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We’re In the Leaders Category in the G2 Grid® for Transportation Management Systems

Kuebix, a Trimble Company, has advanced from the High Performers category to the Leaders category in the G2 Grid® for Transportation Management Systems! The grid spotlights the highest-scoring transportation management systems (TMS) based on verified user reviews and aims to help shippers evaluate the best TMS options. Kuebix has an overall score of 4.8 out of 5-stars.

G2 is a respected, unbiased source of real user reviews for all types of technologies. The company scores products and vendors based on reviews gathered from its user community, as well as data aggregated from online sources and social networks. G2 applies a unique algorithm (v3.0) to its data to calculate the customer Satisfaction and Market Presence scores in real-time.

“Being recognized as a Leader in this year’s G2 Grid® for Transportation Management Systems shows the value of our connected community and industry-leading technology,” said Dan Clark, VP of Product Innovation & Strategy at Kuebix, a Trimble Company. “Receiving this recognition proves that we have been able to overwhelmingly satisfy our customers, which is our #1 priority at Kuebix.”

Users of Kuebix TMS who left reviews on G2 said:

  • “Easy to use and great support,” said one operations professional.
  • “Kuebix is the best!!! Kuebix is super user-friendly and very efficient to use,” said one Logistics Manager.
  • “Kuebix is a huge timesaver! I love how Kuebix lets us sort through quotes from all of our different vendors,” said one user in the Wholesale industry.

Click here to view Kuebix’s full profile on G2 and read other verified user reviews.

About G2, Inc.

The world’s leading marketplace for business software and services, G2 drives better purchasing decisions. Business professionals, buyers, investors, and analysts use the site to compare and select the best software and services based on more than 500,000 peer reviews and synthesized social data. Over 23 million business buyers around the world have trusted G2 to gain unique insights. Co-founded in 2012, G2 aims to bring authenticity and transparency to the business marketplace. The company also offers scholarships to college students who are aspiring entrepreneurs.

To learn more about G2 or write a review, please visit https://www.g2.com/.



Trimble to Acquire Kuebix to Transform and Connect the Transportation Logistics Ecosystem

Dear Kuebix Customer,

I’m excited to share the news that the transportation industry has taken a giant leap forward today with the acquisition of Kuebix by Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB). Our mission has always been to save companies time and money by leveraging cloud-based technology that empowers visibility, collaboration and efficiency across the supply chain. We have been building a strategic alliance with Trimble over the last year, and when the opportunity came along to become part of Trimble to accelerate the full realization of our vision, we had to be part of it.

This acquisition brings together Trimble’s network of private fleet and commercial carrier customers, which collectively represents more than 1.3 million commercial trucks in North America, with our community of more than 21,000 shipping companies, creating the largest connected network of shippers and carriers in the North American transportation supply chain.

Imagine a world where shippers have visibility not only to the real-time location of trucks, but into the fleets’ operational plans to understand both asset availability and the trucks’ next moves. This kind of intelligence would empower unprecedented efficiency and savings for all parties by achieving continuous truck movements. A world of maximum transportation efficiency only becomes possible when shippers, carriers and intermediaries share a common platform, powered by a common TMS. With the announcement that Trimble has acquired Kuebix, this world will become a reality and every customer and partner of Kuebix and Trimble will reap the rewards.

You are probably wondering what this acquisition means for you right now. Everything you love about Kuebix will remain the same: the ease of use, the customer service, the innovation. In addition to being able to leverage true supply and demand access to assets and capacity in North America’s largest transportation network, Kuebix customers will benefit from Trimble’s investment in our platform and services. This investment will result in the development of new and improved capabilities and even better customer service.

Perhaps most importantly, the Kuebix team, including myself and Dave Lemont our CEO, are staying with the business and are thrilled to be part of Trimble.

Thank you all for your support. You, our customers and partners, are at the heart of our success. Bringing efficiency and savings to your supply chain is our motivation to join Trimble and ensure we continue to provide you with solutions that deliver maximum value. Please be assured that our focus on customer success and our drive to make your logistics operations run as efficiently as possible will remain our number one priority.

If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to reach out to me and the Kuebix team at info@kuebix.com.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year,




Dan Clark

Founder, Kuebix

Kuebix SupplierMAX

The Recipe for an Unbeatable Inbound Freight Management Strategy

Managing inbound freight operations is an ongoing challenge for businesses with large numbers of suppliers. Companies are impacted by the inefficiencies, low levels of visibility and lack of standardization associated with the management of their inbound freight. These problems are exacerbated when companies lack comprehensive strategies for obtaining the lowest possible shipping and unloading costs or a plan to improve the behavior of their suppliers. A complete strategy for inbound freight management needs to encompass the following three aspects; visibility, collaboration and accountability.

