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TMS solutions were among the first enterprise applications to move to the cloud, and software-as-a-service is the preferred deployment model today. Cloud-based TMS solutions save time, money and give shippers a scalable solution that can grow with their business. 

These were among the points made by Chris Noble, senior product manager of PCS Software, when he recently discussed the benefits of cloud based TMS systems with Adrian Gonzales, president of Adelante SCM and host of Talking Logistics.

One of the primary benefits is the ease of use. On-premise solutions require extensive investments in hardware and data redundancy, such as server racks, and an IT team to maintain these systems. On-premise solutions also need a disaster relief plan or secondary service in case something goes wrong. 

With SaaS, the provider takes care of data redundancy and security, which all but eliminates the overhead for maintaining IT systems, since everything is in the cloud and accessed via the internet. “It is on the software provider to have the 99.5% uptime. They’re leveraging the solutions that are out there,” Noble said.

Cloud-based solutions are also portable and can be accessed from anywhere, providing added convenience. Even more important is the scalability that cloud-based solutions offer. With SaaS, companies can scale up and down as their needs grow. 

For companies looking to invest in a transportation management system for the first time or replace an outdated solution, Noble said they should look for a scalable, modular type of TMS solution to navigate the road ahead. 

Besides evaluating whether a TMS meets your present needs, Gonzales emphasized the need to consider future needs, such as if you decide to add a private fleet.

“As the business changes and business needs change, you want a solution that will be there for a long time,” Noble said. He added that TMS providers are continually making investments in software to make it better, faster and stronger. 

View this short video to see the full discussion that Noble and Gonzales had about the latest developments in cloud-based shipper TMS systems.

It is more important than ever for shippers to become a ‘shipper of choice’ to effectively source capacity. A capacity shortage is affecting the entire transportation industry, but shippers can set themselves apart in the eyes of carriers by doing two things better than the rest: minimizing dwell time and improving communication.

Shippers can accomplish both with a transportation management system (TMS), according to Chris Noble, senior product manager of PCS Software. During a recent webinar, Noble discussed with supply chain logistics analyst and advisor Adrian Gonzales, president of Adelante SCM, how shippers can use a TMS to better source and retain capacity.

Dwell time is a top concern among transportation providers because it creates a ripple effect throughout their networks. It can cause drivers to miss their reloads, to run out of legal driving hours, or not arrive home on time to be with their families.

TMS platforms that connect shippers and carriers give both sets of users insights by capturing and analyzing data to identify arrival and departure times. If there are consistent delays, carriers can use data to steer conversations with shippers, and vice versa.

Carriers have options in today’s market, and “if I am looking at two shippers or two consignees with similar lanes, similar origin, definition and similar rate, I’m going to pick the one that I can get into and out of,” Noble said.

Another way that shippers can use a TMS to reduce dwell time is by identifying when it occurs. For example, it might take a consignee six hours to unload a truck when drivers arrive at 6 a.m., but the dwell time drops to one or two hours if drivers come at 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. With these insights a shipper could work with carriers to create an ideal schedule.

The last couple of years have prompted shippers and carriers to remove data silos and increase collaboration. Historically there has been an “us versus them” mentality where shippers want to get the best discount and carriers want to get top dollar for a lane. Today they are working together to create a win-win scenario, said Gonzales.

Data must be at the center of any effective carrier and shipper conversations. “Grounding the conversations in data will typically provide a more robust and less emotional conversation,” Noble said. Using a TMS platform that gives shippers and carriers a single version of the truth helps both parties create mutually beneficial transportation plans.

Please watch this short video clip to better understand how shippers can use a TMS to share visibility and transparency of important data with carriers.

Shippers take multiple approaches to transportation procurement, from conducting annual bids and mini-bids to using the spot market, but in today’s operating environment no one can afford to take a set-it-and-forget-it approach.

In response to dynamic market conditions, a growing number of shippers and carriers are finding ways to work together to create mutually beneficial outcomes.

Chris Noble, senior product manager of PCS Software, sat down with Adrian Gonzales, president of Adelante SCM and host of Talking Logistics, to discuss how the procurement process has changed.

