Turning Automated TMS Functions Into a Competitive Advantage

Cloud-based TMS software provides tools needed to achieve transportation optimization

As global supply chains grow more complex, reducing costs becomes more difficult. Increased customer demands result in a more significant strain on resources. Automated TMS functions change the narrative, and shippers need to understand why

Challenges in Maintaining a Competitive Advantage 

Advancement is everywhere. While consumers push the limits of “fast, free” delivery, shippers struggle to maintain a competitive advantage. Now it is not enough to offer three-day shipping. If customers cannot get their products tomorrow, they will go elsewhere. This risk amplifies given the free, next day delivery now provided. Traditional challenges remain, including securing the best freight rates, scheduling trucks, and meeting capacity needs. Unfortunately, the long-held standards of what makes a competitive advantage–faster, better service–is now standard practice, and it alone cannot guarantee competitive advantage.

Automated TMS Functions Create a Competitive Advantage

Automated TMS functions, including freight auditing services, dashboarding tools, exception management, analytics, and EDI-based automation propel shippers’ competitive advantages forward. More informed decision making increases responsiveness and optimization of operations, notes Datex. Thus, customers receive better service. In addition, improvements in the supply chain also lend themselves to improved safety measures and fewer risks, explains Supply Chain Beyond.
For example, when a shipment is listed as “out for delivery,” customers only know that last scan data. That is simply unacceptable in today’s world. Customers want to know exactly when the product will arrive, not just a random range. This is why customers expect more visibility in shipping, and shippers and logistics service providers must respond.

How to Expand Your Advantage Through Ongoing Process Improvement

Utilizing your assets more efficiently is one thing, but finding ways to increase competitive advantage is another challenge. To use a TMS to maximize your operational efficiency, follow these tips:
  • Upgrade your TMS. Your TMS must access and provide information in real-time.
  • Connect your assets and systems. Connected assets, such as devices connected to the Internet of Things or integrating disparate supply chain systems to the TMS, enhances the validity and speed of your supply chain.
  • Use analytics. Analytics help shippers identify inefficiencies and predict performance.
  • Get all supply chain partners to use the same system. Getting everyone on the same page eliminates uncertainty and improves collaboration throughout your network.
  • Eliminate errors with robust training. Providing proper training to your staff reduces the risk of human errors and reduces pushback from employees against change.
  • Hold users accountable. While many improvements exist, the most significant factor derives from holding all users, including supply chain partners, responsible for their actions or lack thereof.
  • Measure performance. Lastly, use data from new, automated TMS functions to measure performance, while also tracking operations with dashboards and business intelligence tools.

Leverage the Power of Automated TMS Functions

Advanced and easy-to-deploy TMS functions automate many of your workflows, processes and maximize order fulfillment, as well as transportation management. Since a TMS handles both inbound and outbound freight, any improvement in transportation management will naturally lead to better procurement management, speeding time to market, and more.

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