Data-Driven Transportation Management and Its Role in Driving Stronger Tech Stack ROI

Jason VanoverFreight Market Blog

Data-driven transportation management, including the checks and reviews that accompany healthy data management practices, are part of the process of getting the most out of the tech stack. This remains key to the overall success of investments within supply chain analysis. And pre-emptive strategies that help isolate and address real-time problems will inevitably rely on real-time freight data and easy-to-access systems. Throughout the supply chain, data-driven transportation management’s success is only as good as the data quality and integrity in use. The same applies whether you are a transportation broker, shipper or carrier. 

Data-driven transportation management has been a dominating factor in the explosion of the transportation management system (TMS) market. And according to Globe Newswire, “The development of a number of advanced technologies, increasing growth in e-commerce and retail sectors, rise in bilateral trade, and huge return on investment are also some of the other factors contributing to the growth of the global transportation management systems market. Also, TMS is an accessible module across the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and [Supply Chain Management] suits.” Therefore, any effective transportation management strategy must consider the hassle of managing freight with low visibility, how data-driven processes maximize value and a few steps to add value through and through.

The hassle of managing freight with poor visibility

Shipping exceptions remain an issue in modern supply chains. Things will go wrong. It’s relatively common, but how an enterprise reacts is the differential. In this area, data-driven transportation management can help managers overcome and prepare for exceptions more effectively. Without a clear plan, limited visibility and restrictions on communication and data sharing will have a ripple effect throughout the entire supply chain, and maximizing trucking rate savings grows ever more difficult.

Remember that problems may occur at any point during the shipping process, and without transparency and clear, end-to-end visibility, problems will go unnoticed for a longer duration. As the issues build, mitigating efforts become more strenuous, resulting in lost revenue and time, as well as more significant expenses. It’s essential for management teams to embrace modern data-driven transportation management methods to avoid visibility and communication issues. Simultaneously, making decisions based on outdated data can be even more disastrous than doing nothing. 

Think about it. If an enterprise chose to replenish stock based on outdated projections and supply chain KPIs, carrying costs could go through the proverbial roof. Now, if that same issue occurs during a heightened period of trouble in procurement in the shipping industry, the total cost of transportation could quickly skyrocket. However, if the same instance involved transparent, concise data reporting and transparency, it would be easier to avoid unnecessary spending, recapturing revenue and effectively generating a strong freight tech stack ROI.

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Data-driven transportation management maximizes tech stack value

Once a freight management system has been chosen, the real work begins. There’s a misconception that implementing a single system will derive more ROI. Unfortunately, it’s what a company does with the system that matters most. Shippers and trucking carriers need more visibility into current freight market rates, customer activity, increased or decreased ocean import volume and fees, revenue/cost-per-load, revenue per driver, and additional equipment costs. 

There is ample room for error, and a lack of freight data will result in those costs climbing and limited executability. But again, these few costs are only a fraction of the things that a robust data-driven transportation management tech stack can prevent. Any tech stack’s real value can only be realized when the entire chain network, from top to bottom, stays on the same page and can embrace data-backed methods and processes. Of course, that’s another challenge.

How to leverage data-driven systems to add value

Freight management parties should leverage data-driven systems to add value by following these steps:

    • Connect them with API and EDI. Capturing, properly analyzing, distributing and applying data becomes key to finding success in today’s market. And with the growing number of systems in use within an average tech stack, connections via API and EDI are the best practice for all to follow.
    • Use off-the-shelf solutions, including freight management analytics. Turnkey products and services can make a world of difference for making the most of data-driven tools for freight management. Additionally, their shorter time to implementation and ROI will help to strengthen the business case for them in the first place.
    • Ensure proper training and education. Using data-driven transportation management systems effectively requires regular training and real-world use. That is an absolute necessity.
    • Embrace and utilize automation. In the ever-changing world of shipping and freight transportation, automation becomes the way of the future by helping companies to do more with less and avoid unnecessary expenses.
    • Don’t overlook the customer. It’s easy to get wrapped up in supply chain activities and ignore the customer experience. However, connecting customers through and through in the supply chain, including empowering customer service representatives with data, will go a long way in truly maximizing the supply chain tech stack’s value.

Expand value in your supply chain with the right systems and technologies in use

Find out the actual value of a modern tech stack setup by maximizing the power of any data-driven transportation management platform through clear direction and guidance. Get professional advice, near-real-time data market insights, and assistance from start to finish quickly and easily by requesting a FreightWaves SONAR demo or clicking the button below