Tailwind has a lot going on under the hood. Most of the time, that's not something you need to worry about — but sometimes, a little tuning of the engine can go a long way to smoothing out your ride. A lot of the logic underlying how Tailwind works is based on our best understanding of the industry, but every company operates a little differently.
To reflect that, Tailwind allows for a great deal of configuration and customization, so that you can ensure that it works the same way you do. Whether it's changing how invoices are labeled, creating custom fields in your records, controlling how carrier insurance rules are enforced, or adding new revenue or expense items — all of this fine-tuning happens in the Configuration menu.
Accessing Your Configuration Settings
To access the Configuration menu, click on the located in the top right hand corner of the page, next to your user name. Click on Configuration and the various headings will appear across the top of your screen. Each of these headings has several sub-sections, which contain the actual configuration options.
The 'General Information' section contains information for your main company and any branches you have set up. Editing a branch will display all the basic details of your company, including the address, phone details, and SCAC and MC numbers. These details flow through to a variety of reports and documents created throughout Tailwind. For example, setting an 'Invoice Prefix' will instruct the system to prefix your invoice numbers; a hypothetical 'ABC Company' might choose the prefix 'ABC' for branding purposes.
This section also contains a tab for your Insurance information. For more details about setting up your company information in particular, please read our Getting Started guide.
The 'Reminders' section lets you configure Tailwind to remind specific Personnel when different certifications are set to expire, inspections need to be done, or documents need to be renewed. The selected Personnel will receive an alert at the specified lead time. Reminders can help ensure that you remain compliant with the ICC, DOT and NSC. Note that there is also a separate tab for 'Equipment Reminders'.
This section of the configuration lets you modify some of the many lists that Tailwind uses to populate its drop-down fields throughout the application. For example, the 'Commodity Types' section contains a list of possible commodities you might haul, allowing you to quickly select from a list rather than typing a commodity in manually every time you create a new Shipment. Adding new items to these tables — or removing ones you will never use — can make for a more efficient process down the line.
Similarly, 'User Defined Fields' allows you to add new fields to a particular record. For example, perhaps you track an item on a Customer Record or an Order Record that we have overlooked, or is individual to your company. Adding this item as a User Defined Field under the Customers tab will make it available on all Customer records, allowing you to conveniently track the data in question. Once you have labeled the field you will also have the option of making it a Required field for data entry. You can even set up a custom drop-down menu for the field, if it only has a few possible choices.
Remember that each record has its own tab, and its own set of custom fields.
Tailwind's default list of 'Equipment Types' is extensive, and this section allows you to remove or add types to the tree as needed. For example, if you are a carrier that only moves freight on flatdecks, you can go ahead and delete all other equipment types, which will reduce the size of the drop-down list when selecting equipment types. Or, if there is an equipment type we have not thought of, you can create it here and it will then be available for choosing on an order or dispatch.
The Operations section contains configuration options relating to Operations modules in Tailwind. These encompass a wide range of default behaviours, including rules enforcement for things like carrier and owner/operator insurance requirements, and default settings for your Shipments.
'General Information' will let you set your default measurement units for weight and distance.
'Personnel Groups' provide the ability to create Personnel Groups. Once created, you can assign individual Personnel to these groups, set specific security rights for the group, and run reports based on those groupings.
'General Information' contains a number of defaults relating to financial settings, including the length of your default carrier and customer pay terms.
'Accounts' is where you can configure your various financial accounts. The icon with the up arrow will open all accounts associated to the main heading. The green plus icon will then allow you to add accounts under this heading. For example, if you have a US Bank Visa or a Comchek Account that you pay carriers from, you can set up the account here by adding an account activity which will then allow you to set payments from those accounts. The yellow icon will allow you to edit any existing accounts.
While you always have the ability to set percentage FSC rates on individual orders, you can use the 'Fuel Surcharge Rates' configuration settings to create FSC Schedules. Once you create an FSC Schedule, you can then “Fetch” the latest rates directly from the EIA or add a custom rate. These are useful for when you have a customer that uses a specific FSC schedule. Once it is created here, you then have the ability to set a specific schedule as a default to a customer record. Once set as a default on the customer record, any orders created for that customer will use the FSC Schedule set on the customer record.
'Payable Settings' allow you set a variety of options relating to the payment and dating of Bills.
The 'Revenue' and 'Expense' Item sections allow you to create specific revenue and expense types for use throughout the system. This is covered in-depth in our Working With Revenue and Expense Items article.
'Document Fields' lets you customize certain parts of the documents that Tailwind produces on your behalf, including Quotes, Bills of Lading, and Invoices.
For example, the bottom of the Quote Report and on the bottom of the Load Confirmation include a spot for “Terms and Conditions.” You can modify the corresponding Document Fields to include your own specific Terms. We recommend you quickly scan through all the available fields to ensure that their defaults match up with your company's own terms and expectations.
For an in-depth description of the different Document Fields, check out our article on Customizing Your Documents.
These settings control the integration of Tailwind with external websites and software.
'Load Boards' allows you to give Tailwind access to any Load Boards you use, so that you can easily advertise loads from within the application. Read more about using Load Boards here.
Now that you've got the basics, you may want to learn more about configuring Revenue and Expense Items.