What is Transport Management Software?
A Transport Management Software (TMS) is a solution that helps an organization with the inbound and outbound movement of goods. In other words, this system makes procurement, shipment, and delivery of products easy. Besides this, a transport software facilitates route planning and optimization, time tracking, carrier selection, freight audit, fleet maintenance, billing
, DOT compliance, etc.
Transport management software is a single solution ensuring there is real-time flow of the information from billing to accounting
, from transport regulation compliance to report generation, from route planning to dispatching and all other operations.
Who Needs Transport Management Software?
Transport management software is designed for shippers, logistics service providers
, truckload carriers, freight brokers, 3PL companies, e-commerce companies and freight forwarders.
This software can immensely benefit your company if it’s involved with moving of goods from origin to destination accurately and cost-effectively. Further, it will help you in smooth handling of all types of complexities and intricacies in the management of the daily operations of transportation fleets.
Why You Need Transport Management Software?
A company incurs a massive amount of cost in moving goods from one place to another. Such a company needs to identify the efficiency and success rate of its distribution system, and a transport management system can help perform the analysis accurately. Implementation of this software ensures improvement in shipment efficiency, cost reduction, real-time supply chain visibility, enhanced consumer experience and maximized company’s return on investment.
In other words, by combining ease of use with industry standard capabilities, transportation management software helps you in carrying out your transportation operations more efficiently.
Features of The Best Transportation Management Software
A transport management software is a must-have for any organization involved in the shipping process. Here are some core features of the respective software that makes it so valuable for e-commerce organizations, distribution companies and all those who are involved in the movement of freights on a regular basis:
Mode and Carrier Selection
This feature of the transport management solution helps in selecting the best fleet on the basis of cost, quality, and distance. The solution provides you with multiple modes of transport to choose from as per the nature of goods and delivery time. For instance, if time is a constraint, then you will select a carrier that can deliver the consignment from the shortest route and in the quickest manner.
A reliable transport management system provides you with the best route available for a carrier. It will help you in managing the paths for all your shipments by opening avenues of consolidation, pooling and more. And optimizing routes suggested via these methods prove to be faster and cost-effective, offering better visibility and control.
Carrier Contract Management
A good transport management system will simplify your carrier contracts management task by digitizing it. You will be able to track your agreements in real-time, receive notifications on their renewals. The software will guide you with the exact cost that should form part of your contract.
Transport management software can capture the data related to your transportation practices and supply chain, analyse it and then help you in making better decisions in the future. Eventually, the data analysis can be used to reduce cost, decrease product delivery time, and identify key performance indicators (KPIs).
The best transportation management software lets you assess the multiple routes taken by the driver to deliver the consignment to its final destination. Also, driver’s performance can be measured; assessment can be done to find out if there was any discrepancy in terms of the route taken or steps taken to ensure the safety of consignments. Real-time driver tracking proves to be a boon in case of accidents.
Proof of Delivery (POD)
The POD feature not only provides you with the evidence that consignments has been delivered to the authorized person but also allows you to track the progress of delivery. Thereby, Proof of Delivery (POD) reduces the disputes between customers & company and facilitates better delivery experience.
Supply Chain Visibility
The right TMS software provides with a complete view of the entire process of supply chain management. You will be able to track the products en-route from the point where they have been picked up to their destination. Moreover, the bird’s eye view of operations and real-time access to the data allow managers to resolve the issues in no time & be in a customer’s good books.
Benchmark Data Compatibility
Like any other business, negotiating on the price forms part of the transportation and logistics business as well. A transport management software makes this process easier for you by providing the benchmark data. It consists of carrier rates, vehicle condition and other transport related information helping you close the deal on right rate.
Modules of Transport Management Software
Software for transport company comes with some incredible modules to help you run your business efficiently.
Transport management software simplifies accounting by streamlining the process of creating payment vouchers, cost allocation, assigning billing codes, etc. It facilitates passing journal entries of operational transactions easily. Also, you can regulate advance payments, driver payment settlement using this module.
Freight Payment & Billing
With freight payment & billing module, you can give your time to important things which were otherwise consumed by administrative activities. There will be automation of freight bill, payment, and audit-related process. All aspects of transportation rates are taken into account including discount and taxes while generating an invoice.
Transport management software provides your managing team with relevant data in a presentable manner which makes their job of report making easier. You can generate insightful and valuable reports for shipment activity, freight invoicing, most used carriers, and more.
This module lets you manage one of your most important assets – fleet drivers. Driver management is a comprehensive module using which you can maintain a complete record of drivers. You can handle their personal details, keep records of payment, and vehicles assigned to them.
You can manage each and everything related to a trip using the respective module. From trip planning to trip start, advance payment, vehicle change, trip end, trip closure, driver settlement, invoicing, every aspect of trip management can be handled with this software.
Transportation software comes integrated with GPS technology to give you real-time location and information about the vehicle. You will get immediate and detailed insights into the status of the fleet. Moreover, integrated GPS lets you track the performance of your fleet and check revenue generated by it.
