How shippers can navigate the COVID-19 uncertainty with a free TMS | Convoy
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How shippers can navigate the COVID-19 uncertainty with a free TMS

We live in uncertain times. If you are a logistics director, you are acutely aware of this. You are worried about the health of your employees as well as that of your customers, partners and suppliers. You’re worried whether demand for your business is going to go up or down over the coming months. If things are down, when will they come back? If things are up, how sustainable is it?

We feel this at Convoy, too, and we want to suggest three ways a transportation management system (TMS) can help your logistics team both weather this uncertainty and set yourself up for success as the economy stabilizes.

1. Arm yourself with data about your freight

We all make better decisions when we have great data. When we talk to logistics directors we frequently hear that they lack data about their own freight. A majority of small and mid-sized shippers do not use a TMS and run their freight off of email and spreadsheets. This means that their freight is moving, but they have no command center view of where it is going, with which carrier or whether that carrier is performing well.

We built Convoy Connect, our free TMS, to provide exactly these key metrics with a single click. As a logistics director, you can see your routing guide: which lanes your freight is moving on and the range of prices you are paying. You can see all your carriers with their shipment count and spend and drill into their overall performance: response rates, acceptance rates and response times. Connect automatically arms you with the data you need to understand your freight and feel confident that your routing guide is working for you.

2. Let technology help vet your operations and streamline communication

At many companies when uncertainty goes up there is a pressure to conserve cash. Logistics directors – not a group to waste money to begin with – tell us that they are under even more pressure to reduce costs and justify budgets.

If you are a shipper who is running your freight via email and spreadsheets instead of a TMS, you are missing out on two opportunities to conserve cash. First, you spend a lot of time building out a network of carriers and negotiating good prices with them, but how do you know if your team is booking the right carrier at the right price? You can audit them when invoices come in but this is time consuming and may happen 30-90 days after the freight shipped. When you use a TMS like Convoy Connect, you can see all of your loads and the exact price paid. With one click you can confirm that the correct price was booked, enabling you to quickly audit the team and coach if the incorrect carrier is used.

There is also a hidden cost of emails and spreadsheets. It takes time to coordinate emails amongst many carriers and the process of managing load updates can take the bulk of a day for some teams. We see teams that adopt Convoy Connect save 50% of the time it takes them to tender and manage loads. This frees up time to focus on critical freight improvements during the volatility of COVID-19. The team finally has time to answer questions like “why is the performance on this lane so bad?” Is it a question of the carrier? The facility? Maybe try drop instead of live?

Using a TMS like Convoy Connect to manage your freight lets you execute the freight fundamentals flawlessly, leading to reduced spend through booking the right carriers and saving tendering time.

3. Turn these lemons into lemonade

It may seem counterintuitive, but now is the perfect time to push through a big change in your logistics department. Your team has had to change their routine to deal with the uncertainty of the past few months. They understand that in uncertain times there will be more change, and adopting a TMS will not phase them.

Convoy Connect is designed to get you from registration to first load tendered in less than five minutes. There is no cost for the software and no IT integration is required. This is a great time to try a low cost solution that will increase your team’s productivity-both now and after COVID-19.

Sign up for Convoy Connect and start navigating the uncertainty of COVID-19 with a command center view of your freight.

Lindsay Watt
Lindsay Watt is the Head of Product, Shipper Experience, leading the development of Convoy’s next set of investments in shippers. He loves freight because it’s so complex and touches so many people. Outside of work, he’s semi-successfully teaching some six year-olds how to kick a soccer ball.