Transporting goods seems straightforward, but to the experienced professional, it’s a complicated balance of success, unforeseen circumstances, and problem management. Keeping track of the entire system requires a small army, unless a company installs transportation management software (TMS). Many shippers aren’t sure if the impact of a TMS will be enough to justify the expense of installation. Here are the top benefits of adopting the latest transportation management software.
Strengthen Customer Relationships
In a time of cutthroat competition, it’s harder than ever to find loyal vendors and customers. The most business goes to the transportation companies that provide consistent, cost-effective customer service with the best possible information.
Transportation management systems provide shippers with advanced analytics and reporting capabilities that make it possible to provide what customers want. In the past, businesses chose carriers based on their cost, and whether or not they made deliveries a majority of the time. A TMS lets organizations identify carriers with higher overall success rates and lower costs, to choose them more consistently.
When they pass that cost savings and reliability along to the customer, they earn repeat traffic. A TMS also offer real-time tracking and delivery confirmation, so clients can view their shipments every step of the way.
Improve Warehouse Performance
A TMS allows organizations to integrate current warehouse inventory with incoming shipments and outgoing orders. They can plan for the exact amount of warehouse space needed at any given time. Real-time updates allow warehouses to avoid having several trucks arrive at once, and allows businesses to schedule extra employees for peak unloading times. Updated tracking avoids overages and automates ordering to keep from running out of high-demand merchandise.
The right TMS automates processes that once had to be conducted manually. Fuel payments, bills of lading and delivery receipts are all handled automatically. There’s less chance for human error, and a reduced need for outsourced accounting, saving businesses on inaccurate billing, duplicate payments and financial services.
Transportation management systems used to be software businesses purchased and loaded at their facility. It was expensive and often required additional equipment for storing data and running complex programs. Today cloud-based transportation management systems have reduced the need for storing data in a physical on-site location and the maintenance for equipment to run them.
Cloud-based systems are accessible to anyone with access privileges from any location. Administrators don’t have to be at the warehouse or in their offices to receive updates on critical shipments because they have the same visibility on mobile devices.
If a shipment is delayed, or the supply chain disrupted, key personnel can simultaneously access a range of data that allows them how to quickly develop a plan of action. Often, they can use the same technology to contact another preferred carrier in the region and get the shipment back on track to its destination, without having to return to their shipping facility. What would have caused a crisis in the past becomes a small delay that is easily dealt with.
Transportation management systems reduce expenses, improve inventory management, integrate technology and simplify the customer service process. Organizations that use them maximize profits and become increasingly competitive. Those who don’t may not be able to keep up with ever-shifting supply and demand.
Editor’s note: This blog was originally written for the GTG Technology Group, Four Reasons Why You Should Be Using Transportation Management Software.