Businesses that have yet to implement a transportation management system (TMS) software solution may be wondering what the benefits of doing so are. After all, they've likely been handling their transportation operations without one for quite some time (and perhaps unaware of the gamechanging features to look for in a TMS).
So even if the cost of a TMS fits in their budget, they may be unconvinced that they need one. If that scenario applies to you, read on to learn more about the best TMS features that will help optimize your shipping and logistics functions from the comfort of one screen - and help your business soar above the competition.
Best Transportation Management Software Features
Planning & Optimization
A TMS offers features that aid in planning and optimizing your routes, rates and carriers. How? The software - and its integrations - can analyze each shipment and the wide variety of ways to get it from point A to point B in the fastest, most cost-effective manner.
Execution & Advanced Visibility
Without a TMS, many functions that seem perfunctory and tedious still must be done in a perfunctory and tedious manner by staff. With a TMS, your business can automate those execution tasks and create workflows that sort information where it needs to go and notify whoever needs to know about any particular events your business wants to know about.
Advanced visibility - for its part - comes from rate, capacity and routing guides all housed within the TMS infrastructure, meaning you don't have to search far and wide to know the rules of the game. And carrier performance management features allow you to monitor and track the performance of your carriers based on key performance indicators and other criteria of your choosing.
This and the next feature we'll discuss are not the most exciting sounding, but they're pretty important to your bottom line. Settlement encompasses your back office shipping operations. Those are areas including self-billing and freight audit & pay. A TMS not only simplifies these functions to require less staff time but also makes accounting errors less likely.
Handling procurement through a TMS allows your business access to rate and capacity solutions that can be counted on. In other words, by working with carriers through the system, you can ensure you'll have a sure answer for the amount of freight you need moved and how much it will be with secure, maintainable and durable arrangements. That also means, you'll be less dependent on a freight broker to help you achieve these goals, as the TMS provides you as much access as you're willing to use.
The features outlined in each area above also add up to something else - cost savings. Planning & optimization capabilities can save a business anywhere from three to 12%. Under the execution & advanced visibility - along with the settlement - areas, another two to five percent savings is available for each. With procurement functionality, expect to save three to 10%. All that adds up to anywhere from 10 to 32% savings with a TMS depending on your level of use and specific business situation.
If all those gamechanging features have you wondering what to do next - or if you need a certified integrator, we can help. At InTek, we are a certified MercuryGate TMS reseller, integrator and support provider - with experts ready to take you through every step of the TMS process. Just fill out our quote request form and we'll be in touch to get you started. For more information about InTek, or logistics and supply chain issues in general, check out our Freight Guides, including one on all things TMS.