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5 Questions to Ask Your DFM Provider 

Technology is at the forefront of the evolution of supply chain and logistics. Shippers, carriers, and logistics service providers must embrace automation and other technologies to reduce costs, increase productivity and improve compliance in order to achieve operative and competitive advantages. 

Digital Freight Matching (DFM) is one of the hottest buzzwords in logistics, but is it the right solution for your transportation needs? In this article in Logistics Management, GlobalTranz CTO Greg Carter offers five key issues for shippers to consider when evaluating a digital freight matching provider. 

 

Walmart Is Tightening OTIF Requirements. Can Suppliers Step Up Their Game?

Rachal (Snider) Jordan, GlobalTranz’s VP Customer Supply Chain, shared her thoughts with SupplyChainBrain regarding Walmart’s recent announcement that it is tightening its OTIF (On-Time/In-Full) requirements for suppliers:

“Changes in the manufacturing landscape, driven by customer demand for more product options, will complicate efforts to meet Walmart’s tougher OTIF standards. Manufacturers can no longer optimize their plants with large production runs. What’s more, the coming of e-commerce and the omnichannel is reducing the number of full pallets shipped in favor of small packages — all of which makes for a more complex supply chain. ‘For every 10 SKUS in a Walmart store,’ says Jordan, ‘the omnichannel wants 100.’”

“At the same time, shippers should be preparing to meet not only Walmart’s new OTIF standards, but even tougher ones in the years ahead. ‘They should imagine a 95-percent [minimum] throughout the industry within the next five years,’ Jordan says. ‘We’re already setting ourselves up for that expectation.’”

For additional insights, please click here to read the full article.

 

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: 

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.  
  3. 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. 
  4. 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. 
  5. 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. 
  6. 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.

How To Maximize the Value of Your Managed Transportation Services Partnership

Managed Transportation Services (MTS) are being increasingly embraced by shippers. While there are many articles and case studies extolling the reasons why shippers choose to implement an MTS partnership, there are few resources that share how shippers can partner with their MTS provider to get the most value out of the relationship.

According to Ross Spanier, GlobalTranz’s Sr. VP of Sales and Solutions, “I have seen firsthand how organizations that focus on the ‘how’ as much as the ‘why’ often experience greater success right out of the gate.”

What are some of the best practices that drive this success? Please read this article in Logistics Viewpoints to learn more.

 

How to Choose a 3PL That Will Meet Your Company’s Needs

As supply chain and logistics management have become more complex, large and small corporations turn to specialized 3PLs to help bridge these widening complexity gaps. Research from the past few years has revealed that up to 90 percent of companies find value in 3PLs for their access to capacity, technology and innovative ways to improve logistics effectiveness and drive customer service levels.

Additionally, says GlobalTranz’s Ross Spanier, C-level leaders looking to save on logistics and supply chain operations are realizing it’s more profitable for them to focus on improving their company’s competencies and outsource day-to-day logistics and transportation needs. But how do you find the right 3PL that meets your needs and what should you look for? Prior to your 3PL research, know exactly what you want with a logistics partner. Prioritize your essential needs before you go “shopping.” To get started, here are five factors to help you choose the right 3PL.

5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a 3PL

  1. A Strong Goal Orientation: Choose a 3PL that is good at establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) for your logistics operations and tracks them obsessively. Essential KPIs include on-time pickup, on-time delivery, tender acceptance or rejection percentages.
  2. Broad Capabilities: It’s natural that larger 3PLs offer you a broader range of capabilities along with “deeper pockets” for investing in future technology advances. Inventory the capabilities of each 3PL you consider to make sure they offer the modes, carrier network and TMS technology you need. Also, does the company have a great support team that you’ll interact with daily? Can you reach them at all hours of the day? Is customer service considered an important corporate value?
  3. Performance History: Study the company’s history of on-time pickups, on-time deliveries, tender acceptances or rejection percentages. What they’ve done for other companies is a window into how they’ll perform for you. Ask for customer references and testimonials.
  4. Reliable, Advanced Technology: Technology is the ultimate competitive differentiator. The best 3PLs leverage cutting-edge technology such as artificial intelligence and predictive analytics that are integral to the 3PL’s TMS. As the linchpin of your logistics operations, make sure the 3PL you consider offers a world-class TMS. Any TMS you choose should mix well with your existing ERP, WMS (warehouse management system) and other business systems. always Request a demo of the 3PL’s TMS capabilities.
  5. Financial History: Look closely at the company’s financials. Does the company demonstrate a strong growth history? Will they be around five years from now? How much money do they invest in technology and acquisitions? Can they grow as you grow?

