There are several software solutions that companies implement into their supply chain. Carriers use dedicated SaaS (software as a solution) platforms for dispatching and allocating routes. Meanwhile, shippers depend on Transportation Management Systems. These TMS platforms help them to find and book those carriers to move their products. However, one platform that anyone within the logistics space can benefit from using is the Freight Management System.
An investment in a freight management system is a brilliant idea for any organization that ships products. It doesn't matter if it is to single or multiple destinations in either light or high-volume capacity.
Furthermore, it is cloud-based, scalable, and packed with multiple tools that help improve shipping efficiency. They can be used by retailers, distributors, manufacturers, and even carriers.
So, if you're thinking of implementing a freight management system but have found nothing but sales lingo everywhere else, read on! In this blog post, we are taking a look at what an FMS is, and how it might be of benefit to your operation.
An Introduction to the Freight Management System
Freight management systems are robust and detailed SaaS platform that allows the user to access critical tasks dealing with the procurement and management of shipping services. They can be used to set up LTL, FLT, multimodal, intermodal, and even parcel services. Everything from ground to express delivery is the domain of the FMS!
Most of the freight management software solutions work via a cloud-based server. This means that the user does not need to download and store software directly on an individual computer. Cloud-based solutions provide flexibility for users to access the FMS from a desktop, laptop, or tablet. In more recent years, even smartphones can receive push notifications from the system in real-time. From the dashboard, the user can access a single screen to display all reports, provide easy access to search functions, applications, and extra tools.
It is from within this dashboard that users can find the best carrier rates, schedule pick-ups and deliveries, and even track all moving freight in near real-time. Instead of using multiple systems to monitor each of those areas, a Freight Management System condenses it all into one centralized platform.
When utilized efficiently, a well-built TMS pays for itself rather quickly. Furthermore, that's not even to mention all the time you save by not paying out extra hours to have your employees scour through a ton of paperwork and multiple pieces of software. After all, when you can do all of this so quickly and easily, it reduces man-hours by quite a large percentage. It is sort of a "no-brainer".
Easy to use, full of beneficial tools, and everything kept in one location. What more could you ask for?
Rating Freight Movements
For most shippers, the leading area of concern is the cost.
In the past, this meant spending hours on the phone calling individual carriers who served your area and asking for rate quotes. Once you received a few estimates, you made a decision based mainly on the freight shipping rates.
Today’s advanced FMS allows you to enter in shipping details, press a button and review hundreds of freight estimates.
Scheduling Pick-Up and Delivery
Once you have an estimate for the freight movement, you can then fine-tune the review. You include all pick-up and delivery expectations, service levels, and schedules. The system does all the rest.
This flexibility permits shippers to locate the right carrier that can meet their (and most importantly – the customer's) expectations.
Document Preparation and Printing
When a shipment is booked, the FMS allows the shipper to enter information on documents, download, email, or print all required paperwork. LTL carrier movements have different requirements for paperwork than FTL or parcel shippers. A professionally-designed FMS focuses and excels when dealing with this crucial detail.
Oh, and if that isn't enough... A solidly-built FMS also handles all international documents just as easily!
Tracking and Notifications
Once the delivery leaves the warehouse, the shipper sets up their freight management system to send tracking notifications. These notifications go to the recipient, third-parties, or others involved in the movement of freight. Essentially, this not only improves transparency throughout the freight movement, but also enhances customer service, and can reduce missed delivery attempts.
A great resource for choosing an FMS best suited for your individual application is a 3PL company.
Professional 3PLs like Redwood Logistics are at the forefront of freight management software design and development. They work with the leading software developers and customize solutions, dashboards, and design to improve user-interface and improve scalability.
If you’d like to learn more about upgrading your current freight management system or using a new FMS, contact Redwood Logistics today.