November 25, 2022

What to look for in a TMS?


One click is all it takes to place a new order. But does it all end here? Once the order is placed, transportation starts playing its role. Transportation is the bridge between any business and people.

Transportation management means managing, controlling, and optimising the entire transportation and supply chain processes. Without a proper system, the whole logistic plan will get lost in ashtrays. But managing transportation is only some people's cup of coffee.

To make things easier for you, in this blog, we will answer your doubts regarding what TMS is, why you need one, how you can choose one, and more. Keep on reading!

What is a Transportation Management System (TMS)?

Before the invention of the TMS, companies relied on pen and paper. While shipping, they spent lots of time calling or emailing. On the other hand, the courier often took the wrong routes, knowingly or unknowingly. As many people are involved in logistics operations, it had too many loopholes, and forgery was easy. In a nutshell, with a manual process, a company wastes its money and resources in multiple ways.

A transportation management system is software that helps companies plan, execute, and optimise their logistics operations for transporting goods efficiently. It automates repetitive tasks.

There are two primary user groups of TMS: sippers, manufacturers, and distributors, or third-party logistics providers (3PLs).

But a TMS is different from a warehouse management system (WMS). A WMS is another digital tool that shippers often use to keep tabs on their inventory, warehouse organization, and management of order fulfillment. Both TMS and WMS can be integrated with a company's enterprise resource planning.

What can an efficient TMS do?

increased quality of service to customers

Today's consumers want immediate service, the flexibility to make last-minute changes, and personalised delivery windows. They anticipate it will be included in every order they place. Businesses need help modifying their processes to meet the needs of their customers. Here's where TMSs come in, especially those of the latest generation. Using TMS, the systems that handle orders and the systems that run warehouses will be linked. Having all of a customer's purchases in one place makes it easy to choose which shipping company will provide the best value. Both consumers and merchants stand to gain from this change.

Productivity Gains in the Warehouse

A TMS can improve productivity in the warehouse. The more you utilise a TMS, the less time you will spend handling freight, giving you more freedom to focus on other areas of the business, such as warehouse management. Integration with other systems, such as an ERP, can help you save time by reducing the need to double-check data or correct typos when entering new information. A supply chain visibility solution with a warehouse management system can help you save money and improve productivity (SCIS).

Monitoring of Delivery Status

TMSs provide for constant shipment tracking. Organizations might be alerted when a shipment is delayed or fails to arrive. When businesses are alerted to service disruptions, they can quickly make changes to resume normal operations.The time it takes to complete a route may be calculated using tracking data, allowing for more efficient route scheduling.

Managing Stocks

A dependable TMS system allows businesses to monitor their order and shipping processes in real-time. This will improve visibility and responsibility throughout the supply chain and allow for more precise inventory forecasting. In addition, the TMS software's tracking tools will let you rest easy, knowing that your customers will get their orders when they're supposed to. Future supply chain operations, notably the expansion of e-commerce freight transportation, will benefit from this degree of inventory management control.

Discounted shipping prices

Good transportation management software may make all the difference in keeping shipping costs to a minimum. The optimal system will analyse the costs associated with each possible logistics path and select the one that results in the most savings. It provides user-centric solutions for reducing expenses like fuel utilisation and driver overtime.

The ability to see throughout the supply chain

The modern TMS solution allows for supply chain visibility from end to end. One significant benefit of interconnected systems is the ability to view and retrieve data from other systems in real time. Managers in the logistics field can better anticipate problems and take corrective measures before they escalate. As a result, we can keep our performance and efficiency high without decreasing the degree of satisfaction provided to our customers.

Enhanced Capabilities for Routing

Due to shorter order cycles and smaller freight amounts, optimised routing is more crucial than ever before. Organizations can implement pool distribution with the use of suitable TMS technology. Due to the reduced costs and flexibility, they have adopted this distribution method. Operators may need to decide on the optimal pool location to pick up and deliver cargo. Complex orders can be split up and sent through the system one at a time to save on processing and shipping costs.

Optimal docking timetable planning

With more reliable transportation planning and execution, dock scheduling can be optimized. By coordinating shipment arrivals with loading dock hours, a good TMS may reduce idle periods while enhancing transit reliability between locations.

