Archive for Transportation Management Systems

Competing in an Amazon World – Technology is the Key

One of the most discussed topics in supply chain management today is the “Amazon Effect.” Clearly, the Amazon business model has affected many industries, including retail, manufacturing and distribution. Consumers now expect — and get — free next-day or second-day delivery on everything from electronics to shoes. To ask your customers to accept anything less in an Amazon world would be like telling your teenager that their iPhone is going away, but they are welcome […]

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Creating a More Stable Environment for Navigating Demand and Rate Changes Using Transportation Optimization

A sophisticated transportation management system (TMS) can help companies overcome the challenges of modern shipping. Transportation modeling technology can help shippers evaluate the effects of uncertainty and variability in their networks. In this way, they can effectively manage logistics across an entire, dispersed ecosystem. Modeling helps users to understand and prepare for the impact of any potential changes before they are operationalized. These changes can range from expanding networks to carrier flux or even to growing businesses, all of which require adjustments to logistics.

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Is Your Routing Guide Ready for a Tune Up?

Asking, “What’s the point of conducting regular procurement events?” is just like asking, “What’s the point of conducting routine car maintenance?” You could skip some maintenance, but you’d probably pay for it in the end. And the same goes for procurement events. Whether it’s your supply chain or your car, regular “maintenance” can keep things running smoothly and save you money. To stick with my metaphor, all the parts in your car need to run […]

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The Myths and Realities of Implementing a TMS

As a company grows and expands its geographic footprint by procuring and selling goods around the globe, its supply chain naturally becomes more complex. As a result, a savvy supply chain manager will often look to deploy a transportation management system [TMS] to plan and run the company’s transport operations. Unfortunately there are some lingering myths about implementing a TMS that have kept many businesses from transitioning away from outdated legacy systems. Here are the […]

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Home Delivery Benchmark – A Detailed View

The strategies, tactics and technology of home delivery are evolving quickly and constantly. It’s tough to keep up with the innovation that is happening in home delivery and also sort out the reality from the hype in the press. As Chris Cunnane described in his report Descartes Evolution – Logistics in Motion, we conducted a survey of a number of our customers to get a broader sense of what was actually happening and how retailers […]

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TMS ROI: Five Pitfalls that Will Drive You Mad

Many times when a company implements a new transportation management system (TMS), it expects a certain level of savings based on what was promised during the sales cycle. However, a year or two into using the new system, those promised savings often remain unrealized. While there are many reasons for this “TMS disconnect,” the most common include: 1. Trying to force the TMS to match your current processes A new TMS implementation offers the perfect […]

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Does Your Company Have A Solid Transportation Procurement Strategy?

The logistics marketplace is dynamic and demands attention to truly optimize and enable strategic advantage.  Supply Chain professionals have a tremendous amount of demands and pressures to be aware of and transportation procurement is one of those pressures.  There is a need, a growing need to drive better performance and outcomes from sourcing events. Let’s consider some constraints.  What is preventing your organization from evaluating the current market for logistics services and challenging your existing […]

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Guest Commentary: The Tougher Challenge for a TMS is Execution

As a follow-up to my previous commentary, which focused on setting the playing field for transportation routing algorithms and the fact that these are not really “optimizations” but heuristic algorithms, as well as the fact that modeling the constraints is at least as important as getting a lower cost, I want to now shift the focus to the tougher challenge for a transportation management system (TMS) – execution of the recommendations. The tougher challenge that […]

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Social Networking, TMS, and Mega Trends: My CSCMP Conference Agenda

Are you attending the CSCMP Annual Global Conference later this month in Denver? It’s is one of the best conferences in the supply chain and logistics industry to learn and network. The challenge, of course, is choosing which sessions to attend, spread out across twenty-six tracks. Let me help you. Below are the sessions that I am participating in focused on social networking, transportation management systems, and “mega” supply chain trends. I hope you stop […]

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Supplier Relationship Management Functionality Comes to TMS

I was invited to the MercuryGate user conference this year. MercuryGate is a SaaS provider of transportation management systems (and a Logistics Viewpoints sponsor). What most struck me was an application the company calls Carma (Carrier Management). Carma has been out for a few years, but I had never done a deep dive on it. This, I believe, is differentiated functionality; I’m not aware of any other transportation management system (TMS) with similar functionality. TMS […]

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