Monitoring Spot Bids using TMS

Companies that have a lot of inbound shipment are forced, sometimes, to spot bid for prospective carriers. Earlier this involved sending out bids to various carriers and then waiting for their responses. The responses were received via e-mail and the carrier who was selected was intimated via mail again. This was a slow process and a lot of time and effort was invested into this. However, Transport management software has drastically reduced the time and effort involved in spot bids.

Monitoring Spot Bids using TMS Monitoring Spot Bids using TMS
Monitoring Spot Bids Under a TMS

Transport management software has an online portal through which carriers can bid, through which they can enter details of load that they are willing to deliver. As soon as a bid is provided, an email is received by the company, indicating the presence of the bid. The bids can then be reviewed by the necessary department and once the specific carrier is selected, the portal will not take up any further bids. This provides better clarity for the company as well as to prospective carriers.

Here are the advantages of using the transport management system to monitor spot bids

  • Reduced time: Less amount of time spent on choosing the carrier. Since it is automated, the bids are collected all in the same place and can be reviewed efficiently. The most competitive bid can then be chosen.
  • Reduced effort: Less effort is required to contact vendors and to ask them to bid.
  • Preferred customers: The software also reaches out to preferred customers and gets their quotes quickly. This way the quotes that you are looking for will reach you soon.
  • Archive of bids: In the event that bids need to be cross checked or if earlier rates paid need to be verified, there are archives of previous bids that are available and which can be accessed easily.
  • The data that is available can be used to create trend charts to determine the latest in market pricing, rate of bidding and even cost variance.
  • Carriers who chose to bid and others who declined the business can also be identified using the software. That way, those who declined previously need not be contacted later. Or, if too many carriers are declining bids then it would be time to study the causes and determine what is keeping them away. It could be that not enough time is being provided to place bids or the tender is not clear enough.

Research has found that the use of transportation management software for spot bids can reduce costs by at least 20%, which is considerable for companies with many inbound shipments.

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Long Term Focus areas for transport management software

There are many areas that transport management software can considerably improve and bring about drastic changes to way shipment are handled, however a few key areas are discussed here.

transportation management software Long Term Focus areas for transport management software

Lowering Costs

Transport management software reduces total costs in logistics and transportation by ensuring that transportation is carried out efficiently, with minimal possible time taken.

  • The shortest possible routes are taken
  • Orders are consolidated , therefore multiple orders which are available en route are picked up together and delivered, saving fuel costs
  • There is no requirement for a trained staff to be present at all times, thereby reducing unnecessary manpower.
  • There are other soft costs that are involved like the use of specific software which can be used for spot bidding. Such software help select the right carrier at the shortest possible time and reducing the need for multiple phone calls.
  • Other soft costs include, the complete transparency offered by such software, which allows status information to be accessed from mobile devices. This way the customer is made fully aware of the position of the goods and how long it would take to reach its destination. Here too, phone calls to carrier agencies to find out the status of the shipment are avoided.
  • The software also has the provision to store information about various carriers and their bids, the data can be retrieved and the information used to study trends and future prospects. This way an intelligent decision can be made based on previous experiences and without including a large amount of manpower to do it.

Time: Another important factor that transport management systems help to save is time. The considerable amount of support provided by the software helps reduce time considerably.

Automatic audit: The software provides an automatic audit of the contracture costs. The payments made to the carriers, the status of transportation, payment to suppliers and other factors are monitored intently with greater visibility. This allows for better functioning and any problems are addressed at the earliest. Not only does this rein in costs and time but it also helps in the better functioning of the company.

Asset utilization improvement: Transport management software helps in assessing the assets of the company and whether they are utilised to the maximum. This way the company’s inventory are studied and the managed appropriately to use everything to its maximum capacity, thereby driving profits and improving returns.

The crux of using a TSM is that all aspects of shipping are brought under a single control, which helps in efficient management and easier monitoring. These are essential tools which can strengthen the company’s business and tightening loose ends. Moreover, such software can be tailored to suit unique needs of every company, allowing it to serve its purpose and bring in improved profits.

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Improving Inbound: Switching to TMS-Based Control

1 Improving Inbound: Switching to TMS Based Control

Inbound transportation now plays a huge part in the overall supply chain management as companies become increasingly dependent on shipments from outside. Most companies, depend on multiple sources for their requirements and, since very few items are country made, most good are shipped from outside. This lays an increased stress to manage inbound shipments which are governed by numerous factors such as

  • Carriers
  • Suppliers
  • Trading partners

These factors also mask the status of delivery, leaving companies to straddle with poor pieces of information regarding shipment. This affects project timelines and, finally, delivery to customers.

Companies have begun to see an increasing need to control these factors and to monitor inbound transportation, in order to deliver better experiences to their customers.

Apart from the need to control the transportation time and to prioritize shipments, inbound management is also necessary to control costs. Additional costs during shipment may be caused due to the following:

  • No control over carriers- As suppliers decide the carriers, the lowest costing carrier may not be always chosen
  • Due to lack if integration, multiple shipments may be transported during different trips instead of all at once.
  • Lack of vehicular control would mean that some vehicles remained idle due to poor coordination while others went across regions unnecessarily, raising fuel costs.
  • The best route possible may not be chartered correctly resulting in increased fuel costs.

