Six transport management features for your next WMS
Transportation management features are a core way for any business to manage their delivery and fleet, keeping customers happy and operations running smoothly. In today’s environment of increased competition and consolidation, there are many trucking companies and freight brokerages looking at order fulfillment, as well as small field-service and local brand companies adding vans and trucks to their equipment list to best control delivery and cost.
With everything getting more complicated, it’s nice when software can alleviate some of those concerns. If your business is starting to bridge delivery and transport management with warehouse activities, here are a few features to consider in your WMS or in a TMS that links up with warehouse platforms.
1. Route planning
Route planning is common in fleet and transport management tools, but there needs to be a WMS component as well when you’re managing inventory and deliveries. Being tied back to your warehouse and inventory levels will support real-time adjustments to your existing operations and deliveries.
For example, let’s say you have a field sales team working right now. With a WMS and transport management module, your team can create an order and then you can dynamically fill it based on the inventory of your trucks and vans as well as your warehouse.
2. Audits and analysis
Transportation management tools should also serve as another set of eyes to help you monitor your warehouse activities and ensure that orders are being fulfilled and shipped properly. Look for tools that include package and freight reviews connected to pick-and-pack as well as audits of invoices. This way you’ll be sure you’re making proper deliveries and keeping customers happy.
3. Hours of Service tracking and support
Compliance is always a major concern for transportation and fleet management. If you’re trying to run it through your WMS, look for modules that track individual drivers. This will allow you to track and meet regulatory demands appropriate for your area.
If you have trucks doing long-hauls in the U.S., then you’ll need to make sure drivers track their Hours of Service and don’t run over statutory limitations. Look for modules that support your local laws — and make sure they have robust alert systems to avoid running afoul of those laws.
4. Returns and backorder processing
Today’s routes are complicated and unique to your business. We’ve moved from a world of point-A to point-B to a world of point-A through point-Z.
To protect your business and supply chain, you’ll want support for returned goods and backorders, with tracking of delivery and shipping issues as well problems with the goods themselves. If you do any customer pickup or would need to ship defective products back to a manufacturer directly, your WMS should ease the process.
On the transport side, this means managing assets and staff, plus creating a checklist for any returns. Look for tools or modules that support reworking, assessments, re-inventory, salvage, vendor returns, and much more.
5. Workforce planning and optimization
Look for features that allow you to track the performance of your operations. In your WMS, you’ll want logistics tools that track metrics for individual staff performance and driver concerns as well as tracking performance tied to vehicles and routes.
The more information, the better because it’ll allow you to turn data into business intelligence and greater process optimization.
6. Vehicle maintenance and asset management tools
Finally, check out for a WMS that has modules or TMS integration with your asset management. A WMS that can track vehicles in your yard and maintain maintenance logs will help ensure your fleet is kept in top shape.
Fleet maintenance is of the utmost importance even if you’re only moving goods around a large warehouse. The benefit of a WMS that can track and provide reminders is you won’t forget or fail to assign maintenance tasks to someone. So, there’s much less risk of a breakdown or engine damage during the biggest rush of the year.
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