The transportation management system is a platform specifically created to streamline the shipping process. It is a part of the larger supply chain system. TMS utilizes the technology to manage the movement of goods to and fro globally. It allows the shippers to automate the transportation process and saves them a lot of time and expense on future shipments. TMS makes it easier for the transportation company to manage all types of transportation operations whether through land, sea or air.
Transportation management system plays a crucial part in logistic business and impacts the whole process from top to bottom positively. The clear visibility provided by a robust TMS system leads to very efficient transportation management which ultimately results in greater customer satisfaction. As everyone knows that customer satisfaction is the key to any successful business module, therefore a powerful TMS is needed to provide better growth in your business.
TMS users and TMS integration
A transportation management system is basically used by all the companies or people that are required to move goods on a regular basis across the world. All the manufacturers, distributors, E-commerce companies, retail, wholesale business and logistic companies required a sound TMS to effectively conduct their daily business.
Most of the companies that need a TMS prefer to buy a robust transportation management system that can be easily integrated with the cloud-based solutions or the “on-premises platform” like ERP or supply chain management system. Some of the TMS’s can even deal with trade documentation and others can be used as subset of larger systems like supply chain management systems or enterprise resource planning software.
Benefits of transportation management system
A transportation management system helps the companies optimize the shipping of goods. A decent TMS can offer so many benefits to the parent company in their daily routine. A few of them are discussed here.
- Cut down the operating cost : A TMS helps the businesses select the best mode of shipment and the best available carrier based on cost and efficiency. This will reduce the cost incurred on choosing the wrong carriers. Customers will get the delivery on time and you can offer them the best rates and that will be the icing on the cake.
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- Simplification of the supply chain : With a proper TMS in place, you can stop worrying about the last minute price changes that usually occur in this type of business. You don’t have to call individual carriers to know their offers. All you need is a good TMS that can simultaneously find the correct carrier with best rates. This will cut the manual involvement and simplify the whole process.
- Reduces the paper wastage : With all the billing and invoicing done digitally, there will be no requirement of paper billings, therefore you will save a huge amount of paper.
- Automation saves time : Transportation management systems provide automated solutions that fast pace all the routine works. You can do billing, invoicing and the documentation in a short amount of time.
“Leaders win through logistics. Vision, sure. Strategy, yes. But when you go to war, you need to have both toilet paper and bullets at the right place at the right time. In other words, you must win through superior logistics.” – Tom Peters
- Freight tracking : An effective TMS tracks every movement of the goods across all carriers and places till the shipment reaches its final destination. This feature alone enhances the visibility and security of the shipment.
- Save time : Most of the manual steps are substituted with a better automated function. This will cut down the time by a huge margin. Therefore, you have more time to send the shipment to its destination.
- Compliance management : TMS will manage all the local and international compliance related issues. This will not only save you from getting penalized but also reduces the risk of shipment delays.
- Better customer service : Once your TMS sends the real time updates of the shipment to your clients with a correct ETA, they will be well satisfied and keep providing you with more and more business opportunities.
- Scalability : TMS provides your business a scalable opportunity of all time, by providing a robust customer satisfaction to all your customers.
- Insights provided by TMS : A good transportation management system will provide you detailed insights and reporting capabilities. With a proper TMS in place, all your data will be stored in a single place and you generate the customize reports as per your requirement.
What the future holds for TMS’s ?
Customers are raising the bar of expectations with the time, therefore to stay in the competition TMS providers have to evolve with the time. Global trade regulations are also the focal point in the logistic business, they keep changing very quickly. Therefore, the companies have to go for the latest innovation and keep investing in the latest technologies.
Transportation management systems must keep evolving and become more features rich in order to stay relevant in this cut throat industry.
Some of the TMSs are currently utilizing state of the art innovative technologies such as :-
- IoT : internet of things makes real time monitoring a piece of cake. IoT devices help the companies save on fuel and cut the delays while improving the safety of the drivers.
- Chatbots : A digital assistant like chatbot offers right away response to a customer’s query, leads to higher customer satisfaction.
- AI : Artificial intelligence based machine learning helps the TMSs predict the transit time correctly. An artificial intelligence infused transportation management system provides more accurate recommendations.
An effective transportation management system increases the transparency and the traceability all across the supply chain accurately and safely.