7 Opportunities for Transportation Management System Automation

7 Opportunities of TMS Automation | Boxes On Circuit Board

In the modern supply chain, complexity exists in every function. Even traditional back-office processes, such as freight settlement, may benefit from the inclusion of automation. It’s imperative for modern supply chain managers to understand why automation in TMS functions has such a significant return on investment. Let’s take a closer look at the level of problems within existing logistics platforms, how automated functionality within a transportation management system creates efficient operations, and a few best practices for deploying automated processes in the platform itself.

What’s Wrong With the Level of Functions in Existing Logistics Platforms?

The problems with existing logistics platforms stem from the complexity of the modern supply chain. As the need arose, the industry developed new platforms to satisfy clients, shippers, customers, supply chain partners, freight brokers, freight forwarders, third-party logistics providers, and other logistics service providers (LSPs). Unfortunately, many of these systems may not integrate well with each other and lack automation, which contribute to a longer time to achieve ROI and problems managing the ever-growing demands of the complex supply chain. However, the use of an advanced transportation management platform is changing that narrative.

Functions of Transportation Management System Automation for Some—Not All—Operations

The ability to deploy a transportation management system to automate core functions within the organization is a competitive advantage.
As reported by Supply Chain Dive, “automation, the companies bet, can increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve performance. But in conversations with Supply Chain Dive, experts said automated technology is not a panacea for every application or facility. There are many components of the supply chain that either cannot or should not be automated.”
As supply chain leaders understand which transportation management system automation functions to adopt, they can maximize the value of their tech stack. For example, some supply chain partners may insist on in-person meetings or voice calls to discuss sales figures or margins. While this process can be fully automated with dashboards and reporting capabilities, it is still nice to visualize the data and insights to toggle manually and discuss collaboratively with stakeholders and trading partners. Supply chain leaders should not ignore the opportunities associated with the core functions of transportation management system automation reporting, optimization, and other supply chain processes. Leaders must consider the ways a system may automate some operations to drive efficiencies and lower barriers to maximizing ROI of the tech stack.

Key Deployment Opportunities for Automated Processes in the System of Record, the TMS

The use of automation is limited only by the imagination. For example, when wanting to ask, “how can a automated functionality within a transportation management system improve everyday processes,” consider these deployment opportunities:
  1. Automate the process of conducting driver check calls with real-time visibility technology to have on-demand access to the status and location of a shipment.
  2. Real-time document sharing to reduce confusion and embrace contactless freight management.
  3. Improved route optimization that considers changing conditions on the road and provides a strategic approach to multimodal shipping.
  4. Increased use of automated notifications to improve collaboration around exception management.
  5. Less stress in tendering shipments based on flexible rulesets that automate previously manual, error-prone keying of shipment information into the TMS.
  6. Access to freight market information to make better decisions on when to consolidate or deconsolidate loads to reduce cost per hundred-weight or cost per mile of freight moves.
  7. Utilizing robotics process automation for freight invoice auditing and settlement processes.

Explore the Values of Automation in Your Systems With a Proven Solution

Automation is the next frontier in supply chain management. The automation functions of an enterprise transportation management system allow employees to do more with less, focus on the problems when they arise, and ensure a positive customer experience. Of course, that assumes companies deploy automation the right way, sharing data appropriately and not making hasty, uninformed decisions.

Unlock the secrets to more efficiencies in your systems by requesting a MercuryGate platform demo online today.

John Martin
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