The retail industry has grown substantially in the last decade, with e-commerce leading the way in growth percentages. And retail sales in the U.S. are on the rise, with sales increasing by 0.6% last month. With so many consumers making purchases online, transportation logistics have become crucial to the success of e-commerce retail businesses. Investing in a Transportation Management System can help retailers ship goods faster and increase customer satisfaction.
What is a TMS for Retailers?
Retailers that are looking to grow their customer base need to be able to meet their expectations with faster and less expensive shipping options. An integrated logistics solution like a Transportation Management System (TMS) can give retailers a better sense of their supply chain and transportation operations. The purpose of one is to streamline transportation operations by optimizing routing, shipment tracking, and carrier selection.
Transportation Management Systems optimize and streamline the supply chain operations for retailers in the following ways:
- Carrier Selection: Determines the best carrier based on cost and destination.
- Route Optimization: Finds the most cost-effective and faster route.
- Load Optimization: Maximizes the space in the transportation vehicle.
- Freight Auditing: Verifies invoices for accuracy.
- Performance Tracking: Monitors delivery performance to evaluate efficiency.
Why Does a Retailer Need a TMS?
A TMS can increase supply chain visibility while streamlining the logistics process. Some of the features of a TMS are key for retailers staying competitive.
For retailers, the customer experience is key. Customers want to know exactly when their item is going to arrive. TMS can track shipments in real-time and send updates for key milestones. These updates can be shared across the board so all involved parties can track shipments. Real-time visibility that a TMS provides improves accountability and enables businesses to offer better service to customers.
Whether a retailer is shipping directly to the customer or sending items to a retail store, a TMS can help ensure that they get to where they need to go. Customers who have to wait weeks to receive their purchases can feel unsatisfied with their experience. This can harm the retailer’s reputation. In fact, one study showed that 32 percent of customers would stop buying from a brand after just one bad experience.
A TMS enables an e-commerce retailer to meet customer demand, especially during peak seasons. The retailer is able to provide reliable shipping, place products in stores or warehouses closer to their customers and improve their delivery performance overall.
When a retailer needs to ship, choosing the right transportation method can be challenging. Ground, airfreight, rail, and ocean, or a combination of them offer different rates and delivery time frames. There is a transportation option that is optimal for each destination and type of product. A TMS can find the best carrier for the shipping situation which can reduce waste and improve efficiency. It can also process real-time traffic and weather issues.
A TMS can give important insights into the retailer’s supply chain, where errors can occur. Fewer errors mean that customers are less likely to get the wrong items or have a failed delivery. Inventory levels are better managed when backed by real-time and historical data. Retailers are able to identify where improvements are needed and manage the availability of products to meet customer demand. Decisions that are backed by data result in better overall profitability.
With a TMS, a retailer can create optimal routing options for the best delivery routes. The ability to customize criteria offers a personalized transportation process, which reduces operational costs. A TMS solution creates multi-stop routes, leading to cost and fuel efficiency. These solutions allow businesses to get tighter control over their logistics operations, resulting in lower operational expenses.
The detailed reports provided by a TMS can identify trends such as repeated incorrect shipment deliveries and shipment costs. Built-in tools generate reports in various formats that help strategic decision-making. The analytics offer insights as to how to make more informed decisions.
TMS for Retailers with Verizeal
With the growth of e-commerce, many retailers have found it difficult to keep up with the shipping demands of their customers. A TMS can improve supply chain efficiency by optimizing routes and providing full visibility to the transportation process. Verizeal can help your retail operation to ensure the timely and accurate delivery of goods all while giving real-time visibility to the transportation process. Verizeal can facilitate better decisions through data to help drive growth in your business.