For those of you who don’t know, TMS basically stands for Transportation Management Software. As the name suggests, this software helps make the whole transportation of goods process more efficient. From the planning phase, all the way up to its execution and movement tracking. But how to create a transportation management system you may ask?
Well, first off we need to have a better understanding of TMS’ before we can figure out how to build one.
Why Do You Need One?
Whether you’re running a shipping business or you have an online store and you handle the delivery of products all by yourself, having a TMS is a great idea. Why? Because, as we’ve previously mentioned, it makes the delivery process much easier to coordinate. Not only that, but it also saves you a lot of time. And we all know that time is money. So we need to make the most of what we’ve got.
How It Works
By using Artificial Intelligence, a Transportation Management Software automates the following processes: planning, decision making, billing, monitoring, and the list goes on and on. One important thing to mention here is that a TMS also handles route optimization, meaning that AI is responsible for delivering goods as fast as possible.
A TMS is heavily reliant on data exchange between business partners, such as suppliers, carriers, and service providers. Meaning that it encourages transparency between the parties and the clients. This is a very important thing since clients prioritize having as much data as possible. With the help of a TMS, all data is gathered in one place, making the tracking of goods easier than ever.
How Do You Create One?
Well, just like with building with any other app, you need to get through three phases: research, design, and development.
During the research part, you need to figure out exactly why you need a TMS and how your business is going to benefit from it. Consider the goals you’ll want to achieve in the long run and how you’re going to differentiate from your competitors.
Now that you’ve figured out how you are going to benefit from a TMS it’s time to make a draft of how your system is going to look like. Firstly you need to think about what type of TMS you are going to use. Is it going to be something simplistic, such as a Point Solutions TMS? Or something more advanced, like an extended TMS.
A point solution TMS is better suited for small eCommerce businesses since it comes with a smaller set of features that help optimize specific delivery processes based on the business’s needs.
However, an extended TMS, as the name suggests, is something more advanced, better catered to larger transportation companies.
After you’ve clarified this, you’re ready to step into the development phase.
Now you’re going to put some proper work down. Here, you’re going to think about the UI/UX and the features you are going to include. When it comes to the UI/UX part, keep in mind to make the software as simple to use as you can. After all, the whole idea of a TMS seems a bit complicated. Whereas for features, there are some key ones you’ll need to include and we are going to list a few of them right here.
Route planning is critical for a TMS since it saves you a lot of time and money by choosing the best route based on factors like info about traffic, fuel consumption, and speed. You can also provide your users with information regarding their shipment with the help of a tracking feature by GPS.
When it comes to transportation, calculating the optimal cargo load of a vehicle can be sometimes quite tricky to do and during this process, a lot of human error can happen. So why not automate the entire thing? You’ll save some time and even potential unwanted costs.
And finally, there’s analytics. Since you’re running a business you need to know exactly what sells the most and where you are losing too much money, and by having an analytics feature integrated into your app, you can do just that.