The inbound freight industry accounts for a large majority of transportation costs. Identifying roadblocks related to inbound freight transportation is the best way to address how automation may play a role in solving them. It’s important to recognize how complex inbound freight management can be, but automated systems are promising cleaner, quicker ways to manage logistics. Automating inbound freight transportation and the accounting work that accompanies it.
Automating Inbound Freight Transportation
Large retailers can have thousands of trading partners at any given time, and having a small department managing an inbound freight project of this size is not only inefficient; it’s often impossible. In addition to these concerns, money management and visibility are beyond chaotic. Between two parties – one involved in outbound freight, and the other inbound – deciding who handles and tracks certain steps and costs and deciding their relevancy to your position gives inbound freight workers more work than what’s humanly possible. So who handles, manages, and completes the work that can’t be finished? Unfortunately, many companies simply let this slip through the cracks. This is why so many organizations are turning to new automated features. Automating inbound freight transportation helps to manage timing, rate requests, visibility, and a multitude of other issues that plague inbound freight managers. In addition, artificial intelligence systems are on the rise in transportation. Here are some long-overdue automated systems that are beginning to change the way the inbound freight industry operates.
Instant Quoting Software
Although few in numbers, more and more 3PLs, carriers, and freight forwarders are bringing on instant quoting software to give freight rates with up-to-date, competitive numbers. While the technology is new, there is no reason you should be working with a freight forwarder or NVOCC who can’t offer this service. Talk with your transportation handlers to see if they are in the process of developing these tools. Automating inbound freight transportation starts with the most basic tools. Find a forwarder that can offer you this service, otherwise, you may be wasting time working with a near-archaic business model.
Freight Visibility and Accountability
As businesses strive for continual improvement and development of all-encompassing automated TMS systems, you better believe that freight visibility is ranking as a top concern. This is sadly one area that seems to “slip through the cracks” when the weight of inbound freight management becomes too much. The ability to track and trace your freight at every step along the way provides buyers and inbound freight workers with visibility and predictability of trends, as well as placing accountability on shippers to make sure they are in fair competition with the rest of the market.
Flexible and Unlimited Capacity
Automating inbound freight transportation can help to accommodate companies of any size. If an inbound freight manager only had 5 partners, business would flow smoother than ever. But we all know that isn’t the reality. No one or two people can manage the scale of demand for inbound freight on the current market; especially in the retail industry. Automated inbound freight transportation systems should allow companies to see immediate results on the money, time, and growth they’re making no matter how many shipments they handle at any given time.
Customer Relations Management Tools
Automated CRM systems and practices aim to solve one issue: consistency. Everyone knows that the transportation industry is a volatile market, but with more responsibilities than time in the day, the need for automated CRM systems are on the rise. From customer communication to sales to marketing to money management, CRM system improvement may be a key to aid in automating inbound freight transportation.
Where Do We Go From Here?
If you are experiencing frustration with your current freight forwarders or carriers, don’t wait until everything falls apart. Irritation over communication, accountability, service offerings, pricing, or timing might all be fixed in an instant given you switch to a freight handler that has developed systems for targeting these pains at their source. In an ever-evolving transportation market, the logistics industry really build on a “survival of the fittest” model. Whether or not a change is in your near future plans, it never hurts to pick up the phone and call a forwarder who appears to have their ducks in a row. A short conversation could save you a lot of pain in the future.