A Transportation Management System is an integral part of the freight brokerage business. More often than not, a good TMS is the deciding factor of who wins and who loses in this industry.
Tools have been essential to humanity since the dawn of time. Unsurprisingly, that is no different in today’s business world. TMS is the essential tool for our industry.
Whether you’re a new freight broker or you’ve been established for a while, TMS software can improve your business.
TMS software like BrokerWare™ isn’t an add-on to your business or a bonus like it used to be — it’s a necessity to work efficiently in this industry.
For freight brokers who are just starting out,getting a quality piece of TMS software is probably the only way they’re going to be able to achieve a high level of efficiency without having to hire a whole bunch of people.
It’s a key to growth in a variety of ways. First, because it is going to automate many different tasks, you simply need less employees, which means that overhead costs stay low from the beginning.
Any freight broker with any sort of experience in the industry understands the value of this. Brokers run on razor-thin margins, margins that can often turn into losses when something goes awry on a shipment. Choosing carriers and matching them with shippers can be a hazardous undertaking, and when things don’t go the way they should, a high overhead can suddenly become a very large problem.
By keeping business processes slim and efficient from day one, the new freight broker can establish themselves as someone who can get the job done without having to worry immediately about paying a truckload of salaries every few weeks.
But business growth is only the tip of this iceberg.
Another really important (vital, really) benefit of working with a TMS isn’t a benefit to you — it’s a benefit to your customers!
Gone are the days when the only way to make any sort of order was to pick up the phone and make a call. Even the days of sending a series of emails are gone.
As a population, we’ve been spoiled by large shippers of consumer goods like Amazon. Many shippers these days want the ability to schedule a shipment entirely online without ever once having to send you an email or make a phone call or send a fax.
They want you to pair them with the right carrier at the right time (which is usually right now), and they want to do so from the comfort of their own computer.
Practically speaking, most 3PL software should be able to do this, but it’s not always the case — not every TMS includes API integrations, and not every TMS is able to connect to all the major load boards (let alone sort through them all to find you the best carrier with the best rate for the shipment and lane). Without something like RateShare™, you’re relying solely on the integrity of your contacts to make sure you can offer the best rates to shippers — and without a customer portal, it’s like you’re operating back in the 1980s.
Being able to offer a customer portal — a website where your customers can login and schedule a shipment, especially repeat shipments, quickly and easily – can be an incredible way to set yourself apart from the crowd of brokers who all claim to be doing basically the same thing that you do.
Shippers today just don’t want the hassle of having to call or fax or send an email every time they want to schedule a shipment — and there are a lot of brokers out there who are willing to remove that hassle for customers in order to get their business.
You probably should try to be one of those brokers.
Invest in the right tools, and your business will thrive.
BrokerWare™ is one of the top-performing pieces of 3PL software in the brokerage industry.
Contact us today to see how we can help you set yourself apart from the competition.