Shippers, if you are operating in a “dark” environment—that is, a non-digitized environment in which you lack visibility and data—you are not alone. With limited resources and outdated technology, many shippers continue to rely on non-digitized methods of managing their supply chain. With a Transportation Management System and Managed Transportation Services support from a trusted provider, shippers can emerge from the shadows and enter into an environment brimming with data-rich tools, technologies, and middleware that delivers enhanced visibility for logistics processes and data. Discover how the right Managed Transportation Services partnership can drive efficiency, performance, and savings throughout your supply chain.
Today, many middle market shippers continue to rely on manual processes to manage their supply chain. For example, they call or email carriers directly to receive delivery updates or track spend using spreadsheets and pen and paper. This approach can create significant barriers to success and profitable growth, as shippers lack not only understanding of where their shipments are at any given time, but also having lack visibility to the data they need to make timely and informed business decisions.
It’s no surprise that companies who have deployed TMS technology in their supply chain have been able to eliminate costly errors and delays, improve responsiveness and customer service, and better plan for forecasted needs. Without these elements, shippers are simply operating in the dark.
Relying on outdated supply chain management methods doesn’t just impact your ability to track shipments in real time. It also affects your ability to grow profitably as an organization. Without detailed insight into your operations, it can be challenging to look past the day-to-day, allocate resources for expansion, and navigate the fluctuations of the market with continuous success.
If supply chain management methods like spreadsheets and phone calls aren’t conducive to ongoing success, what’s the next logical step? Many shippers look to implement a Transportation Management System, however, they often find that doing so without the support of a dedicated partner presents challenges of its own. That’s one of the reasons why an increasing number of shippers are embracing Managed Transportation Services. These strategic partnerships provide you with the means to improve your logistics and supply chain performance by increasing operational efficiency, finding cost-saving opportunities, optimizing communication between links in your network and providing visibility to data that is critical to long-term success..
Despite these benefits, some organizations may be reluctant to outsource their supply chain management, thinking they may lose control of their logistics operations. Fortunately, Managed Transportation providers, like Sheer Logistics, act as an extension of your team, providing you with truth, transparency, and access to a data-rich environment that enables you to make the most informed decisions regarding your operations. Rather than losing control, a Managed Transportation partnership can put you in the driver’s seat like never before.
Of course, many shippers seek Managed Transportation Services partnerships in order to take advantage of potential cost savings related to their transportation spend, and a Managed Trans partnership can often drive significant savings, but there are other benefits worth considering. Even without significant savings, Managed Trans can create visibility into your supply chain that empowers shippers with enhanced efficiency and control that pay dividends of their own.
The first step to increasing supply chain visibility is to get away from the outdated, suboptimal methods of logistics management. Sure, phone calls and spreadsheets have their place in logistics, but they’re no longer the best way to manage your operations. That prize goes to the Transportation Management System (TMS), powerful software that gives you a top-level view of your supply chain.
Your Managed Transportation provider should help you implement your TMS in a timely, cost-effective manner, ensuring it delivers long-term value to your organization and provides accurate, reliable information. Sophisticated partners can facilitate the implementation and integration of your TMS, radically reducing your time to value. Sheer integrates your TMS with a host of point solutions, such as ERP product suites, warehouse management systems (WMS), real-time transportation visibility platforms (RTTVP) and more.
SheerExchange, our Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS), allows you to connect data from these disparate systems while centralizing it within your TMS. Aggregating your data in a single location creates the opportunity to apply analytics and deliver detailed, real-time reporting on the KPIs that are most critical to stakeholders across your entire supply chain, from the CFO to the Transportation Manager. This visibility and reporting alone is “worth the price of admission” and can serve as the springboard into greater efficiencies down the road.
Each element of your supply chain plays a crucial role in the manufacture, procurement, or delivery of goods and materials to their intended location. When these links are damaged or broken, your business can suffer. For example, consistent delivery delays to large retailers can result in substantial fines, penalties, or even a loss of contract. As a result, it’s essential that you invest the time and resources to establish a robust, agile supply chain.
When partnering with a Managed Transportation provider, you can conduct a strategic analysis of your supply chain network design, using real-world data to understand how your supply chain reacts to demand surges, capacity crunches, or world-shifting events like pandemics. This insight enables you to refine your supply chain and position yourself for continuous improvement, cost-effective, on-time delivery, and exceptional customer service.
Having access to detailed supply chain data is, of course, essential, but it only takes your overall visibility so far. You need to know what that data really means—how it can be used to reduce costs, reveal pitfalls within your supply chain, and make better business decisions.
A reliable Managed Transportation partner like Sheer can help analyze the vast amounts of data produced by your supply chain and provide you with strategic insights that increase business intelligence and uplift your operations, such as:
- A global view of costs: Your Managed Transportation partner helps you understand where your spend is going and how it can be used more effectively to deliver value to your business.
- Benchmark comparison: Your provider can also benchmark carrier performance through data analysis.
- Opportunities for growth: Your data also reveals what you’re doing right, and your Managed Transportation provider can help you decide the next steps for growing your enterprise profitably.