Less than truckload shipping (LTL shipping) is important to the economy in the United States. It has been estimated that the LTL market is worth about $35 billion. The value of the freight that is moved around the country is expected to only increase. The U.S. Department of Transportation has reported it expects this to go up from $882 per ton, the value it had in 2007 to $1,377 in 2040. If you own or manage a shipping company, you may be looking at getting a transportation management system (TMS). The right TMS system can make a huge difference for shipping companies. Cerasis has put out a white paper on the ways this kind of system can benefit shipping companies.
1. It will help you improve your customer service.
It is much cheaper and easier to hold on to a current customer than to bring in a new one. When you have a good TMS system in place, you can give your customers better service. This is because of the analytics and reporting functions that are part of good transportation management software.
If you are going to use LTL shipping to get your goods from point A to point B, using your TMS system, you can determine what carrier you will use with the insurance limits, cost to move the items and the amount of time it will take. You can look at the experiences you had with different carriers and what each offered and then how they actually delivered. This information can help you make a more informed decision.
When you review the data from your system, you may see that while one carrier gives you lower estimates, using them costs you more in the long run because they take longer than they say. You can pick a carrier based on your customers’ needs and provide them with better service.
2. It will increase your efficiency at your warehouses.
As you make more use of your TMS system for your shipment tracking integrations, the less time you will have to spend on freight management. Good TMS systems can also cut down on the amount of time that you and your staff have to spend on data entry and will lower the number of errors you have with those systems. It can take a lot of time to get data entered into your system and even more to verify and correct it. That is time you can spend doing other things such as growing your business and proving your customers with even better customer service.
3. You will get more options for deliveries.
When you have a good TMS system in place you will have more options for your deliveries and can make your process become a lot more efficient. If you have a number of different locations that you need to work with, the right TMS system can help you integrate it all to create a pooled point for your distribution programs. This can make you more efficient and that saves money and will improve your bottom line.
4. A good TMS system can help you better plan your inventory.
There is a certain confidence you will gain when you know your customers are getting your products on time and when they need them. This means you can better plan what inventory you need to have on hand and what you can get away with carrying less of. This is another way to increase your warehouse efficiency and make the best use of your people’s time and energy.
5. It can help you improve your cash flow.
Every business in the world can benefit from better cash flow management and a good TMS system can give you a real leg up in this department. Because you are able to combine several processes into one system, you can see better what is happening all along the chain. This can cut your overall costs and improve both your cash flow and your bottom line.
There are a lot of products and services that make the claim to help shipping businesses improve their bottom line but few come through as well as a good TMS system. Using one will improve your bottom line and will help your business.