their shipping operations. Streamlining workflows, reducing manual errors, and gaining real-time visibility into shipping activities are pivotal steps in staying ahead of the competition and meeting customer expectations. This is where automation and advanced shipping solutions come into play, providing the opportunity for businesses to revolutionize traditional and fragmented shipping practices, driving significant improvements in efficiency, cost savings, and overall customer experience. It’s a guarantee that the industry will continue to evolve, so embracing these advanced technologies and strategies is no longer just an option, but a necessity for businesses pursuing success in this dynamic market.

Join the industry experts from Varsity Logistics and Friedman Corporation on Wednesday, July 31st, 2024, at 11:00am CST for an essential webinar for IBM i (AS/400) shippers looking to gain a competitive edge. Discover insights into the latest industry trends, best practices for optimizing your shipping processes, and how to use cutting-edge technology to achieve significant cost savings and operational resilience. Don’t miss this opportunity to equip your business with the knowledge and tools needed to navigate today’s complex shipping environment successfully.

In this webinar, attendees will gain expert knowledge on practical insights and strategies to optimize your processes and drive significant improvements in efficiency and customer satisfaction, including:

  • Automate Key Shipping Tasks: Learn how to leverage automation within your Enterprise Software Stack (WMS, OMS, ERP) to eliminate manual errors and increase efficiency.
  • Enhance Efficiency: Discover ways to enhance workflow efficiency and gain real-time visibility into your entire shipping process.
  • Identify Hidden Savings: Identify hidden opportunities to lower shipping expenses and improve your bottom line.
  • Improve Customer Satisfaction: Develop strategies to deliver faster, more reliable shipments and enhance the customer experience.

Joining moderator, Caracal Keithrafferty, Business Development Representative at Friedman Corporation, in this webinar to share their valuable expertise are two industry experts.

Charlie Hawkins, Director of Sales at Varsity Logistics

Dehn Loder, VP of Global Product Strategy at Friedman Corporation

Can’t make it to the live webinar? Make sure to register anyway to receive the on-demand recording!

4 Key Characteristics of an A+ Multi-Carrier Shipping Solution for IBM i Users

Discover the top 4 must-haves for shippers seeking a reliable multi-carrier shipping solution

The modern shipping landscape has been met with many complexities, ranging from heightened customer expectations to constant pressures to reduce costs and improve service levels. The shipping industry is highly cutthroat, making it essential for businesses to navigate these complexities with agility and efficiency. For IBM i (AS/400) Power shippers, integrating advanced shipping solutions within their existing infrastructure is crucial for maintaining operational advantages and staying competitive.

However, while choosing the right shipping software is critical for success, it is also a difficult task. Identifying all the features your business not only wants, but also needs from your multi-carrier shipping software can be a challenge. To help key decision makers pinpoint a shipping solution that will set their business up for long-term success, we’ve identified the top 4 must-have characteristics to look for in your parcel and less-than-truckload (LTL) multi-carrier shipping software (MCSS).

A multi-carrier shipping solution that offers service versatility and adaptability is a crucial advantage for parcel and LTL shippers. By offering access to a diverse variety of carriers, it mitigates the risk of disruptions that can potentially occur if a primary carrier faces unforeseen circumstances. The ability to adapt to shifting industry environments by utilizing a library of diversified carriers ensures shippers can maintain consistent delivery performance.


Additionally, carriers offer many varieties of strengths they provide in terms of geographic coverage, delivery speed, and specialized services. Maintaining a diversified carrier network enables shippers the versatility to utilize the best carrier option based on specific shipment needs. It also ensures consistent delivery performance and optimized service levels across different regions and service requirements. Overall, carrier versatility and adaptability not only enhance your business’ performance but also improves customer satisfaction. [Explore the 7 Benefits of Carrier Diversification.]

How does Varsity Logistics achieve this?

With Varsity Logistics, shippers can seamlessly process packages with any carrier of choice, including FedEx, UPS, USPS, DHL, Purolator, OnTrac, Spee-Dee, and more. All carrier software is fully integrated into the IBM i system, allowing parcel and LTL shippers to manage shipments using a single printer and scale, regardless of the carrier. This integration ensures that your business isn’t held hostage by any single carrier’s terms and equipment, giving you the freedom to select the best carrier based on service quality, cost, and convenience.


Furthermore, Varsity’s solution allows shippers to switch between parcel and LTL carriers as needed and compare rates effortlessly. This comprehensive capability ensures you can adapt to changing shipping requirements without disrupting your operations, optimizing your shipping strategy for both cost-effectiveness and reliability.

Operational independence and flexibility are important characteristics of your multi-carrier shipping software when operating in a dynamic shipping environment. These qualities allow businesses to manage their operations autonomously, without being tied down by the constraints of a single carrier’s terms and system. It empowers shippers to adapt to changing market conditions, peak season fluctuations, and evolving customer demands freely.


Successful shippers utilize MCSS solutions that provide the ability to customize workflows, integrate with various platforms, and switch carriers effortlessly, ensuring they’re always opting for the most efficient, cost-effective, and reliable shipping options available at any given time. The flexibility that operational independence produces is critical for shippers to maintain their competitive edge, high service standards, and customer satisfaction.

How does Varsity Logistics achieve this?

Varsity’s industry leading multi-carrier shipping software achieves both operational independence and significant flexibility for IBM i (AS/400) Power users. The ability to integrate with all major parcel carriers and a variety of LTL freight providers allows businesses to switch carriers whenever convenient without being hit with the frustrating roadblocks, high costs, or other limitations associated with being tied to a single carrier. With Varsity, you gain the freedom to leverage a network of supported carriers. This allows you to seamlessly switch between these integrated carriers based on factors like product, location, season, or price.


Varsity’s software allows customizable workflows tailored to each business’ unique needs and requirements, from order processing to label generation and reporting. It also supports integration with all major IBM i enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and warehouse management systems (WMS). By being ERP and WMS technology agnostic, Varsity’s shipping solutions enable seamless data exchange across various platforms, ensuring that businesses are not restricted by specific technologies. This flexibility is crucial for companies looking to streamline operations without being tied to a particular system.


By remaining untethered from individual carrier platforms, Varsity enhances operational efficiency through a centralized approach, offering greater visibility and control over the entire shipping process. This independence allows businesses to swiftly adapt to changes and optimize workflows according to their preferred methods. Whether managing order processing, label generation, or reporting, Varsity’s adaptable solution integrates seamlessly with your existing ERP and WMS systems. This approach not only improves data flow but also empowers businesses to maintain high levels of efficiency and responsiveness in a dynamic shipping environment. [Learn more about Varsity’s tech partners.]

