To achieve a streamlined, automated approach to shipping and logistics that functions at optimal levels, many companies use transportation management systems (TMS). Known for their ability to minimize freight costs, provide shipment visibility, and enhance route planning, these systems and systems like WIN (Web Integrated Network) also provide shippers with access to historical carrier performance data.
Unfortunately, many shippers miss the boat when it comes to getting the most out of their systems. Rather than optimizing the software’s many capabilities, shippers use just a handful of the available functions including finding carriers and tracking shipments. “In many cases, corporations try to find the low-hanging fruit of the TMS, in search of functions that will provide the most value,” says Greg Aimi, research director of supply chain at Gartner, in Logistics Management. “They then integrate those functions as ‘phase one’ of their TMS implementation and never go beyond that point.”
Here are three ways a TMS like WIN can do more than just identify carriers and track shipments:
- Improve customer service – better shipment visibility allows shippers to deliver updates and keep their customers better informed.
- Figure out the most profitable customers – through comprehensive reporting tools, shippers can calculate an “all in profit” including logistics costs to identify those customers that are most profitable. They can then work more closely with them to enhance relationships and improve the bottom line.
- Reduce operational complexities – by streamlining all communications, reporting, and other functions onto a single, cloud-based platform, shippers are freed up to focus on core, money-making activities.