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The Value of Software in Transportation Operations

A Transportation Management System (TMS) is often what comes to mind first when discussing software to support transportation operations.  While a TMS can be a critical component, it is one of many systems that can be leveraged to optimize the movement of, and improve visibility to, goods.

A TMS can optimize the use of transportation resources to manage inbound, internal & outbound shipments at the lowest cost consistent with customer service standards & trading partner requirements.

Companies with their own dedicated fleet can utilize a Fleet Management System. A TMS Fleet Management System also provides visibility into daily transportation operations to ensure freight and goods are delivered on time.  Sometimes this achieved by coupling with a last mile delivery system to ensure final deliveries to customers are as efficient as possible.

For companies that depend on parcel shipments for final deliveries to customers, a Parcel Manifest System allows companies to determine the best shipping method (based on costs and delivery times) to meet customer service requirements.

By properly deploying the correct mix of software to transportation operations, organizations can benefit by improving efficiency, data-driven decisions, and customer service and relationships.



Key Software Systems:

  • TMS: A TMS can provide trading partners with real-time visibility into transportation operations (depending on the agreement with the associated carriers). A robust TMS automates route planning, carrier selection, and freight billing to help organizations avoid shipping delays and bottlenecks while improving the utilization of their transportation assets.
  • Fleet Management Systems: A fleet management system is capable of tracking data to calculate full route cycles to implement more effective route schedules. With this, businesses can reduce driver mileage and time spent driving for additional cost savings.  Real-time data driven analytics allows businesses to make informed decisions.
  • Delivery Systems: Today, consumers want fast delivery at specific times. There have been many challenges surrounding customer expectations and businesses adapting new processes to meet customer demands.  With TMS, businesses can have access to the most recent and accurate data with real-time tracking and delivery status.  This gives customers the ability to understand where the product is and when it will be delivered.  Organizational customer service teams can focus on addressing other issues core to their business rather than addressing customer inquiries related to product delivery status.  As a result, businesses are able to gain and retain more satisfied customers by proactively sending notifications to encourage and build trust.
    • Last Mile Delivery Systems: It’s likely that traffic, distance, and delivery times would greatly impact the best route for delivery trucks. With added transparency, delivery systems can help businesses plan the most efficient routes.  If a delivery is late or does not make it to the desired destination, the delivery system can notify staff to promptly mitigate as needed.
    • Parcel Manifest Systems: A parcel manifest system maintains shipping rates and delivery times to optimize logistics processes.

In conclusion, the primary transportation operations goals of the software systems discussed above are to improve efficiency, make data-driven decisions, and improve customer service by automating and streamlining processes.  They have features that let companies track the progress of deliveries and improve routes and modes of transportation.
—Ashley Rhodes, St. Onge Company

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