In a world so tied together by technology, why is it that only 35% of shippers use a transportation management system (TMS)?
It’s probably the same reason that 70% of those users have used the same software for several years—even if it’s outdated. TMS technology usage is even lower when it comes to global modes as compared to domestic. Change is hard. Implementing or changing a TMS can be arduous. But managed properly, a change to a cloud-based, global TMS could be well worth it.
Changing business models in an increasingly globalized world are only a few reasons it can become difficult to manage supply chains across regions and business units. When this happens, organizations typically start looking at TMS options. Any TMS can help relieve some burden and eliminate inefficiencies, but a global, cloud-based solution can bridge gaps and add even more value to your supply chain. Here are a few ways how:
Connecting legacy systems
When businesses grow, whether through mergers and acquisitions or the addition of third party providers, seeing orders that live in separate systems is difficult. Reporting is often an even bigger challenge and it’s hard to know how each party measures data. A single instance platform available from any computer or mobile device can help standardize data in one format, break down technology silos, and provide comprehensive, accurate reports across all modes—domestic and global.
Expanding visibility globally
The beauty of a TMS that exists online is it’s always up and running, unlike software that’s installed on a few computers at the corporate office. Instead, your cloud-based TMS should be available globally. Ideally you’ll be able to tell if your global TMS is truly global, but at minimum, it should have multiple language capabilities and regional preferences. Being able to expand visibility to global locations, suppliers, and customers helps everyone better understand where bottlenecks occur and how to adjust for them.
Moving toward a centralized supply chain
As businesses grow, it gets more difficult to focus on supply chain improvements at each location. It’s impossible to physically be at every location after all. An online TMS platform allows you to stay in control of your business wherever you are. Use the TMS to give you the level of detail you need—whether that’s SKU level detail or an analysis of high-level trends that will help you make more strategic decisions.
Uncovering improvement opportunities
While growing complexity often starts the conversation about a TMS, the top two driving factors behind the decision to get a cloud-based TMS are cost and efficiency. Both are ongoing concerns that you can address with a global TMS. The level of visibility a global TMS offers can help uncover costs and inefficiencies that might otherwise get lost. Like how much you’re actually paying for accessorials and detention, as well as how to make the ordering process faster, the tracking process more reliable, and even how mode optimization could impact your supply chain.
I can’t stress this enough, but a global TMS gives you clear visibility to your data, which in turn helps you make changes and improve. As more companies realize the far-reaching benefits of a cloud-based TMS, we may see overall TMS use start to increase too.
Are you in the market for a cloud-based, global TMS? Be sure to watch the video about our Navisphere® technology platform. Navisphere has everything you need and more to develop an efficient, cost effective supply chain.