What is a Transport Management System and what does it do?

Posted by Steve Bayley 12 Feb, 2016

What is a Transport Management System and what does it do?

Those working within the complex supply chain environment will be acutely aware of the perils of ignoring your transport operations. Get it wrong and not only is your profitability directly affected, but you risk losing customers unhappy with service and delivery standards. In this blog, we discuss what exactly a Transport Management System (TMS) is and what difference this technology can make for your company.

Adapt Business Operations With Transport Management Systems

Today, customers are just as concerned with how well you can adapt to their changing demands as they are with how much you charge. Our customers often tell us that it will be supply chains competing in the future, not companies. Flexibility and visibility within the supply chain is therefore key to keep ahead of the competition.

A TMS is a one-stop piece of software through which you can easily plan, organise and assess where each stage of the transport distribution cycle is up to. This involves driver management and in-cab communications, through to signature capture and carrier integration. In the long term, this enables you to quickly make informed decisions based on past performance and future forecasts, and further increase your company’s profits.

So how exactly can a TMS enable you to achieve this?

Dynamic Optimising and Planning

According to research by Heriot-Watt University, empty running accounts for 22% of journey legs, and a lot can be done to improve profit margins by improving these figures.

A TMS takes account of the varied and changing needs of transport distribution, enabling you to utilise your fleet for multiple customers in a seamless and efficient way. You can effortlessly plan the best routes based on fleet location, schedule collection and delivery times. It’s also easy to maximise backhauling, automatically schedule cross-docking, and even post unallocated loads onto portals for sub-contracting.

As well as increased efficiency, customers are kept satisfied and penalties for missed deliveries are reduced.

Increased Visibility and Management of Orders and Communications

According to a survey by Transport Intelligence, only 17% of logistics service providers and shippers have end-to-end visibility covering all partners and links in the supply chain. Not surprisingly, 54% of respondents were making plans to invest in IT infrastructure and improve visibility. Companies can no longer afford to get left behind if they want to remain competitive.

Transport software allows much better visibility and control for you and your customers. At the order stage, multiple TMS users are able to place, amend and plan orders based on a number of different parameters.

During the delivery stage, TMS integrates seamlessly with in-cab communication and there is a full proof of delivery (POD) and driver debrief. This means you know what deliveries have been made and when, what the outcomes were, and if any returns were received. All this information can then be notified to the warehouse. 

Pallet and Container Tracking

Transport management software allows you to track pallets, totes bins, roll cages and other delivery containers.  Containers that are left with customers for return as well as the spare quantities at each depot are monitored automatically.  Automated reports and alters allow you to chase overdue containers to make sure they are returned, reducing wastage.

Admin and Profitability Planning

TMS solutions allow you to easily charge for your logistics services based on a flexible tariff structure that accounts for all types of customer contracts.  You can then analyse your transport costs and determine issues such as cost versus revenue by customer or contract.

How our Integrated Transport Management System can help

CALIDUS TMS is specially built to improve efficiencies in the supply chain, provide you with the ability to keep track of deliveries, and seamlessly integrate with other systems like warehouse and proof of delivery software. Talk to one of our transport experts today and find out more.

Topics: Transport management