Watch this video to learn how shippers can help their frontline workers, C-suite executives, and drivers work more efficiently by using the best resources available. Additionally we cover how shipper organizations can align internal stakeholders to achieve corporate goals and pool their resources to solve difficult supply chain issues. Read the full Q&A transcription below.
Q: It seems every company is dealing with labor shortages amid the Covid pandemic. Shippers are also dealing with transportation capacity shortages. What are some examples of how TMS technology can lighten the burden on workers from the frontlines to the C-suite and help shippers utilize their resources more effectively?
A: The first one that jumps to mind, and it’s very important, is the amount of time it takes for a dispatcher to prepare the load. If a dispatcher goes to prepare a truck to be delivered to the market they literally will have hundreds of orders that go onto that truck. And then that truck has to be unloaded in the right order. And so making sure that the orders are properly put onto the right truck on the right pallets in the right way, and that loads are delivered in the right route is critical for shippers.
If you have a piece of software, that software will do that same eight-hour task in a matter of minutes. And so what this enables is for dispatchers to handle more trucks and more loads per day. It also allows for those trucks to be loaded more efficiently. Additionally, it’s about wait time. When these trucks are delivered, when they pull up to the warehouse with the delivery, the amount of time they have to wait is time that they’re not driving to the next stop.
Making sure that these trucks are arriving in the smallest window from a weight perspective when they arrive at the facility also has tremendous return for the shipper company. The good news is that load planning is built into the PCS transportation management platform. PCS makes dispatchers more productive. It also makes drivers more productive by simply reducing the wait time. Thirdly, it makes sure that we’re not wasting time by driving empty miles to pick up loads. In all of these different ways the platform enables our shippers to be able to easily reduce the labor footprint.
Q: With all the chaos of the past two years, it is easy for shippers to get in a “firefighting” mode. Do you have some suggestions for how they can use TMS systems to create organizational alignment and get everyone on the same page, so to speak? What are the most important areas of visibility?
A: I would say a TMS is all about planning. It’s about optimizing. It’s about executing. And what really underscores those three cases, if you will, is visibility. The fact that you’re using a TMS, if that TMS gives you complete visibility, is what creates organizational alignment. I know where my inefficiencies are. I know what my capacity is and I know where my empty miles are. I know where the gaps are in the process. So it’s all about leveraging the data that exists within a TMS system in the form of business intelligence so that I can ask questions of my team about my operation to create that alignment.
Then I can take the data that I get and share that data across my entire organization so that every person who’s involved in the transportation process has a clear understanding of exactly how the process is running. So that’s one key area. The second key area is to produce an optimized route and schedules so that I’m not wasting any time, and so my drivers know exactly what they need to do. That alignment doesn’t just go upward from the transportation manager. It also goes downward to the drivers and making sure that the drivers understand exactly what’s expected of them. Leveraging a TMS, especially a PCS shipper TMS platform, gives shippers the ability to create alignment, top to bottom in the organization from the driver to the C-suite. And it does this by making data available and by running a smooth operation where drivers know exactly what’s expected.
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