Another 4 Reasons why every Shipper needs a Transportation Management System (TMS)

In our previous blog, we mentioned Transportation Management System (TMS), what is it and how it benefits a business. To summarise it, every shipper would need TMS integrated with its core operations as it carries the day in Omni-channel environment, minimises the impact of driver shortages, can be integrated with cloud, and has a proven Return on Investment (ROI).

But there’s more! We, at GoPigeon, got in touch with some leading experts in the supply chain industry and were pleased to exchange some healthy ideas and information about TMS and how big of a part it can play in supply chain and logistics. The discussion went on about the basics of TMS, which industries are using it and which are in dire need to use it, and how it can be beneficial to a business.

We have already covered some great advantages of integrating TMS, but we came across some more of those that we would like to share with you. Here they are:

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Proactive way to deal with Supply chain management: Generally, a company either has a proactive or a reactive approach. Companies running a reactive approach are dependent on a mix of spreadsheets and manual communications with their suppliers. In other words, they are focused on driving daily tasks instead of discovering new ways to work smarter, better, faster and cheaper. As is the case with companies having proactive approach, they streamline their supply chin needs, associate with their carriers and enhance the way they get and manage cargo.

A treasured data mine: Gone are the days where companies use a mix of excel spreadsheets, phone calls and emails to deal with their transportation needs that cost them huge amounts of cash on a yearly basis. Companies have started adopting automated TMS and have access to the dashboards, reports and different measurements that enable decision making and cost savings. For the companies who are yet to adopt it, should first answer questions like: How much am I spending on shipping? What am I spending on each load? Are my clients receiving the shipment on time? Do I have proper visibility of supply chain?

An important cog in the machine of digitally-connected supply chain: TMS allows shippers to manage their own expenses and keep tabs on their internal metrics, and also gets hold of carriers, customers, suppliers and other business accomplices into the platform. For example, a shipper can use TMS to quickly see how specific carriers are performing regarding on-time deliveries and customer service. Utilising this data, companies can make better decisions about transportation that will enhance customer service, and also, shippers can successfully explore where mobility, cloud, Internet of Things and other developments are.

Improve in Customer Service levels: In the previous blog, we stated that a regular shipper achieves 6% ROI through TMS. Also, customer service levels improve as there is enhanced visibility, speed and automation that TMS gives. A dashboard is particularly useful as it allows shippers to pinpoint their shipments, get to a specific delivery time, or present an option like invaluable customer service tools.

Do you still think we might have missed a couple more benefits of TMS? Please let us know in the comments below.

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Transformations in Logistics Industry under NaMo-led BJP power

Yesterday marked the 2-year anniversary of NaMo-led BJP government in power. Over these two years, we have come across some of the major initiatives led by him like Make in India, Swachh Bharat Mission, Jan Dhan scheme among many, many others.

The Indian Logistics Industry has also seen many adjustments that are set to radically transform the industry as a whole. Let’s take a look at all the things that have happened and have been proposed in the past two years that will impact the Logistics Industry.

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  1. There are plans to build new roads (about 10,000kms) as well as upgrade the state highways to national highways of about 50,000kms. About 100kms a day would be built. All this would help us bring down trucking costs significantly.
  2. The trilateral highway connecting India, Myanmar and Thailand represents a healthy connectivity between India and Southeast Asian countries. The highway is projected to be completed by 2018.
  3. Importers have also received a boost because of announcement of new deferred customs duty payment for large importers.
  4. Manufacturing start-ups will have to pay 25% less tax as an initiative of Make in India. Also, they can apply for MAT, and not corporate tax for 3 out of 5 years.
  5. Ports are being planned for upgradation. About Rs.800 crores are provided for the initiative.
  6. The Service Tax rate has shot up to 15%, thanks to additional 0.5% Swachh Bharat Cess and Krishi Kalyan Cess each. It was 14% prior to these, when it was increased from 12.36%
  7. Sector is predicted to grow at 8.6% CAGR between 2015 and 2020, as compared to 9.7% CAGR between 2010 and 2014.
  8. E-Commerce growth will help the warehousing segment to growth by 6% or more in 2016.
  9. Proposed implementation of GST will help simplify tax structure and lower logistics costs over existing multi-layered tax system which is causing significant delays in road transportation sector.
  10. India’s exports are likely to see a growth when initiatives like Make in India, Digital India & Skills India are all aligned.
  11. The potential market growth for Logistics Service Providers (LSPs) in India is massive too. Indian Logistics industry, currently valued at US $300 billion, has key growth drivers like GST implementation, better infrastructure and e-commerce market growth are is set to bring in new LSPs in the coming years.

What other things have happened (or are proposed to happen) that we have missed apart from the above? Please let us know in the comments below.

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4 Reasons why every Shipper needs a Transportation Management System (TMS)

There are many advantages of Transportation Management System (TMS) that anyone who is into shipping would realise. They are way past simply the cost of shipping cargo. On the off chance that you take a look at your freight and transportation department as more than only a cost, then you are thinking on the right course on what is the best way to holistically help your business influence a TMS for the maximum ROI (Return on Investment).

