Ongoing challenges in transportation management make it difficult to apply improvements in your supply chain – especially when your visibility is limited or encumbered.
Monitoring your transportation network 24/7 and doing so in real-time is essential for transportation management and control. A digital platform allows shippers and LSPs to monitor and forecast transportation highs and lows more accurately. It allows for greater flexibility and visibility throughout the supply chain network, helping TMS buyers overcome common management challenges.
And it helps to have a few tips to keep in mind when working to identify and overcome transportation management challenges and promote digital control towers as part of the TMS buyer’s journey.
1. Start With Benchmarking of Operations
Capturing accurate real-time data can be a great way to establish benchmarks for facility operations. One of the primary goals of any transportation management system is to measure the health of the business and the success of the network. Starting with focused benchmarks can make it easier for TMS teams to monitor progress, profits, losses, and overall performance. It’s also critical to start with a baseline of where your organization is today.
2. Look to Both Inbound and Outbound Opportunities for Improvement
Another significant component for successfully managing shipping networks is inventory management and improvement.
Staying up to date with inventory replenishment and management is possible with the latest technology trends. Changes in the inbound and outbound flow can drastically impact profit margins, so shippers must carefully monitor both ends of the process to find opportunities for improvement.
3. Learn From the Challenges solved for Others in the Industry
Transportation management personnel must work with outside consultants to build the best experience for consumers.
This includes looking at how other shippers have found success and how the global logistics platforms of competitors function. Even the best management protocols are under continuous scrutiny, tweaked, and adjusted based on new data, analysis, and findings.
4. Identify Core Customer Success Failures and Their Contributing Factors
Having a clear picture of what consumers want and need when it comes to their shipping and delivery expectations helps with transportation planning. Knowing what did and didn’t work and what led to those results will improve management throughout the supply chain. That’s critical when determining what your new TMS platform needs as core functionalities.
5. Assess Supplier Relationships
Successful transportation management systems rely on strong supply relationships.
As reported by Inbound Logistics, “While choosing suppliers, the cost is not the only factor. What’s more important is to select reliable suppliers. This allows you to fulfill your responsibility in delivering the best quality to your customer.”
Good relationships strengthen the network and help to boost profitability. But again, they can add to costs if left unmonitored. That’s why more organizations continuously review supplier relationships by letting the TMS take on the responsibility of supplier performance tracking.
6. Remember to Consider the Impact of Transportation Management Talent
As shippers and LSPs continue to adapt to changes in customer needs and demands, they also deal with an unprecedented driver shortage and a general talent shortage.
Fewer drivers are entering the field, and the influx of new blood cannot keep up with the rate of drivers retiring. This can have a massive impact on how, when, where, and why capacity cannot always be maintained at a desirable level. And in response, automation has become a cornerstone of TMS buyer’s concerns.
7. Realize That the Future Rests With Easy-to-Deploy, Cloud-Based TMS Solutions
Many LSPs and transport lines are moving to automated data collection, processing, storage, and distribution.
Using intuitive and adaptable cloud-based platforms simplifies the overall use of transportation management technologies and processes across the board. Finding the right TMS partner is key to preparing for the future.
8. Include a Review of Reverse Logistics Weaknesses Too
Another side of the transportation management coin is the idea of reverse logistics analysis.
As also explained by Inbound Logistics, “A solid returns management enables you to efficiently re-process or re-manufacture, as the case may be, to service customers quickly and efficiently.”
Of course, that also hangs on collecting and understanding reverse logistics processes and weaknesses through big data analytics. These insights can help bring other weaknesses and problem areas to light much sooner.
9. Let the Data Build Your Business Case
Digital platforms, mobile applications, real-time data analysis, automated communications, and smart machines all enhance business case strength.
Data is king when it comes to market trends alignment, and it will continue to be this way for the foreseeable future. Embracing this trend now will ensure continued growth while avoiding stagnation.
Apply These 9 Tips by Partnering With the Right TMS Vendor From the Start
Transportation management systems are the focus of many transportation networks today, and this trend is quickly becoming a must-have, not just a nice-to-have function.
Monitoring the supply chain in real-time is essential, and a partnership with the right transportation management vendor can make all the difference in the world.