Visibility  Although companies control their own destinies on the outbound side of the equation, that level of control dwindles when it comes to inbound freight. In the end, the receiving company does not have full planning and visibility for shipment arrivals and dock reservations. To optimize their inbound, stakeholders can benefit from better visibility of information (e.g., knowing what carrier is being used, exact timing of deliveries, how much manpower is in the DC to load/unload shipments, etc.), real-time data sharing and the knowledge that everyone is working toward a common goal.

Collaboration  By using a comprehensive inbound freight plan based on a collaborative ecosystem of shippers, suppliers and carriers, companies can effectively establish a dynamic rating and unloading allowance program. As companies work in partnership with their suppliers to determine the most cost-effective method to handle each shipment – customer pick-up (CPU) or vendor controlled (VDS), the goal should be to reduce overall shipping costs. By giving suppliers choices, they’ll be able to pick the most effective service and billing procedure. Convert inbound shipments from VDS to CPU shipments only when it’s feasible, and then establish preferred rates with a select group of carriers to handle those inbound shipments at the lowest possible cost and best service type. Use a standard routing guide to establish a set of mandatory carriers that will be used for all VDS and CPU shipments. This will enable LTL pricing improvements, superior service levels and maximize opportunities for LTL consolidation.

Accountability  While companies can’t always control what their suppliers do or the efficiency of suppliers’ systems, they can implement Vendor Inbound Compliance Standards (VICS) to help improve supplier behavior. A comprehensive set of compliance procedures will establish rules and processes that must be followed by suppliers when making deliveries. These accountability levels should also extend to the company’s own supply chain/logistics department and procurement group, both of which play a role in ensuring that products get quickly from their origin to the distribution center (DC). The goal? Improve supplier behavior so that their inefficiencies are not wasting time and money at the DC. It’s also important that a company’s inbound strategy includes leveraging detailed analytics to measure the results of the program and take action where necessary to improve service with suppliers and carriers.

By following this general recipe, companies can work with specialists in inbound freight to develop an unbeatable inbound freight management strategy. But knowing what to do and being able to do it effectively are two entirely different hurdles companies need to jump. It’s for that reason Kuebix has developed SupplierMAX, a program where companies can leverage Kuebix’s technology and logistics experts to manage all or a portion of their inbound freight program. SupplierMAX improves supplier behavior and increases the efficiency of warehouses and distribution centers by incorporating a series of comprehensive strategies to improve inbound operations. To learn more about this program, click HERE to read the SupplierMAX press release in full.

Kuebix Recognized by Gartner with First-Time Positioning in 2018 Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems

Thoroughly vetting the capabilities of different providers is a monumental task most companies undertake before choosing to integrate new technology into their business. For supply chain companies, this is of paramount importance, as transportation management software (TMS) can make or break a company in terms of service to the customer, cost of goods and efficiency. Luckily, Gartner, Inc. is an indispensable asset that business leaders can turn to for guidance and objective insight when making these onerous decisions. Each year, Gartner publishes the Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems, an unbiased analysis that logistics professionals can leverage to understand the TMS marketplace. This year, Kuebix has the great honor of being positioned in the 2018 Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems*.

“We are pleased to be recognized by Gartner in the 2018 Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems. We believe this acknowledgement is due to our rapid market growth and comprehensive enterprise solution,” commented Dan Clark, Kuebix Founder and President. “We feel that our large enterprise customers have found that Kuebix offers a best-in-class, modular solution delivered by a team of industry experts committed to their success. In our view, inclusion in this year’s Magic Quadrant further validates our mission and will help us spread the word to companies everywhere.”

We believe what sets Kuebix apart is:

·       Rapid implementations

·       Modular solution that expands with a customer’s needs

·       True cloud-based multi-tenant solution built on the Force.com platform

·       Low total cost of ownership

·       Premier Applications for optimization, collaboration, visibility and much more

·       Unique managed service programs include inbound and fleet optimization

·       Most importantly, our customers are raving about Kuebix.

Read what they have to say:

“Best TMS on the Planet…Kuebix” -Logistics Manager on Gartner Peer Insights

Get the 2018 Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems

*Gartner “Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems” by Bart De Muynck. March 2018.