Pre-pandemic, there was typically an annual bid process whereby shippers would contract with carriers, line up their routing guide, make buying commitments, and then execute the plan with monthly or quarterly reviews. All of that changed as price volatility increased the differential between contract rates and the spot market.

Unfortunately, many shippers had to discard contract rates because carriers weren’t accepting loads for various reasons and move to the spot market.

Today, the bid process from a rating perspective is shorter, and shippers and carriers have to communicate more. “When you’re in a rising rate environment or a fluctuating rate environment, which is where we are, you really have to go back to the data,” Noble said, adding that it is essential to have access to information on lanes, historical rates and previous business practices.

Gonzalez noted that a transportation management system is a business intelligence and analytics tool rich in data. It can help provide a single source of truth for both parties to rely on when having conversations and making decisions. “You can take historical and operational real-time data and leverage that as you’re having conversations with your carriers,” he said.

As part of the new normal, both Noble and Gonzales say to expect a lot more communication and collaboration. What’s more, the ability to make decisions and have conversations based on data means everybody is grounded, and no one is trying to hide information.

Please watch this short video clip to see the full conversation between Adrian Gonzales and Chris Noble on this topic.

The company shares recent advancements, including platform enhancements, new capabilities and strategic partnership integrations

HOUSTON – October 20, 2021 – PCS Software (PCS), the leading AI-powered transportation management (TMS) platform provider for shippers, carriers and brokerages in North America, continued to build on its innovation efforts in the third quarter by implementing new capabilities, announcing strategic industry partnerships and streamlining operations for its customers. These efforts were concentrated in four key focus areas: automation, mobility, payments, and user experience (UX).

Automation

Throughout the quarter, PCS Software enabled more third-party integrations and subsequently added several new features to the platform that help deliver true end-to-end automation. First, PCS now offers its customers access to Business Intelligence giving them added data and interface capabilities. By leveraging Business Intelligence, shippers and carriers alike will no longer have to manage their data manually, but instead have unfettered access to all data and the ability to distill key data automatically across their networks to create custom reports and dashboards.

Further, PCS has completely integrated with QuickBooks, TruckerTools, Project 44 and GeoTab to bring together the functionalities of multiple systems into one, easy-to-use interface, including:

Mobility

To untether logistics professionals from their desks and take management on the go, PCS has added new capabilities to its Mobile Express app, including Asset Tracking & Management and Mobile Dispatch. Now, both office personnel and dispatchers can access the locations of their tractors, trailers and loads through the mobile application versus solely at their desktop. Additionally, dispatchers can now dispatch directly from their mobile device, as well.

Payments

During Q3, PCS released PCS Payments, giving users the ability for their customers to pay online, eliminating the need for manual processes like submitting checks. Once paid, the records are automatically logged into the accounting system, streamlining back-end operations for users.

New features have been added to the tool.  In addition of credit card method of payment, customers can also pay the invoices by ACH – a type of electronic bank-to-bank payment – and have the option to charge back (surcharge) the processing fees to end customers.

User Experience

Lastly, to improve User Experience, PCS has debuted a redesigned customer portal that allows customers to log into the portal directly from the website and create and track support tickets and system changes requests. New customers also now have the ability to track implementation status from the portal, as well.

“The supply chain landscape continues to rapidly evolve and face challenges unique to the industry. To help our customers make running their business easier, PCS Software understands that our platform needs to continually offer the latest and greatest capabilities and experiences,” said Paul Beavers, chief technology officer at PCS Software. “As peak season nears, innovations around these core functionalities – namely automation, mobility, and contactless payments – will be critical to ensure companies can be successful on the road.”

About PCS Software

PCS Software is an AI-driven transportation management platform leader fielding disruptive innovation for mid-to-large sized enterprise shippers, carriers, and brokers in the United States and Canada. Cloud-based, API-integrated, PCS Software automates the entire transportation logistics operation via a single, comprehensive solution. Accessible via the web or the companion mobile app, the PCS platform delivers powerful functionality to manage rate and route optimization, mode selection, dispatch/tendering, carrier and fleet management, safety & compliance, freight yard management, settlement/accounting and more. For more information, please visit www.PCSSoft.com.

