Transportation and logistics (T&L) companies have long adapted to market disruptions caused by new technology. However, many T&L firms have lagged behind the broader business world in addressing the implications of big data.
Not MID-SHIP Group, though.
MID-SHIP Group LLC is an international shipbroking company and world leader in the transportation of dry cargo and inland logistics. The MID-SHIP Group provides a full range of services covering the entire supply chain, providing clients with a single management point for their global cargo shipments. The company is headquartered in Port Washington, New York, with group offices in Miami, Belo Horizonte, Cartagena, Genoa, Istanbul, Dubai, Seoul and Sydney. MID-SHIP is unique in its commitment to excellence in "client-first" service and the continual change needed to increase their client's competitive advantage. While change and innovation are essential, MID-SHIP insists on maintaining the highest quality of service. Their mission is to provide clients with a global competitive advantage through superior transportation services and dedicated operational follow-up. To achieve the highest quality of service MID-SHIP is relying on Mazars’ Microsoft team for implementation of a custom solution across Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE (Customer Engagement) and Microsoft Dynamics 365 FO (Finance and Operations).
MID-SHIP required a tailored solution that many standard out-of-the-box ERP and TMS solutions don’t completely cover (e.g., demurrage scenarios, when a ship is detained by the freighter beyond the time allowed for loading, unloading, or sailing).
Our custom solution relies on D365CE to handle MID-SHIP’s complex voyage management operations (voyages, multiyear contracts, commission tracking, billing, cargo, bill of lading (BOL) ) and D365FO to handle financials (purchase orders, invoices, payments to shipowners/brokers as well as sales orders, invoices, payments from customers). Dual-write is used for the integration between CE and FO.
MID-SHIP is realizing the following benefits from our solution:
- Improved tracking of client correspondence
- Identifying new opportunities with ship owners and charterers
- Capability to quickly adapt business operations with a flexible and scalable solution
MID-SHIP’s contracts with its clients can cover one or many voyages that have multiple ports. Outlook email attachments can be used to associate email communication with a voyage/contract as soon as a contract is final/signed, and a voyage gets created and scheduled. In some scenarios, multi-voyage contracts include voyages that are scheduled months in advance.
Information about voyages are tracked in CRM including ship owners, charterers, clients, laytime information, shipment schedules, freight rates/charges, bills of lading and cargo information. As soon as the cargo is finalized, it’s sent to D365FO as a sales order (SO) for customers as receivables, and as purchase order (PO) invoices for brokers and shipowners as payables.
Tracking this wealth of information enables MID-SHIP to identify competitive opportunities with ship owners and charterers. Using automation, our solution identifies and creates opportunities when planned chartered voyages don’t have a ship owner assigned to them. This allows brokers and sales managers to see, in real time, opportunities before other competing brokerage firms do – giving them a competitive advantage and enabling better service to ship owners and charterers.
Another benefit: Brokers and sales managers can track and monitor outcomes of these competitive opportunities, driving accountability and sales key performance indicators.
With our solution, MID-SHIP’s standard finance procedures (invoicing and payments) can now be executed in FO. If needed, cash and bank reconciliation can now also be handled in FO.
With Dynamics as a primary platform, MID-SHIP can take advantage of custom CE for operations and also of a strong ERP finance backbone while having easy access to reporting tools such as PowerBI.
Our custom solution for MID-SHIP, which is a member of the Association of Ship Brokers and Agents, relies on the following Microsoft products:
- Custom D365CE solution for operations
- Dual-write as integration middleware
- D365FO for financials
- PowerBI for reporting
To learn more about how Mazars’ custom Microsoft solutions helped Mid-Ship continue to be “Individually strong, Unbeatable as a Team”, please contact our Microsoft team.
Michael Rofman, Partner
Christian Segurado, Manager