When evaluating the best multi-carrier shipping solution for your business, it is important that you consider something that will not only produce an ROI, but also provide opportunities for significant cost savings and negotiation power. It is common knowledge that shipping costs represent a substantial piece of the operational costs that businesses incur, so any opportunity to minimize them can largely impact a company’s profitability and competitiveness.


Top MCSS solutions provide the flexibility to choose between multiple carriers, enabling shippers to steer clear of restrictive carrier terms. This allows businesses the ability to negotiate better rates and service conditions, ultimately enhancing their bargaining power. Having this negotiation power opens the door to the advantages of promotions, discounts, or improved service offerings by competing carriers which can lead to significant cost savings and an optimized logistics budget.


Another area for significant cost savings with your shipping software is shipment containerization functionalities. Shipment containerization allows businesses to combine several shipments into a single shipping container. Doing so reduces the costs of labor, such as loading and unloading, as well as the per-unit shipping cost due to efficient container stacking and packing of goods. This process optimizes carton volume, eliminating wasted space, reduces the risk of damage and theft, and improves overall operational efficiency.

How does Varsity Logistics achieve this?

Achieving cost savings and enhanced negotiation power is an area where Varsity Logistics excels through our multi-carrier solution for IBM i (AS/400) shippers. Businesses can seamlessly manage multiple parcel and LTL carriers from a single, unified platform, enabling them to adjust carriers based on specific shipment needs or market conditions. By not being tied to a single carrier, shippers can switch carriers to negotiate better rates and delivery terms, using the most effective and cost-efficient options. Varsity also eliminates hidden costs associated with carrier changes, facilitating smooth transitions without additional hardware, software, or extensive training. This puts businesses in control of negotiating prices, enabling them to adapt quickly to changing rates and secure deeper discounts, typically ranging from 5-10% on freight expenditures.


Additional cost savings can be achieved with Varsity’s solution through our ShipOptimizer module – a comprehensive containerization tool empowering businesses to conquer the obstacles of packing consumer goods both efficiently and cost-effectively. By accurately predicting shipping costs at the time an order is placed, ShipOptimizer gives businesses an efficient plan to build cartons, pallets, and trailers with the size and number of cartons needed. This automated process empowers shippers to handle increasingly complex processing requirements with ease while also producing significant savings on your business’ shipping costs. [Explore optimizing parcel packing with containerization.]

The modern world of logistics is filled with complexities, volatility, and the lingering unknown. This reality makes resilience and reliability pivotal characteristics for shippers navigating the industry. Adopting a multi-carrier approach enhances operational resilience for IBM i (AS/400) Power systems shippers by mitigating the impact of potential disruptions and ensuring operational continuity, even in the most turbulent times. [Dive into 5 ways shipping software helps you master market volatility.]


A critical way industry-leading MCSS solutions provide resilience and reliability is through proactive monitoring and alert tools. These capabilities can continuously track current carrier performance, giving shippers important insights into shipment statuses and carrier operations. Most importantly, it empowers shippers to take preemptive actions against potential issues before they escalate. This proactive approach helps minimize delays and ensures reliable delivery timelines, thereby enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.


Retrieving and effectively preserving shipping data can be a large hurdle when it comes to obtaining valuable decision-support information. Additionally, we often see instances where historical data is either stored inconsistently or not at all. However, historical data and advanced analytics are key functionalities for shippers to identify important trends, analyze carrier performance over time, and make informed decisions. Advanced multi-carrier systems provide streamlined access to important analytics and historical data to help bring visibility to their supply chains, giving shippers leverage to make data-driven decisions, mitigate risks, and adapt quickly to industry changes.

How does Varsity Logistics achieve this?

Operational continuity and meeting customer demands is paramount, as industry disruptions and unforeseen events can severely impact supply chains and customer satisfaction. Varsity recognizes the importance of and is committed to providing resilience and reliability to shippers, empowering them to weather unexpected challenges.


One way Varsity accomplishes this is with the capabilities of our parcel shipping suite where we offer a valuable supply chain execution module, ShipTalk. This transformative tool provides real-time access to order status, tracking, and tracing. It also utilizes a proactive approach, providing alerts containing specific shipment details at any point throughout the shipment process. This end-to-end visibility enables businesses to monitor shipments and take necessary action if something were to arise. [Discover the vital role of real-time parcel tracking.]


Historical data and analytics are also a critical capability of Varsity’s top-tier solution. For both parcel and less-than-truckload (LTL) shippers, Varsity’s Transdata datamart gives businesses readily accessible, organized, and highly detailed historical data and analytics. This valuable information enhances resilience and reliability for shippers by enabling proactive risk identification, helping identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies to let shippers know when to adjust their shipping strategies. [Learn more about analytics for smarter shipping on IBM i].

Varsity Logistics stands proudly as the only holistic shipping solution built for shippers on IBM i (AS/400) Power systems. Whether you’re shipping parcel or freight, Varsity provides shippers with significant advantages in navigating the complexities of the modern shipping landscape. This comprehensive multi-carrier shipping software solution integrates with a wide variety of carriers, eliminating dependence on any single carrier and the baggage that comes with it. It empowers operational automatization and the flexibility to customize workflows and integrations to your specific requirements. Varsity provides unmatched negotiation power and savings on your bottom line; something you could never do with commitment to a single carrier. And while this holistic multi-carrier solution provides all these crucial and beneficial things for IBM i shippers, it protects businesses from disruptions and volatility at the same time.


Varsity’s shipping solution is industry leading for a reason; it has the comprehensive functionality businesses can leverage to optimize, streamline, protect, and grow their operations in one place. Varsity Logistics is not only committed to enhancing your overall efficiency, but also strives to support your long-term growth and profitability. Are you ready to explore how Varsity’s A+ solution can revolutionize your business? Contact our team of shipping experts or schedule a pressure-free demo today. The only holistic shipping solution built for the IBM i.

