5 USE CASES ON GETTING THE RIGHT INFORMATION WHEN YOU NEED IT:
Nothing snags communication channels like searching for information and not finding it. To give you a rough calculation, in logistics, about 20 percent of time -- and this is a conservative estimate when you factor in all the exceptions -- is wasted on tracking down missing or fragmented information. That’s a pretty expensive rabbit hole for your employees to go down every time a shipment doesn’t go according to plan. Don’t believe us? Ask the White Rabbit. He’s always late for important dates.
Getting the right information to the right people at the right time should not be as rare as lightning striking a pot of gold during a full moon. It’s the kind of precision an up-to-date TMS should always provide. Afterall, logistics is not just about moving freight and managing the delivery of goods, it’s about optimizing the flow of information between people along the supply chain.
To give you an idea of how a modern TMS improves information sharing amongst logistics workers, we’ve put together a few fictional use cases.
1. Meet Els, from Inbound Logistics
Els is part of the inbound logistics team. Using the overview below, she can see the status and location of all shipments, their ETA, materials, dimensions, weights, quantities, etc. Basically, it’s her mothership. Its user-friendly visual display shows the different stops and milestones.
So when Simon, the production manager, calls Els on a Monday to ask how her weekend was and whether components R35525 are going to be delivered on time, Els can use her dynamic grid to type in the SKU number and instantly see all the shipments with the component part Simon is looking for and when they’ll be arriving. Jazzy, right?! There’s also a feature to flag a specific shipment so Simon’s team can monitor it. And there’s a “Favourite” feature (not for Simon to make Els his BFF) but so all the details about this shipment will be shared with Els’ team. With this group “Favourite” function, everyone gets an alert notification if/when Simon’s shipment is delayed. Then, when Els informs Simon by chat that it’s held up, no explanation is needed. The chat is linked to the shipment’s info and Simon just has to click on it. Els can simply say “Sorry Simon!” without all the logistical TMI.
2. Meet Jack, the Warehouse Manager
Enter Jack. Jack is the warehouse manager, and also somewhat of a superhero. He notices in the slot booking dashboard that Simon’s shipment is late, meaning the driver will likely miss his or her 10am delivery appointment. Knowing this, Jack can take speedy action and rebook the slot in a flash so it doesn’t go to waste. Jack can rescue a driver with an 11am slot who has arrived early, meanwhile saving the 10am driver from being bumped to the back of the queue because he/she is late.
Jack can singlehandedly optimise loading slots, cut down on wasted time, and reduce overtime hours. (Now, that’s what we call a TMS superpower!) Real-time visibility data from our control tower is linked to the time slot booking application so that Jack doesn’t have to check multiple systems (even superheroes need a break). This means he can adapt quickly ahead of time based on the control tower info, helping him better manage his schedule. Way to go, Jack.
3. Meet Tom, the Transportation Planner
Then we have Tom, the transportation planner, aka. The Masterminder. To keep track of all shipments and make sure they’re sent out on time, he has a made-to-measure operational dashboard based on metrics that are the most relevant to him. With it, he can see all the open incidents, missing documents, and urgent shipments that need to be closely followed.
He can zoom in on all of these details simply by clicking on the relevant KPIs and can create different views based on geography, date, and whether or not he is still waiting for approval from a carrier. And, like Els’ inbound dashboard, there is a share button and drop-down menu with colleagues’ names . With everything he is able to handle, Tom could try his hand at event planning, or single parenting newborn twins.
4. Meet Jessica, from Customer Service
Tom works closely with Jessica from the customer service team who makes it her mission to create a fantastic customer journey. Using a modern TMS is a no-brainer for her as it’s the only way to provide new customers with a great first logistics experience. She can create views for exceptional cases – for example when a POD is missing or late. Say she needs to get in touch with Tom because goods were delivered to the wrong address. She can use the chat function to ask for more details, but without needing to give a long explanation about the situation because the incident file is immediately shared with him.
If a customer is calling to ask for a specific sales order, Jessica can use her dynamic grid to enter a code and inform the customer about their order up front. What Jessica hates most is having to say: “let me put you on hold”. She knows that making her customers listen to terrible recorded music can be a deal-breaker. In fact, there is a way to avoid a customer call altogether, which we’ll share in a later video.
Back to Tom. At month’s end, he needs to review carriers’ performance. Using his KPI dashboard, he can see that one carrier is underperforming in a certain area. Different filters allow Tom to see regions and specific locations so he can get to the bottom of why this happened – delays at customer warehouses, transit delays, late pickups, etc.
5. Meet Mark, Logistics Director
Then there’s Mark, the logistics director, who can look at data and analyse the logistics costs of serving Germany, slicing and dicing these costs in different ways – per pallet, loading meter, carrier. He’s able to see which carriers have the highest cost per shipment, look at the rates agreements made, and ultimately make a decision about whether a different carrier would be better for that specific area or route.
So you see logistics is about people. And a modern TMS uses technology designed to make people’s jobs easier. The goal as a company is for your workers to carry out tasks efficiently and to the best of their abilities. We can help with that. SupplyStack is a full-circle TMS covering everything from sourcing, planning, execution, monitoring collaboration up to freight settlement. Get in touch and ask us anything...except for Els’ number. We’ve already told you she doesn’t exist.