Transportation Management

A Transportation Management System (TMS) is a management environment for transport operations—and an essential tool for streamlining and simplifying transportation operations and logistics management. This system plays a fundamental role in streamlining and simplifying the process of receiving and dispatching materials.

What does a TMS do?

A transportation management system assists in the planning, execution, and optimization of goods transport, inbound and outbound, while ensuring compliance with legal regulations and accurate documentation management. The primary objectives of TMS software are to ensure on-time deliveries and to contribute to meeting corporate sustainability requirements. Often, the TMS is integrated with warehouse management systems to provide a more comprehensive and integrated supply chain management solution.

How does transport logistics work?

TMS owners and users

Recent needs have led to new consumption models, which obviously directly involves the logistics sector. Demand variability, compressed sales times, delivery traceability, and integration within the supply chain have driven the evolution of the transportation management sector, refining the concept of an extended supply chain. NextRoute from sedApta encapsulates the solution to these needs.

Transport management systems find their purpose in a wide range of companies where the effective management of the movement of goods is a fundamental requirement. In the past, major users of TMS software were companies that had significant shipping challenges and expenses. Today, with the advent of cloud-based TMS systems, even small businesses can access the benefits of effective transportation management and make their supply chain more efficient and competitive. Transportation management plays a key role in ensuring the success of the entire supply chain.

Among the main users are:

  • Manufacturers: Companies that need to ship their finished products to other companies, distributors, or directly to consumers
  • Distributors: Companies that handle large quantities of goods, acting as intermediaries between manufacturers and points of sale or end consumers
  • E-commerce companies: Companies that operate mainly online and need efficient systems for managing fast and reliable shipments
  • Retail stores and chains: Commercial establishments that need to constantly receive products for display and sale
  • Logistics service providers: Companies specializing in third-party logistics management that need advanced tools to coordinate material handling operations (logistics and transportation) for different clients

In today’s continuously evolving global trade environment, it’s more crucial than ever to have a system that facilitates real-time tracking of goods to allow more efficient and effective control over production planning.

Managing a transportation company

TMS services

Companies seeking to improve the way they manage their transportation process can opt for a standalone transportation management system, one that is not attached to other supply chain control systems. This system can be integrated with existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, whether cloud-based or on-premises. TMS services generally focus on three main areas: planning, execution, and optimization.

  • Planning and scheduling: An effective TMS is a crucial aid to companies in selecting the most appropriate shipping mode and carrier, considering various factors, such as cost, type of goods being transported, distance, times, carbon footprint, and more. This process includes optimizing routes with multiple stops, ensuring total visibility at every stage of the supply chain. A well-designed TMS permits more strategic and informed planning and scheduling of transportation operations.
  • Operational management and communication: This aspect covers a range of crucial functions, such as load matching and interaction with carriers, in addition to document management and shipment monitoring. Advanced systems—like sedApta NextChain—go beyond this, offering real-time tracking and location services to significantly improve information exchange between carriers, distributors, warehouses, and customers. The system can also comprehensively handle legal and tax documentation related to transportation.
  • Data analysis and optimization: The optimization features in a TMS generally include advanced tools for performance evaluation and monitoring, such as detailed reporting, informative dashboards, in-depth analysis, and the use of transportation sector-specific intelligence. These tools are essential to allow companies to continuously refine and improve their transportation processes with the goal of maximizing operational efficiency and minimizing costs. Integration with other solutions (such as ERP and warehouse management systems) enables sophisticated data analysis and subsequent optimization of transportation processes.

Optimizing transportation

Benefits of a TMS

Adopting a modern transportation management system offers several significant advantages for companies, resulting in an overall improvement in supply chain efficiency and production planning and control, and thus customer satisfaction.

These include:

  • Reduced costs: A TMS can help reduce shipping costs for companies and their customers by optimizing transportation modes and routes.
  • Simpler processes: A TMS facilitates and streamlines supply chain management across different regions, transportation modes, and carriers, making processes smoother and less complex.
  • Automated business operations: A TMS improves efficiency in document management, reducing errors and speeding up processes.
  • Increased visibility and security: A TMS provides tighter control and increased security during goods transport.
  • Faster reaction times: A TMS allows for rapid responses to external disruptions, enabling new planning to minimize the impact on the supply chain and production processes.
  • Improved reporting: Through total integration and sharing of business data, a TMS promotes analysis for faster response and continuous process improvement, leading to new business insights, including through harnessing AI tools and machine learning algorithms.
  • Real-time updates: A TMS enhances customer service and satisfaction by reducing delays in shipments and providing updated information.
  • Business growth: A TMS helps companies to grow by meeting and surpassing consumers’ expectations for fast, on-time deliveries.

In summary, a TMS not only optimizes transportation and logistics management, but also acts as a core element of true operational efficiency, providing lower costs and more satisfied customers, and paying particular attention to sustainability issues and needs—crucial elements for success in today’s competitive market.

About Manufacturing Operations Management

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sedApta Suite for MOM allows real-time orchestration of machines, software and people in order to reach new process methodologies based on sharing knowledge and on the possibility to track results and bottlenecks in real-time, with all the relevant associated KPI’s.

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