Is there Depth in Your TMS’s Bench of Carriers?

The return of baseball season has us thinking about, you guessed it, transportation, logistics and TMS software. Wait! What? Follow our addled logic to the correlation between America’s pastime and getting shipments delivered on-time.

Yesterday was opening day for Major League Baseball and the Boston Red Sox spanked the New York Yankees 8-2. Whichever side of that historic rivalry you come down upon (or even if you don’t care for either team) it was apparent that Beantown has something that the Big Apple lacks this year; namely, “depth in the bench”. The Yanks have $92 million worth of their top performers sitting on the disabled list including A-Rod, Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Phil Hughes and Michael Pineda. Not surprisingly, with a thinner bench of players to choose from, the Yankees will likely continue to be at a disadvantage this year against the Sox and other foes.

The same dynamic is at work for shippers using TMS for automated load tendering. Thing is, TMS users may not realize the extent to which their top carriers are on the metaphorical DL. Look, the performance of MLB players are widely published and studied by followers of baseball. The same cannot always be said for the performance of carriers included in an auto-tender cascade. Yet, just as in the ole ballgame, there is a lot of money staked on the performance of these players.

TMS users understand that the auto-tender process is, in itself, a huge advantage over manual tendering. But TMS superusers know that having enough depth in their “bench” of carriers translates to reduced lead times and rates.

The best practice is to make regular review of auto-tender acceptance rates tracked in the TMS. This is a real-time measure of carrier performance in any given lane. A carrier baseball card if you will. If, for instance, it is noted that carrier #4 in the cascade accepts at a more frequent rate than carrier #1 in a given lane, then a TMS user should consider moving #4 into the #1 spot. Why wait for several carriers to strike out before one finally produces a hit? Put your top batter in the lead off position each and every time.

Doing this kind of performance-driven updating of the tendering order helps ensure the top performers are always first to bat. This helps reduce lead times and rates overall. But it only works if there is enough depth in the bench of carriers embedded into a TMS implementation.

Do you have enough depth in the bench of carriers deployed in your TMS?

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