Gartner Disclaimer

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

CIO Review – Kuebix: Cloud-Based TMS for Every Business

CIO Review – Kuebix: Cloud-Based TMS for Every Business

CIO Review, June 2016

“What makes Kuebix so powerful is it’s ability to integrate with any system”

Read the article here:

TMS Provides Recipe for Visibility, Vendor Compliance

TMS Provides Recipe for Visibility, Vendor Compliance

Inbound Logistics, June 2016

The Customer

Weis Markets, Inc
Sunbury, PA USA
A regional supermarket chain primarily in central Pennsylvania and an industry leader throughout the United States’ mid-Atlantic coastal region.

Solution Provider

Maynard, MA USA

“Kuebix has become the foundation of our Managed Transportation Services program for all inbound shipments. Kuebix has provided Weis the necessary information for all stakeholders to operate at the highest level of efficiency.”
Wayne Bailey, SVP of Supply Chain and LogisticsWeis Markets

Logistics technology company offering an industry-changing SaaS transport management system (TMS) and unique revenue-generating programs.

Weis began a project with logistics technology provider Kuebix to help Weis gain better visibility of its supply chain and control the process flow, financials and cost of goods. Prior to the project, the majority of Weis shipments were vendor controlled, leading to process inefficiencies and higher cost of goods. Kuebix proposed a technology-based solution that included Kuebix TMS to manage Weis inbound shipments and Kuebix Managed Services to partially outsource transportation management. Kuebix TMS is a SaaS transportation management system built on the latest cloud technology with a wide variety of engines to streamline every aspect of logistics management. The managed service package that Kuebix developed for Weis includes a unique vendor compliance program offered exclusively through Kuebix TMS. The Vendor Compliance Program is designed to hold vendors and carriers accountable for behavior that drives inefficiency and cost into a company’s supply chain.

With the Kuebix Vendor Compliance Program in place, Weis has been able to smooth its inbound flow and reduce waste. The program has motivated behavioral changes throughout the supply chain that have led to increased efficiency.

Overall, this project has enabled Weis to convert 35% (to date) of shipments to Weis controlled, reduce its landed cost of goods (try freight rate calculator), and break apart costing components to increase its bottom line.

Read the original article from Inbound Logistics here: http://bit.ly/29GXsEO

TMS: Time to Make Your Move?

TMS: Time to Make Your Move?

Featured in Inbound Logistics, May 2016 by Merrill Douglas

Thanks to recent advances in technology, transport management systems (TMS) promise to deliver more bang for the transportation buck to more shippers. Vendors keep adding features and functions, and offering easier and more economical ways to implement TMS solutions.

Most Tier 1 shippers—those that spend $100 million or more annually on freight—already use TMS solutions. But smaller companies find it hard to justify the expense of implementation.

“TMS solutions have an approximately 15-percent market penetration into Tier 2 companies,” says David Landau, executive vice president at Cloud Logistics, a TMS vendor based in West Palm Beach, Fla. The smallest firms—those that spend $5 million to $10 million annually on freight—rely mainly on manual methods and spreadsheets to manage transportation, he adds.

That is starting to change, though, as the cloud and other technologies reduce the cost and labor attached to TMS solutions.

“Small, mid-segment shippers and logistics companies that did not even consider deploying a TMS in the past are now increasing adoption,” says Vikram Balasubramanian, senior vice president of strategic product development at MercuryGate International, a TMS supplier based in Cary, N.C. “The market is growing purely because technology is becoming more affordable.”

A TMS can take many forms. It might be a standalone product, or a component of a broader supply chain management or enterprise resource planning suite. Simply put, a TMS is technology for managing the part of the supply chain that puts commodities in motion.

“A TMS helps companies efficiently, reliably, and cost effectively move freight from origin to destination,” says Chris Cunnane, a senior analyst at ARC Advisory Group in Dedham, Mass.

ARC divides the TMS market into two solution types. “Planning and execution systems are for freight moves involving carriers; fleet management solutions are for freight moves involving transportation assets the company owns,” Cunnane says.

Some packages combine both types. MercuryGate, for example, recently added fleet management to its TMS. “Shippers can manage a private fleet, execute transportation, and procure freight from common carriers, all on a single platform,” explains Balasubramanian.


