The truckload (TL) market was never an early adopter of technology when it comes to booking, bidding and freight management. Now collaborative cloud-based applications which manage freight on a real-time basis allow access by more parties in the supply chain, and TL is taking notice. As a result, transportation providers have the potential to drive great value for their customers by leapfrogging the competition who still rely on traditional transportation management systems (TMS).
The secret sauce? Advancements in technology are enabling cloud systems to offer communication and collaboration features which go beyond those of static, stand-alone transportation systems. One such innovator is Chicago-based Revenova, a cloud application provider of TMS for shippers, brokers and 3PLs. This particular TMS leverages customer relationship management (CRM) functionality and even social media-style features to get transportation carriers, freight brokers, forwarders, shippers and consignees all on the same page.
“Revenova TMS seamlessly communicates and shares information on a real-time basis across the entire process of moving freight. We offer integrated quoting, CRM and TMS, all in one high-performance platform,” said Michael Horvath, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Revenova LLC. Unlike a traditional TMS, users of this platform don’t have to go in and out of systems, databases and websites to manage their freight, or rely on error-prone, non-real-time manual processes such as phone and email.
All-in-one repository for collaboration
Authorized users of this highly secure cloud-based TMS can bid, move and manage freight throughout its entire journey. Shippers and transportation intermediaries, for example, log the freight move and determine the freight plan. “It could be one carrier or many, and any combination of modes,” Horvath said. And like a CRM system, Revenova allows users to manage the flow of the customer relationship on through proof of service and billing. The system is a native Force.com solution which supports credit and collections with integration to accounting systems.
G&D Integrated currently uses Revenova for its TL freight brokerage business and appreciates many of the benefits it offers:
- Data can be logged and aggregated by lane, carrier, customer or commodity, providing information to create more efficient workflows.
- Agility and flexibility of the system means customized portals for customers are easily created. Access is 24/7 on a smartphone, tablet, PC or laptop where accounts are updated on a real-time basis.
- Not all users that participate in the freight transaction have to subscribe to the service. This means that an independent TL carrier can click a web link to report their location or check freight status. Likewise, a consignee can track their freight with a click to a web link.
- The “task and activity tracking” feature uses smart email technology so G&D Integrated can see when emails were opened, and all customer transactions, such as phone calls, can be logged. The “chatter” feature allows more collaborative conversations where information, such as key details about the customer order, can be easily logged and accessed, much like social media.
- G&D Integrated stays on top of their safety and risk management. Add-ons include SaferWatch, a compliance risk management service that allows transportation providers to monitor their carriers on an automated basis.
G&D Integrated is already saving time and money with the CRM-powered TMS by making better use of resources, including the carrier assets it relies on to move its customer’s freight. In turn, the logistics provider reacts to customer needs quickly. The sky is the limit with advances in transportation management systems as G&D Integrated plans to expand the use of these types of applications across transportation modes.
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About the author: Mark London is VP, Sales & Marketing at G&D Integrated