Why Transportation Management Software is so Important

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Essential to cut workload and drive down spend

Why transportation management software is so important. In today’s rapid fire work environment, a TMS, often referred to as a Transportation Management System or Transportation Management Software, is essential to cut workload and drive down the transportation spend. A good TMS will give visibility on the freight rates and transit times of all of your providers allowing you to select the provider based on either cost or transit time. This is just the beginning.

Outbound shipping and making the system make you money

Managing outbound shipping is what most TMS applications were built for. It is a given they will to some extent or another handle them. Some starter TMS software will not accept rate table uploads. Some don’t handle consolidations and some weren’t built for truckload. Specialty rates are often not able to be applied by low end systems. A TMS should also alert you if your shipment violates lineal foot or other carrier specified restrictions and penalties. It should also alert and solicit custom rate quotes when shipments meet a particular criteria. That’s making you money.

Manage incoming shipments

In most applications, your TMS will also be tasked to manage incoming shipments. This may mean preparing and transmitting a bill of lading to your suppliers or simply being able to scan carrier EDI feeds for your purchase orders. ShippersEdge can also inform you of inbound shipments which were not imported from your purchase order system.

Provide stakeholders tracking and other information

As TMS software modernized and gained full connectivity to the transportation providers the best systems will now, notify the provider of a needed pickup, confirm their acceptance or more importantly notify of an exception (unable to pick up) and track the shipment through to destination. While tracking, the system should be able to provide stakeholders tracking links similar to what you get when you order online.

Record keeping and logging

Record keeping and logging. Accountability and source error recognition are important for training and error prevention. Having empirical data available assists in quantifying and monetizing error prevention and recovery. A TMS will also provide carrier scorecards for late deliveries, reweight and other anomalies because it should be logging those events.

A word about interfacing with accounting

A word about interfacing with accounting here; some finance departments want to import approved freight invoices into a company’s accounting system, some want payable vouchers and some want paperless. Any of these should be available in an advanced TMS. There is other reporting as well. Appending a freight cost to a sales order is one and another is a freight accrual report. Auditing is yet another important function and advanced TMS software can often time replace third party contracted services for freight bill audit and payment.

Notice if an anticipated charge changes

Exceptional systems also now provide notice if an anticipated charge from the transportation provider changes and provide an audit path to rectify the discrepancy. If you’re finding out about reweighs when the freight bills arrive, you have no way of having them checked while still in possession of the carrier and thus no chance to rectify an obvious mistake.

Connectivity to your in-house software systems

Enterprise Class Systems now offer complete connectivity to your in-house software systems eliminating time consuming and error-prone hand keying of anything that is already in a data format when captured. Integration can be complete or partial depending on client needs. Enterprise logistics software also has reporting capability not often contained in in-house software.

Specialty applications

Specialty applications such as jobsite equipment monitoring or stowage handling unit location and retrieval can be built and monitored far easier in a custom TMS application than trying to modify an ERP or having yet another standalone software solution. If you need it, we’ll build it.

A mid-range TMS with a meaningful ROI

ShippersEdge is a mid-range TMS with an outstanding return on investment. Most TMS installations generate about a 7% reduction in freight costs due to increase use of preferred carriers, visibility on the lowest cost providers and better data for procurement. Couple that with soft cost saving due to efficiencies gained in operations, you’ve achieved a meaningful ROI without breaking the bank.

Without a TMS, you’re losing money and productivity

If your company is doing without a TMS, you’re losing productivity and probably leaving money on the table. If you can see it, it is darn near impossible to manage except in the most rudimentary way. Mid-range TMS Software was even around 10 years ago. It is now not only around, its developed, mature and capable. Monthly subscriptions are very low and setup costs can be extremely cost effective.

ShippersEdge was at the forefront

ShippersEdge was at the forefront of this TMS revolution back in 2002 when it introduced the first web-based (now referred to as hosted or cloud based) TMS in the country. Big companies had Transportation Management Systems with 7 figure price tags and 6 figure annual maintenance spend. We thought there was a better way.

More information at www.shippersedge.com/info or call 952-777-4421