The Rate Shopper Tool: An Indispensable Feature for Modern Supply Chain Management
The Rate Shopper Tool is a module that allows enterprises to increase their process speed and improve cost efficiency by providing them with quick freight-rate comparisons from multiple carriers. The rate comparison from different carriers improves the overall execution speed of the process and can be used independently or as part of an ERP suite. Most rate shopper tools also have a suite of other useful features. Order Consolidation enables shipments to be consolidated as per client requirements while Business Rule Compliance ensures that differences in legal aspects between the departure and destination regions are factored for at the time of shipping. Rate shopper tools also provides clients with dynamic reporting and analytics, allowing them to have real-time visibility into the process.
Speed Is the Key
The time and price-sensitive nature of the shipping industry has led to an increase in the adoption of the rate shopper tool, with average revenues of supplier firms increasing by more than 30%. Most implementation is done via the cloud with very few vendors providing on-premises deployment in the current market. One of the biggest advantages of using a rate shopper tool is improved processing speed.
The processing speed (or throughput) of the rate shopping tool is the amount of time it takes to execute a complete business transaction — from the client request to shopping for the most suitable rates and selecting a carrier. Processing speed is a distinguishing factor and certain suppliers claim to provide rate shopper tools that can execute a transaction in less than a second. In a Transportation Management System that handles huge volumes of parcels — say more than 10,000 a day — increasing the speed of the process by just a few seconds per parcel leads to significant improvements in overall efficiency.
Should You Go for an Independent Rate Shopper Tool?
Most ERPs come with an in-built rate shopping functionality, but an independent rate shopper tool provides the client with the option to switch to a different platform or tool if required while also ensuring quicker results to user query requests.
Rate shopping multiple carriers at the shipment level allows enterprises to find least-cost alternatives and benefit from the value that different carriers could offer. Automating this process enables the client to gain best value from every shipment and leverage multiple carriers. This can lead to a more streamlined transportation process, which manifest as transport savings for the client.