Connect with an expert to see how GlobalTranz fares against your 3PL checklist.

Tips for Selecting a Warehousing and Fulfillment Partner

Shippers know that competing in today’s business environment demands more agility than ever. Changing consumer demands are putting pressure on supply chains, triggering shippers to shift their approach to both warehousing and transportation. Rather than relying on full truckloads delivering into regional DC’s, shipperare relying on more frequent less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments, originating from a larger number of warehouses (or even retail locations) located as close to the consumer as possible. 

This shift has caused ripples throughout the supply chain, driving changing expectations in the B2B space as well. Competition for customers is intense, transportation costs require constant vigilance, and growth is often hard-won. Even when you are winning, effectively managing and sustaining that growth is a real challenge. 

Simply put, selecting your warehouse location(s), and a partner to help manage your warehousing and fulfillment needs, is one of the most important decisions you can make for sustaining the health of your business. Here are a few tips for selecting the right partner for your current needs- and your needs in the future. 

To discuss your warehousing and fulfillment challenges with our expert team, contact GlobalTranz at learnmore@globaltranz.com.

Benefits of a 3PL Go Beyond Saving Money on Transportation Costs

Shippers of all sizes are increasingly turning to Managed Transportation Services providers to help them reduce total landed costs, create standardization and visibility, and drive efficiencies. 

Iconex is the world’s leading provider of receipt and innovative label solutions for the retail, restaurant and banking industries. In 2017, Iconex acquired two companies and was seeking to fully integrate them with the core business. It became clear that in order to fully merge the businesses, Iconex would need to unify their approach to transportation and logistics. 

In this case study, Chris Cunnane, Senior Research Analyst at ARC Advisory Group, discusses Iconex’s logistics challenges with Kim Harper-Gage, Iconex’s Senior Vice President, Manufacturing and Supply Chain Operations. Iconex’s search for a logistics partner ultimately led them to GlobalTranz, and a Managed Transportation Services solution, including implementation of GlobalTranz’s custom TMS technology. 

To read the case study, please click here. 

 

There’s no doubt that a state-of-the-art transportation management system (TMS) has a proven ROI. According to ARC Advisory Group research, TMS users can save an average of 5–10 percent of their freight spend. Once more, as TMS prices have decreased over time—while capabilities have increased—just about any size business can now afford to employ the technology. 

 TMS platforms are more affordable and accessible than ever due to technology advances and the growth of cloud applications. At one time, the TMS was only accessible to the largest businesses and budgets, and it’s main capabilities were tracking and basic rate and customer management functions. Now, modern TMS systems encompass all aspects of the supply chain, from the time the order is placed until invoicing, and every step in between.  

Top 7 TMS Benefits 

Companies that use a TMS value these main benefits, highlighted in the article, “Making the case for TMS implementation” by FreightWaves. 

