| All posts tagged 'supply chain management'

The Role of TMS in Logistics

by Administrator12. March 2015 15:21

The Role of TMS in Logistics | The Dependable Companies


A transportation management system (TMS) is a specific element of supply chain software that focuses on movement and logistics. It is designed to handle all interactions between order processing and warehousing and distribution. By utilizing TMS software, companies are better able to streamline transportation of goods by land, air, and sea. 

TMS Software at a Glance

TMS software acts as the central hub for a large network of customers, carriers and shipping providers. Most systems incorporate sophisticated planning and decision-making modules to process an appropriate route for both inbound and outbound orders. Routes are then analyzed for efficiency, determining the best method of transit, number of stops, lead time, an appropriate provider and overall cost efficiency. A TMS usually offers enterprise resource planning software for tracking, auditing, accident report, customs brokering and final settling. 

Core Functions

Most TMS systems feature distinct modules for the following functions: 

  • Route planning and optimization
  • Mode selection 
  • Provider selection
  • Real-time tracking
  • Load optimization
  • Carrier management
  • Transport cost simulation
  • Shipment batching
  • Freight audit and payment
  • Cost control and KPI reporting

Types of TMS

TMS software is available as a regular purchased license or from a hosted license through Software as a Service (SaaS) or Cloud. Moreover, many versions operate in correlation with broader supply chain management software.

Key Benefits 

The business value of using transportation software is considerably high. TMS systems help manufacturers, distribution companies and carriers to see beyond pure cost to view their total operation holistically. Not only does a TMS streamline production, but it also improves customer service, warehouse efficiency and delivery capability. Managers enjoy more flexibility with which to enact changes to delivery plans. Plus, with more visibility throughout the chain comes improved accountability. 

With better route planning, load optimization and carrier pairing, logistics analysts are able to lower operational costs. Ultimately, a TMS offers a considerably high return on investment. Most software is easy to implement and is designed to quickly reduce inventory and boost overall cash flow in just a few months.


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Top 3 Components Driving Effective Supply Chain Partnerships

by Administrator13. January 2015 11:44

Top 3 Components Driving Effective Supply Chain Partnerships | The Dependable Companies


Using partner networks, in-house assets, and knowledge-based expertise optimizes your supply chain to ensure that it operates in an economical, uncomplicated, and reliable manner. In addition, it provides competitive advantages and creates new methods of reducing expenditures.

Components of Effective Supply Chain Management

When businesses take a long-term partnership perspective, collaborative efforts become a worthy endeavor. Greater understanding of skills, experience, and expenses will often expose new potential sources of value. Additionally, the experience of operating closely together suggests that succeeding enterprises will take less time and be easier to administer than early ones. Principal components of effective supply chain partnerships include:

  1. Less-than-truckload and full truckload: Full truckload and less-than-truckload freight services utilize a network of company facilities to provide same day and overnight service. Dedicated fleet programs, satellite tracking, and delivery confirmation tools are just a few of the advantages of these components.
  2. Warehousing and distribution: Custom warehousing distribution programs offer flexible fulfillment and storage options that can increase or decrease simultaneously with your business cycles. Estimates correlate with inventory levels to warrant that warehouses have the correct amount of merchandise to meet demands.
  3. Third-party logistics: With third-party logistics, customizable supply chain solutions ensure that transportation solutions fit your needs. Reliable and fast access to services, trucks, and warehousing creates this type of asset-based volume pricing. The technique produces a cost-effective method for shipments that still conform to delivery deadlines.

Building an Adaptable Supply Chain

Successful supply chain collaboration is a worthwhile process even though it is not a straightforward one. However, organizations that efficiently collaborate traditionally experience remarkable reductions in inventories and expenses, and enhancements in service levels, speed, and customer satisfaction. 

Selecting partners based on capability, value potential, and strategic goals are ideal approaches to improve forecasting and demand planning. In that way, accurate forecasts create crucial steps toward active supply chain management. For that reason, building an adaptable supply chain requires the right alignment between a fresh attitude and a new culture to produce top-performing supply chains.


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5 Key Benefits of Supply Chain Management

by Administrator18. December 2014 11:59

5 Key Benefits of Supply Chain Management | The Dependable Companies


For any business that supplies or receives goods, it is important to have an efficient system in place to ensure the timely and safe transport of products. Supply chain management (SCM) is essential to this process. There are 5 key benefits of SCM.

1. Increased Visibility

Proper SCM can help to increase your visibility into the supply process. With this information you can develop innovative ways to become more responsive within your supply chain network, which can lead to new and greater opportunities.

2. Meet Customer Demands

A supply chain network creates a common information framework that individuals can utilize to communicate and collaborate with one another. This allows for expedient response and assistance with various customer needs.

