4 ways to increase the value of TMS for freight forwarding

A transportation management system (TMS) has become an essential tool in an increasingly complex and competitive transportation environment. To get the most out of this platform, companies need to employ an approach that considers certain aspects.

That is, to increase the value of a TMS you need to review: whether the strategy on which the TMS is based is sound and up-to-date, whether the team that operates it is capable, and whether the system is able to provide the visibility needed to improve performance.

You can then explore opportunities to expand and amplify that value by closing information gaps, improving response times and uncovering new opportunities to reduce costs and strengthen service. DHL Supply Chain shared in a release four strategies that can help increase the value a TMS provides.

1. Staffing is as important as the TMS.

An experienced team will regularly evaluate data to identify bidding and volume allocation issues to carriers.

Through periodic review of TMS data, you can also identify potential network optimization opportunities that the TMS does not see, such as fleet backhauls, round trips or continuous movements not previously discovered in the original solution design.

Putting a TMS on "autopilot" can create an over-reliance on automated processes that do not adequately account for the dynamic nature of transportation.

TMS integration with third parties

What happens when a product is transferred to a carrier outside your network or received at a temporary location prior to final delivery? TMS integration with a visibility platform provides real-time visibility of carrier products and fleet using real-time in-transit updates.

In addition, these platforms leverage predictive analytics to enable management by exception. With advanced insight into off-schedule shipments, shippers can make more informed decisions to minimize their impact and proactively inform customers of potential disruptions.

3. Integration with other platforms

By integrating TMS data with other internal data sources, such as ERP (enterprise resource planning) and WMS (warehouse management system), you can gain near real-time visibility of products from purchase through inventory and transportation.

This connected view of your products across the entire supply chain can now be realized through a single portal that receives data from multiple sources, consolidates it and presents it in a single searchable cockpit.

4. Use third-party data to mitigate risk.

A risk mitigation platform provides a multi-level view of suppliers and logistics locations, as well as products, parts and other attributes, while capturing the logic of network-specific interdependencies.

Through risk management platforms that combine big data and machine learning, transportation managers now have the ability to predict disruptions before they occur, as well as simplify regulatory compliance across the supply chain.