Automation within the supply chain isn’t just the next cool trend or an innovative idea; it’s the future of shipping. This is especially true while we learn how to navigate this new normal to continue growing businesses and the American economy. In fact, everyone from small businesses to large scale distributors will need to adopt technology to drive growth, adapt to disruptions and optimize their supply chains. Succeeding in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing environment requires flexibility and efficiency, especially when it comes to your supply chain and shipping process. Implementing and utilizing a TMS can help you manage and automate your operations and put you on the path towards growth. Discover why a TMS is essential to your business here.
Understanding What a TMS Does
In our prior blog post, we answered the important question what is a TMS? To boil it down simply, TMS stands for Transportation Management System, and it is designed to save you time and money. It centralizes and consolidates shipping options, allowing you to shorten the time it takes to select the best carrier for your shipment needs. Additionally, it helps you easily optimize your transportation spend. Based on freight specifications like distance, locations, type of freight and more, a TMS provides lanes, routes and rates offered by different carriers. That means you are provided with customized shipping solutions based on your needs. It’s convenient, quick, and simplifies the entire process.
Who Can Benefit from a TMS and What Are the Added Values?
All types of transportation companies can benefit by using a TMS to streamline their labor-intensive day-today functions, to manage growth and costs. But what values are added to your business and supply chain when you utilize a TMS? The top three benefits and values added by using a TMS are:
- Business insights
- Capacity and flexibility
- Time and money
3. Business Insights
To make any logical decision, you need data. However, data is often siloed across various business units, making it challenging to find and analyze efficiently. A TMS doesn’t just serve as a platform for shipping option searches; it uncovers inefficiencies and provides visibility for a deep-diving channel full of business insights. That’s right—data at your fingertips. You can track multiple shipments and invoices across multiple carriers and even create reports for logistics analysis. A TMS also provides insights for carrier performance and centralizes paperwork like Bills of Lading (BOL). Better reporting delivers knowledge and visibility, which allows you to act faster.
In addition, the more data and visibility that you have, the better decisions you can make, which leads to getting your freight where it needs to go as efficiently as possible and delivering better customer service.
2. Capacity and Flexibility
Have you ever had trouble finding capacity to get your shipment out? It can be a challenge when you have to go back and forth between various carriers to source capacity. A big reason a TMS is essential to your business is because it allows you to quickly find capacity for your shipment to be fulfilled. That alone makes a TMS a great tool for moving forward through uncertain market conditions.
It’s as simple as putting in your shipment’s details and comparing carriers to make your selection based on rate, service, equipment or route. Now, you can have the ability to pick and choose which shipping options match your needs, and that gives you better control, visibility and flexibility over your supply chain.
Additionally, the carriers and shipping companies themselves need to fulfill their capacity to avoid sending out empty space on their trucks. That means that you will have even more options when sourcing capacity.
1. Time and Money
If you can’t manage your freight easily, you could be wasting time and money by not having insights, such as the optimal mode of shipment and the best carrier based on your criteria which can include cost, reliability, performance and more. Automating the manual steps in your process will not only save time but will reduce costs for your business. A TMS automates those labor-intensive manual steps for you.
You are busy running your business, and you don’t have time to spend searching for the best freight shipping solutions the conventional way. Using a TMS will save you time and money, instantly. The whole shipping process is faster and more efficient when you can electronically and digitally see everything side-by-side. A TMS gives you the ability to view all carriers and rates for any mode in one convenient system.
The Next Steps
You might be wondering how you can enjoy the benefits of a TMS. A powerful TMS can be found when partnering with a third-party logistics company (3PL) like FreightCenter. Working with a 3PL and incorporating a TMS into your shipping process will streamline, optimize and control freight costs.