Faster, simpler, streamlined, more cost-effective. That is what transportation management software (TMS) enables shippers and freight brokerages to accomplish. In the current economic environment, reaching such goals is a necessity if business is to thrive. A good cloud-based TMS software solution is a great “ally.”
What is Transportation Management Software, and what are its benefits?
A transportation management system (TMS) is a single platform for logistics that uses technology to help businesses plan, move freight and optimize the transportation of goods, and making sure the shipment is on time and proper documentation is available. In deciding whether to adopt TMS software for your business, it’s key to know not only what TMS software is, but also what it does. In short, software for transportation management delivers visibility into the entire supply chain in real time for third-party logistics (3PL) companies, carriers they partner with, and their customers.
Instead of calling, emailing or faxing partners, A TMS system sits between your brokerage and those that are involved in the shipping of goods for the customer. Orders and information can flow between the stakeholders in the load, speeding up processes and making your supply chain is faster and more efficient.
The fundamentals of transportation management systems
Looking at the broader picture, TMS software will help your company with:
Organization and Load Management
Customer Service Tools
Reporting and Analytics
Automation of Shipping Process
Carrier and Customer Management
Automate shipment processes
Reporting and data processing
Order and supply chain visibility
Accounting, payments and fulfilling load tenders
Document management and storage
Tender loads and manage freight
Honing in on the benefits of a transportation management system
TMS technology affects every part of your business process from planning loads to finding carriers to fulfill them. Because a TMS makes you more productive and efficient, customer satisfaction grows, and so, too, will your business. Here are a few factors that a TMS will bring to your business
The TMS visibility factor
The visibility gained when using an efficient Transportation Management System will keep everyone up to date help all parties pivot in real time. Because of the transparency and visibility that is shared with others in the supply chain;
Load planning is more efficient
It is simpler to match carriers and move shipments
Tracking and tracing is simplified, both inbound and outbound
The entire shipping process is more efficient
Full place-to-place logistics management is handled from a single source and updates are shared with others. Goal tracking and live metrics become easy to set and easy for broker’s to view giving them real time management software.
The simplicity factor with a TMS
With the right TMS software provider, you can simplify every part of your supply chain activity. Carrier selection – simplified. Matching loads with carriers – simplified. Posting to load boards and tendering loads – simplified. Managing Paperwork– simplified. Streamlining your back office – simplified.
Implementing a single platform TMS software will increase your broker’s satisfaction and keep them working smarter, not harder.
The money-saving TMS factor
One of the biggest considerations in choosing any technology, time and money. A chief benefit of having a transportation management system is speeding up your operations, ultimately saving time, and giving you a great ROI on your TMS Software investment.
Saving time will reduce costs in both labor and management, and improved efficiency begets a superior response to customer demands, which leads to more satisfied customers. Additionally, the operational insights afforded by a TMS software for brokers and shippers will enable you make strategic changes that will help your business thrive. Time is money in the freight brokerage, an efficient Transportation management system will allow you to go after new business.
The TMS technology factor
Transportation management systems themselves improve your company’s technology stack. In transportation and supply chain management, the best TMS software is constantly evolving with the industry and adding new technologies/features all the time.
From a data standpoint, using a cloud-based TMS software can lend itself to keeping up with freight and analytics from anywhere, giving the broker and customer the knowledge to make informed business decisions You can easily access operational history, book loads more efficiently, and provide more visibility and that is just a start. Your operations become less stressful, and less time consuming because all are accomplished on a single platform.
The happy customer factor
You’ll never hear the words, “Customer demands are decreasing.” They never do. Brokerages pride themselves on top-notch customer service and a providing a high service level to their clients. By implementing a TMS that provides your customers with technology, they will also enjoy the full benefits of a TMS With the analytics and reporting that come with a TMS software you can give the customer the visibility and data that they need. With features like dashboards, customer portals, reports and email updates, a solid transportation management system will keep your customer happy with transparency and give them the feel of a true freight partner.
