How to Use a TMS for Shipment Visibility And Connectivity - Manhattan Associates

Tags: Logistics I.T., Transportation Management Systems (TMS), Transportation Management, Logistics, Logistics Solutions Providers

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Medium to large shippers may have millions of dollars of materials and inventory on the highway and often do not know exactly where it is located. Delayed shipments can have a significant economic impact on shippers and receivers, and the lack of visibility from a legacy transportation management system (TMS) into shipment status only exacerbates the problem.

For companies that are using an older transportation solution that is woefully out of date, or still trying to run their operations with spreadsheets and an Access database, a modern TMS will completely transform the efficiency of their supply chain.

With a full-featured TMS, shippers extend their capabilities in both strategic and tactical terms by going beyond the fundamental TMS functions of routing, rating, and payments to uncover the data-driven insights a modern system is capable of producing.

With a powerful transportation management system designed for the speed and complexity of today's supply chains, shippers for commercial and consumer customers can better manage modern connected commerce, in which receivers expect a constant flow of information and alerts about their shipments. A TMS helps deliver a personalized shipping experience, even for business-to-business (B2B) networks.

Users experience centralized information flows to all stakeholders, while the TMS automates functions such as rating, routing, mode optimization, and shipment tracking and reporting. Most companies should start with visibility and connectivity functions in order to quickly streamline their processes and reduce labor costs. The TMS will deliver visibility for both domestic and international shipments and connectivity with any partner in the ecosystem. Then organizations are ready to engage with the data generated by the TMS to enable sophisticated shipment planning and optimization.

Private fleet operators can even use the TMS to secure inbound vendor backhauls and other backhaul opportunities to optimize fleet utilization.

Users can automate alerts and exception management to notify all stakeholders of delays. Organizations see a rapid return on investment from more efficient processes and workflows and better customer service. Rather than staff call centers to handle customer service questions, a TMS can proactively provide self-service alerts to all stakeholders within the shipment lifecycle. Load planners stay focused on optimizing the network rather than dealing with exceptions.

With more efficient processes and workflows in place, users can be seen as shippers of choice by carriers to help ensure they have access to capacity in the marketplace.

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