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Thursday, 21 June 2012 14:39

 

Best Practices for Getting the Most Out of a TMS

 

Many firms are using transportation technology improvements. Others are only beginning to investigate the implementation of TMS applications to enhance their supply chain applications. Historically, TMS applications primarily have been implemented to optimize domestic truck shipments.

Over the last decade, TMS utilization has grown considerably as companies have moved from optimization of domestic truck shipments to broad applications that are more robust and can be used for all modes of transportation.

Transportation management has also expanded beyond domestic modes to include international shipment management. According to the survey, 54% of respondents use an automated TMS. Interestingly, of this percentage, an overwhelming majority use a TMS for domestic shipments only.

The primary reason given is that the benefits are inadequate to justify coverage of international shipments. However, approximately 28% rated this capability as a lower priority but plan to extend coverage to international shipments.


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With a TMS, continuous moves and backhaul opportunities can be highlighted, and detailed operational reports can be generated. In addition, the best-in-class systems provide extensive analysis capabilities to allow companies to minimize costs and optimize service levels.

In order to get the full benefits of TMS implementation, a best practice is to realign work processes and implement a state-of-the-art software application based on improved processes. Organizations that follow this approach have put themselves in a position to realize their transportation costs and service goals.

Over the years, transportation technology has advanced dramatically. A TMS can now be tailored to support a company’s goals or objectives. Key operational data for your private fleet can be easily obtained with onboard computers, and GPS can pinpoint the exact location of a vehicle.

Through the use of the Internet and EDI messaging, a shipment’s current status is readily available. If you are currently evaluating your transportation technology, what is your next step? The first task is to identify your current level of technology. Define your business requirements and determine what technology alternatives meet those requirements.

Finally, you should develop an action plan to source and implement. Combining operational best practices with the implementation of the right technology solution can lead to lower costs, improved service, better control, and greater visibility of your entire supply chain.

 

 

 
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