See More, Save More: Analytics for Smarter Shipping on IBM i

Explore how comprehensive analytics tools complement shipping software to transform your shipping operations

“Accuracy is the twin brother of honesty; inaccuracy, of dishonesty.” — Charles Simmons


Although we cannot confirm Simmons was specifically referring to data accuracy in his quote, it does draw a parallel to its fundamental importance when it comes to shipping. Today’s shipping landscape is moving faster and has grown far more competitive than ever before. As companies navigate the boom in global e-commerce and increasingly complex supply chains, the need for accurate data and robust analytics has become crucial. For IBM i (AS/400) shippers, efficient transportation management is the key to staying ahead of the competition, keeping customers happy, and keeping costs down.


Advanced analytics and accurate data can be game changers. They provide shippers with the necessary insights to make informed decisions, streamline operations, and enhance overall efficiency. However, many companies are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of transactions. Extracting meaningful insights from this data overload can often feel impossible, especially with the wrong tools. This lack of visibility frequently leads to missed opportunities, inefficiencies, and increased costs.


In such a fast-paced and dynamic industry, having the ability to analyze what’s happening in your shipping operations in real-time is a necessity. Yet, transactional data often gets lost in complex systems, making it tough to access and interpret. Further, businesses often overlook critical performance and cost analyses, depriving themselves of the insights necessary for improvement and cost savings. The bottom line is that traditional data collection and analysis methods are no longer sufficient in today’s competitive environment. Let’s begin by taking a closer look into the challenges shippers face when they lack comprehensive analytics and visibility in their shipping operations.

When IBM i (AS/400) Power systems shippers lack robust analytics and accurate data, their shipping operations face a variety of complexities that can impact efficiency, increase costs, limit growth potential, and cause negative customer experiences. These complexities include:

  • Lack of Visibility: Without analytics, shippers struggle to gain visibility into their daily shipping operations, making it extremely difficult to track shipments, identify potential bottlenecks, and optimize delivery routes. This can lead to shipping delays, missed deadlines, and dissatisfied customers.
  • Inefficient Resource Allocation: Inaccurate data or the lack thereof can cause the inefficient allocation of resources. Underutilized capacity, unnecessary costs, and missed opportunities for optimization are all possible consequences. Without analytics, it’s difficult to determine the most cost-effective shipping methods, leading to higher expenses and reduced profitability.
  • Limited Performance Monitoring: Monitoring both current and historical performance metrics is essential for identifying trends, evaluating performance, pinpointing inefficiencies, and making informed decisions. However, without real-time analytics, shippers lack the tools to effectively monitor important factors like on-time delivery rates and transit times as well as make necessary adjustments in real-time. Additionally, inconsistent or missing historical data storage makes it even harder, hindering shippers’ ability to track trends over time.
  • Ineffective Carrier Negotiations: The lack of access to data regarding shipping volumes, carrier performance, and historical trends can leave shippers at a disadvantage when negotiating terms with carriers. This may lead to increased shipping costs, lower service levels, and reduced competitiveness in the market.
  • Poor Forecasting Capabilities: Effective inventory management, shipment planning, and meeting customer demand all rely heavily on accurate forecasting. However, businesses lacking robust analytics capabilities may struggle to predict shipping volumes, demand fluctuations, and inventory needs with sufficient precision. This can result in stockouts, excess inventory, and ultimately, increased carrying costs.
  • Fragmented Parcel and LTL Data: Shippers working with both parcel and less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments often lack the visibility to compare performance across these different shipping methods. This makes it difficult to assess how all parts of the supply chain are performing and where improvements can be made. Without the ability to see analytics that compare parcel and LTL shipments, businesses may miss out on opportunities to optimize their entire shipping operation.

It is clear that shippers are in need of a solution that offers clear visibility and data-driven insights as part of their transportation strategies. This solution must overcome the barriers of data preservation, organization, and accessibility, enabling businesses to embrace the full potential and value of their historical data. By tackling these challenges, companies can transform their shipping operations, negotiating better carrier contracts, pinpointing areas for operational improvement, and ultimately exceeding customer expectations. The right shipping analytics tool translates to a significant competitive advantage, and for IBM i shippers, it’s called the Varsity Logistics Transdata module.

Traditionally, shipping and logistics teams have lacked easy access to the data they need to optimize their operations. Part of Varsity’s multi-carrier shipping software suite, Transdata datamart solves this challenge by providing a readily accessible repository of organized, well-defined, and highly detailed historical shipping data for both parcel and LTL shipments. This empowers businesses to leverage powerful analytics and make data-driven decisions for carrier negotiations and overall performance improvement, viewing all crucial shipment data in one place.

How Transdata Works

Transdata provides a comprehensive solution to the data accessibility and organization challenges commonly faced by shipping operations. By automatically extracting and storing daily historical data from transaction files, Transdata guarantees businesses access to well-organized, clearly defined data without requiring costly programming or IT resources. Its seamless integration with existing systems facilitates easy access to rich historical data, empowering users to make informed decisions and enhance their shipping operations.

Key Benefits

Leveraging Transdata in your shipping operations provides a multitude of benefits for IBM i (AS/400) Power systems users, including:

  • Enhanced Decision-Making: Transdata empowers businesses with powerful information to make strategic decisions based on data, not guesswork. It provides access to organized historical data and real-time insights, eliminating the need for routine IT programming to generate the data.
  • Improved Carrier Negotiations: Transdata provides shippers with the information they need at their fingertips to prepare for and gain valuable leverage in carrier negotiations. With access to detailed historical data on shipping and transportation performance, businesses can better negotiate agreements, lowering carrier costs and improving overall profitability.
  • Valuable Trend Monitoring: Transdata enables shippers to monitor trends and identify important shifts or inefficiencies in their operations. It also allows businesses to view carrier information in various ways to gain visibility into shipping operations and costs by several dimensions such as service type, geography, carrier, customer, and more, allowing them to respond and take proactive action.
  • Cost Reduction and Performance Improvement: By providing access to detailed historical data, Transdata enables businesses to take control of their shipping and transportation operations. With a range of different tools and the ability to write queries, it allows businesses to significantly reduce costs, improve performance, and enhance customer satisfaction.

With a mission to provide seamless shipping solutions and integration services, Varsity Logistics stands as an industry leader in the multi-carrier shipping software space for IBM i (AS/400) shippers. In addition to the robust capabilities of Varsity’s Transdata, we offer a variety of comprehensive parcel and LTL shipping modules to help shippers optimize their operations and meet their unique needs. These additional modules for parcel include:

Freight shipping modules include:

The modern shipping world is ever evolving and therefore demands accurate data and advanced analytics to remain competitive and keep customers satisfied. Varsity’s Transdata provides a powerful solution, offering organized and detailed data. This empowers businesses to take control of their shipping operations, make data-driven decisions, monitor trends, improve carrier negotiations, and optimize performance.


