Transportation Management System – An Introduction

A Transportation Management System (TMS) is a  tool that is aimed at helping business and organizations to effectively manage  its logistics supply chain, and help in organizing the products and materials. A TMS also helps in effectively  managing shipping units, outbound and inbound shipment scheduling,  transportation mode selection, freight bill auditing etc.

Some of the basic functions and advantages of a transportation management system are shipment load planning and shipment routing optimization, routing guide, execution management and carrier communication, shipment tracking, freight bill audit & payment, business intelligence reporting,  returns management, appointment scheduling etc.

The shipment load planning and routing optimization helps the shippers to plan the loading and find a suitable and optimized routes as per their requirements. This helps in saving a lot of money and time and as a results  makes it easy for the shippers to manage.

The routing guide is another feature of a TMS  and this helps the vendors to get an idea about the inbound routing guides for better cost management. The execution management and carrier communication helps them to find the tools needed to assist them in selecting the right carriers along with shipping cost calculation. The TMS also helps you in getting an accurate freight bill audit and also in  implementing the payment part. As with any other tools, a transportation management solution also offers better business intelligence reporting, which helps you to get more insight into your business and ways to improve it.

A TMS or  freight management systems can also be used as an effective vehicle routing software which assists you in the effective utilization of vehicles used for your transportation purposes. It identifies the areas where the vehicles can be effectively utilized  without spending much time and money. Since the TMS identifies the shortest route, it will result in reduced fuel consumption and enhanced fleet management and utilization.

For small companies with small transportation operations, the use of such a tool is not recommended, as they might not have any difficulty in managing all their transportation activities manually. But for a big company having  a large number of vehicles and transportation activities, it is a better  idea to avail the services of a transportation management system, as it will ease their management activities and help them to save  a lot money.

More and more companies have started using transportation management software and hence the demand and competition for this tool have increased considerably.  As a result the number of companies providing customized transport management system has increased. Some of the software offered are not having the expected quality and one must be sure to select the right and the best transportation management system for their company. There are also many routing and scheduling software having advanced options such as GPS vehicle tracking or GPS fleet tracking system.  So while buying the transportation scheduling software or transportation routing software, make sure that you have spend the money on the right tool.

3 Major Processes of a Transportation Management System

Transportation Management Systems (TMS)  are used to increase the ROI and efficiency of your logistics company and has become a mandatory element for an effective logistics management. The transportation management system or TMS helps your make your logistics management more organized and accurate.

Transportation Management software are used for purposes such as bringing down the time, cost and improved profit.  If the time and cost taken are decreased, then there is no doubt that your profit would sour high. All you need to do is to learn to manage this amazing tool in the right way. If you are not managing TMS in the proper way then you cannot expect your business to improve.

Here I would like to talk about the 3 important key processes of transportation management system, which have an influential role towards the success of your logistics business.

1) Planning and Decision Making
Planning and Decision making are the most vital part of any successful organization which cannot be ignored at any cost. If the planning and decision making are not up to the mark, the business is sure to suffer.  There have been many instances when many companies have vanished due to lack of proper planning and decision.

A transportation management solutions helps  you in planning your logistics business effectively and categorize your transport schemes according based on the importance  as per user policy. Some of the major things that plays vital role in proper planning and decision making are transport cost, shorter lead-time, fewer stops , flows regrouping coefficient etc.

The TMS systems or logistics management system helps you in calculating your transportation cost and adjust your routes so as to experience a decrease in the transportation cost.  It helps you to find out which routes yields you better profit margin and which are the stops that needs to be avoided without harming your profit ratio.

The report generating facility offered by this vehicle management system helps you to analyze your logistics management in a much better way. You can even change the scheduling and routing of your vehicles for better results. The report helps you to plan better and make decisions based on that.

2) Customer follow-up
TMS offers you a better customer relationship and follow up due to its enhanced features. One of the advanced feature that makes the tool stand out is the GPS vehicle tracking facility, which helps you to track your vehicle with the help of satellites. With this you would be able to inform your customers as where the vehicle is and when their goods would be delivered. It also helps in effective billing, accurate report generation, documentation etc, which makes your customers happy and satisfied.

3) Measurement
The transportation management systems provides you with a detailed and customized analytics report which would help you to understand your business in a much better way. The report would help you to find out the areas that needs improvements and also help where you stand when compared with the previous months. Certain reports helps you to drill down more deeper so as to get a better assessment regarding your vehicle routing software.