Delivery has come a long way from family pizza restaurants sending their kids out on bicycles. To keep up with today’s transportation industries, many companies have a streamlined distribution system that dispatches drivers on carefully planned routes under tight deadlines. One of these systems is a TMS.
What Is a Transportation Management System (TMS)?
A transportation management system, or TMS, is a method of organizing your supply chain that leads to efficient delivery operations. This is often done through the constant real-time tracking of routes, customer relationships, billing practices, and more.
Transportation Management System Functions
TMS systems are most commonly used by businesses with large delivery operations that must move goods on a regular basis. This includes the following types of businesses:
- E-commerce companies
- Logistics service providers (LSPs)
- Retail stores
- Third- and fourth-party logistics companies (3PLs and 4PLs)
Any company that has stock in transporting freight will benefit from some form of transport management system. While accessibility used to be limited to large companies and corporations, recent advancements have made these programs more available to small delivery businesses. All of the following features can be harnessed to take advantage of TMS in trucking.
Planning Delivery Services
A TMS can provide transparency at every step of the supply chain to help monitor what’s going on with your fleet. If you are engaging in global trade operations, a TMS will give information on tariffs, potential delays, and international trade regulations. These different aspects are used to help you select effective shipping methods for your cargo.
In the past, the management of transport services was done manually. Transport management and analytics software allow supervisors to track shipments, calculate freight billing, and match loads for deliveries. As soon as drivers return back to the warehouse their delivery information is automatically input into the system for future adaptations.
TMS in Logistics Optimization
A proper TMS will track and record important pieces of information. These valuable statistics will be organized into performance reports, analytics, and dashboards that are clear and presentable. The adaptive nature of our software will allow it to learn from this data and apply it to optimize carrier route planning.
Benefits of a Transport Management System
Regardless of the size of your business, our software will be able to help you in some way. Transportation management has been around for ages in different forms. The implementation of organized and automated systems has merely increased its impactfulness.
There are two ways to increase profits in any business: increase revenue and decrease expenses. A TMS can help you accomplish both. The goal of transport management is to organize and optimize all aspects of your delivery operations. Monitoring the supply chain and addressing the most prominent issues helps to minimize unnecessary costs; choosing the most efficient routes decreases fuel expenses and drive times; modifying driver schedules to take advantage of unused vehicles reduces idling time.
Additionally, all of these resource-saving tasks are performed automatically, without needing a person to do them. This saves money and allows you to put employees in charge of more important tasks.
An organized transportation system will help all of your operations and deliveries go more smoothly. This, in turn, will improve your relationship with customers and other business partners. The increased transparency and accountability of your deliveries will please everyone that works with you.
Relationships in the trucking industry are predicated on trust. People have delivery dates to meet and need their products when they say they need them. Especially with the influx of same-day delivery expectations on the market, punctuality is more important than ever before. Making your clients happy is one of the best ways to increase your client base. While word-of-mouth might be one of the rarest forms of advertising nowadays, it still remains one of the most effective.
Truck drivers are the foundation of a successful delivery business. Without them, nothing would make it from point A to point B. Keeping drivers content is a crucial part of running a trucking company. All people value their time, and truck operators are no different. If you waste their time with inefficient routes, unnecessary stops, or jobs that don’t have a proportional payout, you might experience pushback and difficulty when working with them.
A TMS helps to make all deliveries as driver-friendly as possible by giving them routes that avoid traffic holdups or construction delays and helping them make the most out of their scheduled time.
The Future of TMS
There are growing standards for delivery operations worldwide. Not only are customers expecting more reliability and transparency for shorter deadlines, but regulatory organizations are also demanding more accurate statistics.
To keep up in the evolving industry, transportation management systems must become more comprehensive and continue to add features.
Cloud-Based TMS Solutions
The integration of cloud-based applications can sometimes provide the same services with the added benefits of lower ownership costs, no upgrade fees, faster return on investment (ROI), and improved scaling/growth. In the trucking industry, using the cloud leads to faster deployments, automatic tracing updates, improved security, and shorter training times.
