How Transport and Warehouse Systems Can Work Together
Effective goods management lies at the heart of successful transport operations. For transport companies, ensuring that the right products are available in the right quantities, and at the right time is crucial for customer satisfaction and cost optimisation. Two essential tools that play a pivotal role in achieving efficient inventory management are the Transport Management System (TMS) and Warehouse Management System (WMS). By working in tandem, these systems create a seamless flow of information and processes, leading to improved stock and work management. In this blog article, we will explore how TMS and WMS can collaborate to optimise stock management, streamline operations, and enhance overall transport efficiency from warehouse to the customer.
Understanding the Roles of TMS and WMS
Before diving into their collaboration, let’s briefly understand the roles of TMS and WMS:
1. Transport Management System (TMS):
TMS is a software solution designed to help operation teams to manage and optimise transport operations. It handles tasks such as job creation, route planning, real-time tracking of deliveries, documentation capture and invoicing. TMS ensures that goods are transported efficiently from origin to destination, from order to delivery.
Read more: What is a Transport Management System?
2. Warehouse Management System (WMS):
WMS is a software application that oversees warehouse operations, including inventory tracking, order fulfilment, stock replenishment, and resource allocation. WMS focuses on the efficient functioning of warehouses and distribution centres.
Read more: What is a Warehouse Management System?
The Need for Integration between TMS and WMS
A seamless flow of information between a TMS and WMS is critical for effective inventory management. When TMS and WMS systems operate independently, there can be challenges in maintaining data accuracy, real-time visibility, and coordination between transport and warehouse activities. A lack of links such as this can often result in duplication of work and allocation, causing disastrous implications for the operations later down the line. Integration between TMS and WMS addresses these challenges and unlocks several benefits for transport companies.
Seamless Data Sharing and Real-Time Visibility
When a TMS and WMS are integrated, they share data in real-time. This enables companies to have a comprehensive view of stock levels, job status, and order fulfilment progress. Real-time visibility helps transport managers to make quick, informed decisions should they need to.
Speedier Orders to Delivery
The integration of a TMS and WMS streamlines the orders to delivery process. Using a TMS planners can use the software’s route planning capabilities, which can positively impact the warehouse operations by ensuring that shipments and deliveries arrive at the right time, to the right place and in the right sequence. This synchronisation leads to improved labour efficiency and reduces order processing time, enhancing the overall order delivery process.
Inventory Tracking and Stock Replenishment
Through integration, a TMS and WMS provide real-time inventory tracking. Transport schedules from TMS are used to trigger automatic stock replenishment in the warehouse. As a result, inventory levels are optimised, reducing stockouts and excess inventory costs, meaning that you can fully improve the functionality of the warehouse, and utilise all its space by monitoring and tracking goods going in and out of the warehouse, you have full visibility over all your inventory in real-time.
“Orders are received automatically via EDI and the system outputs the orders to radio frequency (RF) scanners. This has the advantage of enabling us to fulfil orders more quickly and give customers access online so they can track orders whenever and wherever they are located at the press of a button.”
Financial Director, Kenley Warehousing and Distribution Ltd
Efficient Warehouse Operations and Resource Utilisation
The collaboration between TMS and WMS optimises warehouse operations by synchronising transport schedules with warehouse activities. This alignment improves job management and resource allocation, leading to more efficient warehouse operations and reduced operational costs. With this link between the two systems, you also have robust data allowing you to report on as much as you need to help monitor the operations as effectively as possible.
Coupled with a Warehouse Customer Portal
A warehouse customer portal shows you real-time info about inventory, orders, and shipments, making everything clear and trustworthy. Customers can submit job requests, view real-time stock levels, see when goods have been dispatched, and create jobs online. When it joins forces with a TMS, things get even better. Orders get processed faster, delivery routes get smarter, and things arrive on time. These two systems work together smoothly, sharing information between warehouses and transportation.
Streamlined Returns and Reverse Transport
Integration between a TMS and WMS facilitates seamless management of returns and reverse transport. Returned goods are efficiently processed, and inventory restocking is coordinated with transport schedules. This streamlined approach enhances customer satisfaction and reduces the time and effort required to handle returns.
The collaboration between Transport Management System (TMS) and Warehouse Management System (WMS) is a winning formula for improved stock management and job visibility in the transport operations. By integrating these two essential tools, transport companies can achieve real-time visibility, optimise deliveries, track inventory accurately, and streamline warehouse operations. The benefits of their combination include increased cost efficiency, enhanced customer satisfaction, and efficient resource utilisation.
As transport companies face increasing complexities and demands in their operations, adopting integrated TMS system and WMS solutions becomes a strategic imperative. By harnessing the power of collaboration between these systems, transport companies can gain a competitive edge in the market, deliver superior customer experiences, and stay ahead in the dynamic world of modern transport.