How have transportation management systems (TMS) evolved, and how can you get the most out of a TMS without negatively impacting your established business processes or customers? This article, supplied by FreightPOP, has the answers.
The growing list of supply chain concerns is forcing shippers to make significant changes to their operations. The list of challenges we still face in this industry include:
- Severe supply chain bottlenecks
- Shipping delays
- Labour/Driver shortages
- Increased customer expectations
- Capacity and equipment issues
Whether you’re looking to shift from a manual process to a more integrated and automated solution, or you are thinking of upgrading your shipping software, here’s what you need to know.
What Does A Modern TMS System Do?
In the early iterations of transportation management applications, we saw basic functionality such as rate management, carrier communications, and load consolidation. Over the past two decades, enhancements have included functions such as multimodal routing, cross-docking or pooling, and payment integration.
Today, robust solutions provide an end-to-end process to automate and integrate every aspect of your operation.
If you used a TMS system in the early days, you probably remember staring at green type on your computer screen and the high cost of implementation and ongoing computing power.
That’s all changed.
Cloud-Based TMS Solutions
As TMS solutions moved to the cloud, costs dropped significantly while computing resources grew exponentially. It used to be that only companies spending upwards of $100 million or more on freight used a TMS. But cloud-based TMS solutions allow even the smallest organizations to benefit from the advanced features without the hefty price tag.
SAAS TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT: The ubiquity of high-speed internet allowed for Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings, eliminating the capital investment needed for expensive mainframes and outsourcing the responsibility for software upgrades and hardware maintenance. This made TMS systems much more affordable as a subscription service with small monthly fees.
SHIPPING AUTOMATIONS: Modern TMS solutions now also allow you to automate much of the tedious, routine work to eliminate manual data entry and human errors. By utilizing APIs and web connectivity, you no longer need to call or check for rates and availability or be concerned about accurately tracking transactions. It all happens automatically to minimize workloads and optimise rates.
What You Need To Know About TMS Solutions
Not all TMS solutions on the market are equal, however, so if you’re shopping around, there are some things you need to consider.
For example, not all systems are customizable to your work processes. And the last result you want when trying to optimize is to have a TMS dictating or changing how you do business. Preferably, you need a system that integrates with third-party solutions you may already use such as ERP, WMS, order systems, and even any custom internal apps you may use.
The best TMS solutions should also excel at these critical functions:
- Shopping for Rates
- Real-time Tracking
- Carrier Invoice Auditing
- Carrier and Shipping Analysis
With the right TMS system, you can leverage your shipping data to improve your resource efficiency, vendor evaluations, and visibility on inbound and outbound products.
In 2022, You Need A Robust TMS
Overcoming today’s challenges — and whatever comes our way tomorrow — is essential to remain competitive and manage costs. A modern TMS solution can help you streamline and optimize your process holistically, so you can focus more on your core business and worry less about logistics.
For more information to help you learn how to deal with carrier capacity, what integrations to use to manage and scale freight, and much more CLICK HERE to access FreightPOP’s Ultimate Supply Chain Visibility Guide.