10 Reasons to Implement a Cloud Multi-Carrier Parcel Management System
Not too long ago, if you were implementing a Transportation Management System for parcel shipping, also known as a multi-carrier parcel management system, you had to buy the software and install it on premise. Today, this has changed. Sophisticated multi-carrier parcel management systems are in the cloud, and adoption rates are increasing not only within large, global enterprises, but within small to mid-sized organizations as well.
Why the sudden increase in popularity?
Here are 10 reasons:
- Low Barriers to Entry: A cloud system eliminates expensive, upfront installation-related expenditures associated with hardware and software, enabling any size organization to utilize the technology. Instead, with a cloud multi-carrier parcel management system, shippers pay subscription or usage fees.
- Easy Enhancements: The cloud multi-carrier parcel management software provider is responsible for solution upgrades and enhancements, including application maintenance, and most application upgrades can be deployed automatically, eliminating the need for internal IT resources.
- Connectivity: These systems connect the shipper to carriers and supply chain software providers The right system will enable the shipper or logistics service provider to meet the customer’s shipping requirements from within the multi-carrier parcel management system, and there should be no limit to how many carrier service integrations the system can manage. The system will automatically determine the carrier that can provide the best rates to a particular region and according to the shipper’s business rules, ensuring every shipment is in compliance with each carrier’s labeling and communication standards, as well as with any applicable trade regulations. This provides shippers and logistics service providers with the agility to quickly onboard new carriers or carrier services in the event of a supply chain disruption and provide them with the flexibility they need to accommodate increasing shipping volumes, manage new or unexpected shipment origins and destinations, and meet customer delivery expectations.
- Scalability: Businesses with a growth mindset need shipping technology that can support the company as shipping volumes and complexity increase, and a cloud multi-carrier parcel management system enables a high-growth business to quickly seize opportunities and react to threats without navigating manual processes or extracting data from clumsy systems. Cloud multi-carrier parcel management systems offer scalability, agility, and low total cost of ownership, rescuing companies from large IT overheads and empowering them to handle growth on their own terms by leveraging flexible technology that will scale with them.
Furthermore, by implementing cloud technology that can operate globally and automate manual, time-consuming processes such as cross-border documentation or parcel delivery track-n-trace, major obstacles to international market expansion can be eliminated.
- Accessibility: Deploying a cloud-based system levels the playing field, as any size organization can access a variety of carrier services. Furthermore, a cloud multi-carrier parcel management system only requires internet access. There’s no need for users to use a VPN or to be on the office network. This kind of flexibility enables everyone from shipping teams to customer service representatives worldwide to have 24/7 access to shipping operations. And in a dynamic shipping environment, access results in on-time deliveries.
- Reliability: Unfortunately, our world is fragile. Whether the fault lies with Mother Nature or the damage is self-inflicted, the unthinkable can – and frequently does – happen. Cloud multi-carrier parcel management system vendors deploy their solutions across multiple data centers to guarantee 100% up-time. In the event of a widespread power outage or weather-related disruption, shippers can still access the multi-carrier parcel management system and its data, ensuring on-time delivery KPIs are still within sight.
- Quick Implementation: A cloud-based multi-carrier parcel management system enjoys a significantly faster implementation time than that of a hosted or hybrid solution. Essentially, it’s ready from the moment the contract is signed. SaaS solutions can be deployed in as little as a few weeks, whereas a hosted or hybrid solution can take months. And a cloud multi-carrier parcel management system is more time-efficient when it comes to sharing and managing shipping data on an ongoing basis. This means shippers receive a double benefit: time savings upfront and time savings over the long-term.
- Quick ROI: Cloud systems yield a quick Return on Investment (ROI) due to the low upfront costs and quick implementation. In fact, one of the main advantages of cloud is the financial savings. And for many organizations, a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) is the primary and most attractive benefit of a cloud multi-carrier parcel management system, since companies save on human resources to service the application and on overall operating expenses (OPEX).
- Improved Decision-Making: Operations teams can improve transportation decisions by leveraging actionable reports and dashboards available within a cloud multi-carrier parcel management system. The right system will include Business Intelligence tools and technology that reduce time to information, create a single source of truth, and empower business operations with high-quality data that increases agility and drives toward KPIs. Specifically, a Business Intelligence platform in a cloud multi-carrier parcel management system will understand how components such as distance, speed to delivery, density, and package size affect spend within the transportation carrier landscape, visualize how and where changes are planning to (or should) occur, and retain this information as a “profile” that allows the shipper or logistics service provider to negotiate with carriers. For instance, if a shipper is implementing changes in fulfillment to increase ship-from-store, or as many retailers have done during the COVID-19 outbreak, locate a new temporary DC, understanding how these changes impact zone and carrier service-level downgrade options are critical.
- Low Transportation Spend: A cloud multi-carrier parcel management system will lower transportation spend by as much as 10 – 20% on average.
A cloud multi-carrier parcel management system can provide myriad benefits for shippers. To learn more, download this Quick Guide: Critical Capabilities of a TMS for Parcel Shipping.