Your business is growing, and so are the demands being placed on your transportation. You’ve made it this far with a creative use of spreadsheets, endless hours on the phone with dispatchers, drivers, and customers. Maybe you’ve started to notice that little details are starting to slip through the cracks, and you are not meeting your customers’ expectations. If it seems harder to stay on top of it all, maybe it’s time you considered implementing a Transportation Management System (TMS).
Here are some telltale signs that the time is right:
- Lack of Visibility: Do you know where all your shipments are at any given time? Do you have visibility to all the data and key metrics associated with those shipments? If you are a shipper operating without a TMS, the answer to these questions is likely “no.” As customer demands evolve, shippers are increasingly demanding real-time visibility to their shipments. Implementing a TMS can help provide you with visibility, and also provides you with the real-time information you need to keep your customers apprised of their shipment’s ETA. Chances are, when it comes to your transportation spend, you are leaving money on the table and missing opportunities to create efficiencies in your transportation network. A TMS can capture data to help analyze your spend and identify areas for operational and process improvement.
- Growth: Your business is growing! That’s great news, right? It is if you are equipped to properly manage that growth. As your business grows, the volume and complexity of your transportation needs grow accordingly. This becomes even more acute as you onboard new customers. For example, major retailers like Walmart, Target, and Costco have strict retail compliance policies that can result in major fines for missed deliveries. A TMS will help you stay on top of your shipments and help you spot and address potential issues before they become costly mistakes.
- Acquisitions: Acquisition activity is a common trigger for TMS implementation, as shippers are suddenly faced with the conundrum of integrating disparate systems (or finding a new solution when no system exists at all). If your business lacks a TMS, and you are eyeing acquisitions, consider adding a TMS to your integration plan.
- Understanding Costs: Let’s face it- not all customers are created equal. Delivering a full truckload to a distribution center where the shipment can be easily unloaded via a shipping and receiving dock is a far cry from a scenario in which the driver must find parking in a busy urban area, unload the shipment, and then deliver it into a high-rise building. As such, your true cost to serve these different customers will vary. A TMS allows you to address this disparity in a systematic way, ensuring that you are not losing money while you work so hard to delight your customers.
- New Facilities: As you grow, you may find it necessary to open a new warehouse facility that will allow you to better service your growing customer base. Again, a TMS can be a real advantage. For example, a TMS collects your shipment data in a central location, providing you with a wealth of information you can analyze in order to determine where to situate your new facility. Second, once it is up and running, a TMS facilitates communication between your locations, ensuring your team, no matter where they are located, is always on the same page. In addition, a TMS can help ensure that policies and procedures are being implemented and adhered to across your growing operation.
- Competitors: If the reasons above aren’t enough, consider the fact that your competitors are likely looking to implement a TMS and benefit from the enhanced visibility, improved service, and lowered transportation costs that often result.
Whether you choose to implement a TMS yourself, or with the help of a 3PL or Managed Transportation Services partner, the team at GlobalTranz is ready to assist you. If future growth is part of your plan, and it undoubtedly is, there is never going to be a better time than right now to start seriously considering a TMS. Your future self will thank you.
Learn how you can manage your supply chain and logistics operations with advanced TMS technology. Call 866-275-1407 or get a demo.