What is a TMS and how can it help your haulage business?
- Is a TMS right for my business?
- What are some benefits of TMS for shippers?
- How much does a TMS cost?
- Are there any other TMS costs besides the TMS license or subscription?
- How long does a TMS implementation take?
- Will this require mass amounts of IT time?
Q: Is a TMS right for my business?
Road transportation is a challenging sector. It’s becoming more difficult to be successful. Relying on manual processes or outdated and disconnected systems to manage a haulage operation makes things much harder.
Perhaps you’re finding it difficult to plan work on paper or spreadsheets and keep track of progress throughout the day. Paper processes are making it too hard and time-consuming to do simple tasks like providing manifests to drivers, receiving proof of delivery and invoicing?
You may have systems in place, but they’re not connected and this is creating more work for you.
A transport management system (TMS) like Mandata can provide you with the functionality you need to support all your processes from end to end…orders to invoice. A TMS can give you everything you need to plan work, send job instructions to drivers, receive electronic proof of delivery and email invoices to customers. Automating and resolving many of your every-day challenges.
Q: What are some benefits of TMS for shippers?
A TMS like Mandata can simplify how shippers work with their chosen haulage company. Effortless order exports/imports, on-line ordering, on-line track and trace, access to electronic proof of collection/delivery documents and invoices, can all be provided. KPI reports too.
Integration between a shipper’s system and haulier’s TMS allows the simple transfer of large volume orders from one system to the other. Saving time. Preserving data accuracy.
Haulage operators using Mandata systems will have visibility of these data transfers being made into their systems. This ensures orders arrive safely, and any issues quickly rectified.
Online bookings. Track and Trace.
A web portal can be provided. This allows shippers to add and amend orders themselves; feeding live orders in to the operator’s TMS. With the convenience of self-service, shippers are kept informed with live progress too, avoiding the need to contact the haulier with ETA enquiries.
If the haulier uses integrated vehicle tracking or signature capture devices, both the shipper and haulier will have real-time visibility of job progress and be able to view status updates throughout the delivery process.
To complete the process, shippers can view and download proof of collections/deliveries along with other documentation relating to jobs. This includes non-conformance.
As well as real-time job/order updates, shippers can receive automated SLA/KPI reports from the haulier.
Safe, positive, economic and environmentally-sound driving.
Minimising the environmental impact of shipments is an important factor for any company transporting goods. Through the active monitoring of drivers and vehicles, haulage operators are able to monitor standards and make continuous improvements throughout the transportation process.
Behaviour monitoring, allows operators to educate and improve their driver workforce performance. Minimising the environmental impact and promoting safe and positive driving.
Q: How much does a TMS cost?
Providers may offer the functionality of a TMS on-line for a fixed-price monthly fee, often charged per user, per month, so you can easily manage costs.
Some software providers price their applications by vehicle, other software is available on a concurrent user model such as Mandata TMS Go. This means if you have 5 people in the traffic office and 3 people use the system at one time, then a 3-user license will be required.
A license for a cloud TMS Go! can cost as little as £75 (plus VAT) per user, per month. For this price, software is available on-line, that you can use straight out-of-the-box. Data storage and security, feature updates and disaster recovery are standard.
Q: Are there any other TMS costs besides the TMS license or subscription?
If the transport management software provider offers additional modules, they can be integrated to give you additional functionality, such as mobile apps and TMS Tracking. They will often be available at an additional cost, per driver or vehicle.
To integrate a TMS with other 3rd party systems will probably incur software development as well as support costs. Bespoke software developments will need regular updates. and the cost normally guarantees a level of support will be provided if any issues need to be addressed.
Q: How long does a TMS implementation take?
This depends on the software you’re looking to implement and how much time you’re able to commit to the project.
A cloud TMS such as TMS Go! which is available out of the box, can be implemented very quickly, within a couple of weeks. Whereas a more complex system such as Mandata TMS can take at least two months.
The implementation of a new system will require varying degrees of time to scope, configure and customise (if necessary) and implement, depending on the type and complexity of system you choose
It is worth considering too, that any TMS will require ongoing investment in time to keep your staff up to date with new product updates. Ensuring staff have a full understanding of the system from the outset. This will enable your business to keep pace with the system as new updates and features are introduced.
You should find the benefits you gain from implementing a TMS will far outweigh the time taken to implement it.
Q: Will this require mass amounts of IT time?
Cloud transport management systems are becoming more common. They offer convenience and economic benefits as software is available on-line, anytime, anywhere. The software will normally reside on the provider’s infrastructure. They will manage the maintenance of the software, apply automatic updates and carry out data back-ups for you.
Cloud systems also provide the flexibility to allow any number of remote operators to log into the system from any location, as long as they have Internet access. This is particularly useful for operators with multiple depots.
If you have an in-house IT team, the software can be hosted on your own IT network. The provider’s IT team will work with you to ensure the necessary equipment is specified to meet your requirements.