News, Podcast, Technology

ADDI Portal Launch Podcast – Logistics Tech Discussion

Today we are with our Chief Information Officer Tim Ramsey and Business Analyst Christen Hilborn, and we’re going to be talking about the launch of our newest platform, the ADDI Portal. This is a great opportunity for me to be able to sit down and talk to them about the Portal, some of the great features, who the Portal might be useful for…

Right off the bat, what is ADDI Portal and why is this such a great thing for all types of customers?

Christen Hilborn, Business Analyst

So the ADDI Portal is our internally developed portal that we’ve built, and it includes all sorts of functionality. It’s got metrics, order entry, tracking, reporting, so it’s really kind of a one stop shop for our customers to give them access to all of the information and functionality that they need.

With that being the case, it’s really very valuable for all of our customers. If they don’t need order entry, they’re going to probably still need the tracking or the reporting. So it’s a very valuable tool for everybody.

Tim Ramsey, CIO

I would add to that it’s it fits all levels of customers – meaning the sophistication they may or may not have. For example, we have some customers that are not able to tender orders to us electronically. This is a fantastic way to get those orders in. They come in, they’re edited and then processed as normal.

For customers that are more sophisticated, it offers the features Christen is talking about: it’s higher volume, it offers tracking, the ability to chase down signatures, data export, reporting, all kinds of features. So I would say that it was built with every customer in mind: small, large, technically sophisticated and unsophisticated.

I know that we’ve done a few walkthroughs prior to launch, and I know us in marketing and sales, we were really excited. What’s something really unique about ADDI Portal that we’re really proud of?

Christen Hilborn, Business Analyst

I think there’s a couple of things that make it really unique. So the first one is we’ve added some very valuable functionality, for example address validation in real time. Rather than having bad data come into the system and possibly miss a pickup or delivery, we’re validating that address as it’s being entered, and then letting the user know that “hey, this might be a mistake, do you want to fix it?” before it ever actually comes into the system. So that’s one thing that really makes it valuable.

Something else – It’s a modular design. We talked about all the different pieces of functionality: the order entry, the tracking, etc. all of that can be turned on or off as appropriate. So where Tim mentioned, we might have some customers that are more sophisticated and have an integration so they don’t need order entry. We can turn that off and they only need to see the pieces that are relevant to their business.

Tim Ramsey, CIO

Some of the other features is our concept of beyond maps tracking. I mean everybody’s kind of enamored with a car on a map and seeing it move, but it’s really not just about where the driver is physically or what street it’s on, it’s about ETA. What’s he bringing? What’s important?

So, we’re big on driving into what’s really important in terms of our tracking as compared to just a car on a map. We can make the car. We can certainly do that, but we have a concept we refer to as beyond

maps, so it’s more about data, information, and timing rather than just a car in motion.



And of course, once we give the username to our customer and they log in and they’re enjoying the Portal, the next thing that might come to mind, and it comes to my mind as a marketer – I’m used to logging into all different types of software – is “what’s the ongoing support going to be like”. From what you guys have told me, it sounds beyond “support”, it sounds like actual research and improvement that you guys are committed to – working with our customers on the system.

Christen Hilborn, Business Analyst

Yeah, that’s correct. Of course, we do offer our training for our customers. We would work with them to set up the ADDI Portal in the way that meets their needs. And then we’ll go through training on how to use it, how to enter orders, or whatever information they need assistance with. But from there, it’s like you said, we want this to be growing and developing over time.

We look at this as a partnership.

We’ve launched it with what we think is valuable features for our customers, but we know that as they’re in there, using it on a daily basis, there’s going to be things that we could add to make it more user-friendly, or a piece of functionality that we haven’t thought about. So we want to work with our customers on developing that functionality for them. So it’s truly a system that meets their needs as opposed to something that we think they need.

Tim Ramsey CIO

Kristen spot-on there. If you think about it, ADDI Portal is an extension and improvement upon our old portal. And those extensions and improvements, to make it more user friendly, more usable, and of more value, came from our customers. We don’t sit and just think of things to throw in the portal that we think would be “cool”, so to speak.

We are working with the customers and that’s where those requirements come from. Not only have we worked with them to extend the portal and build it, then we beta test with certain customers, get more feedback, and that’s not going to be something that changes. We’ll get this version out and there will be another as new features come to mind from customers and from us.

Not to say that we don’t know the business and drive some of the technology, but it is a partnership with our customer and that’s that’s definitely something we’re committed to.