What Is a Transportation Management System?
A transportation management system (TMS) is a logistics software that assists businesses in the planning, execution, and optimization of the incoming and outgoing movement of goods. A TMS provides visibility into day-to-day transportation operations, trade compliance information and documentation, and ensures the timely delivery of freight. Whether by land, air, or sea, transportation management systems also streamline the shipping process and make it easier for businesses to manage their transportation operations.
Features of a Transportation Management System Platform
An innovative TMS platform focuses on adaptability and scalability. Being able to shift attention and adjust protocols and processes on the fly are critical characteristics of the modern logistics network. Here are a few of the TMS features that add value to the shipping process:
- Automatic Order Processing — Reduces time on manual data entry and risk of human error
- Auto Carrier Selection — Automated system selects the best carrier option for cargo
- Multimodal Shipping — Handles all shipping methods, including international and domestic
- Shipment Consolidation — Groups items together, providing an efficient shipping method
- Dispute Management — Centralized method to resolve disputes and claims management
- Order Tracking — Supply chain visibility, knowing exactly what time to expect a shipment
Benefits of TMS for Logistics
TMS offers many logistics benefits to both buyers and sellers, including:
Everything You Need Is In One Place
TMS software allows companies to manage their transportation operations from a single platform. Clients have the opportunity to book, track, and interact with their shipments at any point in time of the supply chain management process. Through TMS, clients can also rate the shop, letting the carrier know if they are unhappy with any part of the freight management process.
Lowered Transportation Costs
TMS solutions provide companies with everything they need in one place—eliminating the need for various software, which reduces operating costs.
Automate Manual Tasks and Reduce Errors
Since everything is handled digitally through TMS, the need for manual entry is reduced significantly. A TMS that is integrated with your ERP or ordering system means that loads will automatically be generated based on customer orders. Significant data such as weights, pickup/delivery times, and destinations are automatically populated through TMS, reducing human error and the risk of client-carrier miscommunication. Rather than plugging in information to a clipboard notepad or unorganized spreadsheets, all order and route information is in one place, ensuring the transfer of accurate information between stakeholders.
Route Optimization and Load Consolidation
Optimization tools provided by TMS give you the ability to set parameters for the load, then suggest or build the optimal load and route for you to save time and have an efficient delivery. Routes can even be viewed on a map, giving you a visual of where the order is planned and allowing you to make changes as necessary.
Receiving Meaningful Analytics
Since logistics information passes through TMS, data can be transfigured into actionable reports and dashboards. Measure freight costs by product , freight spend vs. budget, and much more, allowing you to make changes that may impact your bottom line.
TMS also allows you to measure carrier performance and view real time tracking data, allowing you hold carriers accountable and keep your customers satisfied. These reports and dashboards help logistics professionals stay on top of metrics that affect their company’s bottom line and the overall customer experience. .
Gaining Visibility on When Shipments Will Be Received
Real time shipment tracking and analytics through TMS provide clients with visibility, allowing them to track transit time and give them insight on when orders will arrive at their final destination. Custom alerts allow users to manage by exception and be proactive on shipments that are in danger of being late.
Making Paperwork Digital and Easily Accessible
Transportation management systems make vital paperwork way more convenient to access. BOLs, PODs, and other paperwork are digitized and can be quickly searched and accessed straight from the system, making processing easy, efficient, and accurate.
Companies are constantly growing and changing, so your software should grow and change with you too. The right TMS allows you to evolve your business without changing your transportation operation strategy. Whether you’re growing through acquisition, adding new departments, or developing new products, the proper TMS will scale to meet the demands of a growing business.
Enhancing Relationships With Clients
As customer demand increases, orders need to get to their destinations faster, cheaper, and with complete visibility. TMS allows companies to provide exceptional customer service while meeting high customer expectations.
Easily Integrate With Existing Systems
A modern TMS, such as Sheer Exchange, will integrate with your existing systems, such as ERP, WMS, or CRM platforms. As more people order items online, more companies will adopt an e-commerce platform. As omni-channel supply chains and online ordering become more prominent, Many companies choose to integrate their TMS with their e-commerce solution and other ordering systems because it encourages a wrinkle-free process across different teams and departments; the flow of information is clean, consistent, and speeds up operations.
Sheer Logistics Helps You Make Sense of It All
Selecting the right TMS for your business is critical, and Migrating to a technology-based solution for your transportation operations can seem daunting, but we’re here to help you make sense of it all. As a full service managed transportation provider, Sheer will not only implement a tailored TMS solution, but can also act as an extension of your transportation team to help you optimize your supply chain processes.
Implementing TMS with Sheer Logistics helps you improve processes and make shipping more efficient. We’re proud to partner with MercuryGate, an industry leading TMS Software provider which has a unique combination of power and usability. Feature-rich functionality, enabled by superior accessibility, delivers value unsurpassed in the industry.
Contact us today to discover the Sheer difference!