Alan Shaw joins leadership team to elevate customer experience and drive ongoing transformation

HOUSTON – (Oct. 14, 2021) – PCS Software (PCS), the leading AI-powered transportation management platform provider for shippers, carriers and brokerages in North America, has named Alan Shaw as its new Chief Customer Officer (CCO). Alan will focus on transforming the customer journey to deliver a fast, easy, responsive, and pre-active experience to every PCS user.

“Alan has a unique blend of skills in strategy, operations, and customer-facing delivery that fit perfectly with our vision,” said Chris Poelma, CEO at PCS Software. “As PCS evolves and expands, the addition of the CCO role with Alan at the helm is vital to ensuring we are offering the best onboarding, training, support and experience in the industry.”

Alan brings 20 years of experience in helping customers to deploy, adopt, and realize value from technology investments. As CCO, Alan will oversee various teams, including services, support, operations and the program management office. Firmly establishing a customer-centric culture, his top priorities include streamlining and automating onboarding and enablement, delivering a robust, self-service friendly support model, and strengthening key processes to allow PCS to scale quickly.

“PCS is a high growth company that offers a truly differentiated platform to an expanding customer base in a critical industry. All of these factors paired with the opportunity to take PCS to the next level through CX is what motivates me,” said Alan. “By putting an emphasis on delivering value and driving outcomes, we’ll be able to scale capabilities, drive adoption and ultimately help customers save time, reduce costs, and grow their businesses faster.”

Prior to joining PCS, Alan held several key leadership positions within SaaS leader BMC Software. For much of his 13-year tenure, he led the company’s Corporate Initiatives team which focuses on driving strategic growth and business transformation, including establishing the Chief Customer Officer role, supporting the company’s evolution towards a cloud-based model, and modernizing its portfolio. Most recently, Alan headed up operations across multiple lines of business and the product organization.

Alan received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s in Business from Emory University.

For more information on PCS Software and its leadership team, visit www.pcssoft.com.

About PCS Software

PCS Software is an AI-driven transportation management platform leader fielding disruptive innovation for mid-to-large sized enterprise shippers, carriers, and brokers in the United States and Canada. Cloud-based, API-integrated, PCS Software automates the entire transportation logistics operation via a single, comprehensive solution. Accessible via the web or the companion mobile app, the PCS platform delivers powerful functionality to manage rate and route optimization, mode selection, dispatch/tendering, carrier and fleet management, safety & compliance, freight yard management, settlement/accounting and more. For more information, please visit www.PCSSoft.com.

New features provide greater fleet visibility without third-party tool integration 

HOUSTON –May 5, 2021 PCS Software (PCS), the leading AI-powered transportation management platform provider for shippers, carriers and brokerages in North America, has announced the release of a new Asset Tracking & Management (AT&M) module to our AI TMS platform. The new capabilities give PCS customers greater fleet-wide management & visibility – without the need for a third-party software for more cost efficient, effective management from any mobile or desktop device.   (more…)

Ignite brings together and in-person, supply chain industry experts, technologists, and business leaders to explore the critical role of technologies in the effective management of transportation logistics and the nexus between technology and business growth 

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Transportation tech leader helps shippers and carriers digitize operations with contactless shipping documentation 

HOUSTON –March 1, 2021 – PCS Software (PCS), a leading AI-driven transportation management platform provider for shippers, carriers and brokerages in North America, is making the supply chain safer and more efficient with new contactless, paperless bills of lading (BOL) and proof of delivery (POD) functionality added to its TMS platform. From electronic document management to touchless facility gate access, PCS customers can now manage these formerly paper-based workflows directly from their mobile device.   (more…)

Innovations enable real-time asset tracking and on-the-go dispatch management

Houston – March 5, 2021 – PCS Software (PCS), an AI-driven transportation management platform provider for shippers, carriers and brokerages in North America, announced today two new advancements to its Mobile Express driver management and communication system, part of the PCS Supply Chain Logistics Platform.  (more…)

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