3. Track Compliance

Along with effective communication, the network also creates a trail of information that can be stored or reviewed when necessary. With this data a manager or auditor can ensure that proper protocol and regulations are being followed. This can prove to be quite beneficial in tracking things such as environment, health and safety compliance.

4. Lower Expenses

SCM allows you to see the big picture. As such, a knowledgeable professional can recognize and target areas that could be utilized or rearranged to become more efficient. These efforts can significantly lower costs and increase profit margins. A few such efforts includes:

    • Reducing inventory levels and increasing inventory turns.
    • Adjusting procurement, manufacturing and transport to be more timely.
    • Enhancing product tracking.

5. Tighten Supply Chain

Increased communication can be applied to employees as well as business partners. When you develop effective communication channels through SCM, you develop stronger relationships, which can lead to substantial business deals and referrals.

When correctly executed supply chain management can provide several different benefits for various types of business. The aforementioned 5 key benefits contribute to efficient, productive and prosperous business practices, and can help your business thrive. For more information on how SCM can best benefit your business, contact a logistics manager today.


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Supply Chain & Logistics Predictions for 2015

by Administrator9. December 2014 10:36

Supply Chain & Logistics Predictions for 2015 | The Dependable Companies


After the holiday season, 2014 will be quickly drawing to a close and 2015 will be here. It is never too early to start thinking ahead to the New Year. What will supply chain look like? What will customers expect? Where will the biggest potential for growth be? These are all questions that can help a business prepare for the year ahead. A prepared business is a successful business.

One of the first things looked at as 2015 predictions are being made is the customer. Where are people shopping? Will the trend to shop online increase or decrease? What does the customer expect? These are all questions that, when answered, can help a business prepare to increase sales. For example, if the trend of online shopping increases, a company can prepare by updating their website and aligning their shipping strategies with predicted customer demand. In a market of online retail, a retailer that provides fast and accurate shipping will do very well.

Companies should also look into potential new markets for 2015. In this every shrinking world, lucrative Asian markets are well within reach of any company. In order to tap these markets, businesses need to have a third party logistics partner that can get their goods where they need to be. Once that is set up, they can begin marketing strategies to promote their products in new markets. Hopefully this will allow a company to see growth in 2015.

Another way to prepare for 2015 is to update technology and use software to make predictions. There is a lot of data to be gathered by supply chain management software (SCMS), the key is to use that data in such a way that the company saves time and money. Logistic companies can help evaluate data and find new and innovative supply chain solutions to help a company grow. The partnership between a company and their logistic team can result in growth on both ends.

It is never too early to start looking at predictions for 2015. A company that is prepared for the dynamic economy of the modern world will set itself apart from others. Looking at customers, new markets, and new technology are all ways to plan ahead for the New Year. Logistics companies can help with each part.


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Software Tools Optimize Logistics

by Administrator12. November 2014 11:17

Software Tools Optimize Logistics | The Dependable Companies


With the rise of logistics companies came the advent of logistics software. There are now hundreds of logistics software options for companies to choose from. Logistics software provides tools to control the supply chain management (SCM), including managing all inventory, freight pick-up, tracking, delivery, and all transportation details. Logistics software can also include freight brokerage and bidding software, which manages business aspects such as bid and contract management.

SCM logistics software will typically divide tasks within the supply chain into similar categories. For instance, inventory control features in the SCM software manage supply levels, purchase orders, order fulfillment, historical quantities, and future forecasts. Transportation management features typically include route optimization, shipment consolidation, automated carrier selection, dispatch scheduling, and tracking of goods while being delivered. Warehouse management features can include barcode or RFID scanning, and tools to help with smart storage decisions and inventory transfer.

While most logistics software comes with inventory control, transportation and warehouse management, some additional categories of features can help with specialized tasks and situations. Import and export support features help with customs, currency exchanges, trade regulations, taxes, and factors affecting international cargo. Risk management features help with insurance claims, processing accidents, lost freight, driver history evaluation, and other risk factors along the supply chain. Finally, SCM software can include integrated accounting features to help with billing, quotes, invoicing, and currency transactions, and customer relationship management features to help provide sales and marketing support.

When selecting SCM software amongst the hundreds of logistics software options, research will be key in helping to prioritize which software features are indispensable for your business. Logistics software can be even further tailored to a specific industry, such as the apparel industry, be customized for the size of the company, or specialize in a unique feature such as enhanced GPS tracking with geo-fence alerts and an in-cabin feedback system.

Choosing the appropriate logistics software will be a vital decision for any company, and will ultimately determine the everyday functionality of its supply chain operations.


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What is Supply Chain Management?

by Administrator17. October 2014 14:52

What is Supply Chain Management? | The Dependable Companies


Supply chain management (SCM) is becoming a business byword because companies have found that effectively managing the supply chain does not happen by accident. Experts use analytic tools to make and evaluate plans that can save significant money and increase productivity. There are many important ways that a third party can aid businesses with their supply chain. Two of these ways include: resource assistance and strategic decision making.

