Today, leaner versions of a traditional TMS (transportation management system) are helping many logistics companies improve efficiency, speed and scalability, in addition to lowering operation costs. With software-as-a-service (SaaS) becoming the norm for technological advancements in every field, your TMS may just need an overhaul!
What is Lean Transportation Management Systems?
A lean TMS is a specialized software for transportation and logistics management, designed according to SaaS models. These contemporary systems combine various platforms and workflows into one easy-to-use solution, offering users easy access to the latest technology as well as ongoing improvements in the field.
Many lean TMS solutions are also customizable, depending on each client’s unique requirements. They offer greater visibility and transparency across the transportation network, in addition to greater cost savings, centralized control and real-time data management.
Lean TMS Solutions: 5 Major Components to Consider
While a lean TMS may not seem very different from traditional software at first glance, there are some key components that set it apart from its “ancestors”. Like all SaaS solutions, there’s a greater focus on usability, flexibility and scalability for transportation management software in the market today.
The main aspects of a lean TMS include:
1. Process Discipline
For any logistic management strategy, transportation processes need to be planned, executed and monitored on an ongoing basis. With a focus on process discipline, infrastructure, technology and personnel training solutions can be designed to help reduce waste and boost problem-solving capabilities. This is where a lean TMS differs from traditional systems.
2. Increased Transparency
Logistics companies may not be able to identify and visualize all flows across a transportation network on their own, but lean TMS software is designed to enhance transparency. Modern systems are equipped to create and evaluate multiple scenarios, to improve the standardized reporting of major KPIs (key performance indicators) across the network.
3. Change Management
Depending on a company’s requirements, infrastructure, processes and goals, integrated transportation management may or may not be a core area of focus for them. Lean TMS solutions need to be adaptable to different scenarios, taking into account the availability of trained personnel, cost concerns, supply chain control and monitoring needs, etc.
4. Better Connectivity
Transportation management systems are heavily dependent on data exchanged between external trading partners (suppliers, logistics service providers, carriers, etc.). With traditional solutions, network connectivity needs to be established and maintained by the firms using them, but lean TMS software takes a majority of that burden on itself.
5. Constant Evolution
Lean transportation management systems are designed to evolve in line with new technological advancements across the supply chain. Whether it’s a new innovation in truck scales, industrial weighing systems, advanced freight auditing or shipping practices, etc., a lean TMS can adapt to changes in equipment, techniques and processes.
There have been many innovations in transportation management over the last decade or so, and logistics trends have been quick to keep up with them. Companies looking to streamline their business processes could enjoy immense benefits from the latest technology, so perhaps it’s time for you to start exploring lean TMS solutions!