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
- Freight Management
- Order Processing
- Cost Optimization
- Customer Service Tools
- Reporting and Analytics
- Better Visibility
- Automation of Shipping Process
- Tracking Shipments
- 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
- Greater Visibility
- Faster Response Times
- Recommendations will be better
- More Automation and less clicks (already a feature in some TMS software)
- More services combined into one software