Whether your company has temporary or long term resource assistance needs, a supply chain management firm can help. They can transport and store goods for you in addition to making recommendations on how to make the process more effective. You can depend on a firm to help you through an expansion until you complete a new warehouse, or you can rely on them as a permanent supply chain solution. Regardless of your needs, you will likely find a firm that is suited to bringing you expert assistance at a reasonable price.

Strategic decision making can be best when done by experts. The supply chain is a complex system that covers every step a product goes through from the raw materials to the goods or services received by your end consumers. The way your business interacts with others to produce and deliver your products may not be as fixed as you assume it is. There may be opportunities that you are missing out on which would incorporate a larger portion of the overall supply chain. In addition to evaluating this type of question, supply chain management considers every step a product or service requires within your company.

Questions such as how long raw materials should sit in your warehouse and how best to reduce the number of days it takes you to produce a product may be best evaluated by someone outside your company. Third party logistics can provide seasoned professionals who are removed from the potentially mistaken assumptions that drive your business. There may be ways to improve your supply chain process that you have never considered.


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Logistics Companies in Los Angeles: Key Players in the Global Supply Chain

by Administrator28. May 2014 11:09

Home to some of the largest transportation hubs in the world, Southern California is a major player in regional, national, and worldwide trade. For this reason, many businesses are targeting
logistics companies in Los Angeles as a means of outsourcing portions of their increasingly complex global supply chains.

Trade is the lifeblood of a globalized economy. Since the onset of mass online purchasing, trading is now a monumental enterprise based on intricate theoretical models and run by an extensive network of players. Once governed by distance, global commerce has evolved alongside technology, population growth, and transportation. Ultimately, more people means more business, which means more goods need to be moved.

Like the supply chain, logistics management is requiring more automation to coordinate vast systems of people. Since the mid 20th century, businesses have been looking to providers with the right technology and network to handle whatever portion of their chain they wish to outsource. While this may strictly be the physical movement of goods, larger providers can potentially run a company's entire logistical operation from origin to consumption, handling all aspects of procurement, warehousing, shipping, and reverse flow. In effect, this initiates a partnership between a company and the provider, allowing the company to reduce its assets and focus directly on its bottom line.

Managers may also consider where their material is coming from and to where goods are being shipped. With easy access to some of the world's busiest air and sea ports, logistics companies in Los Angeles can offer a unique advantage to those who receive raw material from overseas, or likewise export their final products. Such a network is also well positioned for regional flow to major West Coast cities and onto other national destinations.

Finally, clients likely want to know whether a potential provider is asset or management-based. While the latter can supply the managerial and technological aspects of moving a product, the physical shipping is further outsourced. On the contrary, asset-based companies utilize their own people, warehouses, and equipment, and can thus offer customizable and traceable shipping options; they act as the sole point of contact.

With global trade at a new level of complexity, businesses are finding cost-effective solutions through logistics companies in Los Angeles. A joint venture with a capable provider can allow a business to focus on its customers and boost its bottom line.

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Utilizing Social Media to Power Supply Chain Solutions

by Administrator29. April 2014 14:31


Social Media provides a foundation for businesses to share and broadcast knowledgeable information and opinions to a particular target audience and market; thus, it also captures significant data about what's trending and "buzzing" within a market, as well as how consumers think, shop, vote, and spend their free time. And, because of this, many companies have jumped into the social media swimming pool in hopes to improve their supply chain solutions and operations.

Deborah Catalano Ruriani of Inbound Logistics highlights ten tips from Candi Hane, vice president of technical product management and product manager for logistics at the supply chain technology provider Elemica, on how to utilize social media to work in your supply chain advantage.

Click here to continue reading.

The 3PL Leveraged Spend Fallacy

by Administrator29. April 2014 11:19


Steve Banker, contributor writer for Forbes, was talking to the CEO of a 3PL provider that co-manages logistics and transportation services. After the CEO mentioned that the company has over a billion dollars in freight under management, Banker begged the "somewhat rude question" of: "What does it matter how much freight is under management?"

He then proceeds to justify his question saying that, "When 3PLs talk about being able to leverage their freight spending to get better rates for their shipper customers, I'm always skeptical. This is not like Walmart getting a price break based on volume buying from their suppliers. If the carrier's network does not line up with shipper origin and destination locations, the carried can't offer good rates."

And, like Banker, many logistics and supply chain management experts would agree. To continue reading, click here >>

Dr. Dale Rogers Discusses Logistics & Supply Chain Solutions

by Administrator19. March 2014 14:45

Dr. Dale Rogers, a Foundation Professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management at the University of Nevada, discusses logistics and supply chain solutions and management:

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