Correctly filling orders

Using a TMS may greatly enhance shipment precision. Order accuracy is also much improved because of real-time tracking and supply chain visibility. The TMS software entirely does away with shipping errors and irregularities. Even minor issues that emerge during transport must not negatively impact the consumer.

Reduced paperwork requirements

When you utilise the TMS, you may save time and money by having your financial transactions handled automatically. Also, it will reduce the amount of paperwork essential to running a business. It's a win-win scenario since administrative costs and the likelihood of billing errors are reduced.

How do you choose the right TMS for you?

You're probably convinced that you need a TMS for your company now. But before you start, here are a few things you must consider:

  • Implementing any costly service will not improve your business—it's unnecessary. If your business is small, an additional service will save you money, slow down the entire process, and decrease team productivity. In that case, more human resources will help you support your system. Without losing hefty money, you can manage the logistics operation swiftly.
  • You may have multimodal transportation. But not every TMS supports that. So, ensure that your TMS has that particular feature.
  • Think ahead and anticipate your requirements. Save money on bells and whistles if you want to keep costs down. Find a TMS that adopts a modular or building-block approach so you may expand and add features as needed.
  • You can combine the benefits of a broker with those of a carrier if you so choose. A truckload carrier, a brokerage, or both could be on your team. The TMS needs to be versatile enough to accommodate either of these scenarios. Carriers, for instance, earn money by transporting goods. Due to the low profit margins on each line, a TMS must optimise its combined productivity.
  • Be familiar with the accessible integrations. Finding a TMS that can be customised to fit your business's demands in EDI, trailer tracking, and other areas is important.
  • Protect the rules and regulations. With the use of streamlined resources for managing DOT compliance, you can reduce the likelihood of making expensive mistakes in areas like vehicle maintenance, driver logs, and records.
  • Consider the mandate for electronic logging devices (ELDs) for number five. ELDs are mandatory for the trucking industry to deploy so that service hours may be tracked accurately, as mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Verify that your TMS has the necessary integration, transparency, and reporting features.
  • Choose an external accounting software option. You should find a TMS that can fully integrate with your current accounting software, whether it's Quick books or Sage. The billing process is completely automated with this combination.
  • Aim to find a tried and true method—number seven. Get in touch with potential vendors and inquire about case studies or recommendations from businesses like yours. TMS providers should be able to provide examples of how they have helped customers with unique problems, such as those associated with operating a specific type of trailer or transporting a commodity with strict parameter requirements.
  • Always keep your clients in mind. If you want to stay in touch with your customers quickly and accurately, pick a TMS that can help. Search for available choices that provide a protected customer portal where they may monitor load levels in real-time.
  • Don't fret so much about updating the infrastructure. A company's success depends as much on its reputation as on its offerings. Customers will have more faith in a TMS that takes initiative to fix problems with their experience, such as loading delays and missed dock times.
  • Use your business savvy. To analyse and improve processes, a robust TMS gives business intelligence data such as deadhead percentage, revenue per loaded mile, and on-time.

Why is Traqo the one-stop solution for you?

While you are clear about your needs, here are a bucket full of reasons why Traqo is the best option for you.

Real-time tracking

The goal of a transportation management system (TMS) is to make it easier to keep track of shipments at every stage of their journey from origin to destination. Selecting a TMS that provides improved monitoring and tracking accuracy, streamlined operations, and timely alerts for incidents occurring on the road is vital.

Traqo has a hybrid-tracking option. Traditional GPS doesn't work in rural areas. That's why Traqo offers SIM-based tracking. From Kashmir to Kanya Kumari, Traqo's innovative system keeps track of your shipments.

Better Fleet Procurement

There is a need for extensive modernization in logistics, and one area that needs it is freight procurement. However, a fundamental obstacle to streamlining freight procurement is the complexity of the existing systems. However, the procurement procedure has remained the same despite the widespread use of digital tools throughout the supply chain.

But Traqo's got you covered. With Traqo, you can create freight procurements with just a click. From the same page, you can easily view the auction milestone, the winner's bid, and the invoice or business assigned to the vendor. With Traqo, you can get bids via WhatsApp.

