Having world-class products does not mean anything if you cannot ensure timely deliveries. One of the most common reasons why customers abandon brands is unreliable delivery. Often, managers blame drivers for delivery delays. What they forget is that their drivers cannot control their driving conditions. A traffic jam or an extremely rough patch, for instance, can slow down a driver. To address these problems, businesses felt the need for an intelligent tool that could predict optimal routes based on traffic and other conditions. The increasing demand for a tool that could optimize delivery routes resulted in the birth of the transport management system.
TMS: What it is
TMS is a platform that is designed to help businesses streamline their shipping processes. In most cases, transport management software is offered as a subset of the part of supply management that deals with transportation. A transport management system can also be offered as a part of an ERP system.
Typically, TMS includes both inbound and outbound shipping orders. There are different planning modules that are designed to help users evaluate different routing solutions. After evaluating the options, the user can pass them along to the transportation analysis module.
Once the best mode and the provider with the most affordable rate are selected, the system generates electronic load tendering. After execution, the system helps with documentation related to freight payment and audit. Links are generated to the ERP system and in some cases, to the WMS used by the business.
In addition to helping with route optimization, TMS can assist managers to perform a number of other tasks such as freight negotiation and real-time transportation tracking. Reports and documents generated by a TMS can be used during an audit to prove compliance with different regulations.
Signs that you need help with your TMS
One of the most common questions that managers often wonder about is how to know when to outsource TMS? To help answer this question, we have compiled a list of a few signs that indicate you desperately need help with your TMS. Take a look.
Rising transportation costs
Just opting for a TMS is not enough; your managers must also know how to use it to cut fleet maintenance and other costs. Often, in their eagerness to get an edge over the competition, companies opt for a TMS, only to later find, to their dismay, that they are not ready for the leap. If your managers are not well-trained to use your TMS, your transportation costs will keep on rising. You will also have to account for system maintenance and upgradation costs.
You know it’s time to call the experts when your transportation costs go through the roof. Look for a provider that takes care of everything right from managing the infrastructure to publishing updates and patches at regular intervals. Make sure the provider has a team of professionals who not only know the ins and outs of different TMS but are also aware of transportation management principles.
A rise in the number of customers abandoning your brand
Have you been unable to keep a check on the number of customers abandoning your brand? If yes, there are good chances that you are not utilizing your TMS properly. Instead of doing everything yourself, consider partnering with an experienced provider with different processes in place.
Experienced providers know the best way to utilize TMS. Their experts use different system functionalities for route optimization. When customers receive shipments on time, they not only stick to your business but also recommend your services to people around them.
Managing a transportation system is no child’s play. The teams involved have to create several reports, compile data and provide round-the-clock assistance to field teams. If you try doing everything yourself, you may have to hire more people. Additionally, your team members working on the process will have less time to focus on their key result areas.
Wouldn’t it be better to let an expert take charge so that you can focus on more important things that matter? Outsourcing your TMS would mean you won’t have to spend time and money on training teams. When your employees have time to focus on more important tasks, their productivity will improve. Moreover, your provider, and not you, will be responsible for troubleshooting system issues. To keep a tab on downtime, providers employ subject matter experts. Equipped with years of experience, these experts get to the root cause of the problem to provide sustainable solutions.
Poor supply chain visibility
Are your teams having a hard time tracking products and vehicles on the road? If yes, now may be the right time to outsource your TMS. Poor supply chain visibility, among other things, can give rise to compliance headaches. To keep their clients in the know, expert providers create and share several reports daily that provide insights into different trends. Providers also provide invaluable inputs, helping clients make informed decisions.
Increase in overtime
When you insist on doing everything yourself, you unknowingly overwork your employees. Burdening teams that already have much on their plate can be counterproductive. In many cases, teams responsible for managing the transportation process have to put in long hours, which can impact their physical and mental health. To help your team members avoid getting burned out, consider outsourcing the process to a knowledgeable and experienced provider.