TMS Data: What Should a Transportation Management System Track?

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Implementing a TMS opens the door to new insights and advanced reporting capabilities. The right application and aggregation of TMS data empower shippers with the information necessary to achieve end-to-end supply chain visibility, understand freight costs, and plan for changes in demand. With approximately 51% of companies likely to use a TMS that resides within the cloud, says Bridget McCrea of Logistics Management, it is imperative to ensure your system tracks the right TMS data. Consider these top reporting and data capabilities that must be ingrained within your TMS platform.

Freight Data Analysis

The freight data analysis report is the catchall report used to evaluate overall freight spend. It includes a comprehensive review of all information contained within subsequent reports. Furthermore, it estimates what were the modes used, shipments tendered, and other activities reflecting the best-in-case scenario for cost management.

Freight Invoicing

Increased freight invoicing capabilities with TMS data-driven insights allow shippers to understand where the money is going. Freight invoicing reports give rise to the creation of carriers used reports, showing a full breakdown of carrier and mode use frequency. As a result, shippers can use this information to redefine mode selection in future tenders to optimize transportation spend.

Freight Shipment Summary

The freight shipment summary provides a snapshot for a given reporting period that would be useful in sharing how a TMS has impacted overall freight spend for shareholders. Furthermore, the freight shipment activity log provides a one-stop means of seeing actual freight spend versus projected spate freight spend.

Visualized Reports of Carriers Used

While the freight data analysis and freight invoicing reports provide some insight into carrier utilization, another report within your TMS data should give a visualized review of carriers used. This per shipment report shows the use of carriers, including the top shipments by weight and top carriers by the number of packages.

How to Evaluate, Select & Build the Case for A TMS

Shipments by Zones

The next core report within your TMS should include a breakdown of shipments by zone. For example, shippers operating within the US should receive a breakdown of at least six zones and carrier utilization. Moreover, Mexico and Canada should have respective zones, if not sub-zones, reviewing a footprint of overall transportation flow.

Weight by Class

Finally, your TMS data should include a report of the weight by freight class. The weight by class shows the percentage of weights for a given class across the total weight by class. For example, shipments weighing more than 500 pounds and less than 1000 pounds would fall under the category of LTL shipping. Depending on the specific LTL rate and for the carrier selected, shipments weighing 500 to 600 pounds within this weight band would be divided by the total weight of the band allotment. Therefore, shippers can make informed decisions and avoid the extra costs that may arise when under or overrating of shipments occurs. Now, LTL carriers have a history of severely underrating shipments, but as carriers have listened to the issue, they are creating additional weight bands within a specific weight class to reduce the problem. Unfortunately, this amounts to higher freight spend for everyday shippers. Applying data collected through the TMS to understand weight class utilization can help shippers by empowering them with insight into how to consolidate shipments to take advantage of lower rate weight bands.

Capture the Right TMS Data to Improve Your Operation Now

Implementing a TMS can be challenging. Meanwhile, knowing what to do with TMS data complicates the issue. Fortunately, Cerasis takes the time to make sense of data through advanced reporting and drill-down capabilities. Instead of trying to figure out data on your own, make sure your TMS provider maximizes your return on investment, which builds their reputation and yours at the same time. If you are ready to get started, schedule a demonstration with Cerasis online today.

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