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About the Author

Stephanie Miles
Senior Vice President, Commercial Services
Amber Road

As Senior Vice President of Commercial Services, Stephanie Miles leads Amber Road's professional services and support teams for the delivery, implementation and ongoing support services for the company's global trade management solutions.

Prior to joining Amber Road, Stephanie ran the supply chain visibility company, BridgePoint, for 7 years as a first tier subsidiary of CSX. While at BridgePoint, she held the positions of Senior Vice President and General Manager, and also served as a Board Member. Stephanie entered the supply chain management industry in 1992, where she held numerous positions including product and project management, and Manager of Government Programs.

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Supply Chain Comment

By Stephanie Miles, Senior Vice President, Commercial Services, Amber Road

May 23, 2013

Winning Transportation Management Strategies

Five Winning Transportation Strategies to Grow Revenues and Streamline Operations For Your Business

These days multimodal management is the norm for international transportation managers. At the same time, the complexities of managing international supply chains continue to grow. Here are five winning transportation strategies to grow revenues and streamline operations for your business.

Miles Says:

By taking an integrated approach to your transportation needs, you’ll be able to lower costs; streamline your processes; improve customer service; and develop methods to continuously improve your operations.
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1. Develop a Holistic, Integrated Approach to Transportation Management

Centralizing transportation management, particularly planning and measurement, is key to gaining better understanding and management of your supply chains. Your centralization plan should include technology, data, management, processes and locales. Look for solutions that allow you to do more, reducing the need for regional point systems and multiple integrations.

2. Gain Visibility into your Global Supply Chain

Many shippers don’t have immediate information on the status of shipments and have no way to track them in transit. Your system should allow you to track and locate any shipment using reference points, such as booking number, container number, order number, part number and shipment references. You should also be able to receive proactive alerts on possible issues, such as delays and deviations, so you can focus what’s important. Finally, consider visibility as a starting point towards improving your supply chain, not just an end unto itself. With an integrated, holistic approach, you can shift focus away from the basics to more sophisticated cost savings, analysis and optimization techniques.

3. Use your System to Drive Integration with Partners

Building a trading partner network can be tedious and expensive if you try to do it all yourself. A solution with connectivity to a global partner network allows you to connect once to the network to gain seamless connectivity between your internal systems and extended supply chain. Collaboration with suppliers is also important. By using a supplier portal, you’ll be able to manage all facets of the purchase order process — including order acceptance, invoice consolidation, shipment creation and document generation – in an easier, more cost effective manner than spreadsheets and emails.

4. Leverage your Human Resources

Effective transportation management involves people as well as technology and systems. Recruiting qualified people, retention and education are a must for developing a best in class transportation management process. With the drive into new, uncharted markets, the role of the transportation manager grows harder by the day. Investing in training and support tools allows staff to successfully address the challenges of a global transportation network.

5. Consider the Financial Implications of your Transportation Network

It’s not just your goods that need to be moved – money needs to change hands too. Carriers, brokers and others in your supply chain network need to be paid accurately and on time. At the same time, you want the best route for your goods and you don’t want to overpay for it either. Contract and rate management, carrier selection and freight auditing are all part of the financial supply chain that needs to run in tandem with the movement of your goods. Ask yourself if you are able to easily and accurately access and manage your rates and contracts; quickly compare options and pick the best carrier, lane and rate for your goods; electronically initiate booking requests; and accurately identify freight payment errors that result in overcharges.

Final Thoughts

By taking an integrated approach to your transportation needs, you’ll be able to lower costs; streamline your processes; improve customer service; and develop methods to continuously improve your operations.

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