Transport management systems (TMS) have been used to improve efficiencies and reduce wastages within the supply chain since the 1980s. However, the increasing fragmentation of the supply chain means that it’s more important than ever to have a TMS that works.
Transport software is “one of the fastest growing enterprise application markets” according to the ARC Advisory Group. The question is: is yours still working for your business? And just as importantly, is it flexible enough to deal with future changes in your industry?
We look at the main challenges faced by those working in transport management, and how you can determine if your TMS is right for you.
Vehicle Fleet Utilisation and Optimisation
Research by Heriot-Watt University shows that fleet utilisation can be as low as 50%. It’s perhaps not surprising then, that in a survey by Supply Chain Management Review and Logistics Management, 55% of supply chain, logistics and distribution managers said their transport planning could do with improvement.
The latest TMS solutions enable you to easily plan regular routes, schedule delivery slots and adapt routes in real-time to meet ever-changing delivery requirements and traffic conditions. Back-hauling, cross-docking and posting unallocated loads onto sub-contracting portals is also possible.
If your supply chain is fragmented or you have a sizable commercial vehicle fleet, then innovative transport software is essential. Benefits of improved planning, route and schedule adherence, and controlled delivery time slots could reduce fuel costs by 12-15%.
Increased Customer Service and Visibility
We live in a customer-centric world now, and there’s an increasing move towards deliveries being made at a time to suit the recipient, and transparency as to where the delivery is in transit. Get this wrong and late delivery penalties can be incurred, along with reputational damage.
Can your TMS plan delivery slots at a time to suit the customer and allow for changes, whilst also maximising fleet utilisation? Can your customers track delivery status, and discover whether items are out on the road or in the depot? If not, you may be falling behind your competitors.
If you are operating within a complex supply chain, integration between your TMS, warehouse operations and suppliers are crucial.
If you need to know exactly what has been delivered, when it has been delivered and the outcome, transport software can combine with your in-cab communications, electronic delivery systems and warehouse software. Accurate stock levels and locations can be quickly ascertained to give a single view of what needs to be ordered, reducing wastage.
Admin and Future Planning
If you are running a relatively simple supply chain, then it can be easy to invoice and keep track of which transport suppliers are working for you, both in terms of meeting customer service levels and ensuring profitability.
Keeping track of profitability can be harder the more complex your operations. It can be time-consuming to track which customers are the most profitable, and which suppliers operate more efficiently or meet service level agreements. However, upgrading to an innovative TMS can provide easy reports for key business decisions.
Is it the time to change your transport management system?
If you are one of the 24% of supply chain, logistics or distribution managers that are now considering acquiring or updating their TMS, why not get in touch with one of our consultants to see if our CALIDUS TMS is the right solution for your business?