The main reason why companies implement a TMS is, obviously, to reduce shipping costs. But the thing to understand is TMS does so based on process enforcement, analytics and optimisation. To put it plainly, TMS helps companies ship from one end to the other more efficiently, reliably, and cost effectively.

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Although TMS has immense benefits to a business, a recent survey shows that just 35% of shippers are using it as a part of their overall supply chain management strategies. But, on the upside, it is also found that 39% percent of total shippers have planned to either purchase or upgrade their TMS during the coming year, signalling that there is a scope for higher adoption rates of TMS in the future.

With the objective of making logistics operations comprehend the advantages of TMS, we at GoPigeon are here to outline 4 reasons why each shipper ought to integrate it into their overall supply chain management endeavour.

Better integration for shippers in Omni-channel environment: The changing way of the worldwide economy, the unfaltering development of e-business and the requirement of Omni-channel satisfaction are all putting more strain on the regular supply chain. Truly, there are logistics and administrative issues that go with worldwide delivery, however e-business allows customers in about all aspects of the world to view and buy merchandise, paying little mind to its physical location.

Minimal impact of driver shortages: Driver shortages still remains a major concern for 3PLs and the shippers they serve. Excel spreadsheets and telephone calls are not going to cut out the problem. TMS can help particularly with shippers in need of innovation in order to get a better picture of driver availability and carrier capacity.

Cloud integration: Few would contend the way that TMS was one of the primary supply chain management solutions for move into – and stay in – the cloud. With lower barriers to entry, upfront costs and easier upkeep and upgradation, cloud-based applications have taken off over various different supply chain solutions and platforms. The clod gives TMS customers a competitive price, low overhead costs and reduced headaches.

Certain Return on Investment (ROI): According to a survey, the ROI of TMS indicates shipping cost saving of around 6%. Nearly 60% users of TMS say that less than 25% of the nest savings were absorbed by TMS. Nowadays, many companies are choosing to use Managed Transportation Services (MTS). While both TMS and MTS are same in terms of cost savings, TMS is less risky as fewer TMS users achieved negative results as compared to MTS users.

What other benefits would you say are derived from TMS implementation other than the ones stated above? Let us know in the comments below!

Visit www.gopigeon.in to post your queries. Send your parcels across the world at lowest prices.

How ISRO is helping Indian Logistics Industry

Today, on 23rd May 2016, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched the Reusable Launch Vehicle – Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD). The euphoria is mostly because ISRO has launched, for the first time, a winged body into space.

The space agency has earned global fame as a thrifty player with its economical missions to the moon and the Mars, and is looking determined than ever to strive for further reduction in cost of launching satellites. And that’s exactly what RLV is – a trial to reducing cost of launching satellites by recovering some of the space resources.

Over the years, ISRO has made us Indians proud with missions like Mars Orbiter (Mangalyaan), Chandrayaan, GLSL MK3 and Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), among others. One thing to make notes about is its great impact on helping the Indian logistics industry.

The IRNSS mission, now renamed to Navigation with Indian Constellation (NAVIC), was a mission for India to set up its own satellite navigation technology. With seven satellites launched into space and two kept in standby, NAVIC will provide vital information about India and surrounding terrains, reducing India’s dependency on USA’s Global Positioning System (GPS). NAVIC’s accuracy is what stands out. It will have accuracy of 10 meters, as opposed to 20 meters of that of GPS’s.

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Various planned missions are underway as well.

  1. AVATAR from “Aerobic Vehicle from Trans atmospheric Hypersonic Aerospace Transportation” is being developed for a manned single-stage reusable spaceplane that can be used for low cost military and commercial satellite launches, as well as space tourism.
  2. SAARC satellite is a proposed communication-cum-meteorology satellite for the SAARC region.
  3. RISAT-1A is Radar imaging satellite, with its primary application being terrain mapping, analysis of land and water surface.

All these initiatives from ISRO are serving three of the main needs for logistics industry – increasing reachability, monitoring with precision, and doing it all with minimal costs.

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Internet of Things: Is it the #NextBigThing in Logistics?

Today, the Internet is seen as a must-have because to its universal presence and quickening impact on the ways in which we live, work, and communicate with one another. Be that as it may, how did the Internet get so large so fast, and what part will it play later on?

As of late, the Internet has been made totally out of PCs associated with each other over the system. Today this is no more the case. We have entered an exceptional period in the life of the Internet — the Internet of Things (IoT). As basic as IoT is in connecting the unconnected, it is just part of the story. Alongside physical items, people and intangible “things” should likewise be connected in new and better ways.

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IoT guarantees far-reaching payoffs for logistics administrators and their business clients and end consumers. These advantages stretch out over the whole logistics supply chain, including warehousing operations, freight transportation, and last-mile delivery. What’s more, they impact areas, for example, customer experience, safety and security, customer experience, operational efficiency and new business models. With IoT, we can start to handle difficult business questions in energising new ways.

Generally, IoT in the realm of logistics will be about “sensing and sense making”. “Sensing” is the checking of various resources within a supply chain through various technologies and mediums; “sense making” is worried with taking care of vast amounts of information sets that are produced subsequently, and afterward transforming this information into bits of knowledge that drive new arrangements.

