Friday, December 12, 2014

Now Is The Time To Try Something New That May Actually Solve Your Logistics Documentation Headaches

Thomas Jefferson once said: “If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done before.”

We at Info-X know that NVOCCs and freight forwarders are constantly trying to streamline their approach to handling logistics documentation. This part of the business is a necessary, but expensive headache for many companies. The current antiquated system is time consuming as well as stress inducing for their internal administrative staff.

And although finding a solution is a priority to these companies, most are resistant to trying something radically new that would ACTUALLY SOLVE the problem, as well as offer additional benefits of reduced costs and increased efficiency.  

Info-X’s back-office team, which is fully staffed by logistics domain experts, acts like an extension of the client’s office by being available 24/7 to handle all aspects of logistics documentation, including rate management, import-export shipping documents, custom filings, cargo tracking and accounting.  Shifting this part of the workload to outsourcing specialists allows companies to re-allocate internal manpower to more productive capacities.

We are offering freight forwarders and NVOCCs the opportunity to try our back-office services for free for one month. We believe that this 30-day free trial will demonstrate the benefits of reducing costs and increasing efficiency.  For your free trial, please contact rishi@infoxusa.com.

As I have mentioned before, reports indicate 73% of the top 100 companies outsource at least one of their business processes. Do you think this is because outsourcing doesn’t work? Of course it works, which is why budget allocation for outsourcing continues to grow.


Give Info-X’s back-office services a try to see how it can help you.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Learning form honest feedback -- both good and bad


I recently sponsored a membership meeting luncheon for the New York/New Jersey Foreign Freight Forwarders and Brokers Association. It gave me an opportunity to introduce or re-introduce my services to an important group of industry leaders.  Scheduling conflicts resulted in my being unable to attend and I had my marketing firm, BSYA, present on my behalf.

I prepared the presentation knowing the audience, and my favorite slide was based on years of research with long-standing clients.  It shows the allocation of the freight forwarders or NVOCC’s resources before Info-X, and after Info-X.  Which looks better—a day bogged down with admin or day spent closing deals?

Before Info-X outsourcing services:

  • 15% of day spent on rate management 
  • 15% of day spent on sale
  •  5% of day spent on following up on sales calls
  • 40% of day spent on documentation track and trace 
  • 25% of day spent on auditing accounts


After Info-X outsourcing services:

  •  5% of day spent on rate management
  • 30% of day spent on sales
  • 45% of day spent on following up on sales calls 
  • 10% of day spent on documentation track and trace 
  • 10% of day spent on auditing accounts 


Although I wish I could have presented myself, there was a benefit to my absence:  Complete honesty by the attendees.  My team got some important feedback for me that may not have been shared if I were in the room.

Let’s start with the positive feedback: my long-standing client Anura Rupasinghe of Ruky International, sang my praises like I had never heard before. Yes, we go back almost 10 years and I knew we have a strong relationship that we both value, but his passion for what I provide him blew me away.

When given the opportunity to discuss my services to a room made up of his peers, here is what he said:

“I have been with Info-X since 2005 and I am very happy with their services. I am not only using their software but I use their back-office services too. It has increased efficiency and reduced costs BIG TIME.” He continued to tout the convenience of the mobile applications and illustrate the cost savings by indicating at one point he had 16 employees working on the admin piece of the business, and now, with the help of Info-X he is down to 4.

Again, I know Anura has benefited from my services, but I never heard it put quite this way before, and I was thrilled to learn about the passion and excitement he has about my business, which reinforces we are on the right track.  That said, we also got some feedback that indicates we have some roadblocks to overcome specifically when it comes to U.S-based freight forwarders and NVOCC’s getting over some pre-conceived notions of outsourcing due to other companies letting them down.

During conversations with NVOCCs and Freight Forwarders at the luncheon, my team uncovered some apprehension with outsourcing rate management in particular because of some bad experiences in the past with other companies.  Rate management, of course, is our specialty and yes, in all likelihood, other companies may not understand the nuances and subtleties of dealing with rate management in the U.S. 

