Transportation management systems have been in use for more than 40 years and have transformed the way the freight industry operates. The best TMS system can help freight brokers automate their transportation management tasks to get more done, provide better service for customers, and boost safety at every step of the process.
The best TMS system is not one size fits all. A successful procurement strategy relies on the best TMS system to help a freight broker find, test, and then purchase the best transportation management solution that fits their unique needs.
The best TMS vendors need to provide support in every industry – from heavy haulers and trucking firms through airlines, railroads, and even waterway transportations. Freight brokers play an essential part in the transportation industry and need to know how to help their customers if they wish to stay competitive.
Choosing the best TMS software is not an easy decision. There are many factors to consider, and there are several good options out there. In this article, we will be discussing the best transportation management system for freight brokers in 2021.
This guide will cover what the best TMS has to offer as well as the factors that go into choosing the best TMS solution for your freight brokerage business.
What is a TMS?
Transportation management systems (TMS) are the next step in improving freight brokerage operations. They are administrative systems that help businesses optimize logistics operations and oversee the entire supply chain efficiently. A transportation management system is best used to increase the productivity of your freight brokerage.
You should know the details about what a TMS can do and how it will benefit your company’s operations. Traditionally, businesses have relied on manual processes such as excel sheets, phone, email, or different software solutions to manage their logistics.
There are various types of businesses that can use digital technology and TMS solutions to manage their processes. A TMS is an integrated solution for logistics that helps companies operate more efficiently.
Freight brokers need to take advantage of the best TMS solutions to be productive and efficient. The best type of transport management system will depend on your needs.
What Are the Benefits of a Freight Broker TMS?
Freight brokers have seen the rate of rising costs within their supply chains and are looking for ways to reduce this. One of the most important advantages of adopting a TMS is that it improves operational efficiency, which can impact a company’s customer experience and vice versa.
A freight broker TMS is best for you if your needs involve managing transportation, logistics, or shipments. A TMS is the most important software that can help boost your productivity and efficiency in your operations with low overhead costs.
Implementing a transportation management system can help increase profitability, efficiency, and productivity. It can also improve quality control and error rates. Once the implementation is complete, a freight brokerage will see positive improvements in its logistics flow.
A TMS solution can provide a range of benefits to companies according to their unique needs. Among these, we can include the following:
- Lower operating costs. In some cases, a TMS solution might also help companies meet their customer service needs.
- Efficiently organizing and streamlining supply chain processes among multiple entities in the transportation industry and modes of transportation.
- Speed and accuracy in various accounting tasks, billing, and documentation.
- Increased visibility and security of cargo when in transit.
- Real-time shipment tracking from a centralized location.
- Decreased delivery times and minimized delays and human errors.
- Actionable insights which are critical for enhancing decision-making.
- Better customer service and customer satisfaction.
- Growing your business and meeting customer demands by getting packages to them on time.
How To Choose The Right TMS Software For Your Freight Brokerage Operation
Finding the right TMS solution and vendor is an essential step in order to get optimal results and benefits for supply chain operations.
Freight brokers and their customers need to make sure that freight transportation is handled quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively. With the right TMS software, you will be able to manage customer shipments, specific details about pricing rates, routes used by carriers, among other essential aspects, in a much more time-efficient way. The best way to narrow down your search for the best TMS software is to determine your needs and match those requirements with a system that will provide you with optimal results.
Some of the factors that go into choosing the right transportation management software for freight brokers include;
– The size of the operation: The more operations an organization has, the more they need to manage. A small operation may be able to get by with software that is not as robust, while a larger organization would require software that is greater in complexity and capability.
– The type of freight: If you are handling hazardous materials or other types of shipments where safety is an issue, your needs will be different from those handling more common types of freight.
– The number of shipments: Basic systems are typically designed for companies with low shipment volumes. For those shipping large quantities, a system that has greater scalability is necessary to handle them efficiently.
– Geographical location: Companies in rural areas may find it challenging to get the best TMS software because they do not have the internet speeds required for a robust system.
The best way to search for your perfect TMS software is by determining what requirements you must meet as an organization and finding the best software to provide you with the solution.
As a freight broker, it is vital to understand how TMS systems can help your business. They are designed to make life easier for everyone involved in transportation by providing optimal results and minimizing costs while maximizing delivery times.
What TMS Software Components Do Freight Brokers Need?
When choosing a TMS, you will want to decide which features are most valuable to your business. TMS vendors may differ based on the scope of your operation and other aspects such as specific transportation industry needs. When it comes to freight brokers, you may need to consider the following features and capabilities:
Freight Carrier Benchmarking
One of the most important duties for a freight broker is to match freight with the appropriate carriers. The TMS system needs to facilitate the process of finding trucking companies with proper capacity for cargo.
For example, suppose you are a new broker and need to find an available trucker that can carry 20 tons in New York. In that case, your TMS system should be able to return all potential carriers who have vehicles that meet those specifications within specified time constraints. Ideally, this information is searchable by the number of trucks, their capacity, and the mileage they are willing to travel.
A freight broker should also compare carriers based on different criteria such as rates, shipment speed, or carrier quality. Carriers can then be prioritized according to these metrics for a more streamlined process of finding an appropriate carrier for each shipper.
Another key function of a freight broker is to process shipments and invoices. For the TMS system to be successful, it needs to have an interface that provides easy integration with your accounting module.
Your TMS should also automate document management in the form of invoice creation, carrier billing, payment collection from carriers, and inventory management capabilities on top of orders, invoices, and shipments.
