The value of retail shipping efficiency has never been more important. According to Entrepreneur.com, the value of worldwide e-commerce sales will grow 246% by 2021, amassing a financial gain of more than $3.2 trillion. In conjunction, demand for a better, more effective way to differentiate a business from its competitors will swell, and shippers continue to fight for a bigger, better shipping mousetrap. SaaS TMS functions are the answer, and shippers need to know why.
Challenges of traditional, legacy TMS capabilities derive from the need for a global solution to freight management. Over recent decades, the global supply chain grew reliant on China and the need for cheaper freight and service. Today’s customers expect a low-cost, immediate shipping option, and companies without this capability will lose revenue.
Meanwhile, limited TMS capabilities include a lack of visibility and poor compatibility with the advancing systems used in e-commerce. Lack of visibility implies a lack of real-time inventory management controls. While this might not be a problem for shippers with excess inventory on hand, such failures leave little room for error when disruption arises.
For those still unconvinced, ask a final question. Does your TMS offer the ability to connect with Amazon, eBay and Alibaba? If not, you are leaving money and risk on the table. “According to a 2017 International Post Corporation (IPC) survey of 29,000 International customers in 30 countries, 53% of all consumer international ecommerce purchases go through just three marketplaces: Amazon, eBay and Alibaba. Marketplaces can help solve currency conversion issues and provide international exposure to many customers to create potentially tremendous new business opportunities.” So, the problems are evident. What can shippers do about them?
Deploying a cloud-based, subscription-modeled TMS, a.k.a. SaaS, gives shippers broad flexibility through adaptive programming. The off-site, third-party nature of a subscription solution opens the door to new SaaS TMS functions, such as integrated accounting services, auditing capabilities, reduced delay in reporting, increased transparency into freight management, and more.
These capabilities have a natural value in mitigating risks, such as the COVID-19 disruption.
For example, SaaS TMS functions that allow for rapid onboarding of new carriers and suppliers is an invaluable resource when suppliers and carriers lack inventory or shipping capacity to meet sudden demands.
Depending on the SaaS TMS functions available, whole webinars and learning modules may be available to help maximize return on investment (ROI). However, the best TMS functions are also often the simplest and most comprehensive. Instead of trying to focus on squeezing every drop of efficiency from all processes, take a broad approach to maximizing value. This allows for the continuous narrowing of TMS use to improve efficiency and reap the greatest benefit. So, shippers in search of the better shipping mousetrap should follow these steps to maximize value of SaaS TMS functions:
The state of global shipping continues to move in response to the coronavirus crisis and the need to fulfill more orders as quickly as possible. Since maintaining business continuity is more important during times of disruption, shippers need to implement a SaaS TMS immediately. Furthermore, the long-term benefits of SaaS platforms far outweigh the challenges of implementation and building support for change management. SaaS TMS functions can support the whole operation from the first hint of procurement through final mile. Of course, an expert vendor partnership, such as working with Cerasis, will further maximize the value of the TMS too.
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