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Transportation Management Systems 101: From Mobilization to Delivery

TMS Features

Wondering how to make your freight business more efficient or bring transparency in the supply chain? One growing solution is a Transportation Management Systems, also known as TMS.

The TMS market is set to reach $17.8 billion by 2025 and has a lot to offer organizations, especially those looking to improve efficiency and customer satisfaction. One of the benefits of a TMS includes better relationships between brokers and carriers.

What Is a Transportation Management System?

A TMS is an important element of supply chain management, from manufacturing all the way to transportation and delivery. A good TMS should ensure an easy flow of goods throughout the process. So what exactly is TMS?

A TMS is a type of software that helps in the planning, execution, and optimization of the process in which freight transports goods. The software is mostly used by shippers and third-party logistics providers (3PLS) who compare the prices of multiple carriers to deliver goods to consumers.

There are multiple different types of TMS and the goal of each TMS is to provide efficient transportation of goods, provide visibility of goods in transit and reduce costs.

TMS software is important for everyone in supply chain management. However, this doesn’t mean that others can’t benefit from TMS. The following stakeholders can incorporate a TSM into their operations:

  • Vendors
  • Sales team, for tracking orders and making necessary changes if the need arises
  • Finance department

If your business is in serious need of a TMS solution, Tai Software can help. Tai Software offers different features that can benefit an organization and ensure the overall goals are met. Contact us today to request a demo.

How Does a Transportation Management System Work?

Fundamentally, a TMS has a stockroom of data about everyone involved in supply chain management. However, the software also includes a communication system that meets the technological demands of the organization.

To work effectively, it must be well integrated with the carrier system and different ways of downloading carrier information. The system should also allow customer information concerning their orders to be entered into the system either manually or automatically.

The TMS can also be directly connected to well-established Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Order Management System for data to be entered automatically.

Sometimes, TMS can be integrated with Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) for better coordination of freight and warehouse tasks. Some of the key tasks involved are:

  • Labor scheduling
  • Load building
  • Cross Docking
  • Yard management

Having well-implemented TMS, WMS, and ERP will ensure a business runs smoothly and  products are delivered to the customers on time. Brokers need to understand what to look for first before choosing a TMS software.

What Are the Benefits of a Transportation Management System?

Before choosing a TMS system, you need to understand the value that it will bring to your business. Top benefits of TMS include:

  • Provides real-time tracking of loads from the moment they leave the production
  • Minimizes all freight expenses and provides important data on where unnecessary expenses can be cut
  • A TMS provides a platform where customers can monitor their products and know when they will be delivered
  • The fact that everything is consolidated in one place means that any inefficiencies can be detected and dealt with as soon as possible

What to Consider Before Purchasing a TMS Software

As suppliers struggle to keep up with the Amazon effect, choosing the right TMS system becomes crucial. Here’s everything you need to consider:

1. Shipment Volume

The number of shipments your business handles will determine the type of TMS you should have. Many businesses make bad decisions by choosing the most expensive system, thinking because it is expensive, it must work. However, this is wrong. Organizations that use some of the expensive systems have a large workforce.

Also, some choose complex systems that confuse workers or make things difficult instead of easier. Always remember that TMS is meant to simplify everything in the supply chain.

2. The Modes of Transportation

According to a report, the rate of parcel shipment has increased since 2015 and it will double by 2026. The type of TMS you choose should provide the necessary processes to successfully move products from one location to another.

3. Business Goals

Have a plan and goals in mind of what you would want the right TMS to achieve for your business. Simply purchasing a system because it is necessary isn’t ideal.

Some of the areas the TMS should cover include:

  • Customer relations
  • Visibility in transportation
  • Where to cut costs
  • Strengthen your financial practices
  • Encourage collaboration and networking among employees

Features of a Good TMS

You need to consider which features are best for your business. Each TMS has different features depending on the business’ needs. Each TMS offers different features depending on a business’s needs. Some of the features you should look for include:

1. Order Management

A TMS is simply a consolidated space that allows access to every relevant party from manufacturer, shippers, driver to the customer.

Information about the orders, delivery time, and mode of transportation are all shared in one space. Once the details are entered into the system, whether manually or automatically, the system assigns routes, selects the vehicle, and place of delivery.

2. Load Planning

Depending on the available loads and their weight, the TMS can show the available loading space, allowing you to select the right vehicles and containers. For instance, you can share information about the loading space of your vehicle, and the software will save it for future use.

So, the next time you have to move loads, the system will know which vehicle has the right loading space.

3. Dispatching

TMS provides real-time data by analyzing traffic, speed limits, fuel cost, and weather forecasts. Shippers then use this information to determine which carrier is best for delivery.

4. Email Assistant

Communication is paramount for the smooth operation of a business. One mode of communication that is necessary for easy communication is email.

The type of TMS you choose should incorporate an email assistant. The feature provides accuracy and reduces errors in manual operations. An email assistant also uses AI and Ml technology to gather important details which it brings directly into the TMS.

5. Marketplace

A good TMS should provide the best shipment marketplace for buyers to find the best deals and rates.

Choose the Right TMS for Your Business

A TMS is an important element in the supply chain. The software improves efficiency by streamlining key aspects of the organization from logistics to procurement and planning. A business must consider many things before choosing and implementing a TMS system to ensure efficiency and a smooth workflow.

Tai software offers everything you need to understand what TMS software is and what you should consider before purchasing the software for your organization. Make use of the pool of solutions available and request a demo today.

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