As a shipper, you want to ensure the bottom line of your logistic operation is as forecasted and has met your’s and your customer’s needs. Right?
However, you also have to consider all the challenges that may arise within the supply chain processes. Every day, consumers are demanding faster, more reliable, and efficient logistics. This is where the importance of having a transportation management system is imperative.
What is a Transportation Management System?
A Transportation Management System (TMS) is a logistics platform designed for planning, executing, and optimizing transportation processes. With a TMS, you’ll have the opportunity to arrange all your logistic tasks, on one single platform and reduce the time and resources you need to coordinate and track your shipments.
Let’s think about the process of moving a load. First, you need to quote the shipping of your freight. In order to quote your shipment, you have four options:
1. You can call your vendor and get the shipping rate by phone.
2. You can email your vendor and get the rate by email.
3. You can quote the shipment through your vendor’s system and get your rate instantly.
4. You can integrate your system (whether it is an ERP, WMS, etc.) through an API to your shipping provider, and automatically get the shipping rate you need without jumping from platform to platform.
You’ve got a lot of options, but the truth is the more connected you are with your shipping provider, the more you’ll boost your logistics efficiency. That will automatically translate into your ability to deliver more value to your customers.
We’ve discussed what a transportation management system is and how it can help you simplify your quoting process. This tool has many additional features and benefits that can help you optimize your entire shipping process. In this blog, you’ll learn all the advantages and benefits this tool can bring to your supply chain.
1. Take Advantage of Your Shipping Data
Data is extremely important in today’s digital environment. The more accurate data you have, the more competitive you’ll be in today’s world. With a TMS you will have the opportunity to collect and consolidate important data about your entire supply chain process. You’ll also be able to identify different KPIs to measure your efforts and dispense with not working processes. This tool can give you an advantage over your competitors and allow you to make better and more intelligent decisions regarding your supply chain.
2. Save Time and Money
A TMS can allow you to receive different shipping options to move your freight and schedule your shipments in seconds on one single platform, saving you time and money. Additionally, thanks to all the shipping information gathered in this tool, you’ll have the ability to analyze through historical data and find points of improvement and cost-saving opportunities.
3. Faster Flow of Information
Because the information between you and your shipping provider is connected with a TMS, you can streamline the flow of information and automate the quoting, dispatching, and tracking processes. All the shipping information is collected in a faster and more reliable way for everyone involved in the shipping process.
4. Better Customer Service
This technology does more than allow you to quote and book your freight in a faster way. Because all the information is gathered in one place, you will be able to spot any disruption that may affect the customer experience and react faster. This translates into you being able to provide superior customer service.
5. Reduced Human Errors
With a TMS, you can reduce the number of errors that could occur with a manual process, like a phone call, or an email. Since the information is in one place and is processed by technological tools, there is less room for human mistakes.
6. Leverage all your Vendors in the Same Place
With a TMS, you can compare a wide variety of shipping options from a huge network of carriers in one single platform. This can translate into saving time and money.
With a transportation management system, your accounting system can be integrated with your shipping data, allowing every operative record to instantly create a financial record and making it easier to track invoices.
8. Inventory planning
When you have integrated, or in the same environment a TMS with your operative system (WMS, ERP, etc.) every shipping record can automatically trigger an inventory reduction and allow you to receive information faster and more accurately. This can help you plan, organize, and make better decisions regarding your inventory.
We have covered all the advantages a transportation management system can bring to your logistics process. These advantages include data availability, time and budget savings, speed to obtain information, and better customer service, among others. You may be thinking about using this technology to become a better shipper and enhance your business, but you are not sure where to start. A third-party logistics or 3PL provider in combination with a TMS can help you find the most effective initiatives in your shipping process. You’ll have access to a broad network of shipping carriers and the flexibility to choose the best solution for your logistics needs.
You can contact a GLT expert and take advantage of our Free Transportation Management System and leverage all its benefits.
Want to take your LTL shipping performance to the next level? Read our Ultimate Guide to LTL Shipping to become an LTL expert and boost your results.