Whether you’re shipping full truckload, light truckload, or even horse and buggy, shipping over the road is made much easier with organization. Many leading shippers and 3PL’s depend on advanced computer software programs or in transportation – a TMS (transportation management system) to navigate the complex over the road logistics networks. Using a robust TMS not only keeps a busy shipper organized, but it also provides multiple ancillary benefits that can reduce costs, improve the customer experience, and ensure on-time delivery.
Noted below are five reasons why using an advanced TMS is the best way to manage all over the road modes of transportation.
Today’s cloud-based TMS platforms are exceptional systems that are designed for optimization and efficiency. One of the best features they provide shippers is helping them to reduce the overall costs of shipping over all road modes. A good TMS will review the shipping needs, search for, and recommend the best mode to get the job done – efficiently. In some cases, a LTL carrier shipment will initially cost more per mile, but the service might be more efficient. In other instances, the TMS will narrow down the right carrier to utilize. In the end, the job of the TMS is to determine which shipment mode is the most cost efficient while ensuring on-time delivery, with superior customer service. It’s a true win/win situation for the shipper.
An advanced TMS is filled with tracking and communication tools that permit shippers to review and track all shipping – from parcel to FTL. A robust cloud-based TMS with the appropriate tracking software and scanning technology can view all touchpoints of a road-based shipment. They’ll tell you where your load is, what driver is carrying the load, any delays, road conditions, and more. Plus, shippers can set up instant notifications, via text messages, email, MMS or even desktop alerts. Some TMS services can even be configured to forward notifications to third parties, such as customers. By knowing where your shipment is, getting instant notifications, and obtaining better tracking services, you’ll be ahead of the game.
Customers demand excellence – especially when it comes to the on-time and careful delivery of their precious commodities. This is another example where using a high-quality TMS can improve customer services by monitoring on-time performance. A good TMS will provide multiple details about a shipment, which includes the exact location of shipment. It also can permit the shipper to make on-the-fly adjustments to shipments. If a customer notifies you that they will not be available for a scheduled delivery, a good TMS service can allow you to send an instant notification to the carrier to reschedule the delivery. This not only ensures proper delivery but reduces missed-deliveries or reattempts. When you can provide that superior level of customer service it separates you from the competition.
Maintaining organization is another feature of a robust TMS. As inventory is received or shipped out, there are several opportunities for mistakes. Having a well-organized warehouse is critical for overall logistics success but using a cloud-based TMS and a Warehouse Management System can also improve the productivity and efficiency of warehouse operations. These systems create records of all incoming and outgoing orders, track the location of commodities in your warehouse, and can also keep a running inventory count. Being accurate with inventory permits a shipper to efficiently ship everything through any over the road mode – with efficiency.
Whether it’s an overnight delivery of one package or a full truckload, the TMS is designed to optimize your complete shipping operation. However, what many people are not aware – is that they can be used for complete logistics needs – not just over the road modes. Professional 3PL’s or third-party logistics providers can help a shipper navigate the complex world of over the road modes. Using a TMS is a great way to ensure on-time delivery of your products but using the right TMS and getting the most out of these systems is where true value exists.