The global trade volume is growing each day with logistics networks getting complicated and growing in volume as well. The cost of shipping extends way beyond shipping costs. Furthermore, shipping doesn’t only include the cost aspect. If you are looking to gain a competitive edge in the market, it is essential to shorten the time-to-market, which can be achieved through a quicker logistics network. A transport management system (TMS) can help companies move freight from the origin to destination reliably, efficiently, and cost-effectively. Leveraging a transport management system helps companies to maximize the revenues based on process enforcements, optimizations, and analytics. A transport management system can help companies save on freight costs and perform better in service levels. So how does a transport management system actually benefit a company?
Increased customer service
A transport management system offers reporting and analytics capabilities that analyzes the effects of business decisions on the logistics network. Shipping carriers can be chosen based on various criteria ranging from cost, transit time, and insurance limits. Companies choose multiple carriers depending on the requirement they have at that particular moment. A transport management system with a thorough reporting capability can show a detailed report on which carrier got the product to the customer on time reliably. This way they can choose carriers based on their efficiency without compromising on customer service.
Increased warehouse efficiency
It would be confusing at the first sight on how a transport management system can help improve warehouse efficiency. However, it is evident that if a company can fully trust its logistics network, they can operate with lower inventory. Additionally, using a transport management system decreases time on freight management, which can then be used for other warehouse duties. Furthermore, a transport management system decreases data entry errors and improves the warehouse efficiency to further cost savings.
Cash flow improvements
In a traditional freight management system, a lot of expenses are incurred in terms of invoicing costs, which could be as high as $11 per freight invoice. Employing a transport management system can reduce the overall cost to just a fraction of that by using freight accounting, auditing, freight payment, and consolidation services. Companies can save costs further by employing an outsourced provider of freight accounting services.
Reduction in inventory
With a transport management system in place, you can be confident that your customers receive the shipments on time. This would allow you to plan your inventory on hand more effectively. Gaining an accurate forecast of your inventory can essentially allow the company to operate with lower inventory.
New delivery capabilities
A proper transport management system offers companies with the ability to optimize shipment options. For instance, a company may want to pool distribution points or setup inbound programs between multiple locations, which increases the efficiency and cost.
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The transportation industry is a major contributor to an economy’s growth. In the US, the transportation industry is entering into a new year that has the potential to be even stronger than the previous one. There is an increasing demand for shippers globally, especially from e-commerce companies. This means that more opportunities are going to open for players in freight transportation. Companies in freight transportation will have great opportunities in 2018 to take advantage of the high demand for shippers. Furthermore, declining profit margins and the demand for scalable technology will result in more carriers using digital channels to sell their product directly to shippers. Here are four trends in the freight transportation industry that you can expect to see this year:
Evolution of technology
As the years go by, players in the freight transportation industry are embracing newer technologies. In fact, Uber Freight, which launched last year is an app for freight that operates like Uber’s ride-sharing service. Both Convoy and Amazon have apps that target on-demand freight, as well. These apps operate by matching trucking companies with shippers who have freight that needs to move. Another potential disruptor is the autonomous vehicle boom. Tesla has already unveiled their electric semi-truck, which has a range of 500 miles on one charge. This seems highly promising and as per reports, the pre-orders are piling in from large asset companies, which clearly indicates the growing popularity of this technology.
In the freight transportation industry, there is low truck supply and high freight demand. One of the reasons for tightened capacity is the ongoing driver shortage. Year after year, older drivers are retiring with fewer younger drivers replacing them. Furthermore, the work is difficult as it involves driving long distances, long working hours, being away from family for long periods of time, and less-than-ideal pay. Another factor that is impacting capacity is the increasing government regulations such as the electronic logging devices mandate. The ELD mandate requires all motor carriers to install electronic devices in their trucks that will automatically track drivers’ hours of service. Most smaller carriers have become compliant, but some are having issues with the cost of installing the devices and even more dislike the automatic tracking of their movements.
