April 2011 | Sponsored | Thought Leaders

The New Breed of Cloud-Based TMS

Tags: Transportation Management Systems (TMS), Cloud Computing

George Kontoravdis, PhD is President, FORTIGO Inc., 866-376-8884

Q: How can today’s manufacturers deal with increasing regulations, demand volatility, and shifting global trade currents?

Kontoravdis: We live in exciting and challenging times. The Internet is bringing new ways of collaborating, communicating, and transacting across borders. At the same time, globalization brings economies and supply chains closer than ever before. Recently, supply chain issues in Japan affected worldwide automotive sales, leaving manufacturers scrambling for information on whether their orders were processed, shipped, or delivered.

In the past few decades, corporations have invested significantly in enterprise resource planning (ERP) and supply chain IT systems that improve inventory management, order processing, financial reporting, and other internal functions. These IT systems are not taking advantage of the Internet’s collaborative power, however.

A new breed of cloud-based transportation management systems (TMS) are empowering companies to connect in real-time with their worldwide supply chain partners by giving them role-based access to the same system. Such systems are configurable to ensure compliance with import/export regulations, and provide shipping automation and real-time visibility across the global supply chain. They also enable multiple supply chain partners to collaborate in real time to resolve issues as they arise. These cloud-based solutions are pre-configured for their users, integrate quickly with existing ERP systems, and are easy on the budget because customers pay a low monthly fee.

Manufacturers can now explore the true power of the Internet in their supply chain, and be better prepared for an ever-changing world.

Q: How can value chain partners cooperate to create and share efficiencies?

Kontoravdis: Supply chain leaders use the power of the Internet to collaborate and win. With a cloud-based TMS, supply chain managers connect in real-time with their worldwide partners, arrange shipments, achieve full order visibility, track shipment progress in numerous transportation lanes, identify delays, and take action.

Shippers can use next-generation TMS’s power to view a map display of all vehicle movements in real time, including order information for each vehicle and its routing progress.

Advanced reporting capabilities provide data on parcel and freight shipment spending during any period and track carrier service level agreement performance. Role-based access for the various users in the supply chain and advanced security technology ensures data integrity. Users save time by performing functions through the system that today are handled manually via phone, fax, and email. This new way of operating through a TMS standardizes company processes, reinforces practices and rules across the organization and across the entire supply chain, and provides great savings. Today’s cloud-based technology can help supply chain managers streamline their processes and save significant time, costs, and resources.