I interviewed Mathijs Benink who discussed The Benefits of a Combined TMS and MTS Solution.
Can you first provide a brief background of yourself?
Hello, Dustin. Thanks for taking the time to interview me today. My name is Mathijs. You can call me Matt. I'm from The Netherlands, the logistics gateway into Europe. I've been in logistics since 2004, and before starting my company ShipTimized, I had several international mailing commercial and consultancy roles amongst others at TNT and Holland International Distribution Council. I specialize in transportation and more specifically in fine distribution related to transportation, or more specifically, to find a solution related to transportation, I should say.
Can you explain the differences between transportation management systems and managed transportation services?
Maybe before doing that, it's good to explain a little bit about ShipTimized as well. ShipTimized is a startup 4PL company. We provide solutions for optimization of transportation and related processes, focusing on mainly SME companies and our proposition is build those three billers. A solo transportation and management system that we make available to our clients. We source carrier contracts that we use to optimize transportation, quality, and transportation spent, transportation relatedand we offer some additional services, managed transportation service like single point of contact, exception management, invoice, auditing, and claim handling.
So you asked me if I can explain the difference between transportation management systems and managed transportation service. I think that's a very good question because we regularly see that our clients confuse the variety of services that logistic companies offer.
It's important for companies to understand the difference between transportation management systems, TMS, and managed transportation services, MTS.
Transportation management system is software and implementing it is often a long-lasting and expensive process. Many companies don't have the resources for such an implementation, therefore, there are still a lot of companies that are managing transportation without a TMS. Unfortunately, TMS solutions are still perceived as only for large companies. TMS is generally an empty shell. It's only the starting point of transportation optimization. More ingredients are necessary for actual optimization.
Then managed transportation services is a live version of a fully outsourced transportation department. And the service provider operates a DMS and runs a majority of the transportation functions for the client under the direction of the client.
TMS is only a tool that needs to be implemented, managed, and maintained while MTS is a transportation management solution where many of the functions are outsourced.
Can you talk about some of the benefits of a combined TMS and MTS solution?
That was actually the starting point of ShipTimized. We saw a gap in the market. There are quite some companies offering managed transportation services, and there are quite some TMS providers. We believe in a more combined and tailored TMS/MTS solution.
Maybe it's good to give you some examples. We, for example, make our easy-to-use transportation management system that we call ShipTimized control tower available to our clients at a relatively low price. We tailor it to their needs and take care of all the maintenance and management of the system. Implementing it generally takes less than three weeks,and all activities related to shipment, booking, tracking, etc., will remain in house at our client.
Then we combine that with several contracts that we have with carriers are all types of transportation. So together with the client, we decide which of our and their contracts to use to optimize transportation quality and cost. By taking over their contract and KPI management, we save or clients a lot of valuable time. We've developed a smart [inaudible 00:05:12] that helps our client to get ad hoc quotes for specific shipments that don't match with these contracts.
Before implementing our solution, our clients typically struggled with several activities that relate to transportation. And you can think of a company working with five different carriers for air freight, sea freight, fine distribution, and returns, for example. Invoice, auditing, and booking are very time consuming. We frequently hear from our clients that they don't check their invoices at all. Our TMS enables us to take over this process in a very efficient way and resulting in a single, consolidated, clean invoice to our clients, saving them a lot of time.
Five different carriers, and that means that at least five different contact persons at the customer service departments need to be contacted for all operational matters. Our customer service department acts as a single point of contact for our clients for all their shtransportation-relatedquestions.
Should there be a claim, then we take over all the claim-handling activities on behalf of our client. So it is, in fact, a combination of a full MTS solution and a TMS solution that we tailor to the needs of our clients to develop a customer-specific solution for transportation optimization. We believe that this is something relatively new. At least the approach is new with existing ingredients. This is what we're doing now.
About Mathijs Benink
Founder / Managing Director at ShipTimized B.V.