Current Issues

Regular Industry Development Updates, Opinions and Talking Points relating to Manufacturing, the Supply Chain and Logistics.

TMS: an enterprise priority

12-Jul-2018
TMS: an enterprise priority
There is a lot of talk in the market about driver shortages, decreased timelines and increased regulation. As if this isn’t enough these challenges are further impacted by a period of economic expansion and increased demand. And to top it off we have customers pushing us all for ‘here’ and ‘now’.

The pressure is on, never before has an optimum TMS strategy been so important.

Customer Expectations
Yesterday … a vague 2-week delivery date was all the rage and more often than not when it did turn up you were out, that was the way it worked and we all accepted it.

Today … we want 24-hours, we demand a 1-hour time slot and we expect it to show up without fail whilst being informed every step of the way, we are way more demanding than yester year.

Tomorrow … just imagine what our demands will be. 

That’s the customer perspective, the question is: Has your transportation strategy kept up with consumer expectations? Does your supply chain facilitate these delivery expectations? Are you able to get your inventory distributed efficiently between supplier and warehouse, warehouse and store, all nodes and the consumer?

Complexity in the Supply Chain
These days, a supply chain is comprised of multiple trading partners: Freight forwarders bringing goods in from Asia, logistics service providers moving goods from the port to the warehouse and an eclectic mix of providers moving goods between wholesale and retail warehouses or to and from the stores.

Add to that drop-ship, cross dock and dynamic re-routing and you have a complex set of needs and expectations that needs to be catered for.

To orchestrate this complexity, an agile, functionally rich, cloud-based TMS is paramount. Technology that uses real-time information to juggle the various options, engineer best routes, optimize time and expense and ensure you make informed decisions every step of the way. Plus, the importance of keeping the whole organization informed from the cab of a lorry to the manager of the warehouse to the supervisor at an enterprise level. All served from the same data, from the same source.

Transportation connects the enterprise providing a conduit from partners through distribution to the consumer and back into distribution in the case of returns. It needs to be swift, seamless and optimized, navigating fuel costs, hours of service, traceability requirements, capacity crunches and driver shortages. It needs to be proactive to avert challenges, react to changes along the way and no matter what, it needs to ‘get to the church on time’.

Make way for the digital era
The icing on the cake is the power that digital brings. The advent of AI, IoT and Cloud renders this complexity a simply matter of maths and science. Using sophisticated algorithms, a modern-day TMS motors through the multitude of decisions right down to imperatives like time-in-transit, temperature-control and regulatory considerations. A decision that a human would need to ponder and work through on paper is taken in the blink of an eye.

Having this invaluable tool located in the Cloud brings your business a plethora of opportunities spanning from improved communication and collaboration capability to scalable operations in the blink of an eye, and beyond, to lower cost of ownership and speed to innovation. With everyone accessing the same instance, sharing important information, avoiding exceptions and leveraging those partnerships your business is set to deliver on time and within budget.

Overcoming the capacity pinch
Shippers need the ability to find dependable capacity through a multitude of sources to combat the squeeze on resources. Collaborating with a broad set of partners is crucial to bridging those gaps.

Having access to services such as digital freight matching gives you the opportunity to find capacity that matches your needs, surfacing contract-dependable and cost-effective alternatives, helping to reduce turndown rates, track freight and expedite payment services. By accessing today’s shared economy, that extended potential is held within a single application and offers the kind of collaboration that can solve those capacity issues.

Regulatory pressures
Regulation is rife in today’s market: increased consideration for driver welfare improved track ‘n trace on inventory and better control of ambient elements.

All should be an integral part of your transport strategy and can be leveraged through integrated services within your TMS. Additional functionality that offers geofencing capability to automate and simplify shipment tracking, temperature tracking to ensure compliance, carrier onboarding for speed & efficiency and real-time weather to make better routing decisions.

The important thing is to have all of this capability in one place, with one interface, with one version of the truth and with one single view.

Integrated not isolated

Ringfencing transportation in isolation is dangerous. It’s very power is held captive in how it is integrated into the supply chain, connecting disparate elements and driving the flow of inventory to its end goal. Finding a solution that offers ease of integration with suppliers, with partners, within your own enterprise and with customers should not be under-estimated.

