In­vest­ing in Tech­nol­ogy

The two key­words in to­day’s lo­gis­tics par­lance are – Cost-Ef­fec­tive­ness and Re­spon­sive­ness, i.e., flex­i­bil­ity to be able to change/ad­just to cus­tomer needs. Both the goals are achiev­able with the ap­pli­ca­tion of IT in lo­gis­tics pro­cesses; whether it is tra

Cargo Talk - - Expert View -

There are many such so­lu­tions avail­able which can be tweaked to meet in­di­vid­ual needs. Just ap­ply­ing or pur­chas­ing these so­phis­ti­cated so­lu­tions is not re­ally go­ing to bring about a change; what needs to be done is – proper train­ing of man­power to un­der­stand and fully utilise the ben­e­fits of these IT ap­pli­ca­tions.

One such ap­pli­ca­tion is the Trans­port Man­age­ment Sys­tem (TMS). This soft­ware helps in mon­i­tor­ing Ac­tiv­ity-Based Cost­ing (ABC), and at the same time, au­to­mates the in­for­ma­tion flow from Pick to De­liv­ery. It helps to im­prove trans­parency of the en­tire process.TMS can help – Build ef­fi­cient trans­porta­tion plans through im­proved plan­ning and op­ti­mi­sa­tion by con­sol­i­dat­ing or­ders into loads and as­sign­ing them to the best mode of trans­porta­tion.

Au­to­mate all global ship­ment ten­der­ing process and gain real-time vis­i­bil­ity of track­ing. Stream­line freight set­tle­ment pro­cesses to en­sure in­voice ac­cu­racy, shorten pay­ment cy­cles, and lower ad­min­is­tra­tion costs.

Ac­cu­rately man­age and an­a­lyse trans­porta­tion per­for­mance and speed by mea­sur­ing against net­work bench­marks.

Ex­e­cute in­bound trans­porta­tion pro­cesses by col­lab­o­rat­ing with your sup­pli­ers. Trans­porta­tion in­volves pick­ing up the cargo from the point of ori­gin and then car­ry­ing through to be de­liv­ered to the fi­nal cus­tomer at its des­ti­na­tion point.

The pick- up is gen­er­ally a man­ual process; where the cus­tomer ei­ther calls the trans­port­ing com­pany to pick up the cargo or the trans­port com­pany sends ve­hi­cles for pick-up on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. This is a loose loop; TMS helps to reg­is­ter Pick-up Re­quest ( PR) into the sys­tem, which then fills the de­tails of – Lo­ca­tion – route plan­ning Time – pick­ing time/sched­ule Weight – helps de­cide the ve­hi­cle type This cap­tures the Pickup Cost, which is gen­er­ally dif­fi­cult to cal­cu­late and many a times gets ig­nored due to lack of train­ing and aware­ness.

Once the load is picked up it is brought to the HUB, wherein all the pieces col­lected are pro­vided with PCN stick­ers gen­er­ated by the sys­tem; en­abling full ac­count­abil­ity of the load. The in­bound op­er­a­tions be­gin at the Hub, where the TMS de­cides – 1. Route 2. Ve­hi­cle Man­age­ment 3. Cost Man­age­ment

The route gets fixed, depend­ing upon the des­ti­na­tion point of the cargo in ques­tion. The type and weight of the cargo will de­cide the type of the ve­hi­cle on which it will be loaded. A full truck load ( FTL) is sim­ple to plan, but when the cargo is less than full truck load ( LTL); it needs care­ful plan­ning to ad­just it with other loads also keep­ing in mind the des­ti­na­tion points. In ve­hi­cle man­age­ment load­ing sheet is also gen­er­ated. Along the route Touch Points are iden­ti­fied – for ex­am­ple – move­ment from Delhi to Mum­bai – the Touch Points will be Jaipur, Ahmed­abad and Bhi­wadi. These points are nec­es­sary for the phys­i­cal as­sess­ment of the ve­hi­cle.

The TMS does the Cost Man­age­ment for the en­tire route cal­cu­lat­ing not just Line Haul Costs but also Lo­cal Pick-up & De­liv­ery ( LPD) costs as well. The LPD costs in­clude load­ing/ un­load­ing costs, HR/ad­min­is­tra­tion costs and Tran­sit ware­hous­ing costs.

Ve­hi­cle costs in­clude run­ning costs, cost of con­sum­ables, driver costs, etc. Be­sides, loss and dam­age costs are also ac­counted for in the sys­tem along with other hold up costs or cost due to time de­lays. The sys­tem does Ven­dor Man­age­ment and helps to pick out the most cost ef­fec­tive ven­dor for the pur­pose of trans­porta­tion of cargo.

The sys­tem cap­tures the en­tire process up to the point of de­liv­ery be­cause Proof of De­liv­ery ( POD) and De­liv­ery Run Sheet ( DRS) are also logged into the sys­tem.

Such state-of-the-art sys­tems are read­ily avail­able for use. One such prod­uct is TMS DYNACARGO pro­vided by Mil­lion-Minds as an IT so­lu­tion for trans­porta­tion. I am sure the sys­tem is flex­i­ble to add on changes needed to meet spe­cific re­quire­ments of the clients/ users. How­ever, to use it ef­fec­tively a train­ing pro­gram is vi­tal to use the sys­tem to bring about the much needed cost re­duc­tion for any com­pany.

To stay ahead in this com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment, the lo­gis­tics firms need to in­vest in mod­ern tech­nol­ogy and in­ten­sive train­ing of their em­ploy­ees. By do­ing this the lo­gis­tics firms can be look­ing ahead to a bright fu­ture.

Veni Mathur Dean, Mil­lion Minds

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