How much does a TMS cost?

How much does a TMS cost?

Sourcing a full featured TMS can be a daunting task. You have to weigh costs per shipment vs. capabilities. Costs can vary by the amount of additional modules required. ShippersEdge takes a tiered service approach starting at 250 shipments per month to upwards of 20,000 shipments per month ranging in cost from about $2.50 per shipment on small volumes to $0.40 per shipment for shipments in excess of 20,000 per month. 

ShippersEdge offers modules that can be added ala’carte

ShippersEdge offers modules that can be added ala’carte or if volume warrants, bundled in our Enterprise Plus version for shipping volumes approaching or above 1,000 orders per month. Certain modules are resource intensive and are priced separately and example is our telematics module which is resource heavy.

Configuration, setup and training are additional (typically) one-time expenses that are priced independent of monthly subscription charges. ShippersEdge was built to be highly configurable with that ability to have triggers, alerts, exception management based on business rules and a host of other high level functionality features to automate even the most labor intensive tasks. 

Configuration and setup is priced through a one on one scoping

Configuration and setup is priced through a one on one scoping series of interviews and fact gathering sessions typically of 30 minutes in length each. We work hand in hand with you to make certain all bases are covered and thought through. We also typically divide baseline functionality from nice-to-have features into phases. A walk before you run strategy that helps you ease into your TMS and prevent disruptions. 

Training can typically be done over the phone. On site visits can be allowed for but due to its designed ease of use user interface, nearly everyone “gets it” in short training sessions. If you’ve used UPS WorldShip or FedEx Manager, you can use ShippersEdge in short order. ShippersEdge is also a fully managed system. You do not need a super-user. Training in super-users can be expensive and if you have turnover, doubly so. Our help desk is always staffed so you do not need to plan personal leave of a super-user into your backup systems. 

Configuration, setup and training can vary but starts at about $5,000 and can range up to $100,000 or more in very diverse complicated installations. 

For more information contact the undersigned. 

Tim Taylor 

Timothy.taylor@shippersedge.com

Strategy Leads Tactics

Ready, Fire, Aim is not a good strategy

In logistics management as in all things having a strategy leads to tactics. Getting cheapest freight rate is a tactic, it may be part of a strategy but if it leads to freight claims, customer dissatisfaction with delivery expectation or a failure in your supply chain that shuts down a line, it wasn’t really a great strategy.

Having a goal leads to strategy

How does one go about creating a strategy? Goals is first and foremost. Goals in and of themselves are strategies of a sort. A plan to attain those goals is developed through analytics and the harnessing of data. Acquiring data is paramount to developing strategies to achieve goals.

This is where a TMS helps dramatically, first in acquiring, reporting and analyzing data. If the goals are to smooth out bumps in the supply chain, having the data to know specifically and empirically where the bumps are, who are the players (vendor/transportation provider/purchasing agent) you get a statistical analysis that will show a developing pattern. 

Likewise, in deliveries to customers, patterns emerge, typically with the transportation provider but sometimes they are confined to a specific region or locality of a transportation providers. A couple of years ago a major transportation provider had a hub in Denver that service any western states. They also sustained an acute reduction in available labor due to newly legalized recreational marijuana. Many of our client suspended them until things settled down. 

Patterns emerge

Over a given period of time, patterns emerge and then tactics can be deployed to mitigate the problem. You may want better visibility on your retail deliveries to avoid penalties. Maybe the problem is lack of visibility on incoming shipments leading to uncertain labor planning. Vendor compliance and vendor timeliness is also important and can be managed, if seen and historically evaluated. 

Giant data warehouse

A solid Transportation Management System is a giant data warehouse, one you don’t have to ask IT for access to. Custom dashboards, alerts, reports should be easy. ShippersEdge TMS is affordable high technology that assists you in your execution of strategies and gives you the analytical tools to identify opportunities and execute the tactical moves that follow. 

ShippersEdge adds International to Its Product Offerings

Now you can manage your international shipping through ShippersEdge.