Are you ready to reduce costs, enhance efficiency, and boost customer satisfaction? As the shipping industry continues to evolve, tools like Transdata are essential. Contact our team of shipping experts or schedule a no-pressure demo to learn more about our advanced analytics functionality and how Varsity can help your business unlock its full potential.

Enhancing Supply Chain Visibility: The Vital Role of Real-Time Parcel Tracking for IBM i Shippers

Discover how leading shipping solutions and automated real-time tracking provide exceptional customer experiences

If you asked a group of people to describe in one word how they would feel if they were unable to track their package, it’s likely some possible responses would be: anxious, frustrated, stressed, impatient, uncertain, nervous, and inconvenienced. Collectively, each of these responses are negative experiences for the customer; something that any business wants to avoid.


In the world of modern commerce, the ability to track and manage shipments in real-time isn’t just desirable; it’s essential. This is especially true with the immense growth e-commerce has experienced in recent years, where customers now expect full transparency and control over their orders. In fact, a recent study showed that 96% of customers track their orders, and 43% track them daily.


Not only does the ability to track and trace your package in real-time bring consumers a sense of security and control, but it also introduces an element of excitement. The journey from “add to cart” to package delivery is more than just transactional – it’s experiential. The anticipation of a long-awaited package, waiting for the chance to open it up, and the satisfaction of knowing the exact moment of arrival are all part of the consumer journey.

Imagine ordering a sentimental gift for a loved one, only to be left in the dark about its whereabouts. Or what if you order essential items for an urgent situation, such as medication, not knowing if they will arrive on time. Instant gratification has become a norm in today’s world, so delays and uncertainties can tarnish consumer experiences very quickly. This makes real-time order tracking and tracing a crucial capability for shippers.


Businesses that prioritize transparency and communication throughout the shipping process are more likely to maintain their competitiveness, keep their customers happy, and grow their brand awareness. However, those who fail to adapt to this imperative need put themselves at risk of losing customers and revenue.


Keeping up with the ever-evolving needs of consumers can present a myriad of supply chain challenges, threatening to impede efficiency and profitability. And standing at the top of these challenges is reliance on outdated technology and manual processes, showing the need for automated tracking solutions. For parcel shippers on IBM i (AS/400) Power systems, the lack of automated tracking solutions can lead to several pain points including:

  • Risk of Errors: It’s no surprise that any sort of manual task is at risk of human error. Manual errors in data entry and communication processes can cause discrepancies in shipment information, leading to potential shipment delays.
  • Inefficient Resource Allocation: Manual tracking and tracing methods are time-consuming and require heavy attention to detail, leading to inefficient resource allocation and increased labor costs.
  • Limited Visibility: The lack of real-time tracking limits supply chain visibility, making it a challenge to identify bottlenecks or areas for optimization.
  • Delayed Deliveries: Without real-time tracking, shippers often struggle to identify transit delays. This can lead to missed delivery deadlines and unsatisfied customers.
  • Increased Customer Inquiries: If customers are unable to track their orders in real-time, customer service teams are swarmed with where is my order (WISMO) inquiries. This can strain resources and lead to dissatisfied customers.

Now that customer expectations for transparency and control are at an all-time high, the importance of real-time shipment tracking solutions cannot be overstated. Customers expect their deliveries to be on time and visibility into the status of their shipments at every stage of the delivery process. To do so, shippers must leverage technology to streamline their operations, enhance visibility, and maintain competitiveness.


The good news for IBM i (AS/400) Power systems shippers is that there are advanced automated software solutions available, like Varsity Logistics’ ShipTalk Parcel module, empowering shippers with the visibility and control they need to navigate the complexities of parcel shipping.

ShipTalk is a revolutionary solution enabling businesses access to real-time delivery status and online tracking. This module is a part of Varsity Logistics’ comprehensive supply chain suite for users. When paired with Varsity’s industry-leading multi-carrier shipping software, ShipSoft-Parcel, it works to help parcel shippers overcome the challenges of modern shipping with ease and confidence.

How ShipTalk Works

ShipTalk empowers shippers with the resources they need to streamline operations, enhance visibility, and deliver exceptional customer experiences. ShipTalk is more than just a tracking solution; at its core, it’s a connectivity suite that expands visibility and communication between shippers and their supply chain partners. By extending shipment control beyond the warehouse, it enables enhanced collaboration with carriers and consignees, facilitating real-time status updates, automated export filing, and enriched communication functionalities.


Customers can select from several of ShipTalk’s connectivity tools to meet their unique needs, including:

  • UPS Online Tracking
  • UPS Trace Request
  • FedEx Tracking
  • USPS Delivery Confirmation
  • Alerts (non-carrier specific)
  • AES (Automated Export System)

The ShipTalk Parcel module offers several key benefits to IBM i (AS/400) Power systems shippers seeking to transform their shipping operations, overcome parcel challenges, and achieve greater success in today’s dynamic shipping landscape.

  • Real-time Shipment Visibility: One of the primary benefits of ShipTalk is the ability to provide up-to-the-minute order status updates on the whereabouts of shipments. By leveraging electronic links with third-party carriers, ShipTalk offers shippers unparalleled visibility into the movement of their parcels, enabling them to identify potential delays, take proactive measures to ensure on-time delivery, and provide great customer service.
  • Enhanced Supply Chain Relationships: ShipTalk fosters stronger relationships with supply chain partners through enhanced communication capabilities. By facilitating real-time communication and collaboration between shippers, carriers, and consignees, ShipTalk strengthens trust and transparency throughout the supply chain ecosystem. This improved communication leads to smoother operations, fewer misunderstandings, and ultimately, more productive partnerships.
  • Reduced Expenses: Because ShipTalk automates several key supply chain processes, it significantly reduces manual labor expenses. Manual tasks like data entry, document handling, and partner communication are effortlessly facilitated through ShipTalk’s automation capabilities. With minimal need for human intervention, ShipTalk reduces labor costs, avoids costly errors, increases operational efficiency, and ultimately improves the bottom line.
  • ShipTalk Alerts: For shippers seeking a proactive approach to supply chain management, ShipTalk sends advance shipment notifications to supply chain partners prior to delivery. Through email alerts, shippers can promptly inform recipients about upcoming shipments at any time through the shipping process, providing them with important information like tracking numbers and delivery specifics. This proactive communication not only improves coordination but also helps recipients prepare for incoming shipments, reducing potential delays and enhancing the customer experience.

