Kewill recently published a white paper with Supply Chain Management Review that explains the importance of collaboration in effective transportation management and highlights the value in building a TMS based on carrier connectivity. This blog summarizes key points from the full paper, “Carrier Connectivity: The Critical Component of Transportation Management.”
A transportation management system [TMS] is designed to move freight in the most reliable, efficient and cost-effective way. In order to do so, a TMS needs to be fully connected to all of the shipper’s carriers. When purchasing a TMS, choosing a vendor who has baked that strong connectivity into its solution is vital.
Gartner recently noted that revenue is directly related to how well a transportation network is run. To maximize this correlation, companies must consider all elements of a TMS – including carrier connectivity – when selecting and implementing a new solution. Hooking carriers into the TMS is imperative as it helps to automate connections and collaboration, which lead to increased visibility into the supply chain – a key priority now for companies that are seeking access to real-time information and data.
In addition, having a network of carriers at the ready helps shippers deftly manage issues such as capacity crunches, extreme weather or truck driver shortages. By having access to more than just a couple of carriers, you can ensure shipments get to where they need to be, with no disruption to the supply chain or end user.
No Missed Opportunities
Even though carrier connectivity serves as the heartbeat of a strong TMS, it is one of the most overlooked areas. Few shippers even consider its importance, instead focusing on functionality and features. That’s a mistake.
As I said to the author of the white paper, you can hash out the greatest plan in the world, but if you don’t extend the technology out to your partners and get as many carriers as possible on board to leverage the TMS’ true value, the software isn’t going to add much value to your business.
Another key consideration is how you plan to build your carrier network. Doing it in-house takes time – often up to a year or longer – and a herculean effort among a bunch of different parties. Go the DIY route and you will find your team spending a significant amount of time contacting all your carriers and figuring out how to connect with them electronically.
With a solution like Kewill Transport, however, most of that work has been done for you. It comes with a network of 16,000+ carriers right out of the box – the largest carrier network in the United States. When Kewill begins implementation with a new customer, the majority of the customer’s carriers are usually already on board and ready to go. Those that aren’t already in our system are quickly added during the brief implementation process. This significantly speeds up the ROI and ensures that shippers can start transacting – and saving money – as soon as the solution is up and running.
Becoming the Shipper of Choice
As shippers continue to grapple with a driver shortage and constrained transportation options, having fast, easy access to a broad network of “connected” carriers becomes increasingly attractive. That kind of immediate connectivity makes a company more agile, with access to speedy responses from carriers and the chance to beat competitors to the punch and get goods accepted by preferred carriers. The broad network also delivers better visibility into the flow of the supply chain – allowing for capacity to be fully utilized and trucks to take the best routes to your destination.
Collaboration in the Network
Larger, more collaborative networks enable companies to transmit to more organizations and automate more aspects of the process. By leveraging this kind of broad carrier connectivity, organizations can start to track and manage data, automate KPIs, and conduct automatic data monitoring to make sure they’re getting good carrier performance.
More companies are focusing on the transportation part of their supply chains. They’re interested in saving money and increasing efficiencies, so carrier connectivity will become even more critical in the future. Today’s environment of capacity crunches, driver shortages and other factors make the argument for carrier-connected transportation management systems that much stronger.
- Download the Kewill/Supply Chain Management Review white paper, “Carrier Connectivity: The Critical Component of Transportation Management.”
- The Kewill MOVE on the Cloud solutions for LSPs, Shippers and Manufacturers and Retailers and Distributors offer the perfect combination of supply chain agility, visibility and control to be competitive. Learn more.
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