Use our system to create all international documents

Communicate with your providers via EDI

Store all documents within ShippersEdge

Conveniently transmit documents to your trading partners

Supplier portal supports International Shipping

Provide constituents with easy to find tracking information

Alerting of delays or timely arrivals may be automated

Compare rates from your providers

Request rate quotes from your providers

All rate quoting information is captured within ShippersEdge

Display analytics by provider, lane or vendor/receiver

ShippersEdge can even communicate with customs in many countries 

3PL Logistics Management From ShippersEdge

ShippersEdge has completed our 3PL management version of our award winning TMS. 

Features include:

Fixed or variable markup

Integration with any accounting system

Customer Vendor Portal for managing incoming freight

Consolidations one customer or many

Consolidation cost allocation by business rules or manual override

Invoicing (batch or individual) 

EDI invoicing or file transfer

Settlement Module including proper paperwork check

Czar-Lite Support

Non-standard rating (pallet, lineal or cubic feet or rate tables)

Cost change (while enroute) visibility

Accept carrier EDI 

Transmit Carrier EDI

LTL carrier API integration

Freight bill auditing

Exception management and notification

Truckload Tracking cell phone or direct connection

Geofencing

LTL tracking 

Scalability for multiple accounts

Highly affordable monthly costs

Ability to customize for you or your clients

Client/Customer Portal

Carrier Portal with or without bid boards

Electronic load tendering through system email or portal

Service Confirmations through portal or system email

Carriers can upload their freight invoices and documents through the portal or via system email

Instant messaging through portal retained in shipment record

Lane histories

Shipment history logging

Ability to import orders or integrate with your client’s ERP

These are the basic features. We can customize for you. 

Carrier Portals

Custom Carrier Portals

ShippersEdge has off the shelf and customizable carrier portals. Typically, large volume truckload shippers use a carrier portal to have their carriers update status on the loads and to accept or reject shipment tender requests.

Some shippers like to use portals as load boards with fixed pricing or as bid boards. Whether you set the expected price or you’re requesting a price from a provider, a carrier portal is an excellent way to provide your carrier visibility into your available or upcoming shipments. Rates can also be extracted from established rate agreements with your providers.

Messaging that remains a permanent record in the shipment can also be accomplished through the portal and a flag can be set to denote a new message to ensure it is seen. In some cases, you may want to send an email to your provider notifying them of new messages or changes to a load.

When it comes to a portal, ShippersEdge can advise you of state of the art best practices and if appropriate, incorporate those practices along with your current practices if desired. Your portal will be done your way. Gone will be spreadsheets, hunting through emails and sticky notes to find particulars on a shipment.

Make your carrier portal the way you want it. Contact ShippersEdge timothy.taylor@shippersedge.com call 952-777-4421 or visit us on the web at www.shipperesedgetms.com

Custom Applications in a TMS

Custom Apps in a Transportation Management System

Many TMS platforms do a good job at their basic functional purpose of helping you manage and execute your transportation and provide good analytics to help you improve your game. But what about those things that are transportation related but not actually shipping functions?

Examples might be managing exceptions in produce or dwell time at construction sites. ShippersEdge has a built in custom app maker. By using client input and imaginative design we ca help clients streamline their non-ERP transportation related operations. Do you need to leave a trailer dropped at a jobsite and want to track and may invoice your client for excess demurrage time? What about counting blankets and in and out condition, for blanket wrap deliveries and inventorying them upon return?

More examples:

A complex receipt of goods form, i.e. condition and etc.

An evaluation form for exchange shipments like tanks, bottles, IBC and other similar goods.

A for that initiates invoicing based on delivery or exchange.

Anything that your ERP cannot do relating to a transaction result.

If your TMS provider is thinking only about shipping costs and not about overall logistics costs, you’ve got the wrong provider. If they’re telling you custom application modules are thousands and thousands of dollars, again rethink your provider. Speed is essential, accuracy even more so, ShippersEdge can help you achieve both.

ShippersEdge has developed specialty applications for large and small companies, put our expertise to work, we love challenging projects.

A TMS with a Built-in App for Managing Intermediate Bulk Containers

A TMS with a Built-in App for Managing Intermediate Bulk Containers

ShippersEdge an award-winning transportation management system is pleased to announce its available app to help you grade and count your returned IBC equipment. You would use ShippersEdge TMS to route and track your intermediate bulk container shipping both inbound and outbound. As the IBC equipment is returned to your facility a special tab will show you which containers need to be inventoried and graded.

