A transportation management system (TMS) is an obvious tool for the logistics team, helping to move freight faster, more cost-effectively, and more easily from start to finish. But it also impacts multiple areas of a company by driving better efficiencies and opening up clearer visibility between departments.
A TMS sits in the middle of many systems – much more so than other supply chain software solutions. A TMS has to sit within the four walls of a company and communicate with internal systems; it has to sit outside the company and exchange data with vendors, customers and trading partners. Because it’s at the core of so much critical activity, its benefits ripple out far beyond the logistics team.
Recognizing and communicating these benefits with the rest of a business helps build a business case for investing in a modern TMS and, if leveraged by other departments, makes the ROI of the system that much greater.
A TMS can have a significant impact on productivity and cost savings. Increased automation means that headcount can be maintained or lowered; better visibility into truck loads and routing leads to smarter decision-making around cost; and fewer manual processes for payment and billing means there’s less room for human error and faster settlement. The flexibility of a modern TMS allows for more pricing options, including mark-up pricing that considers multiple factors, or individual client pricing that reduces the need for manual billing work. All in all, a TMS makes finance tasks more flexible, automated, and accurate. Something any CFO can appreciate!
Sales and marketing
Because a modern TMS can gather and synthesize data from more internal and external sources than ever before, it can be an invaluable tool for the sales and marketing team. Marketing can drill into the wealth of data and gather proof points about customers’ cost savings or on-time and in-full delivery statistics. Sales can point to faster on-boarding times that beat your competitors’, which leads to quicker cost savings after the sales cycle. Higher quality services can be tailored to the complex needs of a customer and makes their lives easier. All of this leads to higher customer satisfaction rates and retention – essential metrics that support any effective sales or marketing effort.
The IT department can get a lot of relief from a TMS. By fostering higher quality data and transforming manual processes into automated ones, IT can more easily manage critical tasks like integrations and on-boarding processes. Plus, with a TMS that drives digital and configurable workflows, there are fewer requests for support help because the system is more intuitive and tailored to the unique ways a company operates. Customer portals break down old visibility barriers and let customers input their own purchase orders, create routing requests and more – all of which streamlines traditionally redundant work that leads to support tickets.
A TMS delivers big efficiency gains throughout a company’s supply chain efforts, as a cloud-based TMS can back-connect to legacy non-cloud systems and enable the connection of all logistics processes into one, flexible, end-to-end process. Orders flow through the system more seamlessly. Users have more flexibility when it comes to building trucks because there is better visibility into what’s going on. Routing becomes more profitable because a user can compare potential cost savings opportunities while adhering to customer’s requirements. All of this delivers superior service to customers and a competitive differentiator for you.
More than logistics
A TMS’ benefits go far beyond logistics, making it one of the most cost-effective enterprise software purchases that an organization can make. If you need to create a business case for a TMS, emphasize how it can make the lives of your coworkers in other departments much easier. If you already have a TMS, don’t hoard the benefits; start discussions with colleagues about how it can help them reach their goals too.
Chuck Fuerst is the Vice President of Marketing for 3Gtms. Prior to his arrival at 3Gtms, Chuck most recently was the Director of Product Marketing and Product Management for Identifix. Prior to that, Chuck served as the Director of Product Strategy for HighJump where he led the go-to-market efforts and product marketing for the WMS product suite. Chuck has also served in various marketing leadership positions at Lawson Software (now Infor), McGladrey, and Datatrend Technologies. Chuck’s marketing experience has included a strong focus on demand generation, with a history of launching successful buyer-centric transport management programs that effectively drive opportunity creation and pipeline development. Chuck has a BA from Concordia University.