The where-is-my stuff factor
Heading east, heading west, north and south Customers want and need to know where their shipments are, some what to know where they are all the time. This requires your eyes to be everywhere at once.
With TMS tracking and location analytics, you and your customers will be able to keep a sharp eye on crucial freight.
All parties can receive updates on shipment locations, when shipments are delivered, when there are delays for transit exceptions, etc. Based on your own experience as a consumer – and a shipper or broker – you know that wild and crazy things can happen to shipments while in transit. Or that the delays can be long – think Covid 19. With tracking capability in a transportation management software , you will immediately know what has happened and when, so you can adjust accordingly.
TMS-forward. What will tomorrow bring?
Already a game changer, TMS systems can be expected to become even more sophisticated. Leveraging artificial intelligence and partnering with other technologies are already an optional feature on some transportation management software. So, too, adaptation and automation are crucial – any TMS system that is constantly adapting and improving with faster technologies and automation is certainly looking to the future.
Other upgrades will most likely be developed so:
Information can be more detailed
Documentation is passed through more fluidly
Predictions will grow in accuracy
Faster Response Times
Recommendations will be better
More Automation and less clicks (already a feature in some TMS software)
Thinking about TMS software? Choose the best TMS vendor for your brokerage.
There was a time when phone calls and file cabinets full of paperwork served the freight brokerage industry well enough when managing freight. Fax machines and snail mail were the only options for quickly sending documents. And, of course, Excel spreadsheets, files and emails constituted transportation management systems. In some cases, they still do. They too, however, are reaching dinosaur status as companies and freight brokers recognize what TMS software providers now offer.
How do I choose the best transportation management system for my company?
Think of your current needs and what they may scale to in the future. You most likely are not going to want to be going through an upgrade every few years because your initial TMS software has proven inadequate for your growing need for superior supply chain management.
To find the top TMS system for your company, start with a survey of your current transportation management process.
Are you using software specifically designed for third-party logistics?
Is the system cloud-based? Does it require expensive servers and massive updates? Can it be accessed anywhere at any time?
How good is your visibility into where shipments are at any given time, and what has your experience been in terms of reacting to delays?
Does your current process include shipment tracking services and business intelligence so you can provide customers with updates?
Day to day, how many people are involved in implementing, tracking, and processing shipments? How many invoices do you audit in a month? Is your TMS system automating back-office processes to speed up operations?
Is your supply chain management process comprised of several systems that require integration with a TMS?
If you have a TMS in place, does it have digital advantages that cut out day-to-day tasks and create cost savings for your business?
Are you able to manage and report on your freight costs and maximize your carrier selection process?
Rank your needs before speaking with a transportation system service provider?
With a top TMS solution, you can see an ROI in time savings, bottom-line savings, error mitigation savings, or all three! Door 1, door 2, and door three. Which of these ROI drivers is most important to you?
Think about these issues in determining if you are ready to streamline and more easily manage freight costs and everything related to supply chain management.
Your TMS time-frame factor. Are you an “I need this system fully integrated with my current programs – and up and running yesterday” person? Or would you feel more comfortable with a slower, step-by-step process? And, given who will have access to your TMS solutions software, how user friendly do you want the interface to be? Does your current transportation management process save you both time and money and allow your freight brokers to work quickly and efficiently?
Your TMS growth factor. If your business is growing, you probably want to consider transportation management software that will easily scale as your needs change. Choosing TMS, though, depends on your budget and how much you want to spend on both implementation and subscriptions. Think about your modes of transportation and what areas you hope to grow in the future.
The clear-eyes TMS factor. The more you see, the more you know. Would full visibility into all your shipments take away uncertainty and save you time? Would real time metrics, dashboards, and custom reporting allow you to make better business decisions?
To find the top TMS System on the market? Talk to the right TMS Vendor.
Okay, you now should be closer to knowing what your priorities are in choosing TMS software, but your selection of a TMS vendor requires familiarity with what is available in the market and how TMS systems are sold.
