TMS Automation: How a Transportation Management Platform Empowers Shippers

MercuryGate Blog - TMS Category
The use of a transportation management system (TMS) aids shippers and logistics service providers better manage freight, uncover inefficiencies, and unlock higher customer service levels. TMS adoption rates continue to increase, notes Datex, and as new TMS automation capabilities, such as the use of multimodal shipping models, arise, more shippers will turn to TMS.

Challenges Faced by Shippers in Today’s World

Modern shippers and logistics service providers face many challenges, including a rapidly changing landscape. According to Inbound Logistics, traditional supply chains included master distributors, retailers, and consumers. Modern supply chains have evolved to include all parties, including consumers, resellers, liquidators, third-party resellers, and more. The list is endless, representing the continued changing of global supply chains. Meanwhile, traditional TMS capabilities were not created to handle the surge in demand for e-commerce, globalization, or the flexibility to change shipping modes seamlessly. A dedicated transportation management platform proves its value to navigate these market forces.

Dedicated Transportation Management Platforms Empower Shippers

Implementing a dedicated TMS empowers shippers with data-driven decision making. However, how data affects shipping is more profound than meets the eye. Data is the gold standard of modern transportation, and automated functions, ranging from reporting through exception management, transform freight management into a turnkey process. Instead of spending countless hours requesting quotes, relying on dozens of carrier portal logins, and outdated freight forwarding capabilities, TMS automation eliminates redundancy. The system handles the legwork of freight management, so users can spend more time working with customers, increasing sales, and managing the workforce. Even then, modern TMS automation functions also enable faster labor management, basing the schedule on actual needs.

Additional Benefits of TMS Automation

The use of TMS automation offers significant benefits, including:
  • Optimized distribution methods. Most enterprise TMS today includes route optimization. Still, it is essential to look for platforms that continuously review and redevelop routes, a crucial function to stay competitive and overcome obstacles in any mode. Also, look for an enterprise TMS that provides multi-modal shipping optimization, especially those modes needing more attention, like last-mile delivery, the most expensive of all the shipping modes per hundredweight.
  • Utilization of new fulfillment models. Demand continues to increase, so new fulfillment models, such as just-in-time fulfillment require procurement at the speed of light. This literal example involves intuitive TMS functions that integrate with the WMS to automate reordering, inbound dock scheduling, and more.
  • Access to dropshipping and cross-docking strategies. Dropshipping and cross-docking, while new fulfillment models, deserve a second mention. These strategies demand utmost confidence in the supply chain network, unparalleled collaboration, and automated order processing—functions inherent in a best-in-class TMS.
  • Integrate your TMS with brick-and-mortar POS systems, notes Digital Commerce 360.
  • Increased scrutiny of transportation costs and fees. A modern TMS also includes an assortment of freight auditing capabilities, such as running reports to isolate accessorials and keep them under control.
  • Use of load consolidation programs. Load consolidation and deconsolidation are critical functions to keeping freight spend in check and using multi-modal shipping.
  • Access to more carriers. Working with more carriers reduces capacity concerns and enables scalability in the freight network.
  • Reduced risk for human error. Automation between the TMS and other supply chain systems, including the point of sale system (POS), reduces the risk of human error, which naturally increases customer service.

Put Automation to Work in Your Supply Chain

Automation is a mission-critical capability of modern TMS and supply chain functions. Without automation, shippers are ill-equipped to handle the changing demands of customers and the expansion of the global supply chain.

Learn more about how your organization can leverage automation in the supply chain by contacting an expert online or calling
1-919-469-8057 today.

Bob Davidek
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