The app is specifically designed to be operated from an iPad (or another tablet) to be graded. You can also activate the camera if wanted. You can add inventory units and finally export this data to your billing system or ERP.

Below is an example or a form we did for an IBC exchange company. It can be easily modified to fit your needs exactly.

Get your workflow managed and easier than ever to get the date you need sent to the right application. The add on app is only $250.00 per month so its highly affordable. ShippersEdge TMS base entry pricing is just under $500.00 per month and integrations are reasonably priced as is the setup fees.

Contact ShippersEdge at timothy.taylor@shippersedge.com or 952-777-4421 or visit us on the web at www.shippersedgetms.com

Shippers use technology to mitigate chargebacks

Jeff Bezos doesn’t need more money

A whole host of big box retailers, from Walmart to Walgreens, CVS to Amazon are assessing penalties for late deliveries. It sounds to me like Jeff Bezos doesn’t need more money so let’s help him out. Shippers need to use technology to mitigate these chargebacks. Since MAP 21, coercing drivers even through threats to withhold future business is not an answer at all. The ELD capacity tightening is only making things worse. There are a lot of whys in that but let’s start with an answer first.

Plan your shipping

Plan your shipping around expected transit times. We’ll go into this further but LTL carriers publish transit times and technology can help you monitor the accuracies of those times. Truckload transit times have to be geared toward driver hours, weather and congestion. There are now inexpensive ways to track truckload transit and do historical analysis in specific lanes.

This is all presuming you can schedule production to a ship date generated by technology. Let’s say we have an LTL shipment, where stated transit time is 4 days (business days) and data shows 85% on time deliveries. The rate is $560.00. The best on time percentage is 98% but the rate is $20.00 more. Amazon charges 3% of the cost of goods (invoice value). On a $8,000 order saving $20.00 could cost you $240.00.

The math

Assuming you ship monthly to all 122 Amazon Fulfillment centers in the US:
 

Total Shipments

15% Late Order Value 3% Chargeback Total of all charge backs
1464 220 $18,000  $540.00  $118,584.00
Total Shipments 2% Late Order Value 3% Chargeback Total of all charge backs
1464 29 $18,000  $540.00  $15,811.20
Total Shipments Additional Freight Charges @ $20.00 each Savings with on time carrier
1464  $29,280.00  $73,492.80
However, Amazon only assesses the outside delivery window charge if your trailing four week average is below 90% so in effect you could save the entire $118,584.00 by using a more reliable carrier.

 

So how do you get reliability percentages easily

So how do you get reliability percentages easily and automatically? ShippersEdge TMS will give them to you and they can be viewed manually or incorporated into business rules f and used with automated tendering.

All the major retailing chains have added late delivery chargebacks to their arsenal. Just having an easy way to create delivery reports that show the delivery date vs. the delivery window requested can aid in dispute resolution. Getting carrier information into your ASNs is another thing a TMS can assist you with. By knowing transit times and reliability metrics, a TMS can tell you when to ship, with whom to ship and give you the data to make informed objective decisions.

A TMS can also record weather related delays, track full truckloads and create alerts for situations where an appointment can’t be met. Some missed appointment charges can run $350.00. Integrating with cell phone tracking is made for a TMS to point out problems before they become bottom line events.

Contact ShippersEdge at 952-777-4421 or visit us on the web at www.shippersedgetms.com

 

 

 

Why your ERP’s TMS is not Always the Best Choice

Why your ERP’s TMS is not Always the Best Choice

Many of the large ERP platforms have a TMS module available for install. There are many reasons to consider using the ERP module of your TMS and also there are reasons to choose a different TMS.

Two Distinct Advantages

There are two distinct advantages of using an independent TMS. The first is time, speed and ease of deployment. Delays and hiccups in ERP deployment are legendary. So bad are some implementations that they’ve cratered earning and market value, sometimes for years after the implementation. An independent TMS is used to interacting with many different ERPs, knows the pitfalls and idiosyncrasies of different ERP platforms and is adept at overcoming their shortfalls.

