Traditionally data entry has been a cumbersome task for the customer service team for a 3PL, especially in today’s software world. Real time information is critical, especially in the supply chain industry. Without relevant data, shippers are unable to make intelligent business decisions. The need for business intelligence is causing shippers to rely heavily on their carriers to provide them with shipping information quickly, but managing multiple data systems is time consuming and inefficient. What does this pressure for timely and accurate information mean for carriers? It means if you are managing your transportation through manual processes, you are invariably going to fall behind.
Some of the Carrier EDI Integration Programs make communicating with customers efficient, allowing carriers to communicate with systems directly or through system integration. This information is communicated according to a specified format, allowing for “hands-off” computer transactions without human intervention. This carrier integration allows the This carrier integration allows the Transport Management System (TMS) and the carrier’s internal system to update each other’s data directly.
This EDI Program provides significant value, including:
Electronic data interchange eliminates the need for dual entry, reducing your data entry time by 50%. Carriers no longer have to login to TMS to accept loads, enter appointment times, or update arrival and departure information. Instead, a shipper’s load tender can be sent to the carrier system electronically. The carrier can then make updates to the load in their system, and an EDI transaction will send updates the Lean TMS.
Occasional errors are likely to occur when a carrier is required to update multiple loads’ shipping information in multiple systems. By eliminating manual data entries, the chance of a human error is drastically reduced.
- Cost Savings
The time saved will be directly proportional to the dollars saved. Many carriers see a return on their investment with as few as twenty loads per week. By cutting their data entry time in half, they see an increase in productivity, as dispatchers have more time to perform tasks that provide value to their companies. In addition, the timely updates reduced expensive service calls from shippers inquiring about load statuses.
- Customer Satisfaction
It is also tempting for carriers to put off manual updates for later, especially after a load has delivered, and the urgency of that particular load has decreased. The seamless process that EDI provides allows carriers to meet customers’ demands for timely shipping information, making them a carrier of choice.
Since carrier integration is a workable solution in logistics and distribution, this will increase the productivity of the planning team, these solutions will radically remove the challenges faced by the 3PL’s in these segments.
HCL is also focusing in building new solutions and propositions to meet increasing customer expectations in the 3PL industry.