Using Logistics Technology to Improve Shipping Operations-Part 2

 

Logistics technology helps to improve decision-making and communication, in addition to other benefits, such as getting rid of paperwork, and better supply chain visibility.  The elimination of paperwork help logistics professionals focus on more important tasks, while better visibility helps the organization align goals overall.

Getting Rid of Unnecessary Paperwork

Shipping is a paperwork intensive process and even the most efficient logistics operations are bogged down with paperwork to a degree. With the help of technology, the process is changing, and smart companies are digitizing their systems where they can. The complete elimination of paperwork will be the next big step for the logistics industry in the next few years.

Why is this so important?

Automated processes create shipping efficiencies as lost or incorrect paperwork slows down shipping. Many internal processes are paperwork dependent, like load plans so the dock knows how to load trucks or ‘must have’ documentation like bills of lading and customs documentation. A TMS keeps the process moving by digitizing much of this key information, making it available faster to the parties who need it–both in and outside of your organization.

The trend towards digitization paves the way for the next example of how technology can help any shipping operation—one that sets your company up for growth and the future.

Better Supply Chain Visibility

The need to know what is going on with shipping is important to a lot of people outside the logistics function. For example, production planning might be looking for the status of an inbound shipment that is holding up manufacturing, or customer service needs to know the ETA for a key delivery to a customer.

Visibility also means having data to benchmark and improve your logistics performance, as well as that of your suppliers.  Supply chains operate optimally when they are visible to all.

Why is this so important?

Fast and clear visibility into details like these has obvious benefits. Technology enables companies to use the data to improve their overall logistics supply chain performance with better cost and supplier performance management.

Manual processes and information in spreadsheets or on paperwork prevent data from being used as it could be. Logistics processes managed through technology allows data to be a natural output of the operation, which is the first step in being able to see things in quantifiable ways and show how your logistics department brings value to your organization, and not just as a cost center.

While the advantages of using logistics technology are evident, the big limitation is, of course, the cost of adding it.  TMS systems often are expensive and require complicated implementations, which has prevented many companies from using them.  The good news is the model for how shippers are able to get access to best in class logistics technology has changed in recent years.

If your company wants to take advantage of the benefits logistics technology has to offer, the best way is often through a partnership arrangement.  Working with the right partner with make a TMS implementation simple and inexpensive, while letting you maintain control of your carrier relationships.  Transportation Impact can provide your company with a command center TMS, with real-time API connections to over 1,100 LTL carriers and seamless integration with any ERP.  Visit our website today at: www.transportationimpact.com.