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The Definitive Guide on Transport Management System

What Is a Transport Management System and Why Do We Need It

The world is moving at a fast pace, and technology is the fuel that is running it. Technology claims a big part of the daily lives of consumers, and their reliance on it is undeniable. Over time, consumers have also become increasingly aware of the options available to them and demand lower prices, greater convenience, and impeccable service. Businesses are left with no other choice but to put the consumer first, and there has been an increased focus on creating agile and responsive supply chains, especially since the pandemic. E-commerce and on-demand hyperlocal delivery services have seen exponential growth in the US retail sales in the past decade—from $165.4 billion to $517.4 billion—along with increasing pressures from the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. Transportation makes up 40-50 percent of the total logistics costs, and the emphasis on fleet management and transportation costs is greater than ever before. Having sound logistics solutions in place by introducing effective dispatch planning processes and vehicle routing and scheduling can make transport management more efficient and aid businesses in gaining a competitive advantage.

According to Deloitte, healthcare spending globally is expected to rise and will continue to be a vital pillar of economic growth and development.

As with many industries, the effective functioning of the healthcare industry is underpinned by the efficiency of its underlying supply chain. However, the coronavirus pandemic has forced the industry to reconsider the principles and priorities their supply chains run on. Understanding the myriad factors behind this disruption requires knowledge of how the supply chain works. An uphill task, given that its complexity is arguably analogous to the complexity of administering healthcare itself!

What to look out for in route planning software?

Rider preferences

Taking into account rider skills, expertise, and preferences for a smooth transition from traditional routing to AI-based route planning platform

Autonomous route planning

AI-driven route planning that can reduce errors caused by human negligence and minimize human intervention

Accurate geocoding

Advanced geocoding abilities that can convert fuzzy addresses into precise geographic coordinates on the map

Intelligent vehicle allocation

Smart vehicle allocation based on traffic, shipment, vehicle type, etc.

Optimal fleet mix

Offering a best-fitting fleet mix based on consumer preferences

First attempt delivery

First attempt delivery is ensuring deliveries in the first time around, saving you storage and re-delivery costs.

What is a Transport Management System (TMS)

A TMS is a subset of the supply chain management (SCM) system that optimizes the outgoing and incoming movement of physical goods throughout the supply chain. It is a logistics platform that enables businesses to plan and execute freight movement. TMS is also referred to as a transportation management solution or transportation management software.

Why is it essential for businesses?
Along with streamlining shipping processes and optimizing transport operations, a TMS brings visibility in daily operations leading to on-time delivery no matter the mode of transportation. Anyone, from manufacturers to third-party logistics providers can use a transport management system.Now that same-day shipping and real-time tracking are no longer a luxury but a basic consumer expectation, a powerful TMS becomes an integral part of a successful supply chain. Greater consumer satisfaction means more returning customers to a flourishing business. A cloud-based transport management system leads to quicker deployments, less time spent in training and installation, better security, and automatic updates.

The evolution of vehicle routing - A brief history
However important technology’s role may be in transport management, it remains relatively new to the supply chain industry. Transport was being managed manually even until 2010. Tracking systems have been around for decades, yet visibility of consignments has not been there. Smartphones have changed this to a great extent by making cost-effective applications easily accessible. There is a revolution underway that these new systems have brought about. We can divide the evolution of vehicle routing into the following parts:

Technologies affecting supply chain visibility

Aside from the business imperatives, well-functioning TMS supply chains are foundational to improving the access and quality of healthcare. In a post-pandemic world, this means maximizing supply chain resilience alongside efficiency. Total number of respondents who agree that supply chain management is crucial to solving key challenges

Internet of Things (IoT)

Devices that can communicate with each other over the internet have been fundamental to promoting supply chain visibility. Thanks to IoT, any healthcare consignments can be tracked from the first mile till the end-consumer at the last mile. Fleets SAAS product, a leading fleet tracking software, provides complete visibility on the ground with a LiveView Dashboard, which can help prepare for any unforeseen eventuality. It also helps delivery executives complete more tasks by showing the most optimal route. Finally, for healthcare companies working in the last-mile space, customer experience is crucial to differentiating themselves in a highly competitive arena. Fleet SAAS white-labeled drivers app links can help end-customers track the status of the healthcare products they ordered and even collect their feedback.

Fleet Dispatch Management Platform (DMP) enables organizations to drive real-world efficiency across all fulfillment channels, be it improved SLA adherence, resource utilization, and unit economics across most major fleet types. The platform’s AI-based RO solution, the Vehicle Routing and Scheduling Engine, provides supply chain enterprises with an automated route planning and optimization solution that considers multiple real-life constraints and distribution models. It is a comprehensive solution in logistics that enhances fulfillment operations and increases consistency in transport planning, with nearly no human intervention. The cloud-based tool also facilitates GPS tracking for monitoring vehicles and providing clients with accurate and real-time ETAs. The engine optimizes delivery routes based on three different metrics - geography, time and vehicle, offering a single screen view of the distribution plans. It considers real-life constraints and distribution models to offer the shortest possible and most effective delivery routes, ensuring optimization across freight costs, time on-road, distance on-road, and compliance with SLAs.


Automation allows for the quick completion of repetitive tasks with greater efficiency. This allows for supply chain executives in the healthcare space to focus their energies on building supply chain resilience and scaling their operations. It is now possible for the supply chain departments of hospitals to automate sourcing, inventory purchasing and management with the help of supply chain, and inventory management platforms. With the power of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML), the capabilities of such platforms are only expected to get more advanced in the future. For those healthcare and digital companies in the last-mile delivery space, Fleet's Orchestration is a platform that optimizes the whole shipping process with the help of automation. For example, it allows for the automated pushing of orders through a custom rule engine and provides seamless carrier management through pre-negotiated rates, minimum guarantees, and automated payments and reconciliation.

Data Analytics
AI/ML has been largely responsible for the data revolution of the past decade. When it comes to supply chain management and logistics, it is reflected in the quality of insights that help companies improve their performance on essential metrics and hold service level agreements with incredible precision. Fleet DispatchIQ, an advanced routing software, helps achieve these with the help of its powerful analytics engine. It enables cost-based route optimization, which plans out the routes of entire fleets by considering real-time variables and constraints such as traffic, fuel usage, the nearness of locations to each other, among others; optimization of a fleet mix, which ensures that all the vehicles and executives are optimally engaged and also cater to customer preferences; smart rider allocation, which also considers the skill sets of the various delivery executives and real-life factors like lunch breaks, sick days for drivers, and time slots.
Predictive Analytics
Healthcare supply chains are finding it essential to be ready for the inevitable shocks coming from an increasingly uncertain world. According to a McKinsey study, conducting detailed risk diligence, understanding the magnitude and likelihood of potential risks, and incorporating supply chain best practices are some of the must-dos for building resilient supply chains. However, many structural changes to build supply chain resilience require a lot of capital investment, making it important to ensure that these investments will yield desired results..