Manhattan Associates, Inc. has announced new additions to its Transportation Management System (TMS) to allow shippers to fully utilise the transportation market's sharing economy. Part of the recently announced Manhattan Active Supply Chain Solution suite, Manhattan's TMS 2017 allows shippers to easily add capacity, improve the flow of information across extended distribution networks and obtain real-time visibility into in-transit inventory.
The transportation market has evolved into a sharing economy model as shippers looking to add capacity frequently engage with carriers other than their primary partners. However, most small operators do not have the high-end IT infrastructure of their larger counterparts, making tendering, procuring and tracking shipments more difficult. This is complicated by the fact that small carriers dominate the fragmented truckload shipping market. According to The American Trucking Association, 91 percent of carriers within the US operate six or fewer trucks. Fragmentation is also a feature of the European road freight transport market with Transport Intelligence reporting that the top ten players account for just ten percent of the market.
Available as a free download from the Apple App Store or Google Play, Manhattan's new TMS Mobile application leverages the ubiquity of smartphones to reduce the barrier to entry and give small and medium-sized contract carriers access to constant, real-time visibility. This information drives the detailed analytics, accurate planning and improved customer service required in today's supply chains.
"In the same way ride-sharing companies use smartphones to provide quick and simple access to transportation, TMS Mobile also leverages these devices to provide shippers the same, effortless access to available transportation resources. The goal of this new economic model is to improve customer convenience and service levels, while decreasing overall costs," said Gregg Lanyard, director of Product Management at Manhattan Associates.
Manhattan's TMS 2017 also introduces integration with MacroPoint, a global freight platform that provides shippers with real-time visibility of freight they have entrusted to third-party carriers. This integration gives users immediate access to one million drivers and over two million ELD/GPS connections.
Additional highlights from Manhattan's TMS 2017 include:
- Dynamic and opportunistic cross-docking that considers already-planned inventory, inventory in motion and inventory at interim facilities when determining the subsequent movement of products through one or more waypoints. This enables effective cost-based and time-based decision making for optimal routing.
- Seasonal demand analysis that identifies data patterns to boost planning accuracy. By analysing demand history, strategic modelling provides a solution that is both operationally feasible and optimal to the network.
- Automated, rules-based appointment scheduling to streamline workflow and improve efficiencies for planners. This new rules framework allows users to focus on exceptions and provides greater flexibility when managing the appointment process.
- Enhanced buy/sell management capabilities that provide 3PLs and carrier users with more robust dual rating, visibility and customer billing functionality so as to optimise revenue and margin management.
Additionally, Manhattan delivered enhancements to its ready-to-ship functionality to better facilitate inbound transportation flows, expanded support for LTL shippers with density-based rating and improved usability in multiple areas, including contract management and invoicing.
Manhattan also unveiled an updated Carrier Management suite of decision support tools for truckload carriers. These improvements are designed to help carriers reduce overhead costs while improving utilisation, efficiency and profitability. New features include Driver&Load, a multi-threaded, high-performance optimisation engine, and a web interface for Load Analyser, which improves network balance using lane forecasts, commitment planning and real-time operations data.