Logistics has always been an extensive and complicated process both for businesses as for logistics providers. This massive industry requires constant tracking and monitoring of goods as they move from location to location and country to country.
This business function can represent a cost of more than 2.7% of gross sales, depending on the industry and locations. There are several factors that determine the cost of logistics services. Freight costs, for example, are a significant factor.
Each shipment comes with different delivery requirements, and freight charges depend on the expected duration of transportation, the cargo’s weight and size, the distance between origin and destination, the shipping mode, and so on.
Another factor that can affect the cost of logistics is the route a shipment takes. For example, shipments requiring customs clearance are more expensive than those that don’t. Other factors include labor, fuel, and tolls.
Therefore, companies have to come up with ways to minimize their costs. Some of the strategies taken include having their own warehouses, minimizing delays, and building solid connections with transportation providers.
To increase their efficiency in such a complicated field, companies use a Transportation Management System. This system allows tracking the delivery process, planning shipments, tracking their location and time, forecasting deliveries, reducing the probability of shipment delays, documenting financial costs, and many other essential processes.
Some of the most popular known TMS worldwide include Kubix, Manhattan, SAP TMS, and Oracle TMS. They all aim to function in 4 main variables: planning, freight management, execution, and administration of goods transportation.
The benefits of having a transportation system in order include:
- Reduced freight expenses
- Tracking of deliveries in real-time
- Increase customer satisfaction
The last one, by the way, is one of the biggest failures of 3PLs (third-party-logistics) providers. According to a study of Inbound Logistics, where they interviewed 100 top 3PLs providers and shippers, 61% of shippers said that poor customer service is one of the key reasons they fail with 3PLs partnerships.
Also, the industry is so complex that one of the ongoing challenges for more than a decade has been the lack of automation in these systems.
According to the study, 88% of 3PLs provide a TMS to the shippers. Yet, more than half of them struggle to integrate the information between both parts in order to have settlement documents or load tendering documents in order.
Then, 3PLs find a challenge in improving their systems and communications between them to provide a better service to their clients.
So, the biggest challenge to use these systems is getting the right information quickly from carriers. Especially in regions like LATAM and Africa, where carriers are not familiarized with the usage and logins of these systems.
Moreover, since their work-life is constantly on the road, they can´t have access to a laptop or pc to enter vital information and prefer using the simplest platform they have in hand.
Using WhatsApp, your logistics company or provider can streamline and simplify processes by automating many administrative tasks. Here are some workflows you can create to optimize the use of your transportation management system:
Truck availability workflow
Choosing a good carrier provider may represent lower costs for a business in the long term. However, the decision can depend on insurance, delivery options, and the quality of the service provided.
Many 3PLs providers such as logistics marketplaces have several carriers that are willing to take the freight.
In order to provide the service, the marketplace will negotiate with the carrier and agree on the price. After that, the marketplace can generate an order for the freight to the carrier, who will pick up the shipments at the origin and deliver them to their final destination.
You can generate a truck availability workflow that the carrier can quickly fill in over WhatsApp to speed up the process.
Above, you can see an example of how a carrier can enter from their primary data, such as their number of licenses and truck specs, to more complex data such as GPS location tracking.
Also, the shipper or the final client who monitors the operation can retrieve this data in real-time over WhatsApp.
Dispatch operations workflow
A dispatch workflow is a series of steps that allows your drivers to access, update and view their working timesheets and daily diary. These steps should effectively and seamlessly link the vehicle tracking, vehicle ordering, driver management, and daily work diary processes. Unfortunately, any one of these steps can be time-consuming.
In a dispatch operations workflow over WhatsApp, users can view, create and edit documents, capture signatures, and share documents with the designated users.
The carrier or the operator can receive notifications on RELE.AI´s chat when changes are made to a document.
This workflow can also allow you to optimize your drivers’ routes. With RELE.AI, you can create a dispatch workflow that will allow your drivers to work more efficiently, resulting in less downtime, more time on the road, and less time waiting.
Delivery scheduling workflow
Designing and managing a delivery scheduling workflow can be a complex process. This workflow involves assigning drivers, setting routes, and managing drivers’ time and deliveries.
You can assign deliveries to drivers, set up delivery zones for each driver, delivery points, or even schedule deliveries. In addition, carriers can easily retrieve their route information and have reminders directly into their WhatsApp.
From the process of the initial request of the pickup to the freight delivery, the examples above are just a few options to coordinate your carriers and services, and therefore, to register all of this information in the transportation management system.
With RELE.AI streamline your operations over WhatsApp, improve customer service, reduce costs, increase profits and better serve your customers demanding fast and efficient logistic processes.