Synchronizing numerous logistics operations often gets perplexing, so shippers and retailers keep looking for optimal solutions for their supply chains. Utilizing transportation management systems (TMS) are an excellent solution in optimizing logistics operations.
What is a TMS?
A transportation management system (TMS) represents digital software that helps businesses plan, execute, and optimize logistics operations. These systems effectively assist with tracking the shipping performance and coordinating the activities of each participant in the shipment.
By using a TMS, retailers gain high supply chain visibility and detect time and cost reduction opportunities. This system records your logistics activities in one place and analyzes them for future improvements. Besides, TMS quickly generates documentation that is compliant with your shipment.
What are the benefits of TMS?
Transportation management systems influence the core logistics operations and the overall business model. Although digitalization may seem challenging, investing in a TMS is worth it.
Improving shipping visibility is one of the main goals of transportation management systems. When implementing the TMS to your supply chain strategy, you gain all the advantages of shipment tracking and get advanced control over the transportation flow. You’ll be able to keep in touch with carriers without distracting them from driving and meet the delivery deadlines better.
Applying TMS also facilitates dispatching and reporting activities. Instead of repeatedly calling drivers to check their location, your system will always keep you posted. Additionally, you can install inventory supervision software to your TMS and manage your stock.
Logistics data storage
You can use the TMS to store all data from previous shipments. Thus, there’s no need for manual recordkeeping and checking paperwork to clarify details. Instead, you’ll find the information in a centralized digital archive and pull it up through search functionality. Depending on your criteria, TMS can group data to speed up its access.
Stored data form a basis for various logistics reports and analytics. When you don’t have to spend much time inputting, inspecting your supply chain processes gets straightforward. Most transportation management systems include automated algorithms for completing a detailed analysis, so you’ll regulate it by setting particular filters.
Reduced transportation costs
With TMS, you can effectively reduce shipping costs in several ways. Modern transportation systems can analyze your regular shipping routes and look for better options. It shortens commute time and significantly reduces fuel consumption. Consequently, you’ll save costs, yet your items will arrive timely without signs of damage.
Transportation management systems remain active throughout the entire shipment, which allows them to collect big data and generate financial reports later. Such reviews are perfect for identifying places where you can potentially cut expenses. Thanks to it, you’ll see the direction for reinvestment and plan your transportation budget more precisely.
Improved customer service
Shipping visibility provided by the TMS is determinant for building customer loyalty. By receiving instant notifications that TMS sends at a specific frequency, your buyers will check the shipment location and stay updated on the estimated delivery time. These small things make your customers direct participants in the supply chain operations, so they trust you more.
In addition, you can connect the transportation management system to your customer support platform. Whenever you receive a consumer inquiry during shipping, the TMS will classify the request and redirect it to an appropriate customer support representative. It seriously reduces the duration of every customer service case and allows your employees to assist more clients.
How to choose a suitable TMS?
When deciding on a suitable TMS, it’s vital to highlight your business specifics and ensure that digital tools can provide effective solutions. Try to answer a few central questions to make the right TMS choice.
Consider your business needs
It’s critical to understand what problematic areas of your business the implementation of TMS can cover. Since transportation management systems come in many different versions, outline your company goals. Do you prioritize optimizing your supply chain duration, or are you primarily willing to reduce transportation costs? Are you aiming at increased shipping transparency, or do you want to make your logistics operations more automated? The answers will help you decide on the TMS platform type: the one created and personalized especially for your company, the one commonly used by similar businesses, or the cloud-based TMS accessible by subscription.
See what technologies fit you
It’s essential to evaluate your supply chain capacity to adopt new technologies. Some of them may not be compatible with your business, but there’s nothing to worry about: due to the wide range of TMS choices, you can indeed find the one that’ll benefit you.
Try to estimate your present electronic equipment. Is there a necessity to replace it with more recent models? If so, see if you can invest in new computers to cope with TMS. If everything’s working fine, you are ready to install the TMS.
Plan the implementation process
After deciding on a suitable platform, develop a gradual TMS implementation plan. Try to calculate the time you need and appoint the project managers. Having installed the TMS on your digital equipment, the specialists will tailor it to your business specifics and modify the TMS configurations according to your requirements. Ensure you can organize training to teach your employees to work with the TMS and set the trial period to see it in action.
GoShip can connect you to many professional carriers who prioritize shipping visibility and cost-efficiency. Our transportation management systems will help you remain in control of your shipment until the delivery. Use our tool to compare carrier rates and get the best LTL quote today!