Misconceptions of Transportation Automation
- Training users to utilize automation in a TMS will require a lengthy and burdensome onboarding/implementation process.
- Every TMS on the market functions similarly.
- Carriers are reluctant to include themselves as a carrier option for shippers within the TMS.
- Performing costly customizations and modifications will add value and are necessary to implement automation in a TMS, thereby maximizing resources and ROI.
Automated Transportation Management Benefits
- More time to focus on strategic freight management. Repetitive tactical processes are automated with the use of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) features in the TMS.
- Reduced logistics costs and better leverage of a shipper’s transportation resources.
- Better management of complex exceptions. Transportation automation within a TMS will provide the ability to proactively respond to exceptions.
- Optimized processes. Using EDI and API automates information transfers to ensure the proper routing and fastest resolution of exceptions.
- Fewer opportunities for data errors and record-keeping problems. RPA reduces human error that can lead to increased costs by eliminating keystrokes.
- Automatic data capture and analysis provides actionable insights to improve decision-making and yield preferred outcomes.
- Efficient auditing of invoices and claims. When you’re dealing with thousands of weekly shipments, monitoring for errors in freight invoices or processing freight loss or damage claims can take a considerable amount of resources. Transportation automation features like RPA and machine learning catch invoice errors and help process claims efficiently, allowing you to recoup costs — ultimately impacting the bottom line.
Best Practices to Leverage Automation
- Benchmark your processes to understand what is happening now and compare to the results seen from the TMS once automation features are in place.
- Integrate other technology systems to the TMS for seamless data flow.
- Leverage analytics to find new opportunities for lowering transportation spend and automating manual and repetitive processes.
- Invest in a cloud-based TMS. A cloud-based TMS has the computer power to include automation of the routing guide, management by exception, real-time insight, visibility into the ordering and shipment process, and improved communication with customers.
- Look at your redundant, manual process and apply automation to eliminate errors with intuitive workflows that hasten, not hamper your operation.
- Centralize controls with a reliable, disruption-free server, such as those used by MercuryGate.
- Use dashboarding to improve performance, measure carrier compliance, and notify carriers when problems arise.
- Recapture revenue through automated auditing and accounting, again leveraging analytics.
- Include employees outside the transportation department to understand the capabilities of the TMS and how the automation features may bring value to other department heads, such as more proactive customer service.
- Encourage like system use among supply chain partners, building rapport with your software vendor and also reducing challenges in onboarding for future users as well.