Is it the Right Time to Invest in a TMS

Is it the Right Time to Invest in a TMS?

It might seem counter-intuitive to spend money during the present climate, but the companies that invest in technology now are going to have a competitive edge tomorrow when the economy recovers.

It’s a simple combination of direct, dollar-for-dollar ROI and customer satisfaction – in other words, more business with fewer expenses. Instead of trying to go back to “normal,” businesses should use this time of uncertainty to solidify their operations and set their supply chains up to compete in a changed economy.

Doing More With Less

It’s an unfortunate truth that most businesses will be trying to do more with less for the rest of 2020 and even into 2021. This includes labor, materials and revenue as the economy reacts to world-wide stay-at-home orders. International supply chains are in turmoil, especially as pre-bought raw materials and products from Asia aren’t refreshed with new deliveries.

Closer to home, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in April that “the unemployment rate increased by 10.3 percentage points to 14.7 percent… The sharp increases in these measures reflect the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and efforts to contain it.” Apart from being terrible for the individuals and their families, these numbers are bad news for businesses. Mass layoffs have already taken place in many sectors, making it harder for logistics teams to complete tasks with fewer man-hours and fewer external partners like “mom and pop” carriers.

Greater unemployment and economic uncertainty cause consumers to be more conservative with their spending. As such, even businesses that have managed to stay open during Covid-19 are unlikely to see the sales they had expected. That means every last penny needs to be spent wisely.

Managing disrupted operations with fewer team members, partners, and inbound dollars is a difficult task. Streamlining operations is essential to make sure these disruptions don’t overwhelm an already overtaxed supply chain. A transportation management system (TMS) can automate mundane processes previously wasting valuable time like keying order information, invoice audit, and rate comparison.

A TMS can also give teams visibility into inbound and outbound orders so they can stop asking “where’s my truck” and can instead turn their attention to more productive initiatives like rate negotiations and Covid-19 preparedness.

Tightening the Purse Strings

On the topic of more productive initiatives is finding ways to spend less money without sacrificing service to customers. Before a company can start to discover and eliminate waste, they need to have an accurate understanding of their current costs. This includes total freight costs, freight costs down to the SKU level, costs by carrier, carrier service levels, OTD percentages, detention and accessorial fees to name a few.

All of these metrics can be neatly summed up in reports and dashboards provided through a cloud-based TMS. These analytics can be used to find waste and make the necessary changes to save money.

For example, it may be common practice to book the cheapest carrier on a lane. However, it’s possible that that carrier is late 30% of the time. Anecdotal evidence might not be enough to make the case to switch to the slightly more expensive carrier, but hard facts are enough. With the data in hand, it’s easy to make the case to switch to a carrier with superior OTD percentages to improve customer satisfaction and win repeat business.

By adding an ERP integration on top of a TMS, users can even track their true landed costs down to the SKU level so that they can better allocate freight spend.

It’s not only long-term that transportation management systems help users save money. On the contrary, most users find themselves saving money on their freight spend almost immediately with the help of a TMS. This immediate ROI is derived from comparing rates from a variety of carriers on several modes.

Let’s face it, not every logistics team has time to manually compare rates for each load with every carrier they’re acquainted with. Instead, they use their best judgment to rate and book with familiar carriers. With the addition of a TMS, all of their contracted carrier rates are quickly and easily displayed so that teams can find the best rate and mode for every shipment. This translates into rapid ROI for the TMS.

Growing Customer Expectations

Just because there’s been an international pandemic doesn’t mean that customer expectations are any lower. On the contrary, many people are becoming more and more used to rapid delivery and “Amazon-like” customer experiences since being quarantined at home. It’s the shipper’s job to meet these growing customer expectations.

With the help of a TMS, companies can make sure that their products are tendered to the carriers that will deliver the fastest for the smallest price tag. A TMS also gives shippers a heightened level of visibility to order statuses. This means that customers can receive better status updates on their orders and are more likely to be flexible if something goes wrong along the way.

For final mile delivery, shippers can even add an e-commerce integration that allows their customers to choose the rate and delivery type that best suits their needs. This level of customization improves customer satisfaction and personalizes the delivery experience for them.

More Rate Options

The U.S. economy doesn’t look anything like it did at the end of 2019. As such, it doesn’t make sense to continue to operate a business the same way either. One way shippers can set themselves up for success is by “building their bench of carriers.” This means connecting with a larger assortment of carriers, brokers, and freight marketplaces to have the greatest chance to find the capacity they need when they need it.

