Good products don’t ship themselves. It takes a team dedicated to organization, attention to details and managing schedules for transportation so that on Apple release day, you’re guaranteed your new phone. Though spreadsheets were once the method of choice for these logistically talented individuals, it is technology that has allowed for an even more precise shipment method that keeps the economic world spinning.
Transportation Management Software
Like all other software, transportation management software works to make life easier and more efficient for those dealing with the movement of a wide assortment of goods. However, instead of simply organizing everything, this software is actually designed to present the logistics coordinator with a number of possible options. These options come with data points surrounding how long each route would take, the potential cost of using the various shipping methods and other important bits of information needed to make an informed decision. Typically, the employee in charge of the transportation decisions will then choose the best mode at the least cost based on their needs. From here, the software then automatically takes care of all of the shipment information needed to transport the goods.
Four Key Systems
Within the realm of what transportation management software does, there are four main areas it manages.
Planning & Decision
Making As noted above, the system generates all possible shipping options, leaving it up to the employees to make the final call. Because of how it can collect information, each shipment can be given specific parameters the software’s search must adhere to, making it so that all presented solutions can be accomplished according to the specific variables.
Once the best solution has been chosen, the software then takes care of the transportation details. It can accept a specific carrier rate, schedule a dispatch and otherwise manage every aspect of shipment, saving the employees from having to spend time filling out forms online.
Following the shipment of the goods, the software can also take on the role of administrator by tackling all of the important follow-up tasks. Including invoicing, updating customers about delays and booking, such a honed complex facet now manageable by computer means less time has to be spent not working on actual transport work.
Finally, such software stores data. Because it can do this, it can also then use the data to measure various aspects of the company.
It works as an indicator of performance, clearly showing what the weaknesses are so that the management can then take steps to iron these out.
In the end, transportation management software is the ultimate in the technological advancement of logistics. It has taken tasks that once had to be performed by employees and automated them. Because of this, companies can now spend more time focusing on improvement than on the day-to-day basics of transporting goods.