Frequently Asked Questions
What will a returnable shipping platform tracking system do for us?
Your tracking system is a cost reduction and time saving tool. The direct financial benefits include reduced purchases and a smaller pool of shipping assets due to higher rates of recovery and increased asset velocity.
Other benefits include a reduction in administration time, faster and easier count reconciliation, enhanced customer satisfaction and more cost efficient environmental decisions about returnable packaging and re-useable platforms and containers.
Your tracking system will provide you with all of the necessary information that you require in order to make informed decisions. Ultimately, time previously spent managing returnable packaging will be made available to be used in other aspects of your operations.
Will our tracking system improve the management of our returnable shipping platforms?
Yes. Your tracking system includes an Inventory Administration feature, as well as Automated E-Notification messaging systems. The Automated E-Notification service facilitates timely and trouble-free retrieval or replenishment of inventory.
Since your tracking system is real-time, you can instantly capture a snapshot of all returnable shipping platforms (including their status, product contents & lot number/batch) for all of your customers locations, your locations, and your 3rd party supplier locations.
Is access available to my customers/suppliers outside of my Local Area Network(LAN), Wide Area Network(WAN) or Intranet?
Yes. Since the communications medium is the Internet. As long as your users have an Internet connection and a browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari etc), they have everything they require.
What parts of the tracking system, and how much access they have within each part of the system, is controlled on a per user basis by passwords and privileges granted by you.
What type of shipping platforms can be tracked in our tracking system?
Your tracking system is capable of tracking multiple returnable shipping platforms, particularly pools of like for like, or exchangeable, assets, or uniquely identified shipping platforms (bar code or Radio Frequency Identification [RFID]).
The application is designed to track shipping platforms such as containers, crates, cages, Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs), bins, totes, coils, racks, baskets, pallets, Unit Load Devices (ULDs) and any other shipping platform.
Will our tracking system help manage maximum and minimum quantities of shipping platforms by location?
Yes. Your tracking system will protect minimum inventory quantities to ensure that you and your customers are supplied with enough returnable shipping platforms to transport your product.
Your tracking system can also be configured to observe maximum quantities so that timely data can be relayed to initiate recoveries without the need of manual intervention.
When preset, location & shipping platform specific, maximum or minimum inventory levels for any location are detected, all relevant parties needed to resolve the inventory levels are automatically notified via the E-Notification messaging module.
Can our tracking system manage multiple types of shipping platforms such as Unit Loads, Asset Families, or in Groups of shipping platforms?
Yes. Your tracking system will have the ability to track shipping platforms within shipping platforms, as well as by families of shipping platforms.
You can track your inventory individually or as unit loads (eg. A container protected by dunnage or dividers, which can be on a pallet, protected by a top and bottom unit).
Will our tracking system help with account resolutions?
Yes. If you experience count discrepancies regarding inventory quantities, all parties can simultaneously view transaction reports sorted by transaction dates, transaction numbers, shipping dates, customers, or locations and ‘virtually’ resolve differences in minutes versus weeks.
You can also allocate predetermined tolerance levels to customers and/or each type of shipping platform.
How is data entered?
There are four (4) fundamental ways of entering information into your tracking system.
The information can be entered:
- manually through input device like a keyboard
- automatically through electronic readers like Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) systems
- automatically by bar code scanners
- automatically populated on a pre-set time schedule through uploads of data from existing in-house systems.
Do I have to replace my existing computer or software applications in order to start tracking my returnable shipping platforms with Vestigo?
No. Vestigo operates on any generally available computer with Internet access and a web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari etc).
We recommend the latest version of either Microsoft’s Internet Explorer or FireFox. A web browser is the only software application that Vestigo requires. Internet Explorer is included with all software released by Microsoft, and FireFox is freely available from the Mozilla web site (http://www.mozilla.com).
Can our tracking system integrate with our existing in-house systems?
Yes. Your tracking system can be synchronized with any of your existing in-house applications.
Your tracking system offers the ability to download data either through generated reports or automatically through email. Flexible data entry points allow for easy interchanges and uploads of data through the Internet, e-mail or FTP. Feel free to have someone in your IT department give us a call to discuss this.
What will it cost?
The cost is typically a monthly fee based on the number of units included in the transaction. The greater the volume of units that are tracked, the lower the cost per unit.
We also offer a flat fee based on average monthly volumes. We understand that in order for a tracking system to be a value added service, the benefits you experience must be in excess of the cost of using the program. We work with you to determine the most favorable price format.
How can a tracking system help us with one way shipping platforms?
Your tracking system can be used by your company to link with other companies or recyclers who use or recover similar shipping platforms. This allows you to make a informed decisions between the return freight cost or selling them as is/where is.
Can other Vestigo customers access my data?
No. You are provided with your own dedicated database stored on the Vestigo servers.
Your system is designed such that your users may only see data that is explicitly relevant to them. Within your tracking system an administrator may grant and revoke privileges (view, add, update or delete) to users in each section of the program. Users can be activated or deactivated instantly.
Your tracking system includes a password security model that protects all access points to the application. The security model also controls the data that each user is permitted to view and modify.
What protection is in place to ensure the safety of my data?
The Vestigo servers operate from RAID controllers with multiple hot-swappable drives. In order to protect the integrity and safety of your data, Vestigo has implemented an array of redundant storage devices, backup systems (including diesel powered generators for major power outages), and a comprehensive disaster recovery plan.
Vestigo uses two Internet service providers, Sprint and AT&T. Each is connected directly to the Internet network infrastructure by way of fiber optic cable which provides more than enough bandwidth, with plenty of room for scalability.
Is my data secure?
Yes. The only way for you to update your program’s data is through your tracking system. Your system is protected by user authentication protocols. Direct access to the databases is not available.
The data is transferred over the Internet using a unique proprietary protocol designed and implemented by Vestigo. The data embedded in the protocol is encrypted using 128-bit encryption technology on a rotating key.
How will our tracking system work?
Your computer communicates with your tracking system through a proprietary communications protocol designed and implemented by Vestigo. This protocol allows for data to be securely transferred through the Internet to and from your computer.
Your entire tracking system is online and in real-time. Your system is fully customizable in order to meet your business model requirements. All of your reports are customizable allowing you to generate hundreds of different reports, in the exact format that you require.
Will our tracking system work on a Mac?
Yes. In order to access your tracking system, you must have an Internet connection and a web browser. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari are examples of the most popular browsers.
Does Vestigo sell or lease returnable containers or shipping platforms?
No. Vestigo is a Software as a Service (Saas) offering an Internet based Tracking System for returnable containers and shipping platforms.
What if the current features do not meet all of our needs?
Your tracking system can be customized by adding new features and reports at any time to meet your specific requirements.