Transportation Management Software Development: Everything You Need to Know
By John Smith
Transportation is an ever-growing sector of the global economy that plays a significant role in every industry. But current transport companies should control large amounts of data to successfully deliver goods, which is a bit daunting. Transport management software is the solution to automate transportation and shipping forwarding tasks and allow transport companies to simplify freight operations, save time, shrink costs and enhance customer services. A universal solution is, possibly, a transportation management system (TMS).
What is a transportation management system?
It is the largest fragmented sector and also the partially regulated one. Enterprise software to handle the methods of the movement and storage of goods is called a transportation management system. To put it simply, TMS is an integration platform that allows companies to manage and optimize supply chain transportation and logistics management.
Logistics management solutions build a part of ERP systems and help manage the complete supply chain, trading with both procurement and outbound shipping activities. Its ultimate goals are to
Improve shipment efficiency;
Offers visibility of logistics processes;
Shrinks transport costs;
Boost customer service.
The flexibility of such platforms enables developers to build both logistics software for small businesses as well as large enterprise logistics software to manage complex transport networks.
Most transportation & logistics solutions vendors provide custom TMS nowadays. So, you really need to think about whether you need to develop a TMS in-house and invest your precious time and resource in it.
Your build or buy TMS decision should be based on the following things: your operational requirements, long-term business goals, logistics team challenges, culture, and internal methods. Ignoring any of the given factors can lead to the growth of a TMS that’s totally inappropriate for your business.
Features of the transportation management system
An effective TMS can shrink your workload and optimized workflow greatly. Whether you are a shipper, 3PL, or a carrier, your entire workflow will be streamlined. The crucial thing is picking a system that matches your business needs or methods. So, always pick logistics management software that is developed for your business.
A TMS can be used normally for doing the following tasks:
Freight Planning & Cargo Tracking
Logistics Performance Monitoring
Financial Reporting and analytics
Directing Sudden Logistics Events
Online Driver Support
How to develop a transportation management software
Choose a Provider
The first step of vital importance is to pick a reliable provider. When comparing various offerings, pay attention to the following services a vendor should offer:
Free architecture design, so it would be simple to implement new features and embrace new technologies.
Integration with various services that allow you to use the full potential of a platform.
Scalability to meet the growing demand as your business expands.
Security levels to secure sensitive data from breaches.
Decide Between Cloud and On-premise Deployment
Logistics automation systems can be categorized into two classes: on-premises and cloud-based. Software installation on local services needs vital financial investments, but many giant manufacturing and distribution companies still prefer this kind of hosting because of the security demands and necessity to control servers on a daily basis. Cloud-based transportation management systems do not require extra hardware, and, in this scenario, the original cost is much lower. Another big benefit is that all members in the transportation process have quick and convenient access to the system from any geographic location. Moreover, the choice will depend on the performance requirements of your business.
Decide the Functionality
Depending on the functions you want to automate, choose the modules and tools that will be involved in the system and make a draft. Possible modules are:
CRM — customer relationships management
WMS — warehouse management systems
SCM — supply chain management
EAM — enterprise asset management
MES — manufacturing execution systems
Then, expert designers and developers will work on the creation of APIs and interfaces for clients and administrators.
Develop a Mobile Version
The automation of logistics methods indicates that systems will create a lot of real-time data. Consequently, all the participants must have unrestricted access to the system at any time, from any geographical location and from any connected device, to get the data, examine it and make quick decisions.
Such a circumstance can be presented, alongside cloud computing, by a mobile application. Consider producing native apps for drivers and for logistics managers to promote seamless transportation and great customer service.
The agreement with the customer lasted for many years and appeared in the development of a complete route visualization and calculation functionality. These elements improved the abilities of the corporate delivery management system and enabled the customer to streamline navigation and optimize its package delivery services.