Harnessing Data: 4 Real Life (And Simple) Use Cases for Shippers and Brokers
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Data visibility and transparency are a hot topic in the transportation industry these days and for good reason. From rating and booking, to dispatching, tracking, and invoicing, there are thousands of data points in the lifecycle of a shipment. While most shippers and brokers know the data is out there and want to use it, many lack the resources or knowledge to put it to good use.
That’s why having a Transportation Management System (TMS) with seamless connections to your carriers, load boards, and other solutions in your tech stack is critical. A TMS creates a single source of truth for your shipping operations and enables you to harness the power of your shipment and carrier data.
So, while that all sounds great, some might wonder, what can you do with all that data?
To answer that question, here are 4 simple ways real-life shippers and brokers are using data in their operations.
Mode Shop Your Shipments
One of the most time-consuming tasks of executing hundreds of shipments per month is rate shopping your shipments across multiple carriers and modes. In fact, oftentimes this task is overlooked when time is of the essence.
That’s why using solutions like LIVE Connect that connects you to all your carriers and load boards helps ensure your team never skips this step again. Having direct access to all over-the-road modes from a single solution enables you to compare mode, carrier, rate, and transit time data to pick the best option for every shipment.
For example, a shipment with two large packages at 125 lbs. each that you’d traditionally send parcel, could easily be put on one pallet and shipped LTL for less. Having rates from both parcel and LTL carriers on the same screen lets you take advantage of these mode savings.
Pair that capability with reason codes and your team will have to select a reason why they didn’t choose the lowest cost provider for any shipment, giving you powerful data to address operational issues.
Get Better Rates with Your Carriers
In any shipping environment, having the ability to foster a great relationship with your carrier goes a long way to getting great rates. When rating and executing shipments through a real-time connection with the carrier you are capturing load volume, cost, and performance data with every shipment.
Cost, pick-up, drop-off, and transit time data is critical information to review with your carrier partners. The key is accessing it without hours of spreadsheet work. Business Intelligence Dashboards help shippers and brokers quickly assess and export carrier performance and cost breakdowns.
Showing carriers poor performing lanes and the resulting loads they are losing out on creates a great opportunity to negotiate better rates and improve delivery and customer service.
Automate Your Freight Bill Auditing
With an estimated 1-in-4 freight bills containing an error, freight bill auditing is one place where data can provide massive time and cost savings.
Booking data paired with the final invoice sent from the carrier enables you to compare what you were quoted against what you were invoiced. However, getting EDI data and your booked shipment data into an apples-to-apples comparison to quickly flag issues is not easy without a TMS that supports that functionality.
Freight bill auditing tools and services can automate this step to normalize the data and present booked versus billed shipments side-by-side. This enables you to catch discrepancies quickly before you’ve paid an invoice so you can dispute them with the carrier or adjust your shipping processes if an accessorial is regularly missed.
Reduce Your Check Calls and Delivery Exceptions
Real-time connections to carriers allow you to tap into visibility data to automate tracking notifications and keep recipients informed every step of the way. They also provide the ability to log into one solution to get an update and avoid having to pick up the phone.
In addition, these connections enable you to identify delivery exceptions faster when pick-up and delivery times are missed. This gives you an opportunity to reach out to the carrier for updates and be proactive in keeping your customers informed.
As the supply chain continues to shift in favor of digital solutions by the day, the amount of data available will continue to grow exponentially. This will increase the need to harness the information to create cost-savings and operational efficiencies.
Shippers and brokers are already starting to take this data even further with predictive analytics, carbon impact calculations, rating intelligence, and more. Aligning with a technology provider that integrates with carriers and channel partners across the supply chain to provide data availability, end-to-end freight execution, and business intelligence will give you the information you need to be more competitive in the marketplace.
Banyan Technology, the leading provider of freight execution software for all over-the-road (OTR) shipping, delivers real-time intel, actionable insights, and instant access to information to help drive greater operational efficiencies and cost savings for Shippers, 3PLs, and supply chain partners. Our patented LIVE Connect™ platform provides rating and shipping execution from a single screen for Truckload, LTL, Local Carrier, and Parcel. To learn more, visit www.banyantechnology.com or connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
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