Mobile technology will be central to trends in the freight transportation industry in 2018. Truckers will begin using more technology in the cab which will result in reduced delays associated with routing while reducing the amount of work required by truckers. Automating the process will reduce the amount of time drivers spend waiting at yard gates, for unloading or loading processes. Through mobile technology, drivers can receive real-time updates, avoid accidental violations of hours of service requirements, monitor fuel costs and track maintenance and simplify other processes along the way.
Skyrocketing spot rates
Spot rates were already on the rise in 2017 and are expected to do so throughout 2018 as well. This trend goes hand in hand with the capacity crunch. The rise in freight demand and reduced supply (available trucks) causes rates to rise. There are mainly two types of rates in the transportation industry – spot market rates and contract rates. Spot rates are those that are quoted on the spot and are typically done for freight that is ready to move. Contract rates refer to the ones that are locked in with a carrier via contract with the shipper and are usually based on a year-long estimate of freight volume. The likely outcome of increased truck rates will be the transition from highway transport to rail freight.
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There is an unprecedented amount of information available in the transportation industry today, which contains immense potential for deriving insights that aid in planning and managing transportation networks. This data is captured from various sources such as onboard sensors and data collection points introduced by passenger counting systems, systems scheduling, asset management systems, ticketing and fare collection systems, and vehicle location systems. Players in the transportation industry can leverage advanced analytical techniques such as predictive analytics to use the available data to improve operations, reduce costs and better serve travelers.
How can predictive analytics help?
Any technology that can improve efficiency on a “more is less” paradigm has the capability of making things much easier for both transit agencies and the passengers they serve. Predictive analytics can fill that role to some degree. With the help of predictive analytics, transportation companies can answer the question of “What’s the best possible outcome?” instead of explaining prior history. In this manner, it can help them with many different capacities, from vehicle fleet maintenance to planning new lines of services. Let us explore some of the critical areas in which predictive analytics will help the transportation industry players:
- Predictive analytics can help companies to determine the impact of unplanned events such as a transit labor strike on transportation utilization and the local economy.
- Transit agencies can also understand how subway line closures, planned road-works or transit maintenance projects can affect public transport. They can then use this insight to plan the optimum change in transit schedules and communication strategy to deal with the impact.
- Identify and predict the likely occurrence of routine unplanned service incidents like a traffic accident or vehicle breakdown, and suggest optimum responses.
- Predictive analytics can model the impact of various proposed urban development projects to transportation and help in the identification or alteration of the projects to achieve sustainability objectives while supporting the need for mobility.
- Companies in the transportation industry can pinpoint events such as bus breakdowns, late-arriving buses, or signal outages that have the highest economic impact to a transit agency and recommend ways to eliminate the events or reduce the effect.
- Predictive analytics can help transportation players to predict the impact of the planned expansion of transportation networks by having a clear understanding of the patterns of usage.
- Transportation agencies can understand when the vehicles require maintenance well in advance with the help of predictive analytics. Such advanced analytics capabilities help to identify irregularities and forecast a range of asset performance risks before trouble arises in the case of vehicles owned by the transportation agency.
- With the help of predictive analytics, public transportation companies can predict significant events or days during which they would experience high demand for services. They can adjust or supplement their facilities accordingly to accommodate visitors better and avoid putting additional cars on the road that cause congestion.
Recent technological advancements and innovations are transforming business operations in every industry, including the logistics industry. The service providers in the logistics industry have shifted their focus from building their infrastructural capabilities to adopting big data and analytics-driven economy. Being the backbone of business and trade across the globe, the logistics industry is set to witness trends that can transform its future. With the rise in digital transformation, new entrants, changing customer preferences and expectation, and competitive business models are changing the logistics landscape. Apart from these, there are a few factors that are expected to drive growth opportunities in the logistics and transportation industry.
Technologically Competent Workforce
With the rising mobile and internet penetration in the market, the workforce is equipped with the necessary technical know-how and expect the same from their work environment. Technology has made life easy and streamlined business processes by allowing employees to multi-task, seek instant gratification, and confidently make strategic decisions. As a result, the service providers in the logistics industry will have to adapt its equipment and management techniques to suit the needs of the future workforce.
