There is no denying that logistical operations within supply chains are exceedingly complicated. It has grown nearly impossible to maintain a business while managing each factor manually. The result has been a push toward high-tech Transportation Management Software (TMS) and cloud-based IT. These solutions create a smoother and more cost effective approach to business.
Below are some common manual problems and how they can be addressed with TMS:
Data Entry Errors
Human error accounts for a large amount of loss in transportation. Word of mouth, sticky notes, and extended email threads are no longer the most effective way to do business. TMS solutions allow for automated reading and tracking as well as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). This produces high-resolution images, eliminating the need for fax lines. It is a fast and secure transfer of information, which saves resources.
A major challenge in transportation is ensuring that freight is always packed and shipped in the most efficient way. Empty return trailers and poorly packed loads can lead to lost time, money, and possible damage to goods. New technology can assess the best possible arrangement of cargo and routes. It then delivers this information to dispatchers who can implement the data.
Regulations and Requirements
Different carriers have different capabilities. Various ports have varying regulations. If the shipper cannot effectively understand these variables and communicate its needs, frustrating scenarios may occur. With built-in carrier information and region-specific regulation data, TMS systems ensure that the shipper is always making the right calls.
Any business can expect occasional disruptions. In the past, it was left to experienced shippers and carriers to use their best judgment in predicting these scenarios. With advanced TMS solutions, detailed analytics step in to address this. Including a broad range of comprehensive data points, losses can be kept to a minimum with predictive services.
Gaps in Communication
Bad communication can lead to a host of issues. In some cases, ineffective vendor relationships are established. The increased connectivity of advanced TMS offers the opportunity for quick and efficient communication between shippers and carriers. This helps solidify strong relationships based on teamwork.
Failing to Trace Freight
Transparency is a key element of efficient freight management. In manual systems, shippers are unable to see where their goods originate, travel, and arrive in real-time. This prevents accurate risk and efficiency assessment. Greater efficacy of shipments leads to less financial waste in the long run.
Both cyber and physical security are hazards of the trade. It is imperative that proprietary data remain secure in the hands of both shippers and carriers. By utilizing encrypted cloud-based data systems and off-site backups, companies are better prepared to face these risks. TMS provides the security of fast disaster recovery. This leads to less time lost in the event of an emergency. Time, as it is said, equals money.
From data entry errors to poorly tracked freight, there are a number of common mistakes in the transportation management industry. With the use of TMS, shippers can expect to save time and money and avoid unnecessary hassles.