What is a Transportation Management System?
To move a product across town or across the country takes planning. In order to transport goods from a supplier to a buyer, companies must plan, monitor, and execute the movement of this product using a reliable, easy-to-use system. This is where a transportation management system – sometimes called a transportation management solution or even transportation management software (TMS) – comes into the process.
Historically, the entire process involved in this movement has been executed via paperwork. But technology, along with communication and transportation improvements, has redefined a TMS. An effective TMS is essential for businesses in order to request product pick-ups, track and trace shipments, as well as assist in payment and auditing of the entire shipping process.
The transportation industry needs a full-featured comprehensive TMS as shipping volumes increase due to consumer demand. When moving a shipment (aka, supply chain management), a company is interested in the finer details of the process and a good TMS will assist them in the following ways:
- Intelligent load building and planning tools
- Real-time data collection for up-to-date business intelligence and analysis
- Integrated mapping tools to reduce or eliminate the need for expensive routing software
- Automated arrival and departure alerts
- Electronic proof of delivery
- Efficient document management solutions
- Streamlined communications with dispatch
- Revenue performance metrics
- Driver performance data
- Accessible information anytime, anywhere
As the TMS market evolves, businesses will need to continue improving productivity, reduce expenses and support burden, as well as increase customer satisfaction and service levels. This will mean selecting a solution that provides:
- Cloud-based functionality available anytime, anywhere, from any web browser and mobile device
- Intuitive and easy-to-use functionality that is tailored to the specific workflows of targeted logistics segments (e.g. auto hauling, building materials, truckload, etc.)
- Nimbleness to respond to evolving market needs and rapidly deploy enhancements
- Responsiveness to customer needs and requirements