Supply chain management and logistics tend to face the problem of underutilized freight capacity, evidenced by empty trucks and shipping containers due to a lack of efficiency in freight management. Lack of automation, vague idea of the load capacities of the vehicles, and lack of a unified system to take and track shipping orders make it difficult for retailers, shippers, and logistics service providers to know the location of any shipment at any point of time and when it would be delivered.
A robust supply chain and efficient fleet and inventory management are necessary for ensuring the smooth transportation of goods along with route and load optimization, invoicing, tracking shipments, and more. The key is to automate the processes by implementing a Transportation Management System or TMS. Let’s closer look at Transportation Management Application Development.
Transportation Management System or TMS is software streamlining freight movement by automating various processes. TMS is being widely used by all the members of supply chains, such as manufacturers, distributors, and 3rd party logistics service providers. Dedicated TMS apps can be developed to suit supply chains of all sizes and scales.
TMS provides real-time data about the goods to manage orders, inventory, day-to-day transportation of goods, order tracking, and more. The system also stores data to analyze the supply chain’s health, financial situation, customer service issues, and other aspects of the logistics operations to help make essential decisions. The documentation is managed digitally in a systematic manner.
Transportation Management System Development is tailored to the business’s requirements vis-a-vis freight movement and order volumes. Thus, even small-scale manufacturers or shippers with limited orders can optimize their supply chains by implementing TMS.
Companies engaged in sending and receiving shipments daily utilize transportation management systems to manage the complex supply chain in a more simplified and efficient manner.
The entities which commonly need TMS include third and fourth-party logistics providers, logistics service providers, distributors, retailers, manufacturers, and e-commerce companies.
The TMS automatically assigns a route for the transportation of the shipment from the warehouse/distribution center to the customer’s location and even assigns the type of vehicle and the driver to carry the shipment. This is done using the order details entered into the system, such as the weight of the shipment, current location, destination, and more.
The information about the orders is centralized, allowing all the stakeholders, such as the manufacturers/distributors, customers, and drivers, to view the order details. The documents are linked digitally to their respective orders, meaning the drivers do not need to carry hard copies of the same and simply have the digital copies on their mobile phones. The shippers can manage the transport consignments easily by using the centralized dashboard.
The TMS stores the data regarding the dimensions and weights of the transport vehicles making up the fleet. Depending upon the dimensions and weights of the shipments, the TMS calculates the available loading space of the trucks, trailers, and shipping containers. Thus, the shippers can plan the load distribution efficiently and utilize the available loading space.
Advanced TMS software provides 3D models of vehicles and shipping containers to aid in planning load distribution.
TMS enables tracking of goods in real-time, which helps provide accurate information to the customers about the location of their goods at any given time and schedule deliveries accordingly. The TMS can be linked to the truck driver’s smartphone or the goods’ barcodes.
In the former case, the TMS picks up the smartphone’s location through GPS. In the latter case, the driver is required to scan the barcode of the shipment at regular intervals to update the TMS about its location.
TMS apps can have route planner software. Route planner software uses mass data to determine the best routes to various locations. The software also analyses the route performance based on historical data of any particular route. The purpose is to optimize route planning for faster delivery of goods.
The fleet management feature of TMS is useful for managing various types of transport vehicles in the fleet. The central dashboard enables the quick assignment of drivers, equipment, and goods to various vehicles. The stationary and moving vehicles can be tracked on a digital map.
Other aspects of the vehicles, such as fuel consumption, servicing schedule, and even environmental impact, can be tracked at all times.
TMS can be integrated with business intelligence and data extraction features. The system stores data regarding the performances of products, routes, and carriers. The BI system analyses the real-time data and generates custom reports, including spreadsheets and graphs, to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the various components of the supply chain through hard data.
A host of benefits illustrates the need for dedicated software for transportation management in the supply chain. Some of the major benefits have been listed here.
|Planning loads||Managing payments||Executing loads||Tracking freight|
|Optimizing routes||Settlement||Bookings||Status Updates|
|Undertaking model conversions||Auditing||Tendering|
|Engaging in carrier management||Billing|
Internet of Things or IoT devices can be integrated with TMS to expand fleet monitoring scope. With the help of IoT devices, TMS provides real-time insights into driving conditions, routes, fuel consumption, and more, which help reduce fuel and maintenance costs.
TMS integrated with artificial intelligence and machine learning improves route planning efficiency by predicting risks and costs. Chatbots, on the other hand, improve customer service by providing instant answers to customer queries.
Cold chain management for perishable products is a useful feature of TMS. This technology allows the TMS to monitor the temperature of the shipments in real-time and makes adjustments whenever required.
Transport Management System can be purchased off the shelf or developed specifically for your supply chain. Readymade TMS software requires you to pay the price monthly or yearly. On the other hand, developing dedicated TMS software for your business is a one-time investment with minimum maintenance costs.
Custom development of transport management system applications is widely preferred by companies engaged in logistics/manufacturing. This is because the TMS developed from scratch can be tailored to meet the specific supply chain requirements of the business.
To develop a custom TMS app, it is necessary to enlist the services of a tech company experienced in developing such an app. For example, Moon Technolabs has the expertise and experience to design and develop transport management apps customized for various supply chain requirements.
The cost of Transportation management application development depends upon its complexity, features, and the hourly rate of the developers. On a rough estimate, it takes around $30k to develop a cross-platform TMS app, similar to the taxi book app development cost.
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TMS solutions are wide-ranging and help companies improve their order delivery capabilities and overall logistics management but also save a lot on shipping and daily operations. A dedicated TMS application helps the shipper manage and track multiple orders and is also useful for drivers and customers. Let’s connect with MoonTechnolabs to develop an outstanding app for your business.
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