The easiest way to connect with a large number of available trucks is through a community like Kuebix Community Load Match. What makes Community Load Match unique is the connection of shippers with a rapidly growing carrier community from Trimble’s network of 1.3 million commercial trucks, digital freight matching services and brokers to meet truckload needs on one platform. Shippers can easily request and receive rates from the carrier community, including their contracted carriers. This means that they are always sourcing rates from as many providers as possible!


Interested in learning more about why investing in a TMS makes sense, even during the current economic climate? Hear what Dave Lemont, General Manager & VP, and Luke Lefkowitz, Supply Chain Expert at Kuebix have to say in this webinar: Making the Case for Cloud-Based TMS

Making the Case for TMS

Covid-19 Transportation Supply Chain Digital Cloud-Based Technology Collaboration

Keeping Supply Chains Moving During Covid-19 Requires Digital Collaboration and Access to Capacity

As the crisis from the Covid-19 pandemic continues to unfold, the complex workings of the United States’ supply chain have been thrust into the general public’s view. There are shortages of toilet paper, food items, and over the counter medications just to name a few. Lockdowns of communities, counties, and states are causing backups and decreased available freight capacity. Workers are moving to remote work setups and need to find new ways to collaborate and to efficiently manage logistics operations from anywhere. One thing’s for certain, however, logistics and supply chain companies remain the backbone of the U.S. economy and way of life.

So, how do supply chains continue to function smoothly during such an unprecedented and unplanned-for crisis? 

Supply Chain Challenges During Covid-19

Unlike with a hurricane or other natural disaster, Covid-19 comes with a number of unforeseen challenges. For example, staple products like flour and beans are flying off of shelves while more specialty items see a complete halt in sales. Forecasters can use historical data to plan for the response needed to a natural disaster. With Covid-19, the supply chain’s ‘symptoms’ are completely unforecast, leaving manufacturers and distributors either with excess inventory or un-meetable demand.

Not only are demand forecasts completely unreliable, but there is added confusion as most companies switch to remote-working models. Instead of coming into the office to manage shipping, teams must connect over the internet to manage freight operations. Without a technological framework in place, many teams may be left struggling to stay afloat.

This shake-up of standard shipping procedures has also resulted in disruptions in lanes and carrier availability. In an effort to provide some relief to companies shipping essential goods, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on March 18th issued an expanded national emergency declaration that provides hours-of-service regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers. Commenting on this dramatic change, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao said, “The nation’s truck drivers are on the front lines of this effort and are critical to America’s supply chain.

According to a new report from Gartner, ¹How Digitized Freight Platforms and Other Transportation Technologies Can Help With Current Domestic Transportation Capacity Challenges, “As capacity decreases, shippers are confronted with increasing volumes of tender rejections and increasing rates.” Volatility in capacity and pricing is expected to continue even after the worst of the pandemic passes. Price gouging will also likely become a wider-spread issue as some entities see an opportunity to make extra cash during the crisis.

In order to ‘weather the storm’ and emerge on the other side set up for success, shipping companies should be turning to technology now to connect with additional truck capacity and collaborate with supply chain stakeholders working remotely. 

Leveraging Cloud-Based Technology for Collaboration

For many companies, day-to-day collaboration takes the form of email, phone calls and shared Excel sheets to manage freight. Cloud-based transportation management systems like Kuebix TMS have changed that narrative. Now, with the help of technology, every supply chain stakeholder from the logistics department, AR/AP, sales and customer service can collaborate in a single system and work off of the same transportation information. In addition to internal collaboration, teams can digitally access their carrier connections to quote and tender freight without ever picking up the phone.

As remote work becomes the standard for companies across the country amid the pandemic, it’s more important than ever that organizations move their logistics operations to the cloud to improve collaboration. By leveraging a cloud-based TMS like Kuebix TMS, teams can work off of the same set of information, maintain historical data for analysis and digitally connect with carriers for rating, booking, tracking and managing freight.

Connecting with Digitized Freight Platforms to Find Additional Capacity

Even finding real-time capacity and pricing for domestic freight may seem like a challenge right now, especially for companies relying on the same small set of carrier partners during this crisis. In order to get set up with the best chance of covering every load optimally, shippers need to ‘build their bench’ of carriers. With a wider selection of carrier partners to choose from, the likelihood of optimally covering every load increases dramatically.