Varsity Logistics, provider of top-tier multi-carrier shipping software for parcel execution, stands as the only holistic shipping solution built for the IBM i. In addition to the key capabilities provided by the ShipTalk module, Varsity’s ShipSoft-Parcel suite offers several other revolutionary modules, equipping shippers with the tools to navigate parcel shipping challenges, including:

Varsity Logistics also offers multi-carrier shipping software for Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) shippers with additional freight supply chain execution modules and multi-modal capabilities.


The modern logistics world demands automated solutions and capabilities that can meet the evolving expectations of our consumers. That is why Varsity Logistics plays a powerful force in supply chain management, offering comprehensive solutions that empower shippers to tackle even the most complex parcel shipping challenges. By leveraging ShipTalk’s automated functionalities, shippers can alleviate the pitfalls of manual tasks, provide full order transparency to their customers, and set themselves up for long-term success.


Looking for a way to provide the ultimate customer experience with automated real-time shipment tracking? To learn more about ShipTalk for parcel or Varsity Logistics’ other parcel or LTL shipping software solutions, contact our team of shipping experts or schedule a demo. Elevating your IBM i shipping strategy starts here.

Mastering Freight for IBM i Shippers: Changing the Game in Pre-Shipment Load Optimization

Learn about advanced shipping software and how it works to automate your pre-shipment load planning process

It’s a massive industry where every minute and every mile count, and the difference between success and stagnation often lies in the efficiency of operations. What are we talking about, you ask? Freight shipping.


Picture this: A bustling warehouse swarmed with activity and trucks lined up as far as the human eye can see. It’s a scene where time is money, and the pressure for fast deliveries is through the roof. However, in an industry where efficiency reigns supreme, manual processes just don’t cut it anymore, especially for IBM i (AS/400) Power systems users. Automation is the name of the game, reshaping the freight shipping industry in real-time.


With automation leading the charge, shippers can navigate logistics complexities with unparalleled ease and accuracy. Load planning has become a seamless process and route optimization is as easy as a few clicks of a button. Cutting costs and saving time are important goals to help maintain a competitive edge in a rapidly evolving landscape. Outside of these more concrete goals, meeting shifting customer demands is paramount.


Let’s dive into the intersection of technology and modern freight shipping, exploring how it’s revolutionizing the competitive landscape and enabling new levels of efficiency, accuracy, and cost savings.

A crucial factor that decides a business’s success is its operational efficiency. Therefore, reliance on manual processes in freight operations, especially load and route planning, can be a significant obstacle. Without utilizing automated solutions, freight shippers face several pain points that can negatively impact their efficiency, productivity, and bottom line, including:

  • Inefficient Load Building: Manual load building is a time-consuming and tedious process that often relies on outdated software and spreadsheets. When shippers lack the ability to consolidate separate shipments, it can result in underutilized capacity and increased transportation costs.
  • Suboptimal Route Planning: Selecting the optimal route for each shipment requires close attention to several considerations including delivery deadlines, distance, and carrier preferences. Manual route planning takes an extensive amount of time, falling short of the precision and efficiency offered by automated processes. This can lead to missed opportunities for cost reduction, decreasing carbon emissions, and inefficiencies in delivery schedules.
  • Failure to Meet Customer Demands: Automated technology ensures customer’s delivery requirements and routing guide compliance rules are met for each shipment. Without it, shippers risk failing to meet customer expectations. Relying on manual processes can result in human error, leading to incorrect carrier selection, missed delivery deadlines, and unsatisfied customers.

The reliance on manual processes in freight operations threatens companies with significant complexities, holding them back from thriving in the ever-evolving modern industry of logistics. Without leveraging the benefits of automated technology, shippers will continue to incur unnecessary costs and fall short of meeting customer expectations.


Fortunately, there are automated solutions available to help forward-thinking businesses avoid pitfalls like these and stay competitive. Solutions like multi-carrier shipping software (MCSS) offer invaluable benefits such as reduced costs, streamlined operations, improved productivity, and enhanced customer satisfaction. By leveraging the power of automated shipping software, IBM i (AS/400) Power shippers can overcome the pain points of outdated and manual processes, enabling them to master freight shipping in the modern world.

Freight shippers are always seeking ways to optimize their operations and future-proof their strategy. This is where multi-carrier shipping software comes into play as an indispensable tool. By utilizing the capabilities of top-tier MCSS solutions, freight shippers can streamline their shipping processes, access multiple carriers and service levels, and make informed decisions to drive efficiency and profitability.


Varsity Logistics offers an industry leading suite of IBM i-native multi-carrier shipping software solutions and modules tailored to meet the unique needs of freight shippers. This provides businesses access to advanced features and functionalities designed to optimize their shipping operations. Additionally, Varsity’s advanced software integrates seamlessly with all major existing IBM i Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), as well as in-house and home-grown systems, enabling a simple plug-and-play experience for shippers.


Part of Varsity Logistics’ top-tier software, the FreightPlan module is a cutting-edge solution revolutionizing the way businesses across the country ship freight, providing the key to streamlining pre-shipment load planning for both inbound and outbound freight.

As a pivotal component within Varsity’s comprehensive suite of supply chain execution modules for IBM i (AS/400) Power shippers, FreightPlan is designed to seamlessly pair with Varsity’s ShipSoft-Freight solution. FreightPlan offers various invaluable functions to streamline freight operations at every step.


By automating recommended shipping plans and optimal routes, dynamic load building and order consolidation, and online review and acceptance of load plans, it empowers users to achieve greater operational efficiency, reduce costs, and deliver exceptional service to their customers. Additionally, FreightPlan considers customer delivery requirements, reducing transportation costs and meeting customer expectations.