Smooth indent management

Manual indent systems have the drawback of requiring a lot of human effort to run. Instead of keeping tabs on indent levels, that time may be put to better use elsewhere in the company. The likelihood of making a mistake grows with the reliance of a manual indent system on human effort. A transaction can be unrecorded, or a person can make an honest mistake when counting the number of products. Ordering enough products due to accurate physical counts might lead to a shortage of necessary commodities at the worst possible time for the company.

The list can get longer, but Traqo smoothen the indenting process like butter. Following your company's guidelines, Traqo enables your logistics team to place a vehicle requisition with your contracted transporters. It allows automatic reassignment in the event of indent rejection, either by predefined business norms or by using the spot market to acquire vehicles. You can create the Internet with one click. Send notifications via email or WhatsApp. From this vendor portal, the vendor can update the vehicle information and upload trip-related documents.

Hassle-free Invoicing and Payment Management

In logistics, you have to do hundreds of invoices in one day. Post-delivery invoicing, truck driver's payment, supplier invoice payment—to name some Managing all that paperwork manually costs a lot of time and effort. Also, there are chances that they can be manipulated.

Traqo's invoicing and payment services can save you from this tedious task. Create or upload vendor invoices on the platform. With an audit by the finance manager, they would be approved. Once that's done, generate a bank file for payment of all approved invoices, and you can analyse all the payouts.

Efficient trip management and execution

Only tracking is not the solution to saving time and fuel. Traqo provides a centralised location from which to manage your vehicle's assets. You can assign drivers and equipment and handle dispatch and financial settlement for drivers with Traqo's driver app, although not all TMS providers provide sophisticated fleet management services.

With just a click, you can plan your trip. You can control the entire trip from Traqo's dashboard. On a single page, view all the trip-related milestones. It keeps track of everything and provides real-time trip analysis.

Reduce roadblocks along the route

If you rely on tried-and-true route planning methods, you need help to keep up with the pace of expansion. Traditional route planning methods are antiquated because of shifting consumer expectations, shorter delivery windows, and increasing operational expenses. Traditional route planners must catch up regarding real-time fleet tracking, accurate delivery ETAs, and cutting down on wasted money and unnecessary travel.

Traqo's Route Optimization feature helps you choose the best route by looking at components like pitstops, fuel savings, fuel rate, and toll changes. Check the least congested road in real-time to get the exact ETA.

3D load optimization

The goal of load planning in logistics is to reduce the number of vehicles required to convey numerous orders by making the most efficient use of available trucks and drivers. Yet, fitting as many pallets as possible into a shipping container isn't the only consideration. There are many factors to consider, including the vehicle's features (such as refrigeration), its weight distribution, the locations to which it will go, and the products it will carry. It cannot be easy to coordinate the delivery of many cargoes of the same kind to the same destination when factors like delivery times and vehicle capacity vary. It's impossible since there are so many customers, locations, and cargo types, all of which have unique needs and restrictions.

But with Traqo's 3D Load Optimization, you can plan your load based on the delivery priority, keeping the math of volume in mind. A holistic approach will wrap up the entire trip with fewer stops. You get most of the ROI from better vehicle utilization, lower labour costs, reduced fuel costs, and increased delivery visibility.

API to supercharge the system.

No doubt, a TMS alone offers you a variety of features. But integration with other applications will take its performance from 100 to 1000. That's what Traqo has done. Traqo has teamed up with SIM-based tracking for the best tracking result. There are APIs for faster vehicle verification certificates with mParivahan and driver's licence verification with Aadhar.

But no matter how efficient a TMS is, you are burning your money if it cannot safeguard you from cybersecurity threats. Traqo has an API with Digilocker, ensuring safe storage, sharing, documentation, and verification.

Investing in a TMS is one of the most significant decisions for your logistics operations. But the ROI is something you should keep in mind. And when it comes to ROI, Traqo surpasses it all. Traqo can boost your team's productivity by up to 3x. Get 99% in-transit visibility, 80% reduced detention cost, 15% more vehicle availability, and much more.

Try Traqo today.

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