This article is a use case featuring one of Kintone’s clients, an IT Consultant at ezCargoClaims with over 20 years of logistics and transportation experience. At the request of our client, their name will not be shared.
ezCargoClaims is a freight and cargo claims management company that helps logistics providers track and manage their claims process. Their client asked ezCargoClaims to develop a better system to manage this process long-term after their reliance on Excel spreadsheets proved ineffective and antiquated.
- Difficulty managing freight and cargo claims in an efficient way over the long-term
- No way to notify when key dates and deadlines were approaching
- Related documents stored elsewhere and not included in database
No More Band-Aid Solutions: The Hunt for a Cargo Claims Software That Works
When I first started consulting for ezCargoClaims, all I had to work with was an Excel spreadsheet, which remains the industry standard. I was tasked with building a new system to track and manage the company’s claims process, but Excel spreadsheets just didn’t work for what they wanted. A single Excel spreadsheet wasn’t capable of tracking all their claims and corresponding data points, including review dates, file dates, delivery dates, relevant documents, and various email updates.
I began looking for a better database management solution and experimented with several tools before finally choosing Microsoft Access. Microsoft Access solved some of my problems, but it couldn’t handle the scope of my projects. I was handling over 400 claims a year by myself, some of which can take up to two years to process. That requires an ability to track multiple deadlines, back-and-forth emails, and growing documentation. I needed a software that could not only do all this but also help me streamline and prioritize my work based on shifting deadlines. Notifications would have been ideal, as it’s easy to miss key dates and required documentation when you’re scrolling through a wall of records with the same black and white text in boxes. I was tired of claims slipping through the cracks due to a lapse in the timeframe.
Another issue was that Microsoft Access is only an ideal solution for users hooked up to a true network of computers. With more and more logistics and freight companies shifting to the internet, in order to expand our client base, we needed our database system to be easily accessible online.
We considered creating an SQL database along with a custom designed website to interface with that database, but didn’t have the time nor the resources. The only way would be to pay up to $15,000 to outsource the production and manage the process by ourselves afterwards.
Results with Kintone: Accountability, Flexibility, and Speed
I looked for a better solution while using Microsoft Access. It took me nearly a year of searching before I came across Kintone. I signed up for Kintone’s free trial, which comes with templates and app packs to help you get started as soon as you log in. It also has a neat drag-and-drop interface that’s easy to use. Within 72 hours, we were up and running with a fully designed database. Just 72 hours!
Kintone has really improved the way we manage the claims process in a few key ways. It lets our people stay up to date with their various claims and reminds them when they need to take action. The greatest value has been its flexibility—we wanted nontechnical users to easily learn how to use the database, from adding new records to editing them. While I enjoy reading technical manuals, I know that’s not the average person’s preferred reading material. With Kintone, if you have multiple people working on the database at once, it’s easy to see what they’ve input or changed using the history feature, giving you a good sense of accountability. If I have a question, I can send that person a message through the in-record chat wall within that claim. Finally, we’re able to store all related documents within each claim record without having to hunt through multiple applications.
The database I’ve built can also be applied to so many other logistics companies, even carriers or manufacturers. I’m currently working with a few other companies to help get them set up and start using the application to streamline their claims processes. If you’re looking for an application and a program to grow with your business, Kintone is the simplest, most cost-effective way to go.
One thing that really stood out to me was that Kintone wasn’t just a product. Kintone is also a great partner when it comes to doing business. Some of the best customer support I've ever received has been through Kintone. I can put in a help ticket with any questions I have and usually get a response within one to two hours. As far as response time from Kintone and quality of support, I'd say it’s a 10 out of 10.