Effective dispatching is vital for a successful transportation and logistics operation. But traditional methods for dispatching are often time-consuming and less cost-effective than newer technology-driven solutions. With transportation management system (TMS) integration, you can dispatch faster and more efficiently to save your logistics company time and money.
Learn more about TMS integration, how dispatching works with TMS and five ways you can dispatch faster with this technology in this guide.
What is TMS Integration?
A transportation management system is a valuable tool for managing nearly all transportation or logistics company operations. These computer software platforms automate many daily processes and provide real-time visibility to help managers plan, execute and optimize supply chain processes.
While a TMS is a powerful software solution on its own, it is only when fully integrated that it can help control all aspects of supply chain management. Several popular TMS integrations include GPS fleet tracking, electronic logging device (ELD) and hours of service (HOS) compliance and dispatching.
For example, trucking companies using transportation management systems with dispatching integration can better manage their dispatch services, including optimizing load assignments and communicating directly with drivers.
How Does Dispatching Using TMS Integration Work?
Dispatching is an essential function of any trucking or transportation company. Traditionally, a truck dispatcher would connect drivers with loads to haul while offering support to drivers while on the road. They would also handle paperwork, billing and motor carrier compliance.
With TMS integration, dispatching still involves the same essential functions but is optimized and much easier to manage. Rather than assigning loads based on intuition, a TMS can automatically identify the best vehicles, routes and schedules to minimize downtime and maximize profit. TMS dispatch software also automates much of the tedious paperwork, allowing dispatchers to focus on supporting their drivers.
5 Ways to Dispatch Faster with TMS Integration
With TMS integration, transportation dispatching is automated and optimized, helping trucking companies save valuable time and money. Check out these five benefits of TMS-integrated dispatching.
1. Find the Best Mode of Transportation
Not all commercial vehicles are designed for the same purpose, and not all loads have the same requirements. Specialized trucks such as reefers, tankers and flatbeds are better suited for different types of cargo. Logistics companies also want to ensure that trucks are fully loaded to minimize costs.
TMS-integrated dispatch can automatically identify the optimal vehicles in your fleet for your available loads and the space available in each. By cutting out the guesswork of finding the best mode of transportation, you can speed up the assignment process and get trucks moving.
2. Find the Best Rate of Transportation
Pinpointing the least expensive way to carry a load from point A to point B is not always obvious. With TMS-enabled dispatching, critical key performance indicators (KPIs) such as cost per mile are constantly being calculated and updated. This data is then used in the dispatching process to identify the cheapest shipping methods for a particular load.
Managers can also use the information a transportation management system provides to identify areas where they can cut costs moving forward, such as truck utilization and fuel consumption. With this knowledge, companies can work to not only get the best transportation rates today but also to plan for better rates in the future.
3. Lower Logistics Costs
Implementing TMS integration in dispatching is one great way companies can lower logistics costs. Automating many of the processes that humans would otherwise do minimizes back-office labor costs, and the time saved can be spent otherwise improving operations.
Meanwhile, the software works for you to identify areas where you can reduce other costs in dispatch and other areas of your business. For example, real-time route optimization can help reduce fuel consumption and maintenance costs by reducing miles driven.
4. Maximize Work Flow
Nobody likes paperwork, but it’s an inevitable part of any logistics business. TMS integration can automate many tedious back-office tasks required for dispatching, such as processing HOS logs and handling invoices. Not only does this save time, but it also maximizes your workflow.
You can also improve your return on investment and speed up operations by ensuring accurate calculations and automatically applying data-driven insights into dispatch. These reports generated by transportation management systems are valuable in identifying areas of improvement in dispatch and throughout the company.
5. Predict Dispatching Schedule
Transportation management systems are excellent tools for creating dispatch schedules. For example, because driver hours of service logs are integrated with TMS, the software can identify which drivers need to rest and which are ready for a new load.
Another useful function of TMS is GPS integration, which shows precisely where all vehicles are in a fleet, their estimated times of arrival and whether they are expected to be on time. This information can all be used to generate dispatch schedules automatically.
Transportation Dispatching with TMS Integration
Assigning loads to drivers gets more complicated every day, and traditional dispatching services may not offer all the functionality your company needs. With a transportation management system, you can optimize many key areas of your logistics company, including dispatch. TMS-integrated dispatching can help save you time, maximize productivity and ensure optimization in every step of dispatching.
TMS integration benefits everyone in the supply chain, including shippers and receivers. Some industries that rely on TMS include logistics, manufacturing, retail, pharmaceuticals, automotive and food service.
A transportation management system (TMS) streamlines the shipping process, while a warehouse management system (WMS) helps manage warehouse functions such as order fulfillment, inventory tracking and shipping and receiving. For a fully integrated solution, it is possible to connect a WMS to a TMS.
Many important KPIs can be tracked with a TMS, including freight cost, transportation time, on-time rates, trucking capacity use, maintenance costs and fuel efficiency.
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