The introduction of cloud-based TMS platforms has made these products available to smaller businesses that do not have the same resources as large corporations. Software packages can be modified to fit the needs of a specific company and implemented with ease.
Previously, unless a company was transporting hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cargo on a monthly basis, there was no legitimate need for a TMS. Now that the technology is more widely available, small startup delivery businesses are able to use these programs to grow at a much faster rate.
IoT Fleet Monitoring
The internet of things (IoT) is an ever-expanding network of physical objects interconnected with other systems through sensors and software. Everything in the IoT is capable of sending data to another device by way of the internet. As this technology continues developing, carriers may be able to lower their fuel costs, reduce delays, and improve driver safety through real-time monitoring.
Fleet management systems are capable of using past trends to more accurately predict aspects of delivery operations. This includes transit times, at-risk shipments, plan capacity, and even potential delays from high-traffic periods. Machine learning can help optimize routes and dispatch plans with existing statistics.
As blockchains—digital business records that span supply chains—continue to develop, shippers can harness them to build integrations with carriers and customers. This will greatly improve the traceability and transparency of deliveries.
Blockchains will also help with methods like cold chain management, which are deliveries that must maintain specific temperatures or environmental conditions throughout the entirety of their transportation. Monitoring the temperature that perishable goods are stored throughout the entirety of their journey can help provide more accurate information to the distributor and improve the quality of different products.
Transportation Management System FAQ
How long does it take to implement a transportation management system?
Depending on your network complexity and the other systems the software must work with, it will typically take between one to six months to implement a product, such as Syntelic’s TMS. It will take longer for larger businesses because they require more integration.
How is a TMS different from a WMS?
A warehouse management system (WMS) is another type of software that helps shippers control and monitor their inventory. Both WMS and TMS are usually part of an overarching enterprise resource planning (ERP) software that helps manage day-to-day operations.
While a WMS can be used to keep track of warehouses and a TMS can be used to track transportation, they are often unique systems. A WMS focuses mainly on controlling and organizing freight while it’s at the shipment facility. This helps optimize operations in the warehouse and makes order fulfillment simpler.
Why is it important to have a transportation management system?
In simplest terms, everybody has one. The competitive advantage of having a dedicated system is so great that most trucking companies have already invested in some form. If you want to outperform other businesses that offer similar services, you need to be organized and optimized at every stage of your process.
Syntelic Software Offers Holistic and Customizable Solutions
Our transportation management products are designed to provide a comprehensive statistical tracking approach that can be tailored to meet your specific needs. If you run a small company without overwhelming shipping demands, you won’t be required to purchase a range of features that won’t benefit you.
Syntelic focuses on the strategies that have been tested and approved. We strive to offer reliable services without risking your business on flashy new technologies. However, our products are compatible with a variety of new innovations if you’d like to continue experimenting while still using our products.
If you’re just looking for reporting software to help manage your fleet—we can do that. Or maybe, you need some help with vehicle and driver management…we’ve got your back! We are here to offer holistic solutions to the problems you need to be addressed; no more, no less.
Our software focuses specifically on using efficiency, distance, and cost metrics to assist you in choosing the best route for your delivery efforts—even for multi-leg routes.
When we partner with a client, we don’t just send our product and leave. Instead, we create customizable solutions with open communication and effective solutions.
There’s a whole range of reasons to invest in Syntelic’s transportation management methods; perhaps the best is that you get to choose what matters to you.
Syntelic Transportation Analytics Software
Our products are intended to create a one-stop solution for all of your transportation needs. Route Planning, Load Planning, and Transportation Analytics work in harmony to improve your methods from the top down. A TMS is essential, but it’s also only part of the puzzle.
Contact Syntelic for information about how you can improve your delivery operations and grow your business.