Clearly, Info-X should not be lumped in with other companies. Info-X has spent the last 15 years focusing on the understanding the nuances of European and U.S. rate management.  Some outsourcing companies spread their talent pretty thin and are involved in many different industries.  That is the complete opposite approach to how we want to build our business.  Info-X focuses solely on logistics management—we do not spend any time learning about another industry. 

I am fond of reminding nay-sayers that according to the Harvard Business Review, outsourcing is one of the most important management ideas and practices of the past 75 years.  But of course outsourcing would not have become so prolific if companies failed to deliver on their promises of increased efficiency and reduced costs.

Clearly, as with all business decisions, it matters which company you choose to handle your outsourcing, and our commitment to deliver on our promises further distinguishes us from the competition. We have testimonials going back more than 10 years and have a proven track record of delivering a 40% reduction in costs, without sacrificing quality or efficiency.
We understand not all outsourcing companies have the goods to deliver on their promises, but, please consider learning more about what Info-X can do for you. We think you will be pleased, and at a minimum your interest will be piqued. We stand behind our promises and have the customer feedback to prove it. 

We welcome the opportunity to discuss our services with you. Please visit us at www.infoxusa.com

Monday, September 29, 2014

Trying to meet demanding business objectives?


Learn more about back-office support -- spend less and sell more.

Although the trends all point in the direction of back-office support, I know that there are the traditionalists who do not buy into it.  But current studies and statistics are changing this view. Harvard Business Review hails outsourcing as one of the most important management ideas and practices in the recent times. So, gradually nay-sayers are getting to be believers.

And the key reason traditionalists are beginning to consider, and even embrace, outsourcing?
Simple economics Mantra: 
Reduce Costs. Reduce costs. 

Even if you think outsourcing is not for you, who wouldn’t want to learn more about spending less and selling more? 

When we say reduced costs, it is not a few percentage points but a massive 40%, as practically demonstrated by Info-X to its customers. That will for sure boost the bottom line of your business. And when we say reduced costs, it is not just the savings on costs associated with data-entry manpower but the capital costs too—you don’t require the back office space, the infrastructure – no spending on workstations. No maintenance. Info-X provides all that for you. It is just a virtual extension of your office. Available for you real-time 24-7.

I will admit some meetings take a long time since many executives have yet to grasp the benefits of outsourcing.  

But it really isn’t that difficult to show the value of our services – it truly is black and white and impossible to ignore.

Let’s be honest—we all have business objectives, and each of us should be open to hearing new and different ways of meeting those objectives.  I think it is safe to say that no matter your business plan--you have bottom lines to meet, employees to satisfy and customers to please. 

We believe that today’s technology means in-house staff no longer needs to be bogged down with sifting through the current, antiquated, time-consuming systems, which drain manpower. 
At Info-X, the first India-based company to provide back-office support to the transportation industry, our goal is to enable you to re-allocate your resources, so you can put your staff in more productive, money-making roles. 
   
Info-X helps you do this by providing a staff of 150 professionals to handle all the data entry and processing, cargo tracking, tariff management, accounting and business coordination, resulting in 250,000 transactions per month. 

While the Info-X back office will be invisible to the client, the improved results will not be.  Clients will surely notice the quicker turnaround time and higher quality work with 99.9% document accuracy.  Our team of experts works on U.S. time and provides 24/7 on-line support. The system provides real-time global support so documents are worked on overnight, and promptly delivered to the client in their TMS application.  Also, the Info-X team can distribute the shipments documents via email /EDI to customers and carriers.  Of course, Info-X ensures all data is protected by an elaborate security system. 

If you are interested in learning about how Info-X can save your company money and improve customer and employee satisfaction, please visit www.infoxusa.com, or contact Rishi Parti at 646-915-0333.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Can Outsourcing Improve Employee Satisfaction?