The functions included in a TMS vary from one product to the next, but systems often include the following:

  • Procurement. Conducts bidding events and manages contracts with carriers.
  • Planning and optimization. Chooses the most efficient modes and routes, and finds opportunities to implement efficient strategies such as load consolidation.
  • Execution. Conducts day-to-day shipping activities, such as matching loads with appropriate carriers, tendering and dispatching loads, generating shipping documents, exchanging information with carriers, and monitoring freight progress.
  • Freight bill auditing and settlement. Manages the financial aspects of a freight transaction.
  • Reporting and analytics. Analyzes carrier performance, internal performance, and transportation costs.

Solutions that ARC classifies as fleet management may also include functions such as GPS tracking and transportation asset management.

The TMS market is broad, deep, and continually evolving. Here’s a look at some of the latest developments.


In the old days, if you wanted to implement a TMS, you licensed the software and installed it on servers within your own walls. Today, TMS—like so many other kinds of software—is increasingly moving to the cloud.

Vendors tout the fact that cloud computing—also called Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)—eliminates the labor and upfront investment that traditional software implementations require. The TMS vendor hosts the software or maintains it on infrastructure owned by a company such as Amazon or Salesforce.com, and provides it to the user by subscription.

“The use of the cloud has improved the economies of scale, so companies get a faster return on investment,” says Balasubramanian. That’s part of the reason more companies are adopting TMS solutions, he adds.

“As companies realize they need some kind of automation to manage transportation, they are creating a lot of pent-up demand,” says Landau. Freight transportation is complex, and managing it manually is simply not effective.

Some suppliers of cloud-based solutions—including Cloud Logistics—promise not only to lower the cost of using a TMS, but also to get the technology up and running in record time. “We implement our system in four to 12 weeks, rather than four to 12 months—and sometimes faster,” Landau says.

That “sometimes faster” refers to a product Cloud Logistics introduced in 2015, calledSame Day TMS. It’s aimed at small companies that don’t have resources to support a lengthy implementation and can’t justify a large software investment.

“We’ve come up with a way to deploy our system, along with some of the technology behind it, in one day,” Landau says. The secret lies in the fact that Same Day TMS doesn’t require much integration with other software that shippers use, although Cloud Logistics can provide such integration for more sophisticated companies.

“This system’s user interface is designed for companies that don’t handle a lot of volume and don’t have help from their IT departments,” Landau says. Such companies work with just a few carriers, which use a web portal to interact with the TMS.

“Shippers simply key in their orders, and it takes one to two minutes to create an order in the system,” he adds.

Another TMS vendor that promises speedy implementation in the cloud for smaller companies is Kuebix, based in Maynard, Mass.

Kuebix offers two transportation management system TMS products: Kuebix Enterprise TMS, a customized solution designed for multi-billion-dollar corporations with specific freight optimization needs, and Kuebix Small Business, a standardized system that a smaller enterprise can get up and running in about 10 minutes.

“First, shippers log on and sign up for a free trial,” explains Dan Clark, president of Kuebix. “If they like it, they swipe a credit card.” The online interface offers a variety of how-to videos to help new users with every application in the system.

“Within 10 minutes, they are up and running with a full transportation management system,” he adds.

Among the smaller firms that have migrated to a TMS in recent years is Badcock Corporation, a furniture chain that also sells mattresses, electronics, appliances, and seasonal items. Based in Mulberry, Fla., Badcock uses the Cloud Logistics TMS solution.

Badcock and its franchisees operate 325 Badcock Home Furniture & More stores in eight southeastern states. The company sources product from suppliers in the United States and Asia, and moves it to the stores through three U.S. distribution centers (DCs).

Badcock uses common carriers for inbound freight and a private fleet to deliver product from the DCs to the stores and to customers’ homes.


Until recently, Badcock used mainly manual processes to manage transportation. “We had a traffic manager,” says Greg Brinkman, the company’s senior vice president of supply chain. “Two traffic people who worked on our private fleet would back him up, and make decisions on inbound freight.

“We managed through spreadsheets,” he adds. “When suppliers called, we manually looked up which carriers they were supposed to use.”

That process bred inefficiencies. “Trying to keep up with all the phone calls would delay shipments,” Brinkman says. The company tried adding extra workers during busy times, but it’s hard to employ the necessary talent on a temporary basis.

Manual processes also made it hard to optimize loads. “When employees got busy, they would route freight to whomever they happened to be talking to that day, rather than to the lowest-cost carrier,” Brinkman says. “The wrong trucking companies were getting our business.”

