Utilizing a transportation management system for tracking exceptions increases visibility for shippers and lets them more effectively allocate resources.
COVID-19 has transformed our world as we know it. Remote work has become a business continuity practice. We’re engaging customers and communicating for business from a distance.In this pandemic environment, moving freight has become increasingly critical to meet surging demand, and transportation management systems (TMS) are playing an increasingly important role in mitigating these challenges.
Supply chain disruptions are critical during a pandemic—impacting costs, liability, production, service, and customer experience. If a shipper doesn’t have a TMS, they are effectively helpless when delays occur, phoning customers and providing frequent status updates.
A TMS is becoming increasingly important to improve visibility and communication, gain efficiencies through automation, prepare for the future of a decentralized workforce, minimize risk, and improve workflows, safety, and sustainability.
TMS and control tower solutions have been shown to reduce stress, labor, time, and disruptions through centralized communications. By gathering all supply chain data in a central dashboard, it can then be distributed in a consistent format—automating, and ultimately improving, communications. As TMS providers continue to advance communications platforms, exploring innovations such as layered technology and AI solutions, customer and carrier communications are on track to see significant improvement in the near future.
With a TMS, events are tracked in real time and trigger alerts are automatically generated when exceptions occur. This allows the attention to be focused on what is a known exception, rather than reacting to everything. A control tower approach for tracking exceptions enables visibility and allows more effective and appropriate allocation of resources for shippers.
One example where a TMS helped mitigate risk is the expected downturn in gasoline consumption during COVID-19. Refineries expected significantly decreased volumes and prepared to coordinate with carriers for lower demand. By using a TMS, one refinery received real-time data on demand—learning volumes really weren’t changing, and they didn’t need to reposition capacity and release carriers.
Vision and agility are the way forward for the logistics industry. Increased adoption of a TMS or control tower solution in recent years has primarily been driven by companies seeing other companies change and realize the benefits.
Still, implementations take an organizational commitment—it’s not something that you can set and forget. Those most successful with a TMS are always evaluating and investing in different options to increase their return on investment.
Investments in technology and processes limit business disruption. A TMS is becoming increasingly important to improve visibility and communication, gain efficiencies through automation, prepare for the future of a decentralized workforce, minimize risk, and improve workflows, safety, and sustainability.
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