Logistics is an industry where every minute counts and every decision is imperative. That is why FreightPlan is far more than just a tool – it’s a strategic asset for freight shippers striving to maintain their competitive edge in today’s market. There are many important benefits businesses can leverage from utilizing FreightPlan, including:

Key Benefits of FreightPlan

  • Dynamic Load Building and Consolidation: FreightPlan offers advanced capabilities for dynamic load building and order consolidation, often into larger multi-stop loads. By intelligently aggregating orders traveling to the same destination and optimizing the allocation of shipments, FreightPlan maximizes transportation capacity and minimizes empty space, resulting in cost savings and increased efficiency. FreightPlan’s load planning is available for truckload (TL) and less-than-truckload (LTL) moves, ensuring the most efficient geographic route is taken.
  • Recommended Shipping Plans: With FreightPlan, users can generate recommended shipping plans tailored to their specific needs. Leveraging sophisticated algorithms and user-defined parameters, FreightPlan analyzes critical factors such as delivery deadlines, transportation costs, and service standards to produce optimal shipping plans that meet both business and customer requirements.
  • Incorporation of Customer Delivery Requirements: One of FreightPlan’s standout features is its ability to incorporate customer delivery requirements into the planning process. By working with user-defined parameters and customer-specific criteria, FreightPlan ensures that each shipment is customized to meet the unique needs of the recipient, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Online Review and Approval of Load Plans: FreightPlan facilitates seamless collaboration and decision-making through its online review and acceptance feature. Users can review the results of each analysis, compare alternative options, and select the optimal shipping plan with confidence. This transparent and user-friendly feature streamlines the decision-making process and enables shippers to make informed choices.

Varsity Logistics stands as a significantly unique provider of top-tier multi-carrier shipping software for both parcel and freight shipping execution, as it is the only holistic solution built exclusively for IBM i (AS/400) Power systems users. Varsity offers a comprehensive suite of advanced supply chain execution modules, addressing a variety of challenges in the freight shipping environment, including:

An industry that lives in such a competitive and evolving space demands advanced technology and innovative strategies to survive. That is why the automated capabilities of Varsity’s FreightPlan are not only designed to alleviate the complexities of freight shipping, but also to revolutionize the way we ship while empowering businesses for success in the long-term.


With a solution like FreightPlan, you have the leverage to power up your freight operations, reduce transportation costs, and deliver exceptional customer experiences. So why wait? Take the first step towards success and contact our team of shipping experts or schedule a pressure-free demo to learn more about how Varsity’s multi-carrier shipping software can propel your organization ahead in this competitive industry.

Optimizing in the Off-Season: Dos and Don’ts for Parcel Shippers on IBM i (AS/400) Power Systems

Learn how to take advantage of the off-season to future-proof your supply chain strategy

The shipping industry is not one that remains consistent year-round. In fact, the only consistency we can expect from the supply chain world is the various peaks and valleys that take place throughout the course of each year. Whether it’s the holiday rush, back to school, or the summer season, peak seasons will always occur. After the whirlwind of peak shipping season winds down, many shippers look forward to the off-season – a time often viewed as a period of respite.


However, this lull in activity should not be mistaken for time to rest. The off-season presents the ideal opportunity for shippers to strategically maximize their supply chain operations for the coming year. Especially for shippers utilizing IBM i (AS/400) Power systems, optimization is not just beneficial but a necessity for staying competitive and meeting customer demands.


In this blog, we’ll dive into the dos and don’ts of maximizing your supply chain during the off-season. From analyzing your past performance to investing in technology upgrades, we’ll explore actionable strategies to ensure that your valuable off-season time isn’t wasted, but utilized for planning, improvement, and setting the tone for success in the next peak-season.

With the peak season rush over and done with, it’s time to sharpen up your shipping strategy. These off-season dos and don’ts will guide you in avoiding common pitfalls and empower you to seize opportunities to enhance efficiency in your shipping strategy.

Don’t: Remain Complacent with Last Year’s Strategy

Perhaps your business just had its most successful peak season yet, surpassing numbers you never could have imagined. While the supply chain strategy you used last year led your business to great success, the reality is that the shipping landscape is always changing. This means there’s a good chance that whatever worked last year won’t produce the same outcome. Not only that but clinging to a static strategy can lead to a lack of competitiveness and missed opportunities. And let’s face it, there is always room for improvement.


Going into the upcoming peak season without considering the evolving market trends and changing customer expectations can leave your supply chain vulnerable to inefficiencies and major setbacks. Especially in today’s environment, flexibility and adaptability are crucial if you want to avoid the risk of falling behind the competition. That’s why it’s essential to break free from familiarity and adopt a mindset of innovation and adaptability in the competitive marketplace.

Do: Analyze Past Performance

One of the most beneficial things businesses can do post-peak to maximize their supply chain strategy is to look back into past performance data. IBM i (AS/400) Power systems users can uncover valuable insights to make informed decisions when reevaluating their supply chain strategy. Analyzing factors such as delivery times, order accuracy, and error rates can highlight bottlenecks, recurring issues, or specific areas that need improvement. Being aware of these key insights enables shippers to implement the necessary adjustments to their strategy to enhance efficiency and service quality for the next peak season.


However, oftentimes, historical data is not stored consistently or stored at all, and the time and costs associated with pulling together misplaced data can be extremely high. This is where leveraging a shipping and transportation database can be a game-changer. Having a centralized, organized, and easy to access place for your historical shipping data streamlines the post-peak analysis process. These efficient tools enable businesses to access valuable insights, ultimately driving informed decision-making and strategic planning in the off-season. [Learn more about transportation datamarts.]

Don’t: Put Technology on Hold

During the off-season, it might seem tempting to hit the pause button on technology upgrades. And with lower shipping volumes after peak, it might appear that your current shipping technology is performing adequately. But here’s the catch: technology is always advancing, so what may be working for you currently might be the reason you crash and burn when holiday shipping season rolls around. This is because outdated technology often lacks the speed and capabilities needed to streamline operations, leading to inefficiencies, errors, and falling short of your competitors. In other words, putting technology on hold is self-sabotage! Failure to remain agile in the supply chain landscape is guaranteed to impede your supply chain performance.


Another important point to mention is the process of implementing new technology is not a quick one. It takes time (several months or longer) to identify your needs, do research on what’s out there, narrow down your options, and set up demos. And, once you decide what solution best fits your needs, it takes even more time for it to be implemented. All of this to say, if you put technology on hold, chances are you won’t have it up and ready to go (and adequately tested) for your next peak season.

Do: Invest in Native Technology Solutions

It is no surprise that in today’s time, technology runs the world. From the way we communicate with others to how we buy everyday necessities; everything is driven by technology. That is why shippers on IBM i (AS/400) Power systems can unlock a world of opportunities by investing in robust, IBM i-native technological solutions designed to automate and optimize their operations, and the off-season is the perfect time to do it. The lull of the off-season provides ample time to evaluate your current technology and consider upgrading or investing in something new.