Evolving Consumer Behavior
The consumer buying patterns and shopping behavior has constantly evolved over the years as a result of wide availability of products, easy accessibility, high level of customer awareness, and the advent of e-commerce businesses. Of all the factors that are impacting consumer behavior, e-commerce has driven brought about major changes in the logistics industry and its operations, which has pushed the service providers to adjust their fulfillment practices, ensure cost-effective delivery options, and improve customer service. As a result, the logistics service providers are advised to leverage predictive analytics, business analytics, and other advanced data analytics solutions to gain actionable insights to improve decision-making.
Increasing Connectivity in the Logistics Industry
The passenger transportation industry has witnessed a sudden surge in revenue, competition, and market players, thanks to the uberization phenomenon that has changed the way people commute. It won’t be long till the commercial transportation or the logistics industry adopts the uber-like service models. As a result, companies will be able to book their shipments or vessels through an app, which will not only allow them to check for the nearest truck location but also book it in one go without any haggling.
Unstable Political Landscape Across the Globe
Recent upheavals in the political landscape across the globe have resulted in the fragmented market scenario and heightened the security concerns for the transportation industry. The developed markets are nearly saturated and are not as cost-effective as compared to the emerging markets, which is why businesses are turning to low-cost and flexible routes for their logistics needs. Additionally, the increased usage of cloud-based technology by logistics service providers and the recent cyber-security attacks has raised several eyebrows on security and monitoring capabilities of the players in the logistics industry.
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In today’s complex business environment, the salesforce is on the front line of every business development to solve client problems and generate better returns on investment. Also, the salesforce is an indispensable part of any organization to carry out effective business. In the aviation industry, salesforce helps companies to generate leads, develop robust customer solutions, and provide customer service. To respond to pressures from customers and competitors, organizations in the aviation landscape are devising robust salesforce analytics solutions. Salesforce analytics helps companies leverage the use of effective tools to effectively target and assess needs of the customers to deliver sustainable and valuable relationship to the customers. Through robust salesforce analytics, organizations can further target the right customers; thereby, increasing shares and profits of the company.
Quantzig’s salesforce analytics solution helps the client emphasize on business culture, recruiting, and training of working sales professionals to deliver customer satisfaction. The solution also provides a deep-dive assessment of the employees in terms of their performance management. Moreover, salesforce analytics also helps the client devise effective customer retention strategies to improve ROI.
With many years of experience in carrying out research activities for considerable number of customers, a leading general aviation client wanted to assess the performance of their salesforce. The client wanted to optimize their salesforce to accelerate sales, improve customer service, and optimize marketing campaigns. To retain their respective position in the coming years, the client also wanted to make the customer interaction smarter to improve customer satisfaction levels. Moreover, the client wanted to increase the productivity of the employees to deliver smart and more personalized customer experiences. The general aviation client also wanted to effectively utilize the sales data to increase sales and maximize returns on investment (ROI).
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Salesforce Analytics Solution Benefits
Our extensive research data from both internal and external sources helped the client optimize sales process and maximize the ROI. The client was able to enhance their customer service and improve retention rate of the employees. Also, with the help of Quantzig’s salesforce analytics solutions, the client kept their employees motivated, designed incentives, devised compensation plans, and enhanced their capabilities. They also leveraged the use of salesforce effectiveness tools to drive competition in the market and effectively profiled the needs of the customers.
Salesforce Analytics Solution Predictive Insights:
- Improve sales training to facilitate value creation
- Measure performance of the workforce on a timely basis
- Measure the sales representatives based on pre-decided set of metrics
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The transportation industry can leverage predictive analytics and data mining techniques to find solutions to transport problems such as traffic and transport network congestion across the globe. Predictive analytics can be used to analyze the vast amounts of information generated through internal and external sources such as live public transit data, train schedules, and bus feeds. Such insights procured through the use of predictive analytics can be utilized to plan routes, reduce traffic and bottlenecks, and get individuals from one place to the other. Public transport authorities and private enterprises can exploit the insights received from predictive analytics tools to alert passengers and individuals about routes that are congested and overloaded; thereby, devising new re-routing strategies. (more…)