4-27-10 ALK & EBE Team Up for Total Toll Control
April 27, 2010
ALK and EBE Team for Total Toll Control
PC*MILER|Tolls Auditor and PC*MILER|Tolls Manager Automate Reconciliation and Management of Toll Costs
Princeton, NJ – April 27, 2010 ALK Technologies has partnered with EBE Technologies to develop landmark products that enable fleets to control the burgeoning cost of tolls. The companies have jointly launched two applications, PC*MILER|Tolls Auditor and PC*MILER|Tolls Manager. Both applications combine the unique database and functionality of ALK’s PC*MILER|Tolls application with the data integration and workflow capabilities of EBE Technologies to document toll costs by customer for reimbursement or rate negotiation, monitor the use of toll facilities by drivers, and validate the charges invoiced to carriers by toll authorities. PC*MILER|Tolls Manager and Auditor applications automate what is otherwise a time-consuming, largely manual job – when it is done at all.On the ALK side of the partnership, the company continually monitors posted costs at all North American toll facilities, including tunnels, bridges, and roadways. These rates are regularly combined with ALK’s industry-standard routing, mileage, and map data in PC*MILER|Tolls, which knows the exact toll charges along any particular route for virtually any vehicle configuration. Both new solutions are based on ALK’s PC*MILER Web Services, its powerful Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering.
Meanwhile, EBE’s integrated workflow and process management solutions streamline the flow of work, eliminating the labor intensive operational tasks throughout an organization. Known collectively by the brand name SHIPS, these applications address trucking departments individually while freely transmitting data and documents among them.
The merging of PC*MILER|Tolls with SHIPS raises tolls to the level of traditional cost elements in the trucking process. Much like driver hours and fuel use, tolls should be verified and documented so that costs can be recaptured through reimbursement, erroneous charges can be credited, and drivers can be prevented from incurring unauthorized tolls.
“Tolls are rising rapidly everywhere and appearing in places they have never been before. No carrier can afford to simply absorb toll charges as many did in the past,” said Craig Fiander, ALK’s Vice President, Marketing – PC*MILER Solutions. “EBE is a natural partner in this effort and together we’ve come up with unique, automated solutions to this growing problem.”
The collaboration between EBE and ALK provides the industry with a solution that neither of our organizations is positioned to offer independently. This partnership is another example of EBE’s “Powered by EBE” strategy to provide the industry with value-add solutions by combining two best in class offerings,” said Cindy Nelson, EBE’s Vice President, Marketing and Business Development.
The first application is PC*MILER|Tolls Manager. Working within the EBE workflow system this program automatically validates the charges incurred for each trip by leg, and creates the documentation for customer invoices, toll rate schedules, or rate approval forms. Customer specific workflows are executed for each toll incurred. By comparing the truck location in the carrier’s dispatch system to the proximity of the toll location, the system validates the accuracy of the toll charge. If a discrepancy is identified, a payables workflow is generated creating a disputed report that is attached to the agency payment.
"Through this partnership with ALK we will help carriers manage a daunting manual task resulting in improved customer service and a more profitable operation. Now tolls can be billed to customers based on specific business rules,” explained Nelson “As just one example, they can be applied to one leg of a trip and not another according to contract provisions.”
The second application is PC*MILER|Tolls Auditor, which compares current toll data to trips in the dispatch system. If a toll is over the amount estimated, if tolls are not authorized, or if the toll does not match a truck’s location in the dispatch system, it is flagged as an exception and placed in a workflow queue for review. “This enables carriers to correct mistaken toll charges. If a truck drives half the length of a toll road, but the scanner at the exit doesn’t work, the carrier might be charged for the entire length of the road. Using GPS records, a carrier can catch that. They will also be able to tell if someone uses, say, a company E-Z Pass transponder in his personal vehicle,” Nelson explained.
Both applications generate numerous management reports, among them unauthorized tolls by drivers, variance in calculated tolls verses actual tolls, actual entry and exit toll gates verses dispatch instructions, unauthorized tolls by toll road, and many more. Using PC*MILER|Tolls Manager and Auditor, carriers can include toll charges and documentation in original billing, thereby eliminating supplemental toll bills. They can track annual toll costs by shipper as an aid in rate negotiation, recoup out-of-route toll expenses from drivers, and monitor toll authority charges through monthly statement reconciliation. A management dashboard enables a carrier to monitor driver toll compliance and maintain individual driver scorecards.
“This partnership and these solutions are the first to address a serious issue for much of the transportation community. They will set the standard for a long time to come,” ALK’s Craig Fiander concluded.
About EBE Technologies, Inc.
EBE has provided business and technology systems to the commercial market since 1973. More than 350 transportation companies use EBE’s SHIPS enterprise content management, workflow and business process automation solutions to improve operational efficiencies, deliver superior customer service, and increase profitability. Clients range from the American Trucking Association’s “Top 100” to carriers and logistics providers with fleets of 50 trucks. EBE is based in East Moline, Ill. For more information, go to www.ebeships.com.
About ALK Technologies, Inc.
Since 1979, ALK Technologies has developed innovative mobile navigation and transportation technology solutions. ALK’s award-winning CoPilot Live GPS software is the navigation based services platform of choice for mobile operators, hardware OEMs, and systems integrators globally. ALK’s PC*MILER routing, mileage, and mapping solutions are used by over 22,000 transportation, logistics, and manufacturing companies worldwide. For more information on ALK Technologies, visit: www.alk.com or www.alk.eu.com.