4 Ways an FMS Improves Retail Operations
Navigating the supply chain is much easier when you utilize the best technology. For retailers from ‘mom & pop’ small stores to Fortune 500 industries, shipping products to and from their locations is a vital component of their daily operations. To accomplish this task efficiently, retailers often reach out to 3PL’s or third-party logistics companies to help them create freight management software solutions that arm them with an all-in-one freight solution. Furthermore, they show them how FMS improves retail and how to implement it correctly.
In this blog post, we explore what freight management software is. Additionally, we will look at the top 4 ways that FMS improves retail for those who operate a supply chain in that industry.
What is Freight Management Software?
For those not aware, a freight management system or FMS is an all-inclusive software solution that permits its users to handle each aspect of the LTL shipment process from start to finish. These software solutions are commonly cloud-based, meaning they can be accessed via remote locations and from different devices including laptops, tablets, mobile devices, and more.
Overall, there are four general tasks that most FMS solutions provide a shipper:
Rating LTL Shipments
When a retailer needs to move freight from one point to another, the first task is gaining a rate estimate. A robust FMS solution permits a user to rate their shipments based on the destination, weight, time commitments, and more.
Schedule the LTL Shipment
After finding the right rates and carriers, the FMS permits the user to schedule the shipment directly. There is no need to call the carrier to schedule the shipment – as all details can be handled via the software.
Create Shipping Documents
When the shipment has been scheduled, the automated paperwork and shipping document templates will populate required nomenclature including bills of lading, carrier instructions, and other required shipping docs.
As the freight is picked up and routed, the FMS provides the shipper or their customers with multiple methods of tracking, from email notifications to SMS text or desktop alerts. Likewise, they can be customized for individual customers, shipment classifications, or communication preferences.
What are 4 Ways FMS Improves Retail?
Every retailer has unique shipping needs. Some of them even operate on a depot basis. Other retailers have to set up individual shipments for everything they sell or use their day-to-day operations.
Due to this, many shippers find it beneficial to work with a 3PL to set up customized FMS solutions. Furthermore, a custom FMS improves retail operations by providing benefits including:
Reduces the need for large capital investment
Most TMS or transportation management software solutions can cost an arm and a leg to create and integrate into a company’s computer network. This is mainly due to the fact that they are all robust solutions that require extensive bandwidth, computer upgrades, and are time-intensive to build.
However, a custom FMS solution provided by a 3PL removes this large capital expense.
The FMS solutions offered should easily integrate with current TMS or ERP systems that retailers typically utilize. FMS improves retail operations by working within the business model, not against it.
Individuals usually prefer different methods or tools for accessing information. Some like dashboards that provide a simple, at-a-glance look into their shipping platform. However, others prefer custom apps or portals that can be accessed via various devices.
A top 3PL can customize your FMS solution to fit your taste and personal settings. After all, when you are more comfortable, you work more efficiently!
Robust Reporting & Analytics
Having the flexibility to access industry-leading, cloud-based reporting tools can provide valuable insights into a company’s supply chain. In fact, tracking and measuring various metrics is as simple as the click of a button. This level of simplicity allows users to streamline their supply chain operations. Additionally, it permits them to fine-tune LTL shipping for maximum profitability and customer satisfaction.
Today’s supply chain is becoming increasingly complex. This is especially true for retailers that have multiple tasks to manage. By partnering with a proven 3PL like Redwood Logistics, you and your business gain peace of mind.
Want us to create a customized FMS solution for your retail business? We are only one click away!