This module lets you manage your fleet without compromising with carrier efficiency. It helps you meet required DOT compliance regulations w.r.t fleet maintenance documents and inspection reports. You can manage all the verticals of freight transportation using the ‘fleet management’ module - driver, fuel usage, depreciation, etc.
If you deal with the shipment of hazardous materials, transport management system offers excellent benefits. It ensures that you transport such material as per the government regulations. It will help you in avoiding penalties and risks by automating compliance audit, report generation and meeting regulatory requirements diligently.
Benefits of Top Transportation Management System
Deployment of transportation software will proffer following benefits besides streamlining business workflow, improving efficiency, and enhancing customer satisfaction.
With constant inward, internal and outward movement of inventory, managing warehouse operations becomes crucial. The integration of transport software with warehouse management system
lets you keep a proper record of the orders, track their location in the warehouse and while they are in transit.
Transport management software helps a business in reducing the shipping cost by enabling systematic management of operations. The software helps in tracking the fleet movement, thereby, reducing cost w.r.t driver overtime and unnecessary fuel consumption. Analysis of the shortest and economic logistic route assists in achieving cost efficiency.
Transport management system allows completion of maximum tasks using a system. Passing accounting entries, raising & sending invoices, generating challan, creating Proof of Delivery (POD), producing analytical reports, none of these tasks need to be performed with pen and paper once you start using the transport management software. Using transportation software, you not only contribute to the ‘green’ initiative, but also reduce administration expenses by eliminating the scope of human error.
If transportation forms a crucial part of your business, then losing track of the fleet is bound to give you panic attack. Transport management software can prevent you from such shock by enabling complete visibility of the vehicle. It lets you ensure timely delivery of consignments with access to inventory at each level in the supply chain.
Accurate Shipping Order Fulfilment
Chances of reaching the right order, at right place, at right time increase with a top transportation management system. With real-time tracking of the shipment and complete item visibility, the possibility of shipping errors and other inconsistencies decreases. Additionally, if there are minor discrepancies, then those can be resolved as soon as identified.
Transportation management system standardizes certain processes such as invoicing. Invoices raised at different locations are managed centrally. On creating a standard for the entire company, you define a clear path saving time and money for all your stakeholders.
What type of support is offered to use transportation management software effectively?
Dedicated technical & after-sales support is offered by most transport management software vendors to resolve all your technical queries. Their trained support staff will address your questions as soon as a query appears.
How long does transportation management software implementation take?
Usually, implementation of this software takes one week, but it can take a little longer in case you require customized features.
Will my data remain safe and does software provide with back-up?
Your data will remain completely secured with TMS solution. Your transport related data will be completely backed up on regular, weekly or monthly basis if you opt for a cloud-based solution.
Can only limited number of users access transport software?
Number of users doesn’t matter. Transportation management software can be used by small-scale freight forwarders and companies with 5000 number of users alike.
Is my company too small for deploying a transport management solution?
For continuous business growth, you need to improve on certain factors including compliance, competitiveness, and capacity. Considering this, deploying a transport software will be a wise option to manage five or more carriers.
Is Transportation Management System (TMS) compatible with Warehouse Management System and ERP software?
From sophisticated industry-wide systems like SAP and Oracle to simple Excel sheets the software can handle any of it. Therefore, yes, a TMS can work with another software including WMS or ERP.
Will my staff get any training regarding how to use the software?
Yes. You will receive training either in-person or via remote training tools. And often, live training is accompanied by documented training modules which will be shared in either soft or hard copy.
Is feature customization possible in a transport management solution?
Features can be customized in a TMS system as per your business requirement.
Buyer’s Guide for Transport Management Software
Are you planning to buy software for transport company for the first time? Well, besides some obvious factors like price and flexibility of features, below mentioned points are also worth considering:
Define your requirements clearly, such as whether you need a cloud-based or on-premise software. If you need it with the warehouse management module or you will integrate it with the existing Warehouse Management System (WMS) to improve the efficiency of your warehouse. The answer to these questions will help you filter out from the possible options in the market.
A transportation management software should be such that its features scale up (and down) as per your business requirements. For instance, if you acquire or merge with another company in the future, the software should be able to accommodate it smoothly.
Follow the thumb rule- try before you buy. This motto holds true for all software. A dedicated TMS software partner will familiarize you with the nitty-gritty of the software by giving product demonstration.
Easy to Use
The process of implementing transport management solution should not be painful. Choose a solution that has a user-friendly interface, and can be easily integrated with other systems. It should not demand a steep learning curve. One-time training and you should be good to go!
Transportation management system should be easy to integrate with the existing systems like Enterprise Resource Program (ERP) or Warehouse Management System (WMS) and enable smooth functioning of your business operations.
Booking, scheduling, freight payment, a lot of information is exchanged between carriers, retail companies, suppliers and partners in the process of transportation. Therefore, connectivity remains a significant factor. And thus, software should be such that facilitates quick transfer of data and information.
List of Transportation Management Software
Bharat Transport Management Software
SSSTP Transportation Software
Cogxim Transport Management System
Sahiwala Transport Management Software
HTSM Trans ERP