Used to plan freight movements, handle freight rating and shipping across all modes, and selecting the appropriate route and carrier, today’s Transportation Management Systems (TMS) help shippers move cargo from origin to destination in the most economical and logical manner possible. Traditional tools such as phone calls, pieces of scrap paper, and fax machines have become virtually obsolete thanks to TMS, which automates the entire transportation process.
“TMS is one of those applications that has good payback,” said Steve Banker of ARC Advisory Group, in Supply Chain Technology: 2014 State of TMS—Cost reductions and ROI continue to soar. “When a company installs a TMS, the savings expectation is about 8 percent for most industry verticals.” That means that the company that spends $100 million annually on freight can invest, say, $1 million to $2 million in a TMS and can expect to save an average of $8 million in freight costs. “That’s a pretty good return,” said Banker.
Unfortunately, getting a solid return on investment (ROI) from a full-blown TMS isn’t always easy. While there have been numerous well documented examples of companies that have achieved significant results by installing licensed TMS, some firms find that the upfront investment, implementation time, and training involved with such implementations never translates into the return on investment (ROI) that was promised and/or expected at the project’s outset.
Alternate systems, such as WIN (Web Integrated Network), the no cost, no fee web-based transportation management solution, offer up a single platform for the following TMS functions:
- Online rating tool
- Spot quote comparisons
- Load tendering & tracking
- Ad-hoc reporting
All of these features are at no cost to the shipper. In addition, all historical data is saved in the system so that clients can quickly:
- Monitor and track all shipment data
- Identify cost trends
- Measure carrier performance
- Compare volume reports
Put simply, shippers get the key features they need without the price tag for features they don’t need.