As a supply chain or logistics specialist, you want to guarantee that your stakeholders are pleased from suppliers to customers. Overwhelming data, laborious processes, and costly mistakes are rapidly becoming a thing of the past, with fewer and fewer businesses implementing transportation management software.
Transportation management software allows for the tracking of the whole supply chain. It helps you collect accurate and organized data from when your product is created or sourced until it is delivered to your end consumer. The following essay looks at the top characteristics to look for when selecting a transportation management system.
- Fleet administration
TMS allows you to see and operate your assets on a single platform, whether you have a private fleet or use a shared carrier network. Although not all TMS providers offer comprehensive fleet management tools, you may assign drivers and equipment and handle dispatch and driver financial settlement. If you use specialist fleet management software, you may even manage fuel usage and environmental effect, keep track of vehicle inspections, and remotely operate the truck.
- Load forecasting
You may plan the loading space of trucks, trailers, and containers and obtain an estimate of the available loading space while taking maximum loads and weight into account. You can, for example, input information about your car dimensions and preserve it for future reference, which is known as master data. The freight order contains information on the item dimensions. Some TMSs have a 3D load plan function that allows you to view and modify the load distribution and space usage.
- Dock operations and dock scheduling
Shippers spend most of their time booking dock appointments while truck drivers squander time waiting for their turn at warehouse docks. When a TMS integrates with a Warehouse Management System, it may include dock scheduling and load sequencing in the transportation plan. You have an excellent overview of all warehouse and transportation restrictions. You can build more precise schedules, apply your business rules and regulations of each site, and always have a load status available to you or your customers.
- Route analyzer
Although planning is a TMS’s primary role, routing is not one of its strong suits. Many organizations utilize route optimization software to schedule and handle routing difficulties, which, unlike TMS, uses a variety of algorithms to compute the optimum routes. As a result, you’ll almost certainly need to utilize a mix of the following tools: Routing tools will extract massive amounts of data from TMS, allowing them to assess route performance.
- Analytics and business intelligence
Business intelligence is the process of leveraging data to improve business performance. Some TMSs have an integrated BI infrastructure that handles data extraction, transformation, and warehousing operations on an end-to-end platform.
The most significant advantages of BI over traditional spreadsheets are real-time reporting and a plethora of bespoke reports that anybody on the transportation management team may produce for their own needs.
- Carrier Selection Automation
Ideally, your transportation management solution would serve as your organization’s one-stop shop for order fulfillment, eliminating the need for carrier-specific workstations on the warehouse floor.
In a single solution, carrier selection for each shipment will be automated, and the technology will account for best value rates, your business regulations, and customer delivery preferences with each order.
- Carrier Invoice Matching and Payment Automation
One of the reasons why a package shipping transportation management system is essential for your organization is that you never have to push it. When you start a new shipment, the transportation flow continues until it is completed, with no one needing to chase after a job.
Automated freight bill auditing is a critical task in completing this cycle. You may verify invoice correctness before issuing payment and discover possible savings by performing specialized audits on all carrier bills and automatically comparing shipment data with invoice data.
- Capability to Collect Benchmark Data
Everyone wants to be able to negotiate better prices. A TMS collects carrier pricing and service information to provide you with the benchmark data you need for bargaining.
- Real-Time Tracking
TMS should enable track-and-trace capabilities for items as they travel through the network, providing a full view of each stage of the transportation process and making them easier to manage.
When selecting a TMS, ensure that it provides:
- Increased monitoring and tracking accuracy.
- Efficient management.
- Automatic notifications for on-the-road occurrences.
A robust TMS system protects the company from data breaches, has adequate backup mechanisms, and can meet growing performance demands as the company’s needs evolve. According to experts, a successful TMS should constantly ensure customer security and safety. Key statistics should be provided exclusively to authorized users, and outside users should access the system only via invitation. Furthermore, all user logins should be documented using an integrated access logging procedure. The events log keeps track of all significant events in the development of a shipment or cargo.
Don’t hurry towards implementing a TMS. As you can see, there is a lot to think about. And each company and leader will have its own set of priorities. So, before you choose a TMS, make sure it has the above-mentioned qualities. Then examine your company’s unique needs, because you want to guarantee that your software has all of the capabilities it needs to accomplish the job.