Today, the Cloud Logistics TMS helps Badcock’s traffic department make more cost-effective matches between carriers and loads. Also, the system generates reports that provide better insights into carrier relationships. “We know how much freight each trucker is getting,” Brinkman says. “We also know how they performed and if any shipments were delayed.”

Brinkman says he hopes that, in the future, Cloud Logistics will tie Badcock’s overseas suppliers and international carriers into the system, along with domestic trading partners. The goal is to learn about potential production delays as soon as possible, so the company can adjust its transportation and marketing plans.

“The more visibility we can have into production, the better,” Brinkman says. “Also, when we can decrease lead times, we save money on safety stock, which goes right to the bottom line.”


Besides reducing the cost of ownership, speeding ROI, and cutting implementation time, the cloud provides a platform for a more social version of transportation management. When a vendor provides a single-tenant solution—implementing its solution once, and then connecting customers, carriers, and suppliers to that solution—it can direct data among hundreds, or thousands, of supply chain participants.

A multi-tenant solution reduces the time needed to set up data links between shippers and their service providers. That’s the case with Chelmsford, Mass.-based Kewill’s MOVE TMS, a system whose roots go back about 17 years to a company called Nistevo.

“Over the years, we’ve built a large carrier network,” explains Walt Heil, vice president, multimodal transportation solutions at Kewill. “Once we establish our standard EDI [electronic data interchange] or XML [extensible markup language] data flow with a carrier, our customers can leverage that communication. It’s a simple certification for the customer to use that carrier.”

Some shippers want to exchange more data points with their carriers than others. “Levers in the system can turn those data flows on or off for certain companies,” Heil says.

A multi-tenant TMS also helps with another challenge that many shippers face today: a desire to gain a global view of their transportation.

“Most companies, in just about every industry, have a global footprint,” Heil says. But often, a global company uses different TMS solutions to manage transportation in different regions. “Multiple platforms multiply risk and increase cost,” he says. Also, shippers often prefer to deal with just one IT vendor for their TMS, rather than several.

In the past, a company that wanted to develop a global TMS had to conduct a large, expensive project with an ERP vendor. Only the largest companies could afford that. Today, with multi-tenant cloud solutions, much smaller companies can implement TMS in all their markets, in a reasonable length of time, at a reasonable cost. “A shipper can have a global strategy around one platform,” Heil says.


Shippers using MercuryGate’s TMS can choose between a multi-tenant and a single-tenant cloud. In either case, shippers benefit from the large number of carriers doing business on the network.

“It’s the Facebook effect,” explains Balasubramanian. “Shippers still have an onboarding process because they need to ensure that carriers comply with their EDI and other standards, but these carriers are already integrated as part of the system.”

As Balasubramanian draws comparisons to Facebook, Landau points to another popular social network to explain the logistics activity stream on the Cloud Logistics multi-tenant cloud. “Think of it as a Twitter feed for your transportation network,” he says. The activity stream provides updates on every event in the life of a shipment.

“It also allows real-time instant messaging dialog with participants in the network,” Balasubramanian adds. This kind of collaborative activity is possible because of the way the cloud-based system links all trading partners.

Some vendors—including Philadelphia-based Elemica—call this kind of collaborative platform a supply chain operating network (SCON). Elemica designed its SCON for chemical companies and other process manufacturers. The SCON’s TMS functions reside within a portion of the product called the Logistics Management Suite.

“The supply chain operating network has three functional layers: B2B integration, process automation and collaboration, and visibility and analytics,” says Cindi Hane, Elemica’s director of logistics operations. But the value of that network, she adds, also lies in the participating community of trading partners.

One benefit arising from this community is better visibility into the status of freight. “Visibility has been a hot topic for our customers,” says Hane. “I hear comments like, ‘Why is my customer the first one to tell me when my shipment is late?'”

Good visibility relies on high-quality data, she notes. When a SCON serves as a hub, the TMS vendor can make sure that the data loses nothing in translation as it moves among partners.

“First, is the data available?” Hane asks. “Next, are you getting it in a usable way?” Consider what happens, for example, when two partners express the same information in different formats. “If my partner passes a ZIP code as a numeric field, the system might drop any leading zeroes,” she says. “We can fix that format in our network, and make sure that, when it gets through, it’s a properly formatted ZIP code.”


For some shippers, the key to TMS happiness is the ability to implement only the functions they need and leave the rest on the table. Agropur Ingredients, a food ingredients producer based in La Crosse, Wis., uses that strategy. In 2015, it implemented select modules of the Transporeon TMS to help manage truckload transportation.