The best way for shippers to quickly and easily build their bench is to connect digitally with a vast network of carriers. Instead of negotiating every spot quote in a piecemeal fashion, shippers can instead turn to their connected community to request bids en-masse and tender freight. From here, shippers can build direct relationships with carriers in the network and negotiate new contracted carrier rates as needed.

Kuebix Community Load Match is a platform that allows any Kuebix TMS user to quickly connect to a vast ecosystem of dedicated truckload carriers, brokers, freight marketplaces and direct carrier assets. The platform enables shippers to request and compare spot rates  from their carriers and the Kuebix community with the touch of a button, while retaining control of their freight by choosing the carrier or broker directly. Users’ job is simplified by tendering all shipments using one system for spot quoting as well as booking with regularly negotiated carrier rates. Instead of switching between carrier websites or hammering the phone, shippers can instead view all of their bids in a single place to choose the best one for their freight.

By connecting digitally with a platform like Kuebix Community Load Match, shippers can quickly build their bench of carriers and get prepared for the inevitable surges in demand for capacity arising from this crisis.

How Kuebix is Helping Shippers During Covid-19

At Kuebix, a Trimble company, we know that keeping the supply chain moving matters more now than ever as businesses battle through the Covid-19 pandemic. That’s why we are offering 60-days free of our award-winning Kuebix Business Pro TMS to help companies during Covid-19. As many of us switch to remote operations, cloud-based TMS technology like Kuebix can help shippers collaborate within their supply chains and gain access to the carriers and capacity they need.


¹Gartner, How Digitized Freight Platforms and Other Transportation Technologies Can Help With Current Domestic Transportation Capacity Challenges, 2 April 2020

Load Match Infographic Kuebix Truckload Freight Rates

*Infographic* Savings On Truckload Freight Rates

Truckload solution for shippers with regular shipping lanes

Kuebix provides complimentary truckload rate assessments leveraging the Load Match platform to help companies determine whether they are making the most strategic truckload shipping decisions. The assessment gives shippers insight into whether they can save money on recurring or spot freight by leveraging Kuebix’s vast network of truckload assets. Kuebix can also help shippers conduct formal RFPs to source negotiated rates with truckload carriers on the Kuebix platform.

 

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Kuebix Load Match Map Infographic Truckload Freight Rates
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Gaston, SC to Manchester, NH ~17% savings

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Gaston, SC to Woodford, VA ~12% savings

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West Memphis, AR to Armonk, NY ~13% savings

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Meta, MO to Bosler, WY ~13% savings

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Tooele, UT to Danevang, TX ~4% savings

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Salt Lake City, UT to Modesto, CA ~38% savings

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Ripon, CA to Los Nietos, CA ~34% savings

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San Bernardino, CA to Rancho Cordova, CA ~42% savings

 

 

For more information, email us at LoadMatch@Kuebix.com.

Kuebix Load Match Truckload

Kuebix Has Your Truckload Needs Covered

Finding the right truck at the right price has always been a challenge…until now!

Kuebix, a Trimble Company has built the largest connected shipping platform in North America. Kuebix offers our shipping members unprecedented access to a vast ecosystem of carriers and intermediaries including asset carriers, private fleets, truckload brokers, freight forwarders, and digital freight matching services.

Stop spending countless hours navigating various systems, sending emails, making phone calls, and researching multiple websites to find a truck. Kuebix has a one-stop solution for ALL your truckload moves. Simply post your load to Kuebix Load Match to connect to our vast carrier network, or contact the Kuebix team to help with RFP and other truckload needs. The best part – with Kuebix you can manage all your truckload moves (spot and negotiated) on the same platform where you manage your LTL and parcel shipments. One platform. Every shipping need. Kuebix has you covered.

With Kuebix Load Match you can:

  • •     Manage spot volume
  • •     Build your bench of carriers
  • •     Improve pricing

Truckload solution for shippers with regular shipping lanes

Kuebix provides complimentary truckload rate assessments leveraging the Load Match platform to help companies determine whether they are making the most strategic truckload shipping decisions. The assessment gives shippers insight into whether they can save money on recurring or spot freight by leveraging Kuebix’s vast network of truckload assets. Kuebix can also help shippers conduct formal RFPs to source negotiated rates with truckload carriers on the Kuebix platform.

One time load coverage for occasional truckload shipments

Shippers can use Kuebix Load Match to quickly and easily receive spot bids from Kuebix’s vast carrier network to compare and book side-by-side with their negotiated rates. This service is free to use and helps shippers expand their booking options to always get the best rate and service type for their needs.

For more information, email us at LoadMatch@Kuebix.com.