TMS / Transportation Management System
An effective TMS is a system designed to plan, monitor and evaluate the performance at each transportation stage, covering all of the company’s special needs, easily integratable with ERP systems and the warehouse module. Therefore, the transportation management system increases the level of transport services and boosts profits owing to on-time deliveries, faster response to changes, stringent cost control, lower staff costs and transport costs.
The tough competition and growing requirements in the market of freight transportation highlight the need to develop a new modern approach to the management of transport logistics based on advanced technologies. The need to automate processes becomes obvious during the business expansion when the manual or semiautomatic management of freight transportation flows ceases to be effective. The use of outdated accounting systems entails huge labor, time and material expenses. The introduction of an automated transport management system (TMS) provides opportunities to make headway.
The transport management system reduces the route planning periods several times. Requests are automatically distributed across the vehicles. The TMS analyzes all the requests with regard to the cargo receipt and delivery timeframe, plots the optimal routes in terms of tonnage, volume and the use of own and leased vehicles. The system’s ability to take into account the specific requirements and restrictions makes it possible to schedule deliveries factoring in any input information. The reduction in the “human factor” impact helps minimize planning errors.
Precise evaluation of performance indicators
Those who run a transport business without an automated system face information collection, processing and analysis difficulties. The automation of carriage activities makes it possible to control and analyze the vehicle mileage, fuel metrics, repairs, performance ratios, load factors and to keep records of settlement payments between counterparties, a prerequisite for the KPI assessment and strategically correct management decisions.
Modern TMS systems can be linked to drivers’ mobile devices. Such devices may record the time of arrival and departure to the loading / unloading point, the successful task completion (with a comment option) and any emergency situation reports which, once delivered to the TMS, may trigger an automatic online re-assignment of tasks between the drivers within the TMS. The drivers are then immediately notified of such changes via their mobile devices. The TMS can be successfully integrated with satellite monitoring systems to locate vehicles and cargoes using these data to change routes if and as necessary and to ensure additional control over the transportation process.