Improving Communication with Cloud FMS Solutions
Communication is the heart of the supply chain. Whether it is the shippers communicating with their suppliers, carriers, manufacturers, or customers, finding ways of improving or streamlining the communications network always serves to reduce the potential for mistakes. Of course, this isn’t always nearly as easy as it sounds.
It is this constant struggle that leads many shippers to look up to the clouds. No, we’re not talking about those fluffy white things floating in the sky!
The cloud is a virtual server that hosts robust software solutions and communications platforms. This eliminates the need to install, maintain, update and access software solutions from a physical location. Most importantly, it gives users the ability to access the software from any device and from anywhere in the world. All they need is an internet connection.
One of the best things to hit the cloud is FMS solutions.
Having instant access to freight management software is a surefire way of keeping your team and customers alike, in the loop. Integration of the cloud, in this case, allows even the drivers to shoot over some real-time notifications. This is helpful when it comes to delays and rerouting. That’s not to mention that it increases the transparency of the company.
This ability to access information seamlessly improves communication throughout the supply chain and just makes everybody happier. That extra security of knowing that a company is being attentive to every small detail is comforting to consumers.
In order to understand the power of the cloud, it’s important to outline a few of the features and benefits of cloud-based FMS solutions.
Let’s take a look at a few of these!
A Quick Look at Cloud-Based FMS Solutions
Shippers who constantly move products from one place to another rely on some sort of computer-based freight management system. It is this software that allows shippers to connect with carriers, review performance ratings and estimated services, schedule pickups and deliveries, and even optimize their logistics network.
Most of the older freight management systems are hard-wired within an individual computer. This makes it so that users must access the platform only from specific devices on the same network. These older systems are quite reliable still, but require multiple licenses, and can restrict access based on individual user preferences.
The cloud-based FMS solutions, on the other hand, is accessible from any computer, tablet, laptop, or even a mobile device. Each user has their own login, with customized access, dashboard, reporting functions, and tools that help them utilize the FMS to its full potential.
For example, a shipping and receiving manager needs to have access to multiple reporting functions that one of their employees has no need to review. In the past, a shipper would have to create multiple software solutions for individual users that constantly required updates or security patches. These patches simply aren’t plausible anymore though, as they cost the companies extra money just to retain usability and security of their platforms.
Today’s cloud-based system automatically updates and can be configured to give access to all parties involved in the shipment. They can access it from anywhere, and in general, updates and other patches do not cost extra. The software is offered as a service (SaaS) and all costs are calculated into a monthly invoice.
This type of platform reduces the amount of money needed to power and optimize the solution. Furthermore, it removes the need for in-house technical support, and they are easy to access from multiple locations.
How a Cloud-Based FMS Solution is Beneficial to Large and Small Volume Shippers
One of the biggest misconceptions of cloud-based technology is that they are expensive to integrate. While in the past this may have been true (from a certain point of view) today’s cloud-based FMS is scalable and easier than ever to integrate. Best of all, you don’t need a large company or deep pocketbooks to afford to use this platform.
Let’s look at a few of the ways cloud-based FMS solutions benefit shippers of all sizes…
Full Access Regardless of Location
Imagine having the ability to review customer shipping records while visiting them in their office. With cloud-based FMS solutions, a shipper can access vital records and can resolve conflict directly with their customer.
Not only does this save time, but it increases the relationship between you and your customer through transparency.
Improved Security of Vital Records
A cloud-based system is backed up with redundant servers as an improved security measure. They use several secure socket layers (or SSL) security certificates and mathematical algorithms that help reduce the potential of cyberattacks, phishing scams, or other potential computer viruses.
Nothing is more important than securing vital data about your company or your clients.
Reduced Expenses on Maintenance
Most shippers understand the reality that comes with technology. Machines break over time. To this end, most shippers also hire IT specialists to fix problems that come up.
With a cloud-based FMS, a shipper can significantly reduce their dependence on technical experts. Cloud-based solutions are more dependable, less likely to have connectivity problems, and save companies a lot of money on routine maintenance and upgrades.
How Do You Get Started with Cloud-Based FMS Solutions?
If you’re looking to improve the efficiency and communications of your supply chain operations, integrating a cloud-based FMS is a great start. However, working with a third-party logistics provider can further streamline the entire process.
Working with an experienced 3PL like Redwood Logistics allows you to configure the platform to match your wants, needs, and budget. We can configure your freight management system to meet your needs today and prepare your business for success tomorrow.
Reach out to us today!