By investing in advanced shipping software solutions, such as multi-carrier shipping software, shippers can automate several tasks throughout the shipping process such as order processing, shipment tracking, and inventory management. This not only eliminates the risk for costly human errors, but reducing the time spent on manual tasks frees up valuable resources that can be dedicated to perfecting your strategy for the next peak season.


Furthermore, industry-leading shipping solutions enable shippers to optimize their supply chain by providing real-time visibility into shipments, inventory levels, and delivery routes across various carriers. Providing access to these valuable insights helps businesses make informed decisions, anticipate industry volatility, and proactively address it before things escalate. Additionally, top-tier multi-carrier shipping software solutions can seamlessly integrate with your existing IBM i system, fostering collaboration across the supply chain ecosystem. This way shippers can seamlessly stay connected with carriers, suppliers, and customers, ensuring smooth communication and collaboration to drive operational efficiency and outstanding customer service. That is why investing in the right shipping software in the off-season is not just a recommendation but a crucial step for shippers. [Discover 5 ways to master market volatility with shipping software.]

Don’t: Run on Autopilot

Getting through the hectic peak shipping season is no easy feat. Shippers put in a lot of hard work to keep orders flowing smoothly and customers satisfied. When the off-season officially begins, it’s a natural tendency to feel like you’re running on autopilot; Afterall, it’s the mind’s way of adjusting back to normal levels after the bustling holiday season. However, treating the off-season as a time to simply coast can be a costly mistake.


Think of it like this: when the Green Bay Packers are in their off-season, they aren’t just resting at home or treating it like a vacation. They are finding time to practice, analyze game film, identify their opponents’ weaknesses, and train on new plays and skills. This effort and hard work in the off-season is what makes them a strong competitor when the regular season arrives. The same goes for shippers.


By running on autopilot and neglecting strategic planning during the off-season, you put your business at risk of several pitfalls, including:

  • Inefficiencies: Unnoticed or unaddressed inefficiencies can lead to wasted resources, increased costs, and decreased productivity.
  • Lack of preparedness: Failure to plan ahead leaves shippers unprepared for potential challenges like fluctuations in demand, changes in regulations, or supply chain disruptions. This can result in delays, shortages, and unsatisfied customers.
  • Inability to anticipate customer needs: Without proactive planning, shippers may fail to adapt to shifting customer preferences and demands, leading to dissatisfaction and loss of business.
  • Difficulty implementing changes: Making significant changes to your operations without planning accordingly can be complex and disruptive. Shippers may encounter resistance from employees, unforeseen obstacles, and undesired outcomes.

Do: Take Proactive Measures

Now is the perfect time to future-proof your supply chain for the upcoming peak season by taking proactive measures. Supply chain uncertainty is a constant companion so taking proactive measures isn’t just about optimizing your current operations – it’s about preparing for unforeseen challenges as well. Instead of waiting for industry challenges to arise, shippers on IBM i (AS/400) Power systems should take advantage of the off-season to anticipate and address potential issues before they escalate.


Developing contingency plans for potential scenarios such as severe weather events, carrier service outages, or sudden fluctuations in demand can provide your operations with a safety net. By identifying possible vulnerabilities and conducting risk assessments, shippers can gain insight into potential threats and their impact on operations.

Once these risks are identified, shippers can develop contingency plans to help mitigate possible negative impacts and maintain business continuity. These plans may include alternative resource allocation, backup carrier services, or inventory management protocols. Leveraging multi-carrier shipping software can further enhance efforts to mitigate supply chain disruptions. This software provides shippers with access to a network of global, regional, and final mile carriers, allowing adaptability and flexibility in the face of unforeseen circumstances.

With fluctuating market demands and shifting customer expectations, shippers need a strategic partner to help them through peak season successfully. For shippers on IBM i (AS/400) Power systems, leveraging a comprehensive solution offers a strategic advantage, enabling them to seamlessly implement the “dos” during off season and stay away from the “don’ts”. From analyzing past performance to taking proactive measures, the right multi-carrier shipping software can empower shippers to optimize their operations with efficiency and flexibility.


Enter Varsity Logistics, a trusted partner for IBM i shippers navigating complexities. Understanding the unique demands and challenges faced during peak seasons, Varsity offers a multi-carrier shipping software solution designed to meet parcel and LTL challenges head-on. Varsity empowers shippers to surpass the basic shipping functionalities and embrace a robust solution that revolutionizes the way they handle peak season hurdles.

Success with Varsity Logistics

Varsity Logistics, the only holistic shipping solution built for the IBM i, is an industry-leading multi-carrier shipping software provider. Integrating seamlessly with all custom and major IBM i Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERPs) and Warehouse Management Systems (WMSs), Varsity’s solution offers shippers several key functionalities, including:

  • Optimal Carrier Selection: Varsity’s shipping software considers essential factors such as transit time, cost, and service types to select the best carrier for each shipment. This ensures cost-effective choices without sacrificing service quality and enables shippers to adapt quickly to unforeseen circumstances, minimizing disruptions and enhancing customer satisfaction. [Learn more about the key benefits of automated carrier selection.]
  • Workflow Automation: Varsity’s solution automates the shipping process, reducing manual tasks and minimizing the risk of human error. From order processing to label generation and shipment tracking, it enhances efficiency, reduces labor costs, and improves order accuracy, ultimately enhancing the customer experience.
  • Data and Analytics: Varsity Logistics offers easy access to comprehensive historical data, empowering shippers to make informed decisions, negotiate with carriers, and identify areas for improvement. This eliminates barriers associated with accessing poorly maintained data, enhancing decision-making processes. [Learn more about Varsity’s analytics for transportation management.]

Don’t fall into the habit of letting your guard down during off-season; use this period to your advantage. As the shipping landscape continues to evolve, so should your shipping strategy. It is essential to use this time to reflect and analyze the past, leverage next technology solutions, and maximize efficiency to prepare your operations for not only the next peak season, but to achieve sustained success in an ever-changing industry.


Ready to maximize your supply chain operations? Contact Varsity’s team of shipping experts or schedule a pressure-free demo to learn how Varsity’s parcel and LTL multi-carrier shipping solutions can ease your logistics pain points and meet your unique needs.