I was recently reading an article in Forbes magazine, entitled “Bored in the Office: Is it the New Productivity Killer,” which underscored the impact of bored and frustrated employees have on the workplace and its productivity.

CNN reported a similar story entitled, “Is Workplace Boredom the New Stress?” and it indicated that there's little correlation between workload and boredom. Paul Spector from the University of South Florida, says "you can be very busy and still be bored. And you could be distressed even though you're not all that busy -- if you just hate what you're doing."

This got me thinking about the stressful, tedious process of rate management, which is a burden freight forwarders and NVOCCs face every day. It is no secret that this antiquated and chaotic system is difficult to navigate, as well as frustrating for those expected to manage it.

Since our inception in 2001, it has been the position Info-X that outsourcing is not about reducing manpower, but rather, about reallocating it. Shifting manpower from boring, frustrating tasks to more challenging, higher-end, core-business functions creates higher employee satisfaction, which, according to Gallop, results in the following:
  • 86% higher customer ratings
  • 76% more success in lowering turnover 
  • 70% higher profitability 
  • 78% better safety records
Forbes referenced Richard Chaifetz, a neuropsychologist and the CEO of ComPsych, a provider of employee assistance programs, “When people get bored they become disengaged. The costs can be extreme—lack of productivity, significant errors and catastrophic accidents.

More results from Gallop show that, globally, 25% of employees are actively disengaged, meaning they hate their jobs and go out of their way to disrupt productivity and undermine what their co-workers accomplish. As we all know, this 25% often has a keen ability to poison the rest of the staff.

To keep your workforce satisfied and passionate about their jobs, we at Info-X recommend outsourcing low-satisfaction tasks, thereby freeing up your staff for more gratifying functions.

Our team of 150 industry professionals can seamlessly remove the burden of your carrier contract and rate quote management processes. We have radically changed the way our clients do this piece of business…revenues are increased, quality is enhanced, costs are reduced and the client’s workforce is disencumbered and given the opportunity to become re-engaged.

The benefits of outsourcing are consistent and undeniable. In fact, according to Harvard Business Review, outsourcing is one of the most important management ideas and practices of the past 75 years.

With a proven track record of cost savings and higher productivity, outsourcing was propelled from an insignificant line item to a key business strategy. Studies show 73% of the top 100 companies outsource at least one of their business processes, with anywhere between 10-20% of total budget allocated to outsourcing.

As outsourcing continues to grow, so does Info-X. We outgrew our space and needed to expand to accommodate this growth.

Our $5 million headquarter expansion was recently announced to the press. It has been a work in progress for many years but we are excited to share the news of where we are at today. Our investments to the facility resulted in the addition of a training station, upgraded security systems, and technology improvements such as increased bandwidth and back-up systems. The upgrades and expansions stem from the growth of Info-X Software Technology. Business is booming and we see the trend in our back-office support thriving.

From this Economic Times article, Pradeep Mishra, country general manager of the Indian arm of Inchcape Shipping Service (ISS), recognized the outsourcing trend: “Today, outsourcing is becoming an increasingly essential tool in the shipping industry - a trend more pronounced in the recent aftermath of the global financial crisis - with leading companies driving hard for greater efficiencies and reduced costs whilst maintaining service and performance levels.”

Plunkett Research compiled research on the Outsourcing & Offshoring Industry Market and in 2014, outsourcing will be an approximately $507 global industry.

We want to help your company focus on your core business while Info-X handles everything in between. Documentation, tracking, auditing, bill of lading entry… the most time consuming and tedious parts of the business can all be performed by Info-X.

Our company continues to grow and our back-office support is only a piece of our recent developments. We know our back-office support can help many companies be more efficient and effective...perhaps it is right for you. Support is defined as something that keeps you from weakening or failing and we believe our services can do that for you.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Freight Forwarders and NVOCCs: Do you wish to be saddled with antiquated logistics systems for your supply chain management??

Do you wish to continue to be hassled by high manpower cost and inefficient operations of your back office??

