COVID-19 is one of the most significant challenges that the world is currently facing, and its effects have been felt in many industries. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic did not spare the supply chain from COVID related challenges since transportation is the key to ensuring that inventory reaches its intended destination. We will discuss how TMS can address these challenges in the supply chain caused by COVID-19.
Transport Management Software (TMS) refers to a logistics platform that uses technology which is part of supply chain management and assists businesses in planning, executing and optimizing the movement of goods. It also ensures that incoming and outgoing goods movement is also compliant and that the necessary documentation is available.
There are plenty of benefits that businesses can expect from TMS. Some of these benefits include:
1. Real-time Tracking of Deliveries
TMS offers the ability to track and view shipments in real-time. Through real-time tracking, businesses will receive alerts regarding shipments if any delays occur during delivery. These alerts are beneficial for companies as they will identify issues earlier and allow them to react quickly. Having the ability to track shipments also ensures that businesses create more efficient route schedules.
2. Reduced Freight Costs
TMS can assist businesses to reduce their resource spend. By automating tasks performed by employees, such as validating costs, all these costs can be processed by TMS.
3. Improved Customer Service
One of the benefits that businesses can expect is serving their customers through data that can track their key performance indicators, such as timely deliveries and damage rates. The data gained is used to eliminate the problems identified by replacing them with better-performing alternatives.
4. Better Billing Processes
TMS assists with electronic invoicing, processing and auditing. Whenever the business receives invoices, the TMS can compare them to the other original delivery rate. If it is equal, the system will approve the payment and trigger the customer bill. Through this, it will simplify accounting processes giving the accounting staff time to focus on the exceptions.
How TMS Addresses COVID-19 Challenges
With the many challenges that started during the pandemic, businesses that deal with transportation management need solutions to address them. We will look at the challenges that the supply chain has been experiencing and how TMS addresses them.
1. Trucking Capacity
With a rise in online shopping, businesses have been forced to change their business models. There has been decreased trucking capacity that slows the distribution of products as there isn’t enough space for these products. The lack of capacity in trucks has also led to unseasonal peaks in demand. Shippers have also had to find methods to make their freight more attractive to carriers, such as offering flexible drop-off and pick-up times.
TMS assists in dealing with a lack of truck capacity by offering more load options to fill trucks as much as possible, but it also calculates the profitability of each load. This ensures that carriers make more money while reducing wasted distance as it helps them choose more profitable loads.
2. Volatile Market
Another challenge faced in the supply chain due to COVID-19 is that truckload carrier operations have meant a volatile market in load price and volume. Businesses can improve these operations through automating manual processes by using TMS. The system assists in lowering costs and assists carriers in reducing their operational costs and scheduling inefficiencies.
Using manual back-office functions will lead to higher operational costs for the carriers. Managing office functions, such as invoicing, managing drivers and workers, and managing settlements while using spreadsheets, could lead to inefficiencies and operational errors. TMS can assist in automating processes by helping carriers in speeding up payments. Making payments to drivers quickly will improve your relationship with them, which is beneficial when you need their services again.
4. Access to Information
Businesses need access to information to be able to make decisions daily. However, this information can be stored in multiple disconnected systems, such as load data stored on ELD devices for driver locations and asset and driver information stored on spreadsheets. TMS connects to load boards allowing carriers to post about their truck availability which is beneficial as it will enable them to get more business. TMS can also integrate important information, allowing carriers to make more informed decisions, such as choosing loads that will make them more money.
The COVID-19 pandemic has left the supply chain in a difficult position and has created many challenges. However, TMS creates solutions that assist in addressing these challenges.
Have a look at The Impact COVID-19 Had on Warehousing.