TMS software vs Excel spreadsheet : choose the right tool to optimize transport management !

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Although spreadsheets are a joy for many managers of all kinds, experts in pivot tables, some digital innovations seem to have supplanted them when it comes to logistics optimization. Focus on the limits of the spreadsheet in terms of transport management.

Since its inception, the Excel spreadsheet has remained one of the most widely used management tools, in areas ranging from accounting to purchasing, logistics or transportation. For example, according to a TMS market study conducted jointly by DDS Logistics and the E.S.T. (École Supérieure de Transport) in 2016, 37.5% of companies tracked their transport costs using spreadsheets. However, it is clear that the massive digitalization of companies has somewhat displaced this historical tool in the heart of supply chain teams.

The difficulty of aggregating the multiplicity of transport data

The first and most important reason is the increase in data. Increasingly numerous, driven by the arrival of digital technology, collected with the aim of being aggregated, analyzed and optimized, the famous data has invaded organizations. And if Excel spreadsheets have many resources to classify and exploit them, their growing number and their increasingly sophisticated use are now pushing transport departments to use powerful software in terms of analysis, such as the TMS (Transport Management System). This use is also driven by the development of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, and the prospect of increasingly predictive analyses.

TMS software : a collaborative transport management tool

Sharing information, in an increasingly extended, global and complex supply chain, has therefore become essential. Every day, billions and billions of emails are exchanged between the actors of the same value chain to make it as efficient as possible. Sharing files created from office tools is nowadays very easy. However, the management of these files: filing of emails, telephone exchanges, security of shared data, reactivity of actions to be taken… requires a great agility on a daily basis.

To help make this collaboration more virtuous and, above all, less tedious, the TMS transport software allows partners in the same ecosystem to interact in real time on data, processes and operations from a single tool.

Enable automation and management of transport operations

Searching for an order, an invoice, changing its status, transmitting it to your shipper partners, carriers, customers… All this is obviously possible from a simple spreadsheet. But performing these actions in real time, in an automated and direct way, is not really possible. This is undoubtedly why companies are turning more and more to transport TMS software.

Because if automation has the wind in its sails in the warehouse, no doubt it also shows its virtues in the transport sector :

  • working comfort, 
  • time saving,
  • process acceleration  
  • reduced risk of errors and litigation 

These are among the many advantages. Obviously, for fans of pivot tables and other convoluted formulas, you will have to learn a new tool. But I promise, once you have mastered the transport software, you will forget all about it !

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