Varsity Logistics at POWERUp 2024: Driving the Future of IBM i Shipping

Don’t miss Varsity Logistics at COMMON POWERUp 2024, May 20-23

In a world consumed with ever-evolving technology, it can be overwhelming to try and keep up with the latest and greatest advancements. However, valuable opportunities for companies to sharpen up their knowledge and skill sets on the systems they use daily do exist. For businesses utilizing IBM i (AS/400) Power Systems, the COMMON POWERUp trade show is the ideal event to learn, network, and explore all things IBM i.

Varsity Logistics is thrilled to exhibit at this one-of-a-kind event, focused on high-quality, IBM i (AS/400) Power Systems education. The show will take place in Fort Worth, Texas, from May 20th-23rd at the Fort Worth Convention Center. POWERUp 2024 will offer an agenda packed with over 300 sessions, 100+ speakers, and unlimited opportunities to network with IBM professionals, industry peers, and the experts behind the integrated solutions empowering the industry. Educational sessions will cover a diverse range of topics including IT, security, system management, client connectivity, and AI. [See full agenda]

As your trusted partner for parcel and LTL multi-carrier shipping software (MCSS) built exclusively for IBM i (AS/400) Power users, Varsity Logistics will be showcasing our comprehensive shipping solution at the event. The exhibition hall at POWERUp 2024 will be the largest IBM i-related expo of its kind, empowering attendees to experience the latest technology solutions driving the future for their organizations. Attendees can stop by booth #314 for the opportunity to discover what makes Varsity the only holistic shipping solution built for the IBM i, including:

  • Customization and Flexibility: Varsity understands each business has unique shipping needs. That’s why our shipping software offers customization options and flexible modules to adapt to specific workflows, business rules, and industry requirements, guaranteeing an optimized shipping solution that’s tailored to each customer’s needs.
  • Reporting and Analytics: Varsity’s software provides comprehensive insights into shipping performance, carrier utilization, cost analysis, and other key metrics. This capability empowers businesses to make informed decisions, optimize shipping strategies, and identify areas that need improvement for enhancing the shipping process or reducing costs.
  • ERP and WMS Integrations: Our software is the only holistic plug-and-play MCSS built natively for IBM i systems that offers seamless integration with all major and custom ERP and WMS systems, making implementation and data exchange completely uniform.

Make sure you also stop by this valued Varsity partner:


Friedman CorporationBooth #316

  • Friedman Frontier is the #1 ERP software for the complex, high-volume, make-to-order manufacturer, specifically for the window, door, cabinet, and furniture industries and other industries that engineer, build, or assemble to order. Frontier helps manufacturers reduce employee costs, reduce lead-times, increase customer service levels, and provide growth in revenues without adding significant costs.

Is your organization in need of a comprehensive shipping solution tailored to IBM i users? Varsity’s multi-carrier shipping solution is designed to automate operations, streamline shipping workflows, and optimize your shipping strategy. Discover the ways you can connect with our team of shipping experts at POWERUp 2024, or swing by our booth #314!

Can’t make the show? Explore Varsity’s suite of robust shipping solutions for IBM i (AS/400) Power Systems users or contact our team to begin your journey towards efficient and cost-effective parcel and LTL shipping.

Varsity Logistics: Multi-Carrier Shipping Software for IBM i Power Users

Discover Varsity Logistics – the only multi-carrier shipping software built exclusively for IBM i

Is your IBM i (AS/400) system causing shipping headaches? Juggling multiple carriers, manual processes, and outdated software can be a nightmare. Varsity Logistics is here to help. As the only native IBM i multi-carrier shipping software, Varsity streamlines your entire shipping operation. Reduce shipping costs by leveraging multi-carrier rate shopping for parcel and LTL freight and boost efficiency with automated order fulfillment, tracking, and containerization tools. Shippers gain greater control with advanced analytics and auditing capabilities. Plus, Varsity integrates seamlessly with your existing IBM i system and ERP/WMS software. Stop wasting time and money! With proven reliability and experience, Varsity is the only holistic shipping solution built for the IBM i.

Discover Cutting-Edge IBM i Shipping Solutions: Varsity Logistics at Manhattan Momentum 2024

Save the date to experience Varsity’s cutting-edge shipping software, May 14th – 17th

As the world of modern supply chain continues to evolve and grow, businesses are constantly seeking opportunities to connect, inspire, and recharge, especially those running on IBM i (AS/400) Power systems. Manhattan Momentum 2024 provides a unique opportunity for supply chain professionals to connect with like-minded individuals, provide and receive inspiration, and find time to recharge their motivation towards long-term logistics success.

Varsity Logistics is excited to join Manhattan Associates for their annual user event, Momentum 2024, the premier event for supply chain commerce professionals. This year, the event will take place in San Antonio, Texas, from May 14th – 17th at the JW Marriott San Antionio Hill Country Resort.


Throughout the four days of the show, there will be a full agenda packed with over 70 educational sessions, covering a variety of industry topics including supply chain execution, sustainability, omnichannel commerce, and AI. With over 1,200 industry professionals in attendance, there will be ample opportunity to network with supply chain experts and leaders. Additionally, the discovery center will feature more than 60 trade show exhibitors, showcasing the newest innovations driving the future of supply chain commerce.


Make sure to check out this session with Varsity partner, IBM:


Maximizing MAWM Extensibility – Building a ProActive CoE Organization with Bryanna LaMour, Supply Chain Delivery Executive at IBM | Wednesday, May 16th at 10:30am

  • Gain valuable insights from Cencora and IBM Consulting as they share their journey building an MAWM ProActive COE! Discover how to maximize ROI, implement best practices, and learn from their experiences to drive successful extensibility within your MAWM ecosystem.

Varsity Logistics will be exhibiting our parcel and LTL multi-carrier shipping solution designed uniquely for IBM i (AS/400) Power systems users, alongside showcasing our integration with Manhattan PKMS (Manhattan WMi). Our team is looking forward to connecting with fellow supply chain professionals, discovering new supply chain innovations, and showcasing our top-tier shipping software. You can stop by the booth or schedule a private meeting with Varsity’s IBM i shipping experts to further explore how Varsity can revolutionize your supply chain and streamline your IBM i shipping operations.

Can’t attend the show? Learn more about Varsity Logistics, the only holistic shipping solution built for the IBM i, in our resource center or contact our shipping experts to discover how we can meet your business’s unique supply chain needs.