How Lean Concepts Can Help Improve Transportation Management Systems
Adopting a lean approach to transportation management systems can help companies uncover and eliminate waste that they did not even know existed. The same lean concept of making it obvious which steps are adding value to operations by reducing or eliminating anything that doesn’t add value can be surprisingly useful in this regard.
Lean is particularly suited to finding very small improvements that can add up to significant savings over time. Just a cent or two of wasted money, whether it is in materials or time, might not seem like a lot on the surface, but when a cent or two of waste is added up across every step and every client, it can quickly become a lot of money – and that can make a big difference in today’s business world, where many companies are already operating on very slim margins.
Having an all-in-one transportation management system can really cut down on the number of windows that workers have to click through to generate invoices or shipments. These five or ten clicks here and there can add up to a lot of wasted time in the long run.
It can also save a lot of time to have all of the relevant documents incorporated into a customer record so that everything can be viewed together in one place. Cutting out double entry in accounting can also save time and cut down on the number of errors that are made.
Take a close look at every step of your processes for common tasks such as booking shipments or generating quotes. How many steps are there, and how much of an impact on the end product does each one have? Are there any steps that entail copying and pasting information, duplicate screens, or finding documents, for example? All of these tasks could be incorporated into a single step or even eliminated completely with a more advanced TMS.