To be a successful freight broker, your TMS should also offer a variety of options for ways to track shipments. This can help make better decisions on which carrier needs what type of equipment based on their specific requirements (ex: refrigerated trucks).
API and EDI Integration
To make it easier for carriers, shippers, and freight brokers to do business with one another, the TMS should provide API/EDI integration. This will allow your account information to be shared seamlessly between all parties that need access automatically without the necessity of manual input.
With these features in place, you can also use the API to accept new shipments and invoices automatically. In addition, you will be able to automatically charge carriers and shippers for services rendered.
To remain competitive, your TMS should also provide seamless integration with third-party applications such as a freight quoting system, enterprise resource planning (ERP), or warehouse management software. The same thing also applies to load boards.
New TMS systems track the entire lifecycle of a load. Transportation management software should include data related to loads, dispatch and drivers, drop dates, load statutes, and more. The system should also allow sorting of invoices based on similarities such as drivers, customers, or references. In addition, the system should allow for the creation of reports on where your loads are and what they’re carrying (ex: goods, hazardous products).
To be successful in this industry, it’s also important for a TMS to offer you tools to help with load bans. This includes things like securing permits or viewing truck routing data. Load bans can be a potential time-saver for freight brokers and allow you to have more control over shipments.
Routing and Dispatching
A TMS system should include routing tools that allow you to research the best routes for your drivers and their cargo. This will be important when trying to get a load from point A to Point B in as little time, cost, distance, and weight as possible.
The software also needs to provide dispatch features so freight brokers can assign loads to drivers who can then track their routes in real-time.
The TMS system should also include an interface to load boards so freight brokers can view the different loads available for them and assign those loads to the best possible driver (ex: based on distance, cost, etc.). Load board integration is important because it’s the most popular way for freight brokers and carriers to communicate.
Carriers should also be able to see the loads that are available on load boards through their TMS system or at least have access to them to find out more information about a specific load before they sign up with it.
Data Management and Analytics
Transportation management software should include data about your freight and drivers to help you make better decisions.
Your TMS needs the ability to aggregate all of your company’s data in one place and provide a variety of meaningful analytics that will allow for decision-making regarding pricing, routing, inventory control, handling, compliance reporting, and more.
Data management is vital for freight brokers. It can help with your ability to manage invoices, collect payments from carriers or shippers, track carrier performance on load statuses (ex: arrival information), and improve customer satisfaction by showing them data related to their shipments as well.
Implementing a New TMS Solution
After determining one’s specific business needs and what to look for in a TMS system, freight brokers will need to know what to do and what to avoid when implementing the new platform.
The first step in implementing a new TMS solution is to plan how logistics operations will be affected.
Freight brokers need to determine how the TMS solution will affect their freight rates, scheduling, and routing. Freight brokers also need to know if there are any limitations or requirements needed by the new system that might not be met with current operations.
The next step is to create a strategy for training employees on using the software either in person or with video tutorials.
It’s essential to take the time necessary to train employees on how best to use the new TMS solution and make sure they are comfortable in using it before releasing them back into the field.
Freight brokers may also want to invest in training sessions covering topics such as drivers’ hours, DOT regulations, and compliance.
After all of the above steps have taken place, it is time to consider how best to integrate the new TMS software into one’s current technology infrastructure.
Freight brokers will need to assess what needs updating for their systems to communicate correctly with the newly implemented transportation management system. It may also be necessary to invest in new hardware or software.
It is also essential to ensure that the TMS solution will work with existing systems such as e-commerce, customer service, and other third-party applications.
Before launching a company’s new transportation management system, the last step is to conduct extensive testing of all aspects of the product, including software, hardware, and data.
Freight brokers need to ensure that the new TMS will handle all of their business needs before going live with it.
Why Cloud-Based TMS Is the Best Freight Broker Software
Since there are different types of transportation management software’s out there, it’s essential to determine which one is best. Freight brokers are probably wondering why cloud-based TMS software is the best option for their business.
There are a few reasons that should be considered before making this decision. A cloud-based system offers real-time route optimization and customs clearance audit reports, which could benefit freight broker companies in customs compliance, revenue assurance, and driver safety.
Another benefit of cloud-based transportation management systems is the easy accessibility to freight broker data from any computer with internet access, enhancing productivity for managers without needing to be in a specific physical location or office building. This also allows them to work more effectively on time-sensitive projects such as holidays and busy seasons.
A third benefit is that cloud-based transportation management systems are scalable, meaning freight broker companies can grow with the software and increase their operations without purchasing a new one or expanding on an existing system.
Tai TMS is a cloud-based solution tailored explicitly towards freight brokers, freight forwarders, and other third-party logistics providers (3PLs). This TMS software offers freight brokers a wide variety of features that address their specific business needs, such as customs clearance audit reports, route optimization, and more.
By using Tai TMS, freight brokers will have access to:
– Automated audit trail for process compliance.
– Customizable dashboard with real-time information on the status of your shipments.
– Customizable reports with a variety of information on your shipments.
– Ability to integrate with other systems such as e-commerce, customer service, and more.
Tai TMS is a transportation management system that offers features freight brokers will find beneficial for their business. Freight broker companies should consider cloud-based software to enhance productivity and processes within the company.
Tai Software can be used by freight brokers, either in their own office or remotely. This means they don’t have to manage multiple transportation management systems and instead have all of their data accessible from any computer with internet access. It will handle the freight broker’s business needs and allow them to grow their operation without needing a new system or more hardware/software investment.
Get your free Tai TMS demo today!