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TMS Software for Carriers — Don’t Purchase Without Knowing These Facts

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A transportation management system (TMS) is a critical piece of software for carriers. A TMS can help improve carrier operations in a number of ways, including improving efficiency, reducing costs, and increasing customer satisfaction. To get the most out of TMS, it is essential to select the right software for your needs and to understand the features and benefits that are most important for your business. 

This article will provide an overview of the TMS software market, including a discussion of the top five things to look for when selecting a TMS and questions to ask before purchasing.

What are Transportation Management Systems?

Transportation management systems are software applications designed to help carriers manage their operations. A TMS can be used for various tasks, such as planning and scheduling transportation resources, tracking shipments, and managing customer relationships.

In many cases, transportation management software will also include features for accounting and invoicing, asset management, and compliance with regulatory requirements.

How Does Transportation Management Software Work for Carriers?

A TMS can help carriers improve their operations in a number of ways. Perhaps most importantly, transportation management software can help to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

By using a TMS, carriers can plan and schedule their transportation resources more effectively, reducing delays and disruptions. In addition, a TMS can help carriers track their shipments and monitor their progress, which can help to improve customer satisfaction.

How Much Does TMS Software Cost?

Transportation management software costs vary depending on the included features and functionality. However, TMS software is typically priced on a per-user, per-month basis. As such, the cost of TMS software will generally increase as the number of users and the amount of data that is managed by the system increases.

Do Carriers Use TMS?

Most carriers use some form of carrier management software to manage their operations. However, the features and functionality included in a particular system will vary depending on the carrier’s needs. As such, selecting transport management software that is well-suited for your business is important.

For instance, some TMS software solutions are designed specifically for small- to medium-sized carriers, while others are meant for enterprise-level organizations. In addition, some TMS systems are geared toward specific industries, such as food and beverage or transportation operations.

For example, a food and beverage carrier might need a TMS that includes features like temperature tracking and route planning and optimization. On the other hand, a trucking carrier might need a TMS with features like load boards, tracking freight costs, and electronic logging devices (ELDs).

When it comes to choosing a TMS, it is important to consider your specific needs and requirements. Otherwise, you might end up with a system that is not well-suited for your business. The best transportation management systems will provide excellent transportation logistics out of the box, but customization might be needed to reach your objectives.

How can a TMS Improve Carrier Operations?

There are many ways in which a TMS can improve carrier operations. Here are some of the most important to familiarize yourself with when evaluating top transportation management systems.

  1. Route planning
  2. Route optimization
  3. Order management
  4. Workflow automation
  5. Fleet management
  6. Load management
  7. Shipment tracking

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of a transportation management solution is cost reduction. This can be achieved in a number of ways: by improving efficiency, reducing downtime, or eliminating the need for manual processes.

In addition, a TMS can help to improve customer satisfaction. A TMS provides carriers with shipment tracking and monitoring. In doing so, carriers can send their customers up-to-date information about the status of their shipments. This, in turn, can lead to fewer customer complaints and higher satisfaction.

A TMS can help carriers comply with regulatory requirements. In many cases, a TMS will include features for tracking shipments and managing compliance documentation. By using a TMS, carriers can ensure they comply with all relevant regulations.

Transportation management systems can also provide fleet management to improve operational efficiency for carriers. Understanding how to keep your fleet conditioned for optimal operations is critical. Fleet optimization with just a few clicks can save valuable time and reduce the resources needed to keep fleets running effectively.

There are more than just these benefits; these are some of the most important ones that a TMS can offer carriers. If you’re thinking about purchasing a TMS, make sure you keep these in mind.

How to Select the Best TMS for Your Carrier – Top 5 Things to Look For?

When it comes to choosing a TMS for your carrier, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. Here are the top five things to look for:

1. Ease of use: The last thing you want is a complicated system. Look for one that’s easy to navigate and understand. The system should have a user-friendly interface.

Your drivers should be able to find the information they need without difficulty quickly. Or, if you have a small carrier, you might want to consider a system that doesn’t require a lot of training.

2. Cost: Of course, you’ll want to consider the cost of the TMS. But remember that the most expensive system isn’t necessarily the best transportation management software for you. Look for a TMS system that meets your needs and fits your budget.

3. Integrations: Make sure the TMS you choose can easily integrate with your current systems or third-party software you already use. You’ll spend more money refactoring your systems if you select the wrong TMS solution.

4. Flexibility: The best TMS solutions are flexible and can be customized to meet your specific needs. For example, when shipping freight, you should be able to track different load types, such as partial, full, or LTL. In addition, the system should be able to accommodate your unique business processes.

5. Customer support: When something goes wrong with your TMS, you’ll want to be able to get help from the customer support team quickly. Make sure the company you choose offers 24/7 customer support. In addition, look for a company that has experience in your industry.

Questions to Ask Before Purchasing TMS Software 

During the research and comparison process of selecting a TMS software for your trucking company, keep the following in mind as you gather vendor data.

  • What are my total supply chain costs? A comprehensive TMS will track your transportation spend and all related logistics costs, including warehousing, packaging, freight forwarding, etc. This information will give you increased supply chain visibility into your spending and allow you to make more informed decisions about where to allocate resources.
  • What is the system’s flexibility? As your business grows and changes, will the TMS be able to adapt? Look for a system that can be customized to meet your needs now and in the future.
  • What is the system’s scalability? If you’re planning for growth, make sure the TMS you choose can accommodate an increase in volume. 
  • How easy is it to use? You and your employees will be using the TMS on a daily basis, so it’s essential to select a system that is user-friendly and easy to navigate.
  • What is customer service like? If you encounter a problem or have a question, will you be able to get the help you need in a timely manner? Find out what support is available and how long it typically takes to resolve issues.
  • What are the implementation and maintenance costs? In addition to the initial purchase price, find out what you can expect to pay for implementation, training, and ongoing maintenance. Will you opt for a cloud-based solution or on-premise?
  • What are the system’s reporting capabilities? You’ll want to be able to generate various reports to track your progress and measure your success. Find out what reports are available and how easy it is to generate them.
  • What are the system’s security features? Security is a top priority, with sensitive customer data stored in the system. Ensure the TMS you select has robust security features to protect your data.

Now that you know what to look for, you can shop for TMS software. Just remember to keep these critical factors in mind as you compare options.

TMS solutions offer critical tools for trucking companies, but it’s important to research before purchasing. Remember these factors during the selection process to ensure you choose the right system for your business.

Final Thoughts

If you run a trucking company or manage carrier relationships, you’ll likely find you’re in the market for a transportation management system. A TMS will help you save time and money by streamlining your operations and improving communication between you and your customers. 

When choosing transportation management software, be sure to consider your company’s specific needs. Look for a system that is flexible, scalable, easy to use, and comes with excellent customer support. Also, be sure to get a system that fits your budget.

With so many TMS software options on the market, it can be challenging to know where to start. Use this guide to narrow your options and find the perfect system for your carrier. 

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Author

3G

Publish date

April 17, 2023

Categories

Shippers

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