Standardization: The Heart of the Deal

The concept of ‘standardization’ across the supply chain has been an on-going hot topic, most recently with the announcement of the Scheduling Standards Consortium (SSC), spearheaded by Convoy, Uber Freight, and J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc last month. 

With new players consistently entering the digital freight space, most with the goal to fix the ‘fractured’ supply chain, it’s no surprise that a common language, set of processes, and easy access to clean freight data must be defined. Otherwise, any of the new or existing digital freight players are just further fracturing the supply chain (ahem, app fatigue). 

Many digital and traditional freight companies are starting to come to this realization, especially with how data can help them make better business decisions. A great example and leader in this front is Freightwaves’ SONAR. Their ability to standardize the way companies can view and interact with national freight data has been a game changer, especially for those smaller companies waiting out the current freight recession.

To play our part in the standardization of the digital freight space, NEXT has launched our Deal Standardization Service to streamline the ingestion of critical contractual-level information across multiple systems (e.g. Salesforce) and distribute it to various TMS systems via API during and after the deal negotiation. The goals of this service are to promote support for:

  • Systematic formatting of all physical address locations
  • Flexible, yet structured lanes by categorizing origin and destination addresses
  • Lane specification at the street level to enhance lane matching accuracy
  • Route automation based on lane-level factors
  • Adjustment of contractual changes
  • Tracking contractual changes and previous versioning
  • Filtering, sorting, and searching contractual information

By standardizing the ingestion of this contractual information, intelligent systems can leverage the data for other smart workflows (i.e. automated pricing) or develop much better lane-level analytics for internal business decisions or customer quarterly business reviews. The service is available for all modes of transportation and also provides the ability to efficiently manage contracts across combined services such as Port Drayage → Transloading → OTR. 

As the heart of the deal, standardized contractual information directly contributes to the accuracy of moving freight. By improving the way contractual information is ingested and shared, we’re also contributing  to fixing downstream  ‘fractures’ in the supply chain.

At NEXT, we utilize the Deal Standardization Service to not only manage all contractual agreements for our shippers, but also as a key factor in our ability to automate our freight marketplace and contractual lane services with our carriers. More to come on this front soon.

Curious to learn more about Deal Standardization? Drop us a note at

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