In addition, the balancing of container-sized shipments and individual parcel management and the fluidity between the two creates the need for a combined shipper / carrier approach. eCommerce fulfilment has shifted us from managing boxes and pallets to picking single units within the warehouse. The transport element needs to flow seamlessly from whole / half loads in lorries to parcels in smaller carriers without faltering.

Summary
In a recent Gartner TMS report it was stated that: “Controlling transportation costs, creating internal efficiencies, increasing visibility and securing transport capacity are currently the top motivators for investing in a TMS.”

It sounds so simple when you say it quickly and to be fair, if you find the right TMS solution, then you’ll be better positioned to manage just that and work smarter, better and faster.

Preparing your employees for Industry 4.0
3 days ago
How Do Product and Shipping Labels Affect Brand Visibility?
4 days ago
How will Brexit affect the events industry?
4 days ago
100 days to Christmas - ParcelCompare says it’s never too early to start planning those presents and orders
4 days ago
It’s time to blow up your business model and switch to DTC
1 week ago
How retailers can survive the death of the high street
1 week ago
ClickSoftware Announces Recent Customer Wins, Product Updates and Industry Accolades
1 week ago
Deloitte increases its focus on AI & Marketing Technology through new acquisition
1 week ago
How Centralized Labeling Helps QA Departments
1 week ago
How IoT is Changing the Waste Water Industry
1 week ago
M&A can put quality compliance at risk
1 week ago
Chinese traders must pay fair postal charges or more British retailers will collapse
2 weeks ago
Enhance real-time visibility across your operation with a proof of delivery system
2 weeks ago
Snapfulfil publishes top five tips for winning at warehousing
2 weeks ago
Government’s no-deal Brexit advice papers ‘are the equivalent of “duck and cover” nuclear warnings’
4 weeks ago
Brexit and Stockpiling: What’s the answer?
4 weeks ago
Peak? Which peak?
4 weeks ago
Empowering Your Supply Chain Workforce: 3 Tips for Manufacturing Directors
1 month ago
64 per cent of manufacturers rate their shop-floor IT capabilities as just average, weak or non-existent
1 month ago
The supply chain lessons of the modern grocer
1 month ago
Time to mitigate the risk of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit?
1 month ago
App Insights: How can artificial intelligence innovate supply chain management?
1 month ago
Managing Technological Change Without any Supply Chain Disruption
1 month ago
Moody’s Blues for House of Fraser; but Website Failings are Just as Damaging
1 month ago
Artificial Intelligence: What’s Now And Next In IoT-driven Supply Chain Innovation
1 month ago
Indiana Jones and the supply chain bullwhip effect
1 month ago
How Enterprise Labeling Helps You Conquer Regulatory Challenges
1 month ago
3 Tips for Empowering Millennial Warehouse Workers
1 month ago
More robots means easier delivery - but what about the infrastructure?
1 month ago
Safety in the warehouse: Five key risk areas for 360-degree protection
1 month ago
Automotive resilience, not just airbags and crash tests, but IT too
1 month ago
New High Street panel is facing a race against a terminal diagnosis
1 month ago
Delivering the supply chain revolution
2 months ago
A market of one: the potential of the personalized supply chain
2 months ago
5 EIS rules you are probably not aware of
2 months ago
Labeling Solutions for Global Expansion
2 months ago
Prime Day will be a $1.6bn loss-leader creating millions more Prime members, says e-commerce expert
2 months ago
Say what? The new possibilities of voice and machine driven retail
2 months ago
‘Peak faith’ in the cloud only 12-18 months away with slump to follow, warns 6point6 Cloud Gateway
2 months ago
As you were for UK manufacturing sector, but new business growth at three month high
2 months ago
Back to IoT basics: Automating outcomes to improve customer experience
2 months ago
Investigation of the "Fast Fashion" impact
2 months ago
Redefining Rental for Materials Handling Equipment
2 months ago
With the Intelligent Enterprise, SAP Creates “A Completely Different Kind of Flexibility”
2 months ago
The supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link
3 months ago
How to Streamline Labeling in the Pharma Space
3 months ago
‘A revolution happened in the way we buy services last week – and no one has noticed!’
3 months ago
Hot Topics at GS1 Connect? Labeling, Blockchain and More
3 months ago
Retailers must Embrace Change
3 months ago