But if you’re in the market for a TMS, what features and capabilities do you need? Below, we share the top seven capabilities you should expect when selecting your company’s TMS: 

Top 7 TMS Capabilities 

  1. Back-office integration: The TMS should integrate easily with back-office systems like ERP, (enterprise resource planning)warehouse management and order management software. 
  2. Supports all transportation modes: Ensure the TMS enables sourcing, procurement, planning, execution, visibility, performance management and settlement across multiple shipping modes, like LTLtruckload, intermodal and expedite. 
  3. Secure and reliable: You can’t afford any downtime, so choose a highly secure TMS that will protect you from data breaches and outages. Additionally, whether your TMS is cloud-based or installed on company computers, make sure it offers robust backup capabilities. 
  4. Analytics and visibility: Choose a TMS that provides visibility into the shipping process and can generate all the reports you need to measure key performance indicators and network efficiency. Machine learning capabilities and features give TMS platforms the ability to use collected data, combine it with real-time reporting and analytics, and provide recommendations that drive savings.  
  5. Adaptable and agile: Companies are continually evolving their TMS capabilities. An open architecture design allows you to upgrade to new features and enhancements anytime. A TMS should also have easytouse rules engines, configuration capabilities and workflow management that doesn’t require in-house IT resources. 
  6. Easy to use: Choose a TMS that’s easy to use, configure and maintain. Systems with an exceptional user interface have lower lifetime ownership costs because they demand fewer internal resources to setup, operate and maintain. Also, look to your TMS vendor to provide essential engineering services when needed.  
  7. Connects with all carriers: There are thousands of carriers in the country operating tens of thousands of assets. Ensure that your TMS can connect with a large network of national, regional or local asset providers to book, track and analyze all your shipments with one system. Your TMS should also help you improve your processes for onboarding any new carrier or provider. 

The Modern TMS: More Powerful, Affordable Than Ever 

 Improvements to TMS software over the past few years have brought us to a state where the systems are more powerful than ever, yet there’s an affordable option for any company wishing to take the plunge. When selecting a TMS, take enough time to explore your options and find a system that fits your company’s needs today, and expansion capacity for tomorrow. 

Drive efficiency into your supply chain. Get a Demo of the GTZ TMS Platform.

US/Mexico Border Closure: What Shippers Need to Know

In his latest salvo intended to end the immigration stalemate, President Trump has threatened to close the U.S./Mexico border completely, threatening to severely curtail or completely cease the estimated $1.7B worth of daily trade between the two nations. A dramatic action of this sort could trigger a variety of outcomes, from a drastic shortage of avocados to outright economic calamity. For shippers that rely on the free flow of cross-border commerce, being prepared for any possible scenario is not simply prudent- it could be the difference between the success or demise of their business.

Through our Monterrey, Mexico office, we have gained unique insights into the current state of cross-border shipping. Due to a shift of 750 Customs and Border Patrol officers and resources to other parts of the border, we are already seeing lengthy delays at border crossing points, particularly in El Paso, Laredo, Nogales, San Ysidro and Otay Mesa. Wait times from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua into El Paso have exceeded 10 hours, and have led to lines of waiting trucks as long as 10 miles.

These delays impact the #1 mode of cross-border shipping- over-the-road transportation. To put the volume in perspective, Laredo alone sees over 16,000 daily truck crossing and represents almost 50% of the total volume. Transportation delays are more than simply frustrating- they are costly to shippers in that they can result in noncompliance fines for late deliveries, and they deplete the available Hours of Service for carriers, resulting in a decrease in their productivity.

How can shippers mitigate the effects on their supply chain? According to David Henry, Regional Manager, Mexico for GlobalTranz, it is critical that shippers begin planning for any number of potential scenarios. “Shippers need to plan for the worst-case scenario: a closure of the border,” said Henry. “A border closure may halt not just truck shipments but rail shipments as well,” Henry continued. “Shippers that rely on cross-border transportation can take a page from the ocean and air importer’s playbook and should consider front-loading shipments of necessary goods and materials to prepare for a possible closure,” said Henry.

If a border closure does go into effect, shippers will also need to plan for continued disruptions when the border reopens. Shippers should assume that border crossings will remain slow and capacity will be constrained as a backlog of shipments slowly eases. “Communication is the key,” said Henry. Even though the border remains open, “shippers must work closely with their 3PLs and carriers to develop and implement contingency plans now. It’s better to have a plan and not need it than to need a plan and not have one.” To learn more, please contact mexico@globaltranz.com.