To effectively implement IoT in logistics, it will need solid coordinated effort, along with high levels of interest between different players and competitors within the supply chain, and a typical ability to contribute. The shared end goal will be to create a thriving IoT ecosystem.

To accomplish this, there will be some key achievement elements required:

  • Clear and standardized methodology for the utility of unique IDs or ‘tags’ for various types of assets among different industries on a global scale
  • Seamless interoperability for t sensor information in uncommon situations
  • Foundation of trust and responsibility of data and overcoming security issues in the IoT-powered supply chain
  • Clear focus on reference design for the IoT
  • Change in business outlook to grasp the full potential of the Internet of Things

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Lessons we can learn from Military Logistics

To define Business Logistics in one simple sentence, we would say that it should be ‘getting all things right’. It is all about having the right item in the right quantity at the right time at the right place for the right price in the right condition to the right customer (basically, again, getting all things right)! Yet, Business Logistics has never been perfect. Although, it has Military Logistics to look upon.

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Yes, that’s right! Military Logistics has set a standard we should all be aiming for. In “Five Lessons from Military Logistics”, Joe Lynch says that military logistics stands out because they focus on the five areas below which we should consider:

culture iconCore Values/Culture: It is said that a man is what his values are. In military, every soldier is inculcated with core values like loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honour, integrity, courage and teamwork. These guide them through every action and every decision.

mission iconMission: In military logistics world, the ownership of mission’s success or failure is borne by all, unlike in the business logistics world. A soldier knows he is a soldier first and will have a straight understanding of his mission to complete his task, whatever it takes. 

process icon.pngProcess: A good process can save you time, money and effort, and can improve service quality for your customers. The military has been known for being orderly when it comes to following a certain guideline. They develop a set a standard process which makes them responsive, adaptable, timely and precise.

documentation iconDocumentation: This is the key to ‘getting things right’. A shipment will be delivered correctly only if its documentation is done precisely. By this, we mean that the shipment is be labelled with regards to the destination and its nature (hard, fragile, perishable) and is packed as per the instructions.

communication technology iconCommunication Technology: The military is known for adapting to newer technologies, especially communication technology. In order to keep things moving, technology of all sorts like GPS tracking systems, mobile apps, RFID labels, integrated ERP systems, barcoding etc. have enabled them to become much more effective and efficient.

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What challenges does a Small Business face while going Global?

Now that this era is all about globalisation, all boundaries have begun to fade in the trading and business world. To step into new markets, sell products to new customers and locate vendors, it has turned out to be easy for organisations of any size. Despite the fact that it sounds like there are endless chances, international businesses face many difficulties. As a matter of fact, it is riskier for small or midsize businesses, especially.

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There are a number of snags when you go global. Here are the main challenges that small businesses would encounter while doing global business:

costCost: This is one of the key factors that will drive you and your company towards international business. You must calculate all possible costs that may be incur. How do you get the products delivered in the most economical way? This is the question that you must find the most accurate answer for. At the end of the day if the total cost will be more than your expectation you may reconsider taking the risks of opening your door to international business.

money_exchPayment Methods and Currency Rate: These are other obstacles that the small business owner must address before accepting or placing international orders. Countries may have different payment methods that are locally popular, but may not be commonly used internationally. In order to secure your business always select the safest option for you. The currency exchange rate is also of importance. You must be aware of the currency exchange rates at the time of buying or selling your products. Drastic changes on the exchange rates may hit your business. We all know that every penny counts for small businesses, so why risk it?

lawsLaws & Regulations: Every country has their own regulations and laws set up and it will be your obligation to know them. Importers and exporters must be aware of international laws. Research should be the first thing you do after deciding to go global with your small/midsize company. Some products may be banned in some countries and even though you may not be aware of these restrictions, your company will end up in trouble if you ship those products.

msg_XCommunication Difficulties and Cultural Differences: Your business partners overseas may not speak the languages that you know and this could be another barrier to your business. You may think, “That’s what Google Translate is for”? Well, it might be a small help, for phrases like hello and thank you, however Google Translate is not 100 % accurate. Successful communication is the key factor in everything in our lives, and if you cannot communicate effectively – how do you expect to sell or buy the correct products in the right amounts? The transactions may not go as smooth as you would ideally like it to be. Let’s also not forget obstacles you may experience due to cultural differences. Your relationships with people from other cultures are enhanced when you are aware of cultural differences such as communication styles, religious beliefs, power structures, and attitudes toward time and work. Therefore for study and try to understand the country’s cultural structure before you decide to do business there.

del_chooseChoosing the Right Shipping Method: How to ship the cargo in a timely, safe and cost effective fashion? Which option would be best for you and your goods: Air, LCL or FCL? These questions might seem complicated if you are new to the shipping industry. When getting started you may want to reduce the risk and work with 3PL’s as they have the logistics experience, knowledge, and software a small company does not have, and they cost less than hiring employees with such expertise.

After putting these challenges on the table and sorting them out, should you or shouldn’t you go global? Let us know if the comments below.

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