Using transportation management software in your company could have a major impact on your business decision-making. It can also greatly improve the efficiency with which you make decisions and can greatly improve customer satisfaction. However, while the benefits of using a management software are clear, the real difficulty lies in finding the best one. With so many different management software programs out there, it can be difficult for businesses to select the right one based on their requirements. That’s why you should always choose one that has the following seven features.
- Contract Management
Managing relationships with different carriers is quite difficult. You probably have different contracts with carriers, so it can be difficult to keep track of your relationships. However, digitizing contracts makes things much easier, and allows you to ensure that every team member knows about the relationship that you have with multiple vendors. Ideally, the management software you choose should allow for setting individual terms for contracts.
- Mitigating Risk
Risk mitigation is a key feature that you need to look for when selecting a transportation management software. For instance, if you deal in the transportation of industrial materials or hazardous goods, it’s important that you choose a TMS that identifies shipping laws in different countries and also automates auditing processes. Make sure that the management software you choose allows for paperwork associated with hazardous materials.
If your company has transportation operations throughout the globe, you need to make sure that you choose a TMS that has multi-language functionality so that your company can deploy it throughout different branches. The TMS you choose should also be able to handle NAFTA paperwork and SEDs accordingly. More importantly, because taxes and border fees tend to vary, it’s important that the management software you choose is able to incorporate those as well.
- Freight Settlement
Accounting functions should also be built into the TMS so that you can allocate costs and settle freight costs. You should also be able to create vouchers for making payments and audit different invoices. Records should be saved in the TMS so that you can pull them up easily and see how much freight was paid at different points. Instead of having to sift through hundreds of invoices and documents, you can get all the information at a glance.
If your company primarily relies on shipping, you need to make sure that the TMS has clear item visibility. For instance, what if a shipment goes missing? Instead of having to worry about it, you can easily track detailed information and receive notifications through the TMS. It should also show you cycle times, pick up times and locations, as well as any other relevant details.
When paired with an RFID system that automatically tracks inventory movements, you can easily know where your inventory has reached. The RFID systems work by automatically scanning inventory and shipments that are moved from warehouses to other places. The good thing here is that the entire process will be automated, so you don’t have to worry about individually tracking everything.
- Shipping Support
The entire shipping at large is moving from shipping larger goods to smaller, more frequent shipments. With a TMS, you can easily track parcel movements and figure out where they have been routed, through what channels, and how far they are from their destination. This automates the entire procedure and simplifies matters by a considerable margin, giving you all the information you need to figure out whether your shipping routes are doing well, or whether you need to make any changes.
- Business Intelligence Data
Arguably the most important feature that you need to look for in a TMS is the amount of business intelligence data that it provides. Once you are able to pull in the data, you can then figure out what you need to change and the processes you need to streamline.
This can help you figure out what changes you need to make and present your data in a more visually appealing manner to get important information at a glance. You can then use this information to make important decisions about your business’ performance.