The second distinct advantage of an independent TMS over an ERP’s TMS module is the ease of use and ease of customization. Typically, large ERP platforms have acquired TMS modules and bolted them onto the platform. This is fine but many of those TMS programs were written for mega companies many years ago. The operation of those TMS programs is generally extreme overkill for mid-sized companies and consequently the operation is often complex and cumbersome.

Some other advantages of using an independent TMS include:

Speed of deployment, ERPs can take years to deploy successfully in some cases. The TMS module is usually one of the last things to be deployed.

Price can be a factor. Independent TMS platforms are built with small to midsized companies in mind and are priced accordingly. The ERP TMS modules by comparison were built for very large enterprises.

Customization is usually faster, better and less expensive. The mega TMS modules in large ERP platforms were written when man-years of programming were the norm. Unwinding that programming to create any custom application is often very time consuming.

Cloud deployment is not always available with your ERP’s TMS module, therefore upgrades and scalable deployment may tax your IT departments schedule and be delayed or deferred.

ShippersEdge is a tier II SaaS deployed TMS specially tailored to the SMB market. We interface seamlessly with any ERP and offer an easy to learn, easy to use user interface. ShippersEdge is affordable logistics software.

For more information, timothy.taylor@shippersedge.com or visit us on the web at www.shippersedgetms.com

13 Things Shippers Need to Know if They’re Going to Play in the Spot Market Without a Broker

Things Shippers Need to Know if They’re Going to Play in the Spot Market

 

  1. It’s the wild, wild west in the spot market. Be prepared to sift through the chaff to find your gems. There are a lot of scam artists in the spot market. Be very wary of 1 truck operations.
  2. Inspections matter one. If you’re seeing a trucker take a number of your loads check their inspections and make sure their being inspected. A low number of inspections per vehicle can indicate that trucker is double brokering your loads.
  3. Inspections matter two. You do need to look at https://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/ and dive into inspections. Why? Because excessive equipment problems are a sign of financial instability. You can fix driver HOS violations but only money can fix equipment problems.
  4. Once you’ve entered the market your rates will fall. You should expect 15-20% reductions. A look at the largest publicly held freight broker’s publicly filed financial statements will validate this fact.
  5. You should hire an experienced freight broker to run your program and they don’t come cheap. Good brokers make high five figures and many reach into six figures. You will get what you pay for.
  6. When you’re talking to a dispatcher of a trucker, ask the question, are you unloaded now? Where are you? Where are your hours at? Listen very carefully to the answers. If there’s uncertainty in their voice, hang up.
  7. Get the license plate number of the truck, Google that plate number. By Googling the plate, the inspections for that truck should show up. No inspections, don’t load them Send the plate number to your loading dock for validation upon arrival.
  8. Take a photo copy of the driver’s ID. Walk around the truck. Make sure plate number matches. It is a good idea to take a picture of the placard on the side of the door and send it to the file. Get the drivers cell phone number.
  9. Be prepared for factors to call you validating the load and the amount. Better yet set up your own quick pay and advancing for further discounted freight charges. Factors charge 2-7% it’s well worth while to save this money yourself and knock out factors.
  10. You’ll need software to manage your spot market activities. Software that automatically does the inspection searching. Software that produces a trip contract. Software that assists in onboarding by checking insurance. shippersedgetms.com
  11. You need to keep track of lane histories. Truckers typically run the same lanes over and over. If you can book a reliable trucker while he’s still headed into your town, you are time and money ahead of the competition.
  12. Fuel surcharge goes to the owner operators be generous with your fuel surcharge. Drivers have a say in who and what they load. Giving the drivers a larger share of the load pay will make you a preferred shipper in the eyes of the driver.
  13. Watch out for crooks. The trucking world like any industry has their share of them and one crook can ruin your day pretty quickly. Double brokering, load theft are just two of the numerous problems facing the industry.

About the author. Tim Taylor is a recovering freight broker now marketing transportation management software for ShippersEdgeTMS.com he can be reached at timothy.taylor@shippersedge.com or by phone at 952-777-4421