CRM + TMS: The Five Biggest Reasons to Integrate

By Jennifer Karpus-Romain, Director of Marketing Services and Industry Outreach, Faye Business Systems Group

The faster the world moves, the quicker the transportation industry needs to move to get it there. So what do logistic firms need? The technology that will support this rapid evolution. The good news: This technology exists!

Customer relationship management (CRM) software gives you a significant amount of insight into your customer and prospects. With transportation management system (TMS), you can take a deep dive into your supply-chain management and learn more about your shipments and warehouses.

What happens when you combine these two dynamic systems? A 360-view into your customers and their loads, which will help you gain efficiency and create visibility for anyone who needs it.  Since all this information is accessible in one place, a CRM/TMS integration helps eliminate silos.

This feature also improves your visibility of important shipping information. Armed with this data, a company can produce more accurate delivery times, rates, orders, and quotes.

Here are the top five reasons to integrate CRM and TMS:

1. A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF YOUR CUSTOMERS’ NEEDS

You landed a new client, and you’re transporting a new load. Great, right? But that’s not the end of the story. That new client is still a prospect for all their other loads.

When you sync these two systems together, you have access to all of the following information about your customer: shipment statuses, overviews of customer journeys, order histories, payments, warehouse inventories, current rates, and overdue items.

So the integration of CRM and TMS is key to truly understanding your customers’ needs.

2. INCREASED EFFICIENCY

With all your valuable data in one place, your team doesn’t have to switch back and forth between programs. For instance, if a sales rep is performing a quarterly check-in with a customer, the salesperson may need to answer questions about past records and see the status of a current shipment or load.

If your CRM and TMS systems aren’t integrated, the rep may have to dig through two different systems. Then you’ll waste your customers’ time, and you may lose their interest.

Additionally, you save time during data entry. Instead of manually copying data from CRM and keying it into TMS, the information automatically transfers. BONUS! And since there’s no need to duplicate data, there are fewer data-entry errors.

3. QUICKER ACCESS TO INFORMATION

Quicker access to information is especially important if a sales rep or technician needs to help a customer when he or she is out in the field. What if a client asks this professional about the protocol for leasing equipment or viewing a specific tariff schedule? Without synced data, he or she would have to sift through database after database.

4. BETTER USER EXPERIENCE (UX)

By integrating your CRM with your TMS, you can create a better UX on desktops, laptops, and mobile devices. If you simultaneously use an email application, CRM, TMS, messaging system, and other programs, your UX could get watered down.

So integrating CRM and TMS improves the experience, as long as users adopt the improved system. A successful integration can help solve cascading problems, including staleness of data, problems with user entry, and lack of business intelligence.

5. BETTER FORECASTING

If you’ve worked with a customer for several years, you can see a summation of past orders and shipments for a specific period of time, which is a critical way to forecast high-priority customer statuses. With synced data, you can understand where your revenue is coming from. But without this information, this task would be more difficult, and it could possibly be less accurate.

Conclusion

Overall, merging CRM and TMS data leads to improved productivity and efficiency. Every company is striving to reach certain metrics. By combining the data from these two systems, you can drive these metrics in the right direction and help companies reach their goals.

Interested in discussing your CRM and TMS integration? Contact me today

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