TMS Delivers on NASSTRAC’s Five Common Sense Suggestions for Shippers

A recent NASSTRAC report revealed five common-sense suggestions for shippers navigating today’s disruptive operating environment.  Unsurprisingly, these suggestions aligned perfectly with the technology solutions already in production from top TMS software solutions.   Read on for the details on NASSTRAC’s five recommendations and how top TMS delivers success for those shippers who’ve embraced it.  

The hard-hitting new report from the National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council (NASSTRAC) is titled, “Logistics 2030: Navigating a Disruptive Decade, Year 1 – Freight Transportation” and it is full of powerful conclusions about what shippers are facing in the coming decade as the pace of technological advancement and change continues to accelerate.

Most respondents reported already having TMS tech deployed and presumably, they’ve already captured the low-hanging fruit of savings and efficiency gains that come with automating formerly manual processes.  In order to get to the next level of savings, efficiency and competitive advantage, shippers must embrace emerging technologies.  A whopping 87% of respondents believe next-gen tech will have transformative effect on transportation operations.

Leading TMS solution providers are already developing and delivering next-gen tech to their customers in pursuit of the goals enunciated in the list of 5 common sense suggestions offered by NASSTRAC.  Here are the five “steps to get ahead” and a bit about how UltraShipTMS is already supporting these actions with people, process and technology.

Step 1 – Establish coherent, data-driven plans

It is no longer sufficient to manage transportation using best guesses.  In a competitive business climate organizations need to make the right decisions the first time.  Using the historic shipping data captured in a TMS, shippers can make data-driven, predictive plans.  The top shippers are leveraging TMS data and some even use AI to arrive at effective planning to mitigate capacity shortages and other hurdles identified in the patterns within their data.

Step 2 – Strengthen key relationships

In a capacity constrained climate, having solid relationships with carriers provides the competitive edge.  TMS carrier management functions and carrier performance analytics enable a shipper to address issues early and provide insightful feedback to their carrier-partners.  TMS scheduling helps minimize dwell times and optimizes driver Hours of Service which makes a shipper a more attractive partner to busy carriers.  Freight Payment and Audit automation makes settlement predictable and easy which is always appreciated by carriers. A shipper with a great TMS is a carrier’s first choice!

Step 3 – Give transportation a seat at the “adult table”

The days of considering transportation as an afterthought or a non-critical function within any operation are over. Lean inventory control, just-in-time manufacturing and real-time shipment tracking have become the new standard in many industries and that means that transportation is a much more critically important stakeholder in success than before.  TMS provides the data visibility needed to illustrate the value of well-managed logistics processes and supports iron-clad business cases.  That data visibility earns Transportation a seat at the table alongside other important functions like procurement and finance.

Step 4 – Adopt 21st century technology

Again, spreadsheet-driven manual processes and “gut feeling” planning are insufficient to the task of transportation logistics management in the 21st Century.  The top performing organizations are already several years into their adoption of tech like AI, machine learning, predictive analytics/BI and overall supply chain digitization.  Any shipper aspiring to perform with the best in their field must embrace and fully leverage the powerful tech tools now at their disposal.  Failing to do so means falling further behind as the industry leaders pull ahead, powered by top TMS tech.

Step 5 – Show transportation professionals the money (and respect)

It’s not your father’s job market in transportation any more.  Today’s transportation professionals need more than just an understanding of logistics operations.  They must also be technologists and be comfortable navigating the digital frontier.  As in all fields, tech talent is at a premium with more jobs available than candidates with the requisite technological prowess.  Expect to pay more in salaries to source, hire and retain the talent needed for the digital supply chain.  But don’t be upset about the increased human capital costs because the time, effort and money saved by solid utilization of advanced supply chain tech will far exceed the costs involved in fielding a transportation workforce with the expertise to design, deploy and manage these solutions.