For the smaller distribution business, managing the admin and operational aspects of the logistics is usually undertaken manually. But as you grow, how do you know when is the right time to invest in a Transport Management System (TMS)? Here’s six ways that you can tell when the time has come to implement a more effective solution
1. You’re spending hours plotting delivery drops on Google Maps
It can sometimes take hours to manually plot out the optimum delivery schedule for a day’s deliveries. Multiply that across several delivery vehicles and you have a real headache.
A TMS will automatically search and plan out an optimum route – based on your own parameters – giving you the fastest, most efficient route for your vehicle fleet. This can save so much time for a company. One Balloon customer used to spend two and a half hours a day planning seven of his routes. This reduced to 40 minutes when they implemented a Springboard Delivery TMS – a saving of nearly 75% of their time.
2. Your delivery costs are high
With pressure to win the customers in the first place and then to get their packages to them as quickly as possible, distributors and retailers increasingly offer free delivery or promise speedy delivery times. To meet these demands and provide the kind of service their customers expect, delivery costs need to be minimised.
The automatic route optimisation functionality that a TMS provides can help reduce the travel times for your fleet. Not only will your customers receive their goods sooner, but you benefit from a reduction in fuel costs too.
3. You’re searching through paperwork to answer customer queries
Do you often find you’re searching through paperwork for proof of delivery (POD) when a customer has a query? A TMS is far more efficient. The POD is captured and stored electronically, making it easier and faster to find in the event of a customer query. Furthermore, with direct integration to your ERP or order system, the POD is automatically stored against the transaction for ease of access from the accounts & sales teams.
A TMS negates the need for any paperwork. There’s no more issues with lost or slow to search paperwork. It’s all saved automatically and – in the case of Springboard Delivery – is uploaded to a cloud database.
4. You don’t know where your delivery vans are
When a customer calls to chase their delivery, but you can’t get hold of the driver, you simply aren’t able to provide an adequate level of customer service, because you have no idea where your van is. A TMS can track vehicles in real time. So you’re not only able to see on the route schedule where your driver is, you can tell your customer exactly how many drops there are in the queue before his/hers.
A TMS with real-time tracking can also help you to understand how well your drivers are performing. It can show location, delivery progress and even vehicle speed.
5. Your drivers are manually logging deliveries
Are your drivers writing down package delivery times and noting them against delivery addresses? This slows down the delivery process and is open to errors too.
With barcode scanning in a TMS, the admin time taken for each delivery can be reduced, and inaccuracy is completed eliminated. The driver simply scans the package barcode, which logs the delivery time against the delivery address.
6. You’re having trouble proving delivery has taken place
Have you had problems with proving delivery has taken place? Perhaps you’ve mislaid a sheet of delivery signatures, or worse, maybe the customer is stating that someone has faked their signature and fraudulently received their package. A TMS can capture geolocation and add a timestamp to deliveries. And with a TMS like Springboard Delivery, you can even use the camera functionality of your Android devices to photograph the recipient receiving the package, or to prove that you left it where they asked you to.
If you’re experiencing any of these six situations, then it’s time to implement a TMS. Balloon One’s Springboard Delivery app is a cross-platform application with routing, vehicle tracking and proof of delivery. Watch a demo of the Balloon One Springboard Delivery app or download the Springboard Delivery Datasheet.