Whether you’re a pure play logistics and transportation specialist, or distribution and customer delivery is a part of your wider business, smart transport, logistics and operations managers are always looking for new - innovative ways to refine their operation.
In today’s volatile and ultra-competitive economic environment, it is a fundamental business imperative to constantly search out ways to increase margins without adversely impacting on your customers’ experience.
Fortunately, recent advancements in transport management systems (TMS) have made it possible to reduce operating and support costs while simultaneously improving efficiency and quality of service. In this week’s blog, we’re examining the seven top benefits associated with this innovative, automated approach to transport management.
1. Make Smart Decisions
Until recently, TMS solutions were typically viewed as the domain of only the largest logistics operations. Indeed, early TMS solutions were difficult to integrate, inflexible and often costly, which is perhaps why many shippers still rely on inefficient spreadsheets, email and paperwork to manage their supply chain.
However, TMS has come a long way in the last few years. Modern TMS solutions are highly configurable and flexible, providing real-time visibility and instant access to business-critical information to help you make better informed decisions across every area of your business, from planning, scheduling, load and route optimisation, through personnel and fleet management, tracking and electronic proof of delivery to pricing, cost management and invoicing.
TrackTrans’ TMS has been designed from the ground up as single, integrated logistics solution. It provides you with all the information you need, when you need it and presented through customised dashboards and tailored reports so that you and your fellow stakeholders can make informed decisions about your business and react quickly to competitive market challenges.
2. Streamline Planning
Streamlining and automating your transport operations using a modern TMS will help you significantly reduce the inefficiencies of manual processes and all but eliminate errors resulting from lost paperwork.
At every step of the logistics journey, a TMS delivers efficiencies.
For example, when you’re creating new jobs and orders, a TMS will import electronic consignment data straight from your customers’ planning system, automatically validate delivery addresses and optimise routing and scheduling, all at the click of a button, eliminating paperwork, dramatically reducing administration and manual overheads and improving accuracy. Or use sign on glass to eliminate the pile of delivery paperwork with instantly viewable online ePODs, each tracked with GPS locations and timestamped for added security, then automate the sending of PODs to keep your customers fully updated and nip POD issues in the bud.
Modern TMS solutions like TrackTrans do this and much more, automating time consuming manual tasks and avoiding costly errors and at the same time enabling fewer people to carry out routine admin jobs, releasing them to focus on added value business growth and customer service-related tasks.
3. Improve Traceability: Eliminate Errors
TMS solutions are not only about back-office planning. A few also incorporate sophisticated electronic proof of delivery (ePOD) functionality. Often installed as an app on your drivers’ smart-phones, it enhances visibility with real-time delivery tracking and provides accurate information for customers, drivers and management. Further, by eliminating the time-consuming and error-prone paper-based POD processes and paperwork both in the field and back-office, customer relations and query resolution are dramatically improved.
Plus, with advanced TMS and ePOD solutions like TrackTrans, not only can you fully automate your proof of delivery process, you can make real-time updates to driver schedules through the mobile TrackTrans app, offering you the ultimate in flexibility and control.
4. Supply Chain Integration
The best integrated TMS provides end-to-end supply chain visibility; enabling better inventory forecasting and enhanced accuracy. This lowers costs and helps simplify your operation.
TrackTrans creates a single version of the truth, by integrating the TMS with your existing business management solutions such as your ERP (enterprise resource planning) and WMS (warehouse management systems). This helps avoid manual overheads – or worse, errors – and thanks to intuitive dashboards helps provide both your clients and your own operations team with a highly accurate supply chain overview. This level of integration enables you to precisely track each shipment up and down the supply chain; giving you insight into how specific movements will impact the rest of your operations.
5. Optimise Assets and Resources
Transport management software not only helps you monitor vehicles and their drivers, but it also utilises advanced data and sophisticated algorithms to decipher the most efficient way to reach a destination. Once updated, information regarding locations, route changes and additional directions can be accessed in real time.
TrackTrans gives you a detailed perspective on your personnel, allowing you to methodically allocate specific jobs with ease, whilst considering a driver’s location and current workload. With this ability to compile details regarding an employee’s working and resting time, you are able to evaluate a driver’s efficiency and profitability. Being able to see whether a HGV has been at a particular location for too long enables you to manage exceptions with ease.
6. Manage Sub-Contractors and Multi-Depots
A critical feature of a TMS solution is its ability to connect the many partners that have input on the freight movement process. Many organisations in the transport sector use a combination of both their own fleet and sub-contractors – both of which need optimising for cost and delivery efficiency.
TrackTrans provides you with the necessary visibility, giving you instant access to shipping requirements, direct and contractor options and costs so that you can handle consumer demands and control costs. With this increased level of collaboration, supply chain partners are able to look beyond their business’s own units and identify opportunities that influence the entire supply chain. Further, TrackTrans allows you to operate multiple depots, pop-up depots and even third-party warehousing from a central planning office. Through the course of the day, you can keep every depot updated on despatches and deliveries, allowing them to plan in advance.
7. Rapid Return
Modern TMS solutions are typically cloud-based offering an attractive alternative to traditional in-house data-centres, making them cost effective, quick and easy to deploy, yet flexible enough to meet the varied needs of each business.
The TrackTrans TMS has been developed from the outset with the goal of making it the most flexible, best-in-class TMS on the market, and a key element of this approach is Cloud-first. In short, the very latest features and functions of your TMS are always at your fingertips. TrackTrans manages everything for you, you don’t need to worry about the maintenance of your software or the hardware on which it resides. Plus, it offers greater flexibility for your staff in their day-to-day work. If for example, they need to access any information or documents while they’re away from the office – with the correct security and authentication – they can easily access your ‘virtual-Cloud-office’ whenever necessary through any mobile and web-enabled device.
Whether you are a dedicated logistics operator, a freight specialist or a manufacturer, retailer or distributer with your own fleet, a quality TMS can transform the management of your entire transport operation.
TrackTrans is a proven, modern and flexible TMS that has an enviable customer list spanning road transportation, freight forwarders, vehicle logistics and own-fleet operators with clients include XPO, Manheim, Richard Tovey, Pets At Home and many more.
Why not test drive your tailor-made TMS and try TrackTrans’ free demo today!