The pace of logistics increases with technology. To be competitive, companies need transport management system software (TMS). TMS software includes four key components: planning and decision making, transportation execution, transportation follow-up and measurement. By creating efficiencies and granular visibility in these areas, freight deliveries become more efficient and profitable.
What is TMS software and what are the benefits?
Offering better service than the competition while staying price competitive has become increasingly difficult as technology changes the logistics industry. Freight forwarders, whether global or local, need TMS to keep pace with the relentlessly more efficient competitive field. Those who employ this vital technology cut costs and raise customer satisfaction.
TMS software increases efficiencies in many ways, including the following:
• Analyzing operations
• Managing shipments
• Deploying resources
• Storing documents
The software is necessary to be competitive because it allows all these simultaneous processes to be carried out without large administrative costs. Customer satisfaction also increases because the process ensures their freight gets to its destination faster. TMS software provides customers with automatic updates and alerts that allow them to track their freight in real time.
The software also saves valuable time that employees can put to better use. For example, employees can focus on customer service and increasing sales volume rather than remaining bogged down with small administrative tasks. Automation is sweeping every industry and freeing employees to focus on creative, relational and analytic tasks. This shift will allow freight forwarders to focus on improving their processes and making the industry more efficient and responsive.
TMS also integrates with clients’ IT infrastructure. This makes it easy for customers to place orders. Once clients feel comfortable managing their freight orders using these convenient systems, they tend to stay with their current provider because the provider with advanced TMS software saves them labor.
Trading partners’ IT infrastructure also integrates with TMS software. Because of this integration, managing orders and contracts also becomes more efficient. Miscommunication and mistakes are greatly reduced, allowing staff to focus on customer service, business development and operations rather than putting out fires. In addition, TMS software eliminates the inconveniences of managing multiple trading partners because it allows for those constantly shifting business relationships to be managed easily in one system.
Metrics and analytics
To correctly manage business in today’s technological world, companies need to collect data and use it to analyze where they are succeeding and where juggernauts, inefficiencies and mistakes are being made. TMS provides freight forwarders with the opportunity to delve into all areas of operation to judge what changes need to be made. Managers can take an overview of the company’s operations and then delve deep into specific areas.
Areas of interest TMS software can delve into include the following:
• Contract management
• Transportation management
• Regulatory compliance
• Route planning
• Delivery scheduling
• Fleet management
• Shipment management
• Order management
• Trading partner management
• Customer service
Preserving and accessing data stands as the primary obstacle to employing data analytics. Without TMS, data storage is often inconsistent or nonexistent. Information contained in various data silos require a great deal of IT legwork to locate and integrate. The cost of creating just a few basic reports remains prohibitive under those conditions.
TMS software automatically stores valuable data. It provides data analytics tools that are easy to use. These tools allow for customized searches of historical data with no need for costly programming. TMS software maintains daily histories for dozens of crucial data fields that show shipping and transportation performance parameters.
With TMS software, freight forwarders also enjoy access to detailed historical data never before available. To find this information, managers can use convenient query tools that extract data, which is then processed into analytics and reporting tools. Complete analytics packages are available. These include pre-written queries, dashboards and analytic views.
The age of big data has arrived. Today’s IT technology is bursting with so much data that organizations must create data lakes just to store it. With TMS software, there is no need to create data lakes and other expensive architecture. TMS software stores data and provides analytics tools that offer simplified access. The transportation industry faces rapid change as a result of technological developments. Companies that adapt and use this TMS to improve all aspects of their operations stand the benefit and increase profitability.
CSA Software is a developer of state of the art, Cloud-based software solutions for freight forwarding, transportation management, air freight, ocean freight, and logistics organizations. In addition, we offer comprehensive freight forwarding software solutions to handle special requests and customer specific requirements. Contact us today if you would like a Free Demo of our software!