What Is A Transport Management System (TMS)?
A transport management system (TMS) is logistics software that allows businesses to optimise, plan and execute their shipments. Using AI technology, the platform can create custom reports, plan and schedule, and even be linked directly to your invoicing system.
Although traditionally installed on the premises, technological advances have made cloud based shipping management systems the gold standard. Accessed from anywhere you have a wifi connection; you can work from any phone or laptop. And with many businesses in New Zealand and Australia yet to adopt any type of digital truck management system, there are untapped opportunities just waiting to be discovered.
By understanding transport management systems, including the difference between a cloud based TMS system and an on-premises system, business owners can better determine what is suitable for their operation.
Benefits Of Using A TMS For Your Supply Chain Management
Transportation management systems are crucial in supply chains, affecting every step of the process, from planning to procurement to logistics and lifecycle management. Businesses using manual methods, relying on pen and paper or the occasional spreadsheet to track processes, are at risk of being left behind by more technology-minded outfits.
A TMS offers wide-spanning visibility of your operations, resulting in more efficient transportation planning and higher customer satisfaction. This, in turn, leads to increased sales, increasing revenue and allowing your business to meet its potential.
Businesses can benefit from the MyTrucking TMS—and modern transportation management systems in general—in a variety of ways. Here are just a few of the main advantages:
- Cost savings for both the company and the end customer
- Supply chain processes are simplified across regions and carriers
- Automation allows faster, more accurate billing and documentation
- Increased visibility and security, particularly in transit
- The ability to track and communicate with freight on a single platform
- Fewer manual steps mean fewer delays and faster delivery times
- Easier reporting leads to new business insights and faster implementation
- Real-time updates and fewer shipment delays result in improved customer service and satisfaction.
- The ability to grow your business by meeting and exceeding customer expectations for quick, on-time deliveries.
By selecting the best TMS for your business, you can unlock an easier and more streamlined way of working while increasing your revenue. So next, let’s look at how cloud based transport management systems differ from the earlier TMS software.
What Is Cloud Computing, And Can It Be Used In Transport Management?
In the past decade, we’ve seen the majority of businesses who use a digital TMS choose a cloud based transportation management system. There are many reasons why moving to the cloud is advantageous, but first, let’s define cloud computing.
Unlike traditional software that stores all its data on your computer, cloud computing stores this information “in the cloud”, allowing you to access it on-demand, from any device.
Before cloud based truck management systems, all TMS technology was on-site, meaning businesses had to rent server space or make significant long-term investments in development and infrastructure to support their software. For this reason, transportation management systems were once considered a high-end technology solution only available to Tier 1 shippers with annual revenues of $100 million or more, as well as large third-party logistics (3PL) providers and transportation brokers.
Cloud computing relies on sharing data storage and computing power across a large user base to achieve economies of scale. Because the resources are located off-site “in the cloud,” cloud based transport management systems allow businesses to save money on IT infrastructure and management.
Many small and medium-sized shippers have begun to realise the benefits that a TMS can provide, thanks to the widespread availability of cloud-based solutions that virtually eliminate up-front costs. The cloud-based TMS’s streamlined functionality has put these smaller businesses on a much more level playing field with their larger competitors.
Learn more about how fleet managers are overcoming challenges of transport systems they’ve inherited, by upgrading to a digital TMS.
Top Benefits Of A Cloud Based Transport Management System
The features of a good transport management system remain the same, whether you are using a cloud based or on-premises system. That being said, there are significantly more benefits to using a cloud based trucking management system over an earlier system, particularly if you’re a small business.
Like all cloud-based solutions, a cloud based transportation management system boasts improved economies of scale, a lower upfront cost, no fees for updating the software, and a swifter return on investment (ROI). In fact, you may be surprised at just how quickly you can boost ROI through effective transport management.
Along with these highlights, here are a few other reasons a cloud based TMS makes great business sense.
Low infrastructure investment
A cloud-based transportation management system does not require any additional infrastructure aside from employee devices and internet access. Investing in cloud-based solutions allows businesses to avoid wasting space and money on internal infrastructure and paying exorbitant data centre fees for server space.
Reduces upfront costs
Cloud-based TMS solutions require a small initial investment. While large-scale in-house solutions often necessitate a comparable large-scale investment, cloud-based models typically involve a monthly or yearly subscription fee that grants users access to the service.
Provides a high level of security
Shippers can focus on moving cargo rather than putting up firewalls because logistics software providers devote significant resources to ensuring that customer data is protected from cybersecurity risks. Furthermore, cloud-based software is by its very nature distributed across multiple servers and locations, and it is backed up regularly. Because of this, there’s no chance your TMS data will be lost in the event of a server crash or a power outage.
Cloud based transport management systems are designed to be used by people with a wide range of transportation experience and computing capabilities. This usually translates to cloud-based solutions being simple to learn and use.
One of the most significant benefits of cloud-based software solutions is their ability to drive innovation. There’s no need to buy new versions or schedule lengthy downtime for updates. Users who subscribe to a cloud-based TMS have real-time access to any updates or enhancements.
Eliminates the need for IT personnel
With cloud-based TMS, lengthy training courses with expensive consultants are a thing of the past. Because the solution is already set up and running offsite, new users can get up and running quickly and gain access to all of the TMS’s features in days or weeks rather than months.
High functionality for all types of businesses
There are a number of web-based TMS solutions on the market that are comparable to in-house Tier 1 solutions in terms of functionality. In terms of shipment tracking, capacity, real-time data and visibility, small shippers and logistics providers are on par with much larger competitors.
High level of scalability
Cloud-based TMS solutions are designed to meet the needs of businesses, both large and small. This means that small and medium-sized shippers can now adapt to demand fluctuations or operational growth without investing in additional software.
Now that you know a cloud-based TMS system is right for you, learn how to track trucking KPIs to boost revenue and grow your business.
The Future of TMS
As customer expectations continue to rise, transportation management systems must become more robust and feature-rich, providing consumers with faster responses and businesses with more detailed information. TMSs can become more intelligent thanks to machine learning, which allows them to make better recommendations and make more accurate predictions.
From IoT fleet monitoring, where sensors track driving conditions and routes in real-time, to digital assistants or “chatbots” that offer immediate responses to information requests – the possibilities for TMS integrations are vast. Get on board and experience first-hand how this technology transforms our industry.
For more information on the topics covered, go to;
- Adaptive intelligence and machine learning: The future of TMS
- Reasons to consider a Transport Management System