A Trucking Management System (TMS) is a comprehensive solution designed to automate and streamline various aspects of a trucking company’s operations.
Too many trucking companies are operating off of a patchwork of clunky spreadsheets. Others have invested in software programs to perform different functions, but they are not integrated. This is inefficient, because it requires users to switch between platforms and re-enter the same data repeatedly. It’s also hard on the wallet as you pay for different subscriptions rather than committing to one TMS to coordinate all aspects of your company’s needs.
The options above drain your time and your money, and they leave room for errors that could hurt your relationship with your clients, your reputation, your company’s morale, and your bottom-line.
The solution to this lies in an all-in-one TMS. There may be some growing pains associated with transferring to a new system and training staff members, but a good TMS company will make this easy for you with free training and ongoing customer service.
Companies that have taken the leap and adopted a TMS are finding that they can replace office staff, save significant amounts of time every day, streamline operations, reduce errors, and save untold amounts of money.
Here are some specific features of TMS solutions that are revolutionizing the industry:
A TMS can automate the process of assigning and dispatching loads to drivers based on various parameters like load size, destination, and driver availability. This reduces the need for manual intervention. Dispatchers are among the largest expense of your overall office staff. Moreover, labor rates, particularly domestically, are only rising. A properly designed TMS can reduce the number of dispatchers required to operate your company by over 50%.
Load Planning and Optimization:
A TMS can optimize load planning to ensure that trucks are fully utilized, minimizing empty miles and increasing overall efficiency. TMS adapters report that this is a huge boost to their bottom line.
Real-time Tracking and Visibility:
A TMS provides real-time tracking of vehicles, allowing for better visibility into the status and location of shipments. This reduces the need for constant communication between drivers and dispatchers.
If you have ever operated a trucking company you know a majority of your time is spent communicating. A TMS can eliminate up to 90% of all communications between office staff and drivers, replacing that manual communication with automated messages, emails, mobile application notifications, and text messages saving you time and money.
Electronic Documentation and Paperwork Reduction:
A TMS can handle electronic documentation, including bills of lading, proof of delivery, and invoices, and often, it can provide this through Android and iOS mobile applications, making things very easy on drivers.
This handy electronic documentation capability reduces the need for physical paperwork and minimizes errors associated with manual data entry. This also eliminates the need for drivers to stop to scan docs at truck stops, which cuts into their drive time.
Some TMS solutions include features that ensure drivers close out each load properly and completely. These features don’t allow drivers to get information on their next load until they have taken the time to properly scan documents for the previous load. This can eliminate a world of headaches for office staff, who no longer have to chase missing or incomplete paperwork.
Bottom line: all loads will have all of the needed docs to process immediate billing.
Billing and Invoicing Automation:
A TMS can automate the billing process, ensuring accurate and timely invoicing. This reduces the chance of billing errors and improves cash flow. The TMS does this in automated fashion. From the initial load entry to the factoring, all aspects of the load can be done automatically with only a few key strokes.
Route Optimization and Fuel Efficiency:
A TMS can analyze routes to find the most efficient paths, reducing fuel costs and emissions. This also helps in complying with regulations related to hours of service.
Maintenance Scheduling and Tracking:
A TMS can keep track of vehicle maintenance schedules, helping to prevent breakdowns and ensure compliance with safety regulations. No more tracking this yourself on antiquated spreadsheets. A TMS can let you know which vehicles need which services and when.
Compliance and Regulatory Support:
A TMS often includes features to help ensure compliance with various regulations such as hours of service, electronic logging device (ELD) requirements, and other industry-specific rules. These features make the job of your safety and compliance officer much easier, reducing overall labor required. Plus, you won’t get slapped with penalties for violations that may slip past your team’s manual tracking efforts.
Data Analysis and Reporting:
TMS provides robust reporting capabilities, allowing companies to analyze data on key performance indicators (KPIs) and make informed decisions for improvement. Having critical data at your fingertips will make for much more efficient business operations.
By improving efficiency and reducing the need for manual labor, TMS can lead to significant cost savings over time. If you are using your TMS properly, it is very likely that it will pay for itself 10 times over.
Overall, implementing a TMS can transform the way a trucking company operates, making it more efficient, accurate, and cost-effective. It can also free up office staff to focus on higher-value tasks that require human judgment and decision-making.