It’s no secret that for decades, freight forwarders and NVOCCs have spent an absolutely shocking number of hours managing rate quotes, been beset with old-fashioned, slow, inefficient and disorganized systems that have created a terrible cycle of excessive manpower, inconsistent delivery and slow turnaround times, lack of visibility and loss of control on the operations. All this has stalled their growth, and led to diminishing profits. You have to ask yourself – are you ok being caught in this cycle? Do you accept the current conditions?   

Forward-thinking logistic companies no longer carry out their operations that way. They know there are ways around dealing with antiquated, slow, disorganized systems and they just don’t waste precious time anymore. Progressive in their approach, these thought leaders appreciate new ideas and are open to a new and better way of doing business. The goal of these companies is to be more efficient without sacrificing quality—-they have been seeking solutions to the challenges that have kept them from meeting that goal.   

They know that if they have to grow in an ever-changing business environment accentuated by increased competition, expansion of geographical territories and increasing regulations, they have to retire their old systems. 

So, many of them turned to Info-X, who had multi-fold solutions for logistics management systems as well as for managing the back office, backed by their 15-year logistic domain expertise and a vast clientele in USA and Europe, that had benefited substantially after opting for Info-X solutions.

And, they were immensely happy with what they got from info-X…A cloud based agile logistic system with multi-modular and multi- modal functionality covering the entire gamut of ocean, air and ground transportation. This system, engineered entirely around their needs, included many innovations—a user friendly rate matrix for rate management with a provision for instant rate quotes; a smart documentation management suite; full-visibility cargo tracking and ISF filing modules, complemented by an inter-enterprise collaboration with EDI capabilities. A full accounting module ensured full control on flow of funds.

To top it, unlike other software solutions companies in the industry, Info-X customizes its software with independent modules that perfectly fit each client’s individual needs. 

And, Info-X has also been a pioneer in offering unmatched real-time back office services ensuring flow of accurate documentation for continuously updated rate matrix, export-import shipping documents, custom filings, cargo tracking and accounting.   This alleviates the customers of their hassles of plethora of documentation, error ratios and the increasing costs substantially impacting their profits.

While we are happy to say that Info-X has seen steady growth since its launch in 2001, we truly believe that right now, today, we are entering a new era—one in which the industry is ready to adopt solutions that provide higher quality, lower costs and better efficiency.  We are on the cusp of real change and Info-X doesn’t just want to be a part of it, we want to lead it. 

The proverb says: “Strike while the iron is hot.” We are confident the iron is hot, and we are going to keep on striking. 

As the industry moves towards embracing a new approach and applying solutions, we at Info-X have begun our own movement for driving innovations and proactively spread the word about how we can help the transportation industry reach its goals. And by help, we mean increasing our client’s business steeply, while manpower and other resources are being re-allocated and being spent more wisely. 
  
Per our longstanding client, Kenney Whitman, President, Oceanic Container Line: “My company’s association with Info-X has been incredibly fruitful. The team has amply demonstrated that they can provide significant cost savings besides adding value in terms of lower turn-around time and enhanced customer satisfaction.” 

Another long-term client is Alan Baer, President, TTS Worldwide, who says, “In the beginning I was skeptical regarding outsourcing of documentation to Info-X, particularly whether it would result in cost reduction while maintaining the quality and efficiency.  But Info-X demonstrated capabilities way beyond my expectations. I am really delighted and looking forward to assign more modules to them.”  

We are poised for growth and planning on securing it with an aggressive “US tour” and aligning with industry veteran, BSY Associates to help cement our relationship with the press as well as other industry leaders. We have expanded our India-based headquarters with a hi-tech infrastructure to accommodate our anticipated growth. We are also building relationships and investing in US-based companies as a sign of our commitment to the market. 

We are very excited about what lies ahead for Info-X and the industry as a whole. Expect to hear more from us as we continue to increase our presence in the U.S. market. 

Ask for a demo of our logistic software and back office solutions. It can be game-changing for you.

Please visit www.infoxusa.com to learn more about our products and services.