Advancing Transportation Procurement: The Shift From Spreadsheets to Software

For shippers, the approach to transportation procurement is evolving. Traditionally, shipping companies have relied on manual tools and processes, predominantly managing their requests for proposals (RFPs) and bids using simple spreadsheets. This approach is cumbersome and fraught with challenges such as limited visibility, inefficient data management and difficulties in bid analysis. However, with the advent of specialized software solutions like Keelvar, Emerge and Jaggaer, there’s a noticeable shift in how transportation procurement is managed.

Challenges of Traditional Methods

Historically, the use of spreadsheets for transportation procurement posed various challenges, including limited visibility, inefficiencies in data management and difficulty in analyzing bid information. With supply chains becoming more vast and complex and the demand for real-time insights growing, it became evident that a more sophisticated approach was necessary.

Benefits of Modern Procurement Software

Switching to a procurement software provides numerous advantages that transform the procurement process for shipping companies. These platforms automate and digitize procurement workflows, simplifying data management and enhancing decision-making capabilities.

• Centralization and Standardization

These platforms centralize procurement tasks, reducing the reliance on multiple spreadsheets and allowing for a more organized approach to managing bids. This not only makes the process more efficient, but also reduces the likelihood of errors and enhances productivity.

Enhanced Analytical Capabilities

Moreover, these software solutions provide advanced analytics capabilities that empower shipping companies to make data-driven decisions throughout the procurement lifecycle. By aggregating and analyzing historical bid data, shippers can identify trends, benchmark performance and forecast future transportation costs more accurately. This level of insight enables them to negotiate better terms with carriers and optimize their overall transportation budget strategies.

Data Integrations

One notable feature of these newer software platforms is the ability to integrate third-party market data into the procurement process. Access to data from reputable sources like SONAR allows shippers to assess the appropriateness of carrier bids more effectively and make better-informed decisions. This real-time visibility into market dynamics enables them to adapt quickly to changing conditions and make adjustments in response to market fluctuations, ensuring their transportation procurement strategies remain aligned with current industry trends and demands.

Conclusion: Modernizing Procurement Practices Is Key

The movement from manual spreadsheets to advanced procurement software is a key development in the transportation industry. By embracing procurement platforms, shipping companies can modernize their operations, enhance efficiency and better navigate the complexities of the industry. Armed with trusted market data and powerful analytics, these companies are equipped to refine their procurement strategies and achieve their strategic goals more effectively.

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What's the SONAR ROI?

By increasing the number of loaded miles per day your drivers drive by 1% and your rate per mile by $0.03 you will make more per week #WithSONAR.

#WithSONAR you can save up to per week through better bid negotiations and more effective management of your routing guide.

#WithSonar you can add 1 more load per person each day and increase $5 margin per load, earning your company an extra per week.

Disclaimer: Every company’s circumstances are unique. Fixed and variable expenses, market conditions and operational factors vary. Unforeseen events may also affect results. Calculated potential results reflect the consensus expectation of FreightWaves’ experts. Actual results may vary.

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