Transportation is an essential branch of supply chain industrycentered on transportation logistics. It involves the movement of goods, both incoming and outgoing. Transportation management deals with steering complete operations involved in delivery of goods. To cater to the multiple functionalities involved in transportation an efficient transport management system is a must.
Transport management system is a platform well equipped with modern technology designed to streamline shipping process. It helps supply chain professionals manage freight and carriers efficiently. Some of the broader goals of TMS are to plan, execute, optimize and pay freightfor the shipment of goods.
Gartner, in its March 2019 Magic Quadrant report, predicted the global TMS market will grow at an accelerated rate, reaching $1.94 billion by 2022 and accounting for nearly a third of the supply chain market.
Many companies from startup to big enterprises are looking over to learn about technology-driven TMS to save more money, run business smoothly and improve customer satisfaction.
Who can use TMS?
Any business that involves moving of freight on a regular basis needs TMS for better processes. List includes
- Retail businesses
- E-commerce companies
How to implement transport management system?
Transport management software is a logistic business solution designed to automate multiple aspects of cross-departmental operations in transport management system.
If you wonder how to implement transport management software to your business and are finding it troublesome to assess what kind of TMS suits your firm. Here’s the solution. Most available TMS in market can be accessed in two different ways:
Deployment of this TMS requires installation hosted and maintained on your own servers. These TMS causes a problem when there is a need for upgradation.
SaaS (software-as-a-service) TMS:
SaaS TMS is a cloud-based(online) software mostly preferred over on-premise TMS.It is more agile, easier to install, maintain, upgrade and easily accessible from anywhere. Cloud-based TMS is generally hosted by the vendor and accessed via a browser on a subscription basis.
Functionalities of transport management system:
Core functionalities of transportation management system can be grouped into four.
Planning and decision making:
In pre-TMS days to send a shipment, freight managers would have to make a call or fax to find carrier rates and record them manually. Negotiating rates and choosing the best carrier is rather time taking and tough job.
Online TMS acquires, store and updates carrier rates in real-time making it hassle-free for freight managers. You can access the number of carriers at a time and get the best-negotiated rate.
TMS also enables the shippers to choose the mode of transport and route in the fastest and cheapest way. There are few TMS that offer vehicle load selection, route planning and optimization.
Modern TMS allows execution of shipment including accepting carrier rate, booking, dispatch and EDI. Execution features of TMS varies widely encompassing freight billing, settlement and documentation.
TMS provides real-time visibility of shipment through-out transportation to customers and suppliers. Some advanced TMS offer traceability event-by-event along with administration operations including custom clearance, generating invoice and POD. Communication tools are also integrated to send mobile notifications regarding transportation delays, accidents and un-expected stops.
Technological capabilities of Transport Management system can be extended to administration eliminating paperwork for transactions, regulatory compliance and auditing. Few advanced TMS have the functionality to handle complex international logistics, comprising import and export documentation to make sure shipments are trade compliant.It further manages drivers and vehicles by incorporating dedicated driver management and vehicle management modules.
Analytics is a crucial component for companies to improve their logistics processes.
Most TMS are furnished with logistics KPI (key performance indicator) functionalityto make measurement of performance easier. Reports and dashboards let you understand every detail of freight spent.
Benefits of transport management system:
Transport management system affects every part of supply chain from order management to payments. An improved efficient management lifecyclenaturally leads to further growth of your business.
With TMS all the areas of shipment are simplified which would not be possible manually. Software makes carrier selection easier you can quickly match goods to the carriers. Since all the booking data is stored online, you can any time revisit and make same carrier selection.All the task including tracking, billing, communicating and reporting are accomplished in one place making TMS the best platform to run your business smoothly.
Supply chain visibility
Transport management system has the ability to track freight movement from any location. It gives real-time alerts when shipments are delivered, when delays occur, when any transit exceptions occur, etc.Sharing information allows you to manage inventory in hand efficiently.Visibility of transit ensures security of commodities.
Implementing TMS requires fewer manual intervention resulting in fewer delays, faster deliveries and makes processes less error prone. Leveraging technology brings hours of free time enabling users to spend valuable time on strategic projects.
Reduced administrative cost
Complex process documentations in any department of supply chaincan be done easily. By harnessing the power of people and processes TMS offers less administrative cost.
Cash flow improvement
Users can compare all the expenses side-by-side using an online TMS. Software with integrated accounting functionality render huge savings by analyzing financial aspects of each and every consignment. Adopting optimization and analytics helps reduce unnecessary expenses.
Improved customer satisfaction
TMS streamlines all your business processes and handles key issues like tracking, invoicing and payments with faster responsetime. Trustworthy TMS guarantees that the entire process becomes transparent, accurate and precise.
Shippers can capture all data on a centralized location for analysis regarding multiple aspects of business. This brings better insight into operations to make strategic changes. There are TMS with the capability to provide custom reporting and also in-depth reporting leading to faster action and improved processes.
Latest trends to look for
IoT: Internet of things (IoT) improves carrier connectivity, augments asset visibility. Many companies are leveraging IoT for fleet managing capabilities. IoT enabled devices and sensors to make real-time fleet monitoring centralized, including in-transit visibility of driving conditions, routes, and assets. It can benefit companies beyond tracking trucks by lowering their fuel cost, maintenance costs, as well as reduce delays and improve driver safety.
AI and machine learning: Machine learning and Artificial intelligence (AI) help shippers predict transit time accurately, identify risky shipments and much more. Machine learning is provided with streams of data from TMS to predict accurate on-time-deliveries. It has a feedback loop that makes system smarter as time goes on.
Block chain: Blockchain is the latest buzzing technology that can be applied to the logistics and transportation industry to correct many inefficiencies. It is essentially an encrypted series of blocks in a public chain. Modifying data is impossible without the consent of all the peers in the network. It ensures accurate and secure information.
Transport management system vendors are digitizing supply chain platforms bringing technology within reach to smaller companies. Most of the available TMS are less monolithic more adaptable, accessible, affordable, extensible and easy to maintain.
Some of the prominent vendors are Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Kuebix, Mercury Gate, JDA, Manhattan Associates and many more.
Cargo ERP is a TMS provider you can trust. We provide cloud-based SaaS solution and allow you to customize features. You can see a rapid ROI.
Transport management software is an amazing tool for companies handling fleet of any size. Implementing TMS triggers business growth into the global market. With unlimited services offered across the complete supply chain, choosing a suitable TMS for your business is a wise decision.