Not long ago, we shared our view of the most popular software for logistics managers. Since then, it’s come with little surprise that not every transportation specialists are familiar with those kinds of terms. Some don’t even know the differences between a Transportation Management System (TMS) and a Fleet Management Software (FMS).
That’s why, this time, we’ll go more into detail in the hope to assist managers to make the best purchase: which one should you choose among FMS, TMS, and Route Optimization Software?
What is TMS?
A Transportation Management System (TMS) is software that helps organizations and businesses to manage their logistics supply chain effectively; it helps in tracking and organizing the movements of the materials and products. A Transportation Management System also helps in the effective management of shipping units, transportation mode selection, freight bill auditing, outbound and inbound shipment scheduling, payment, and processing of loss and damage claims, etc.
Some of the advantages and basic function of a transportation management system are shipment routing optimization and shipment load planning, shipment tracking, routing guide, execution management and carrier communication, business intelligence and reporting, freight bill audit & payment, appointment scheduling, claims management, returns management, etc.
When do you need TMS?
TMS provides supply chain managers with the opportunity to look back and analyze past decisions through data storage capabilities.
Some businesses and organizations use calls, spreadsheets, messages and email to cater for their various transportation components; all these might be costing them a huge amount of money annually. A data repository will give a supply chain manager the chance to easily identify the actions that produced the best results and which actions give less-than-optimal results.
A great TMS can give insight through reports, dashboards, charts, and other features that enable better decision making and lead to cost savings.
Additionally, most TMS solutions can be accessed through cloud technology. With little barriers to entry, ease-of-use, and modest upfront costs, cloud-based applications are generally available and fast-becoming the standard across different industries.
What is a FMS?
A Fleet Management Software (FMS) is a means of communication from the fleet and to the central authority system. It stores, processes, gathers, monitors, reports on, and exports information as a valuable tool for your vehicles and drivers’ safety and efficiency.
Companies that manage fleets of vehicles generally have to work on a large number of variables and concerns relating to the daily operation of these fleets. The use of fleet management software can help reduce expenditures, maintenance, and increase productivity vis--vis systems that do not incorporate such solutions.
When do you need a FMS?
The major part of a fleet management software solution is the tracking of the vehicles while on the road. This is generally performed by a GPS tracking device being installed into the vehicle, which communicates and sends data to a server operated by the provider of the FMS.
A great fleet management software solution will make sure that vehicles are maintained regularly according to the maintenance schedule for each vehicle and also sending a reminder whenever the maintenance is due.
Fleet management software makes it easier to invoice customers for work done, because the software will produce a more detailed invoice, showing where the customer’s consignment was picked up and dropped off, and the actual amount of time to complete the job and the mileage traveled.
Compliance and safety is a great challenge for trucking businesses and their drivers. Most drivers are well-intentioned and want to do what’s best for themselves and the business. For such drivers, GPS fleet management software tools can track consistent safe driving habits and help them earn the recognition they deserve and also get good remuneration. Those tools can also track drivers' behavior patterns such as over speeding, rapid acceleration, and aggressive braking to identify driver issues before they become a business liability.
Another important function of fleet management software is that it can provide organizations with its asset management. This allows users and fleet managers to have direct access to information on vehicle warranties and service history.
3. Route Optimization Software
What is a Route Optimization Software?
Route optimization software helps in boosting operational efficiency through solving the Vehicle Routing Problem and adequate route scheduling. When a new order is received, the vehicle route planning schedule is sourced in real-time to reallocate mobile fleet resources to optimize operating efficiency, deliver priority service to the most profitable accounts and routes, and also maintain overall customer service objectives. It helps companies and organizations to reduce operating costs, which can reduce total route distances and average miles between stops.
When do you need a Route Optimization Software?
It helps companies to reach delivery goals with less cost and personnel.
When you have more than 10 vehicles to manage.
If you generally have at least 10 orders and destinations to pass daily.
See instant updates of mileage, costs, and hours immediately there is a modification in routes.
Blend perfectly with your existing order management system.
Decrease total transportation costs with optimized route planning and execution.
Build more efficient routes that use your order info, volume, time windows, and work constraints.
Generate well-detailed maps and turn-by-turn driving directions for drivers.
Share data with your existing pick, load, dispatch, manifest, and reporting systems
Improve delivery service with up to 40% savings.
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