A transportation management system (TMS) is now an essential tool for a freight company because it provides freight load visibility that many consider standard in the supply chain. A TMS provides tools for planning and executing freight transportation and can help automate processes while offering managers greater insights. Here’s why you should consider using a TMS for digital load tracking.
How does a TMS system work?
A TMS offers real-time visibility to aid in decision-making, route optimization and information transparency.
Using relevant reports, transportation management companies can make more informed decisions to decrease the number of stops during loads to save time. Plus, it results in shorter, faster and safer routes, which decrease transportation expenses, reduce turnover and lead to happier drivers.
Automating processes such as dispatching reduces the amount of work your team has to do. And because the plans are better, they require less oversight during execution.
See where shipments are at any time via shipping updates. Keep staff and other members of the supply chain up-to-date. Provide your logistics manager with better insights into invoicing, customs and client care data to operate a more successful business.
TMSs measure what matters using analytics. Regardless of the key performance indicators (KPIs) that most affect you, a TMS can track and report on those data points. See reports in a single dashboard or build custom reports to meet your needs or your customers’ needs.
5 ways transportation management systems provide load visibility
Adding a TMS to your freight business offers value for load visibility. Here’s a look at the advantages you’ll gain with one of these systems.
Insights into load expenses
Knowing how much a load will cost you to transport can help you quote jobs better in the future and understand the return on investment (ROI) for various customers and lanes. Nailing down your expenses can also help you reduce them to improve your bottom line through optimization. With more data, you can analyze various factors, including routes, timing and equipment to get a better handle on expenses.
Real-time digital freight tracking
See exactly where drivers and goods are located at any given moment. This information can help you calculate delivery timeframes or reroute shipments during traffic or weather events. You’ll also know which drivers and routes offer the greatest efficiency to lean on your best resources. Plus, customers will appreciate the added visibility and improved delivery timeline communication, which can ensure greater customer satisfaction.
Ability to monitor on-time delivery performance
You’ve made commitments to your customers to deliver goods within a set timeframe. Having insights as to when you achieve on-time delivery can help you track performance and share that information with customers. Customers can also view this data independently when using the TMS customer portal. Improved visibility can help you retain customers and work through issues before they harm business relationships. This system can also help show your efficiency and effectiveness to a freight brokerage you work with to secure similar loads while nurturing those relationships.
Integrations with warehouse management systems
When you connect your TMS and warehouse management system (WMS), you have even more powerful insights that can improve efficiency and productivity throughout the logistics process. By connecting your TMS and WMS, you can see data related to orders, where an item is located in the warehouse, transit information and delivery timelines. That way, you can oversee the process from start to finish all in one place while updating customers accordingly.
Tracking drivers for supply chain efficiency
Reviewing where a driver is located to compare it with similar load timelines can help you locate inefficiencies and coach drivers needing guidance on how to keep deliveries on time. Sharing comparable data with drivers upon their returns can guide them toward future success to ensure every delivery is well-executed.
Greater insights help operate more successful businesses
The more insights and visibility you have into your freight business, the more successful you will be. Implementing the best technology and tools will help you detect and correct inefficiencies, earn improved customer satisfaction and build better relationships with third parties, such as freight brokers.
Real-time transportation visibility involves using software tools for live updates on where a shipment is located and when to expect it.
The core features of a TMS include order management, load planning, fleet management, dock scheduling, tendering, shipment rate management, route analysis and business intelligence.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is an overarching software that helps companies of various types oversee all aspects of their operations. TMS is software designed specifically for transportation companies to offer granular details unique to their businesses.
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