This is the fourth entry in our series on Final Mile (also known as last mile) shipping. To read previous entries, please click below:
Investing in transportation management system (TMS) technology is one of the best ways for shippers to maximize supply chain efficiency. However, rather than building and maintaining their own TMS, many shippers choose to work with a technology-enabled 3PL to gain access to best-in-class TMS technology. Working with a tech-enabled 3PL for final mile (also known as last mile) logistics delivers additional benefits by further reducing the hassle of managing this fast-growing mode. Whether through robotics process automation (RPA) or advanced analytics, 3PLs can bring transformative technology to the table. If you are seeking a 3PL for your final mile needs, here are some key attributes and considerations:
- Final Mile Functionality: A TMS offering final mile functionality should make booking, tracking, and managing your final mile shipments seamless and efficient. The GlobalTranz TMS automatically pairs the ideal LTL linehaul provider with the appropriate dedicated final mile provider, eliminating the complexity of coordinating these moves manually. The GlobalTranz TMS also automatically combines multiple BOLs, PODs, and invoices into a single document, eliminating the hassle of managing multiple sets of documentation. In addition, the GlobalTranz TMS integrates with the leading ecommerce platforms, creating a streamlined experienced for your customers as well as your internal logistics operations team.
- Multimodal capabilities: Presumably, final mile is not the only mode of transportation your company utilizes. Your business is multimodal; shouldn’t your TMS be multimodal too? When selecting a 3PL for final mile, look for a partner that provides a multimodal platform. Even if you don’t utilize all the functionality today, as your business grows, you may find a need to employ new modes in the future. Having a TMS that can grow with you as your business grows is key.
- Scalability: As businesses grow, they often outgrow their TMS. Is your current TMS capable of supporting multiple locations? Does it provide the visibility necessary to create alignment across departments and divisions? Can it scale to meet the challenges of the future- whatever they may be?
- Visibility: Visibility to shipments is one of the hallmark benefits of implementing a TMS. However, the advantages of enhanced visibility go far beyond simply knowing where a shipment is located on its journey. A robust TMS can provide visibility over the entire supply chain, allowing decision-makers to use data to manage macro trends, better manage suppliers and transportation providers, and reduce overall logistics spend.
- Integrations: Integrating your TMS with other elements of your technology stack can drive additional benefits. Look for a 3PL that can provide integrations with your ERP and/or ecommerce platform.
- Intuitive: Ease of use is critical for the adoption and ongoing effectiveness of any TMS. TMS providers all claim that their offerings are intuitive and streamlined. Be sure to demo multiple platforms before selecting your 3PL partner.
- Advanced Features: Today’s TMS platforms are capable of far more than simply scheduling and managing freight. Advanced features and functionality, including predictive analytics and automation can give your business a competitive edge.
- ROI: Lastly, partnering with a tech-enabled 3PL and adopting their TMS platform can save your company countless dollars and hours spent in developing and implementing your own technology. In addition, thriving 3PLs with proprietary TMS platforms, like GlobalTranz, will continue to invest in these platforms with maintenance and upgrades, providing your organization with lasting benefits without the necessity of large capital investments.
These are just a few of the advantages of partnering with a tech-enabled 3PL for your final mile needs. Contact GlobalTranz to schedule a consultation and to learn more.