Finding the best TMS software provider requires not only understanding your needs, but also actively seeking out the features that will have the biggest positive impact on your business. The selection process can be tough, so beware of providers that charge high dollars for tools and features you will never use.
Reputation speaks volumes in every market, and TMS is not an exception. Research is key to choosing the top TMS vendor for your needs. Look for reviews prepared bythird-party consultants, and don’t forget to gather intelligence from people who are already using the solution you are considering.
So many questions! EZ Loader TMS is ready to help. Book a demo with EZ Loader TMS. By diving into your business needs, we will be happy to provide a guided tour of our TMS solution. The result? A TMS solution that will fit your business model and drive sustainable growth.
Improve shipping logistics with a freight management system
Automate and streamline your freight-shipping process with freight management software, and you will be able to say good-bye to many of the headaches that come with supply chain logistics and transportation management.
A freight management system gives you more immediate control of shipping from a single software solution that provides full visibility for your entire supply chain.
So while transportation shipping software decreases those headaches for freight shippers and brokers, it can also prevent them by saving shippers considerable time and money: Cloud-based freight management delivers a lower total cost of ownership and is easy to implement because no IT support is needed.
Freight management system? Freight management software? Transportation shipping software? What are they?
You’ve probably noticed by now that the industry uses different terms to describe software solutions for shippers: freight management software, freight management systems, and also transportation shipping software. They all represent the same shipping and logistics functions and benefits and are used interchangeably. The term that encompasses them all, TMS!
What does shipping logistics mean?
Let’s break it down. Shipping is howgoods are moved from one place to another. Logistics is how you handle the number of supplies and goods you have at the present time. The goal, of course, is to use resources at the right time in the right place to take advantage of cost-savings opportunities.
What does a freight management system do?
In a nutshell, it makes it easy for brokers and shippers to:
Provide clients with an optimized shipping solution
Provide LTL and truckload freight rates
Book orders instantly
Automate back office work and invoicing
Search all transportation modes and lane history
Manage carriers and build multi-carrier networks
Track shipments 24/7
Manage and process documentation digitally
Give better visibility to both clients and decision makers
Are there other reasons should I invest in freight management software?
There are many, because a good freight management solution delivers on all of the “I wish I could” dreams (or mutterings) brokers and shippers have.
Incorporate all modes of transport – truckload, expedited, and LTL
Consolidate and optimize shipments for cost effectiveness
Improve accuracy and save time with system-to-system integrations
Reduce administrative costs and errors by managing tasks
Automatically document and audit invoices, claims handling, and exceptions
Keep shippers and their customers informed of shipping statuses
Offer a large carrier pool to help shippers identify the best carrier in terms of price and service
Institute prepaid and itemized accessorial charges in customer billing to avoid losing money
Produce easy-to-read reports
Keep track of every cost and service level from an easy-to-use dashboard
Manage LTL shipments with a fully integrated LTL portal
Better manage posted loads with load board integrations
Things to look for when choosing a shipping solution
A platform that can scale with your business
Full analytical capabilities that can highlight well-managed supply chain segments and expose segments that need improvements
A pricing plan that works for you; generally monthly or annual payments are offered for cloud-based TMS systems
A system that easily integrates your third-party shipping software directly into your TMS seamlessly
The EZ Loader cloud-based TMS freight management system provides tools and technology that will boost productivity and scale alongside your business. Our dashboards and reporting analytics give you the ability to monitor rep activity and meet your sales goals. Digital automation eliminates paperwork and back office processes to increase operational efficiency and provide a shipping solution that advances your brokerage.
Built-In portals are included with EZ Loader giving your customer access to TMS technology that sticks. Our fully integrated LTL platform gives users the ability to obtain freight rates, book loads, and dispatch carriers. Come see how EZ Loader is driving rapid growth among brokerages and shippers of all sizes. Schedule a Demo of EZ Loader TMS today