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The coming of the cloud has allowed transportation applications to foster broader and easier collaboration between shippers and carriers, Douglass says. "Cloud-delivered systems tend to be a little bit more open," he said. That's especially crucial, he added, in a time of limited truck capacity and driver availability.
The adoption of transportation-management system (TMS) software in the cloud has fallen somewhere in between the most and least popular applications for that model, Douglass says. Still, he insists that TMS is "a natural" for cloud delivery. With it, software providers can devise new features and functions more quickly than in-house application developers. In the process, they can contribute to shippers’ efforts at lowering the landed cost of goods.
"You're able to do things with the cloud that you couldn't do with an in-house package," he says.
Initially, there was something of a selling challenge to overcome. At the outset of the cloud, it was thought that the model would entail a number of problems, including questions about security. But that never really became an issue, Douglass says. "My clients to date have all been open to cloud-based solutions," he says. "The cloud is secure, and more reliable than what you have inside. And boy, is it cheaper to operate."
Carriers, too, have come to accept TMS in the cloud. "We've got thousands of carriers interfaced in our systems," says Douglass. "It isn't a problem."
A cloud-based TMS application can help shippers to optimize their transportation programs. In the process, they can engage in more collaborative relationships with carriers, and ease the problem of access to capacity. The cloud, he says, "can only help solve the problem."
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