As the traditional lines dividing shippers, 3PLs and brokers continue to fade, the need for a full-featured, modern TMS is growing across all business verticals because actual delivery and fulfillment are areas where companies can shine. In the food industry, for instance, both manufacturers and distributors are no longer selected based on price points and product selection alone; they’re also being judged on their supply chains.
The problem is that coordinating, communicating, executing, and analyzing transportation is not an easy process. As JP Wiggins, 3Gtms’ vice president of logistics, explains in “Using a TMS to Turn Your Company into an E-Commerce Powerhouse…”
The end B2B customer demands high levels of visibility of what’s being shipped to them, when it will be delivered, updates on delays and issues, and analysis for future improvement. As a result, every company is being transformed into an e-commerce organization that has precision control over the entire fulfillment process.
The challenge to achieving the e-commerce transformation is that it requires a transformation of your process and operations: many organizations manage transportation with spreadsheets, clipboards, and phone calls. Some companies may use a transportation management system (TMS), but many of those systems are outdated, on-premise, and can’t be easily integrated into other enterprise systems.
Plus, the more modes of delivery there are, the more complex that process gets. Managing a small volume of parcel shipments is straightforward, but combining it with LTL, TL, brokerage, or pool distribution suddenly makes everything extremely complex. If some of your customers want LTL quantities, others want TL, and still others that work with parcel, you’ll wind up losing money if you don’t have a system in place to dynamically and automatically determine which modes or carriers to use.
To companies that are being asked to extend their capabilities outside of their traditional comfort zones, Wiggins says one of the best strategies is to implement a modern, Tier 1 TMS that provides levels of flexibility that didn’t even exist five years ago. “Get a solution that’s designed to be changed, altered, and configured, and that will grow with your company as you figure out how to compete in your own world.”
In “Using a TMS to Turn Your Company into an E-Commerce Powerhouse,” learn more about how a TMS can help manage all the pieces and enable companies to create their own fulfillment offerings and transform into an efficient e-commerce organization.