The logistics team at the La Crosse facility used to rely on paper documents, email, and phone calls to manage transportation, recalls Sean Smith, supply chain director at Agropur. “This wasn’t efficient for the volume of freight we were starting to handle—both our own inbound and our customers’ freight,” he says. Without a TMS, Smith would have needed a larger staff.

Agropur uses the Transporeon TMS, from Transporeon Group Americas in Fort Washington, Pa., to conduct transportation procurements, bid out spot freight, and dispatch loads. “My logistics coordinators say, ‘I need a truck on this date, going from here to there,'” Smith says. By checking a routing guide, the system offers the freight to the most appropriate carrier for that lane. If that carrier declines, the system moves on to the number-two carrier, then farther down the list if needed.

Agropur uses Transporeon’s reporting features mainly to analyze costs—for example, to distinguish a fuel surcharge from a base rate. But because the company doesn’t have problems with late arrivals or dock scheduling, it chose not to implement performance reporting.

It also took a pass on visibility features. “We don’t have much of a problem with shipments disappearing or arriving late,” Smith says.

Agropur chose the cloud-based Transporeon TMS because it’s easy to use, and because the software vendor charges a monthly fee, based on transaction volume. “There was no way my company was going to give me $200,000 outright to buy a full TMS,” Smith notes.

With a pay-as-you-go model, the TMS adds just a small extra cost to each shipment. “If you spend $1,000 for a shipment, then what’s $1,001?” he asks. “It’s worth it if you don’t have to hire another person.”

In keeping with its pick-and-choose strategy, Agropur turned to an entirely different TMS, from Indianapolis-based Spot Freight, to manage its less-than-truckload (LTL) transportation and rates. It started using that solution in April 2016.

Truckload and LTL shipments have different requirements and are usually handled by different carriers. “We decided to keep them in two different systems,” Smith says.


Given the impact of mobile technology in general, it’s no surprise that the TMS world is also feeling pressure to put business functions in the palm of the user’s hand.

That’s particularly true as more millennials enter the workforce. “Millennials don’t use desktop computers, and they don’t use laptops,” says Heil. “The era of the big office of cubicles with PCs for people who are running freight departments is coming to an end.” With transportation apps on tablets and smartphones, people can work remotely, or they can manage and monitor shipments while walking the warehouse floor.

When Kewill first started offering mobile applications—for use by carriers—in 2008, carriers weren’t interested. “At the time, nobody had a smartphone,” Heil says. But a lot has changed since then. Kewill now offers mobile apps for use by carriers and shippers, and is developing some for use by suppliers.

At Kuebix, making applications compatible with mobile devices used to be tough, but new technology has eliminated that problem. Now, every system the company develops will run on a mobile device.

“If you don’t have a solution that’s mobile compatible, you probably don’t have the right solution,” Clark says. Mobile platforms give shippers tremendous flexibility. “You could be having a martini in Tahiti, and process everything that the system does by working on your tablet or smartphone,” he says.

Elemica recently introduced its first mobile app, the Elemica Track solution for shipment visibility. The new function is designed not only for logistics staff, but also for customer service and sales reps. “The solution provides access to customer shipment activities in an easy, straightforward way,” Hane says.

Another trend that has changed the face of TMS is the arrival of web services. These services involve the use of application programming interfaces (APIs) to transfer data among IT systems. Among other benefits, web services improve the way a TMS solution maintains a shipper’s database of LTL carrier rates.

“In the past, shippers would get a tariff [a schedule of rates] from the carrier,” Clark says. “They would get a base rate, a negotiated discount, and different state-specific discounts. They’d have minimums, maximums, and fuel surcharges, among other parameters.” Shippers would upload the tariff into their information systems. Then, every time the tariff changed, they would have to upload a new version.

“Today, carriers are exposing an API,” Clark says. Companies such as Kuebix use the API to set up an interface with each carrier. Then, any time shippers log in, they receive current rates in real time, directly from the carrier.

“It minimizes the work shippers previously had to do to update those tariffs,” Clark says. “Web services also allow carriers and shippers to exchange other data—such as tracking information, pickup appointments, proofs of delivery, and invoices—in real time through the TMS.”

These features, and many new ones, will continue to move small companies toward embracing the benefits of TMS.

Read the original article from Inbound Logistics here: http://bit.ly/1Xz7OZq