A transport management system, when installed, would ensure that all these factors are brought under the control of the company, reigning in control over

  • Cost
  • Time
  • Transparency

2 Improving Inbound: Switching to TMS Based Control

All inbound shipments will be

  • Integrated- therefore shipments from regions that are closer together will be picked up together and delivered, saving fuel as well as time
  • Monitored in real time- The status of transportation is available real time and can even be delivered to a mobile phone. This helps determine the transportation time and the period after which the shipment will be available for use. Any delays that occur during transportation will be relayed immediately which helps in planning.
  • Delivered to ensure customer satisfaction: Customers require on time delivery and consistent punctuality improves customer satisfaction. Another factor is customer demand, implying customer preferences for specific items delivered faster than usual times. Transport management would ensure that such items are sourced faster and delivered at the shortest possible time.
  • Rerouted or rebalanced en route- Inbound shipments can be managed even while on transit, so if there is a new order to be picked up, then a carrier can be rerouted in transit.

Opting for transport management system for inbound shipment will greatly improve multiple factors for the company. Most importantly it will help in managing external pressure from customers to deliver on time and to manage top management pressure to cut down costs. This has ensured that transport manage software are an integral part to not only improving inbound shipment but also to the growth of the company. Better time of delivery and better costs could only mean better growth.

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Why Fleet Management Software Is A Good Investment

Fleet Management Why Fleet Management Software Is A Good Investment

It is important that you have a reliable centralized system that facilitates easy management of fleet vehicles and field personnel across all cadres of the business system. Technology has given us more than we bargained for in the present day and thanks to that, we are able to do more in less time with less work load. One such system in the present day is the fleet management system that facilitates vehicle tracking and easy monitoring of your fleet and personnel on the field.

There have been quite a handful of systems available that can help your business to be more organized and monitor on the fleet front. Each of these systems is embedded with a complete measure of capabilities and special features that makes it very difficult for any business to take a call on which one will suit them the best. Companies today are offering fleet management solutions that can be used either online or can be installed as a software with regular updates from the provider.

Online systems are mostly “cloud” systems that can be accessed though a web interface and software systems are those that are installed in the businesses’ computer systems.

Reasons Why Fleet Management System is a Worthwhile Investment?

Single Point Data Storage

Have all data of all aspects of the business in a single place is a necessary for any organization. All information that is necessary pertaining to fleet management that includes cost calculations, documentations and receipts in one place makes it easy to monitor, organize and manage. This also includes driver records, tax records, maintenance records, endorsements, medical requirements of the drivers, etc.

Reminders and Alerts

Fleet management facilitates reminders and alerts that are required for licenses renewals, insurance renewals, tax filings, due dates for payments, vehicle maintenance, vehicle service requirements, driving license renewals, fuel checks, etc.

GPS Vehicle Tracking

The ability to know where your vehicles and personnel are, have been and heading to are important facets of any fleet management system. Vehicle tracking through GPS offers you all the information you need and what more this happens live on the move which helps to intimate vehicle supervisors in the case of any accidents or thefts. A small device is attached to the vehicle which facilitates real-time monitoring of these vehicles, goods and personnel.

Job and Dispatch Assignments

Jobs for on-field personnel can be assigned through system and their status can be updated which facilitates easy flow of information and fast processing especially in the case of express delivery of goods where customers can be informed from time to time about the progression of goods in transit.

How Fleet Management System impacts a Sustainable Transport Model?

Sustainable Transport Model How Fleet Management System impacts a Sustainable Transport Model?

The ultimate goal of any sustainable transport model is to ensure efficient transportation of products and services in large numbers. There are plenty of technologies, policies and systems that effect such transportation and one of the recent crops to make an impact at that is Fleet Management.

It is a comprehensive package that combines some powerful technology by the way of GPS, wireless communication units that communicate both ways, processing and communication units set-up on board and a hosted web application that illustrates mapping and vehicle telemetric data.

This system and the information that comes with it facilitate transport organizations to locate vehicles, monitor its routes, speed, direction of movement, etc. This comes in handy for those businesses that involve in multi-transportation of multiple consignments with multiple transits.

This packs a punch when it comes to working out a sustainable model for the business and hence has become one of the most compelling systems that help in increasing the bottom line of the business. Here is how it impacts the business;

Direct Impact on Reducing Environmental Pollution

With so many go-green campaigns being launched it sort of becomes compelling for all businesses to become eco-friendly and fleet management system is the step in the right direction for it. While every transport has to observe, monitor and reduce the carbon footprints it leaves behind, fleet management enables you to use lesser vehicles, manage fuel efficiently and offering you optimal routes and transit locations; thereby reducing vehicle running hours. Apart from that greener fleets are being encouraged by governments and such vehicles can save more than 40% of the regular fuel consumption which adds value not only to the environment but also the bottom-line of the business.

Reduces Cost

Fuel is already saved with the use of green technology and as mentioned it a situation that has cost cutting benefits too. The GPS tracking system enables businesses to keep an eye on their vehicles at all times and also have information regarding fuel consumption. It enables to monitor vehicle diagnostics, route efficiency, driver’s performance, apart from fuel consumption which offers valuable inputs that can help not only reduce social costs but can offer long term economic benefits too.

Increases Vehicle Efficiency

Routes can be prioritized and the shortest routes can be chosen vehicles that go for the long haul. It is also very effective in planning transit vehicles and monitoring the same. Such intrinsic planning helps in increasing overall vehicle efficiency and optimal usage can help in increasing the durability of transport vehicles.