With Valentine’s Day around the corner, relationships of all kinds are celebrated (or scrutinized) this month. For us in the transportation technology world, that means examining the importance of network connections and the value of collaborating with all members of the supply chain when it comes to evaluating a transportation solution. More importantly, why is it important to have a technology partner that fosters a collaborative relationship?
Today’s transportation management systems (TMS), much like relationships, come with many different ways of being connected. The most popular platforms fall into one of these categories:
On-premise or Installed: Technology is installed and runs on customer’s hardware, requiring administrative resources and additional cost for databases, infrastructure, and upgrades.
Hosted: Technology is access on-demand, but requires separate implementations for each user, and integrations for each carrier.
True SaaS: Technology runs on a single platform and the user accesses it via “the cloud”. This model allows multiple business partners to collaborate on the same platform.
As the supply chain industry moves towards a digital marketplace environment, the growing preference of industry experts is toward true SaaS TMS platforms. This emerging technology is accelerating the growth of transportation and logistics solutions. This centrally located software is highly secure and offers significant benefits over on-premise software or hosted systems.
What really makes a SaaS TMS platform unique are the intangible benefits that exist by being part of a community as opposed to simply working in silos within the four walls of an organization. With on-premise or hosted applications, the carrier has to integrate with each user separately. However, with a SaaS platform, once a carrier or supplier is in the network, it is connected to all appropriate partners. This intuitive connectivity creates competitive advantage in a number of ways, enabling a stronger and more collaborative relationship between companies and TMS providers.
All transactions flow through this central transportation command center, which allows the monitoring of critical activities in your supply chain. Because partners are all in the same environment, visibility is that much greater. Real-time communication is enhanced – every party knows what is happening, when, and why. Additionally, data and information within one system enables real-time analytics and performance metrics that are significantly more accurate and robust. Does your current TMS relationship provide unbiased transparency that propels your business forward?
Benchmarking With Better Data
True SaaS TMS solutions — with a large community of users — create a transportation network that processes millions of transactions across a single platform. As a result of this, transportation network data —such as rates, carrier performance, and transit times— provides comparable data sets to create market level indices. SaaS TMS solutions help improve performance by providing an industry frame of reference, beyond historical only company data, allowing unparalleled visibility to industry network data. SaaS transportation network members utilize quantitative benchmarking to identify ‘what’ can be improved, ‘why’ differences exist and ‘how’ to improve performance. By connecting with a supply chain partner that offers access to network data, companies are able to make smarter decisions for continuous improvement.
Network collaboration is considered to be one of the most significant benefits of a SaaS platform. All members of the network have the opportunity to connect with other network members for additional capacity and collaborative transportation opportunities. With greater visibility, businesses can share information faster and more efficiently. This facilitates collaborating with other vendors, carriers, and shippers to work across each other’s networks, sharing transportation assets and creating economies of scale. Shippers can leverage SaaS TMS to unleash rapid and significant change throughout the organization. Access to this type of collaboration within a transportation network is only available with a true SaaS platform.
Before committing to a relationship with a TMS provider for your business, ask the tough questions – “Is your SaaS TMS on a single instance, multi-tenant platform?” and “Do I gain access to the entire transportation network with unfiltered, unbiased data?” Supply chain visibility, business intelligence, as well as network connectivity and collaboration are key reasons why true SaaS technology is becoming the preferred TMS solution – and the best relationship in order to build a better a supply chain together.
Dan Dershem, President and CEO of LeanLogistics, is responsible for the overall business strategy and corporate leadership of LeanLogistics. Dan oversees the day-to-day operations of LeanLogistics as well as develops the executive strategy for business growth to drive maximum value for LeanLogistics’ clients. In addition, Dan Dershem, holds responsibility as Senior Vice President of Global Logistics, CHEP. Within the CHEP organization, Dan is responsible for the development and implementation of the global logistics strategy for CHEP, including global technology roll-out along with cost and service performance.