If your trucking and transportation company delivers significant volume of items, a transportation management software (TMS) helps you manage your operations seamlessly and with less stress.
With better management, you can drive business efficiency, save costs, and ultimately provide better customer service, improving your bottom line. Sounds great, right?
There are several benefits to having a sound transportation management system in place.
Well, let’s dive in and explore what exactly a TMS is, why you need a custom one, and how it can help grow your business.
What Is a Custom Transportation Management Software?
Custom transportation management software (TMS) is a logistics platform. It uses technology to help businesses plan, execute, and optimize the physical movement of goods. This includes incoming and outgoing goods.
It also makes sure the delivery complies with rules and has proper documentation. This kind of system is often part of a more extensive supply chain management (SCM) system.
Sometimes known as a transportation management solution or transportation management system, a TMS provides visibility into day-to-day transportation operations, trade compliance information, and documentation. It also ensures the timely delivery of freight and goods.
Custom transportation management software also streamlines the delivery process. In addition, custom transportation management software makes it easier for businesses to manage and optimize their transportation operations, whether by land, air, or sea.
The Power of a Custom TMS
A TMS is a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform. Generally, it comes as a cloud-based system but can also be uploaded to a business server. Experts recommend using these platforms via the cloud.
Cloud-based systems are generally safer. They also offer less, if not no, room for error. The cloud TMS solution allows a transportation company to connect to the network from any gadget (laptop, tablet, or other mobile devices) and location with a Wi-Fi or internet connection.
On the other hand, a traditional mainframe system is more limited in terms of sharing data across network devices.
There are multiple reasons why working with a 3PL (third-party logistics) is an excellent financial investment. When you add custom-designed transportation management systems to the plate, that value is greatly enhanced.
A professional third-party logistics company generally includes experts in the logistics field. These experts usually use the most updated technology and extensive methods to help clients skyrocket their businesses.
Building custom TMS platforms is a service that an increasing number of logistic companies have begun to produce in the past few years. Essentially, a modern 3PL works with a company to find out what they need and lack in terms of transportation management.
Then, they can go to building a TMS and help their clients create a training program to bring their employees up to speed.
Benefits of a Custom TMS
Custom transportation management software can grow your business by streamlining processes and saving expenses. Here are the benefits of a custom TMS:
With a transportation management system, you, as the trucking company owner, will have the technology you need to make routing decisions based on quotes, transit time, and carrier mix. This centralized location for quoting will get rid of stress and time spent on the booking process.
A TMS can help simplify the carrier selection process by allowing you to evaluate the merchandise being sent and matching it with a carrier in the network. You can revisit past deliveries and quickly match similar loads to the appropriate carriers by managing this entire process in one place.
It’s impossible to control human error or Mother Nature. However, a TMS will let you know when and why delays occur. With a TMS, you can track freight on the road and even receive alerts to any transit exceptions or unforeseen delays from one location.
Robust transportation management systems offer in-depth business insights and extensive reporting capabilities. For example, let’s say you oversee delivery process for 20 locations that each send five loads out weekly. That’s 100 invoices to create and loads to evaluate each week.
With a custom TMS, information will all be stored in one location. Plus, custom reports can be created to analyze things like the discrepancies between rates and final invoices.
Instant Delivery Updates
Let’s say you’ve set up a load to move a single pallet via an LTL (less than truckload). You’ve been sending delivery requests to various trucks all day. On top of that, you’re waiting for updates from drivers.
But you’re at lunch when you finally receive a text notification that “driver A” has encountered an issue on the road and will be delayed.
With an old-school method of transportation management, you stop eating lunch, run back to your desk, see what happened, apologize to the customer, and monitor the truck driver..
However, this isn't the case with a custom, cloud-based TMS. With a TMS, you can access what you need and do everything else from the convenience of your smartphone. All while you finish up that delicious lunch.
Oh, and if sandwiches aren’t your thing, you also end up saving time and money. Just imagine it would have taken you all the time to do it all manually.
Create Custom Tags
The modern TMS can also be configured to include custom tags for quick access. This is an excellent feature if you deal with many of the same customers regularly.
The next time a customer places an order, you simply tag the orders within your TMS. Since the carrier for that specific customer is already organized, the TMS platform quickly finds the customer again, saving you tons of time.
Receive Delivery Updates and Instant Notifications
Most transportation company owners understand and acknowledge the value of a well-executed white glove service. Delivery notifications, delays, and real-time tracking go a long way in providing an excellent user experience.
Leaving a customer confused and looking for a delivery is one of the worst things a business can do.
With custom transportation management software, you can configure it to update your customers regularly. This piece of the platform includes the customer’s contact information, preferred methods of notification delivery, and creates personalized messages for delivery updates.
When Do You Need a Custom TMS?
Hundreds of vendors provide TMS solutions nowadays. There are a lot of ready-made products with which you are only paying for implementation and subscription. So, is there really a need to get a custom TMS?
To answer the question, the business should define its operational needs and what it wants to achieve through TMS implementation. As a business owner, consider your long-term goals and the possibility of diversifying and expanding.
Each business has its own set of requirements, goals, culture, and internal processes. Overlooking even one meaningful feature can lead to additional money and time expenses during or after implementation.
These can be hard to pull off, especially if you don’t have the right tools in place. In the worst scenario, your TMS may be totally unfit for your business.
You also need to take into account hidden TMS costs, such as license, implementation, subscription extension, and annual maintenance. Add to this the need for third-party software purchase & implementation and personnel training.
Most of the time, a fleet of 100 trucks or less doesn’t need a custom TMS. It’s because a regular TMS can usually handle this number and address most―if not all― needs of the trucking company.
Why a Fleet With 100+ Trucks Needs a Custom TMS
Most of the time, a robust TMS like FlexTMS works well for a fleet with over 100 trucks. However, a custom TMS is a perfect choice if your company has a budget of $30,000 to $100,000 and is committed to getting custom TMs and mobile apps for drivers.
The exact cost of a custom TMS is calculated based on the features and implementation needed. A custom TMS usually includes user interface and user experience design, front-end and back-end development, and quality assessment (automation and acceptance tests).
For the modern TMS, the essential elements include an administration control panel, GIS and driver-dispatcher communication functions, and integrated accounting.
Based on this set, a custom TMS like FlexTMS can cost up to $100,000. Though, it may vary depending on the set of functions needed by your business. It also depends on the implementation needed.
An extensive TMS can provide the needs of a trucking company with 100 trucks or less. However, if you have a fleet of more than 100 trucks, you might want to consider a custom TMS to address your business goals and save more time.
Do you need an all-in-one TMS for your business? FlexTMS offers easy-to-use software for your transportation management needs. It allows you with compliance, maintenance, dispatch, accounting, factoring, fuel import, and many more integrations to make everyday tasks simple, fast, and easy.
We also offer a custom TMS that can be tailored to your specifications, making your unique needs and goals easy to reach. Our 10 years of experience in the trucking industry also gives us an edge. We know what trucking companies need, and in spite of our many features, we offer our solution at a surprisingly affordable rate.
So, what are you waiting for? Book a demo with FlexTMS now!
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