A TMS Tale of Two Food Shippers – Which Describes Your Evolutionary State?

The Summer 2020 issue of Food Shippers of America Magazine has dropped.  Editors here at the Digital Supply Chain Collaborator blog noted a striking contrast when reviewing this issue.  Specifically, the issue published two articles addressing the use and utilization of TMS platforms by food shipping organizations.  One article focused on explaining the basic, historical benefits of implementing TMS for the first time.  The other discussed advanced TMS strategies engaged by food shippers with evolved logistics IT platforms already in use.  Let’s digest the two articles considering where your organization lies on the evolutionary continuum from “new food-shipping TMS user” to “advanced food-shipping TMS user” and how to get the most from any TMS initiative – new or mature.

FSA’s Nick Fortuna writes the first article titled, “Transportation Management Systems at Work – Technology Platforms: Driving Cost Savings and Efficiencies for Shippers”.  This article makes the case for a food shipper to replace manual transportation management processes with TMS automation.  The points made may seem elementary for food shippers who’ve been using a Cloud-Based TMS for some time already.  So, this tale is for a food shipper with no prior TMS exposure.  Here are the key takeaways from Fortuna’s piece:

  • TMS software reduces the labor-intensive manual tasks/efforts associated with building, rating, routing, tendering, spot booking and tracking loads
  • TMS automation frees planners to focus on value-added activity like ensuring superior customer service levels
  • TMS simplifies freight settlement and enables exception-only management of invoicing and accessorials
  • TMS supports improved carrier rate and performance management an overall carrier relations
  • TMS delivers exceptional visibility not only into freight location (track & trace), but also into data trends supporting more effective planning and resource utilization
  • Cloud TMS breaks down silos and enables easy collaboration between all stakeholders – sales, supply chain logistics, finance, executive leadership

If all this sounds like something your organization would benefit from, we should connect to discuss how to get started on the road to savings and improvement in your food logistics operation.  If all the above sounds like low-hanging fruit your operation has already captured with an existing TMS, the second article is bound to be more insightful.

The second “tale of TMS” article by FSA’s Mary Lou Jay is titled, “Transforming Supply Chains” and it takes a decidedly more advanced look at how the use of TMS in mature operations is able to support truly transformative efforts at supply chain management – integrating other enterprise data systems like ERP, WMS and others.  Key takeaways from this piece include:

  • Digitized data, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and predictive analytics support better decision-making
  • Data imported into TMS from ELDs, IoT-connected sensors on equipment and on goods, historical and current weather and traffic information, schedules of local events, etc., enable compounded savings and efficiencies
  • The ability to understand historical patterns and actions in TMS data delivers continuous improvements enabling companies to deploy trucks, warehouse facilities and other assets as efficiently as possible
  • Food shippers using data technologies improve the safety of their food with better information and analytics to monitor what they are producing, what’s in it, and how it is coming in contact with people along the supply chain

If these cutting-edge advances sound like music to your ears, and your existing TMS platform is not evolving quickly enough to support supply chain digitization, we should connect to discuss how UltraShipTMS supports advanced, enterprise strength transportation logistics management in a digital ecosystem.