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Integrating GPS Tracking into Transportation Management

By Verizon Connect November 19, 2020

For many organizations, the supply chain continues to become more complex and demanding, making effective fleet management, logistics management and enterprise resource planning (ERP) increasingly important. Unfortunately, the logistics management systems many companies have in place don’t always provide the level of visibility and automation they need once a vehicle leaves a warehouse or distribution center with a shipment.

Integrating GPS tracking into a company’s overall transportation and logistics operations can address this gap and deliver real value to carriers, owner-operators, truck drivers, shippers and even the end customer.

What is logistics management?

Logistics management is a part of supply chain management responsible for planning and facilitating the movement of goods from the point of origin (e.g., a factory or distribution center) to the point of consumption (e.g., a store or consumer’s home). This typically includes the departments that receive materials and supplies into a business (inbound logistics) and warehousing, stocking and shipping operations (outbound logistics).

Because of the critical role it plays within the supply chain, effective logistics management can have a significant impact on a business. Benefits include:

  • Better customer satisfaction: With efficient logistics, businesses are able to decrease disruptions and improve the speed and reliability of their deliveries.
  • Improved transparency: Insight into every step of the supply chain helps businesses highlight areas in need of improvement and reassure customers that their products arrive in their hands in the best condition.
  • Cost savings: A proper level of logistics processes will give a company control over freight as it moves in and out of their facilities, and help with inventory management and order processing—all of which can help cut costs significantly.

Logistics Management Systems (LMS) are generally focused on the movement of products, rather than the vehicles used to transport the products (sometimes referred to as transportation management software).

In many cases, this involves intermodal distribution channels using different types of transport such as a combination of road and rail. To track the entire end-to-end supply chain, businesses will often use a Transportation Management System (TMS) to manage transportation planning and operations.

How does TMS work?

A TMS is a solution that’s designed to streamline and automate the shipping process—from load planning and carrier selection to dispatch capabilities and invoicing. TMS is primarily used by businesses that ship and receive goods on a regular basis, such as manufacturers and distributors, ecommerce and retail businesses and logistics service providers.

Due the volume and frequency of the shipments, a TMS can provide significant financial and operational benefits:

  • Reduced costs for the business and the end customer
  • Automation of business operations for fast and accurate billing and documentation
  • Fewer manual steps, resulting in fewer delays and fast delivery times
  • New business insights as detailed reporting leads to fast action and process improvement
  • Improved customer service and satisfaction with near real-time updates and fewer shipment delays

Find out how you can achieve seamless integration with your transportation managment system.

Integrating GPS tracking into a TMS

While a TMS can help manage truckload planning and dispatch, tracking a shipment often remains a highly manual process that lacks true visibility. As a result, dispatchers must create schedules without a clear view of all drivers’ locations or remaining hours, and then manually enter data into multiple systems—possibly leading to mistakes. Likewise, drivers often struggle to manage their loads and can waste valuable time switching between multiple apps to check their schedules and Hours of Service, or to provide status updates when they arrive or leave a location.

By integrating GPS tracking into a TMS, businesses can monitor the movement of goods, in near real time, from origin all the way to the final destination and end consumer. This visibility enables more accurate shipment and progress estimates while reducing manual processes and unnecessary communication between customers and drivers.

Key benefits of an integrated TMS and GPS solution include:

  • A holistic view of both fleet and freight management in one system integration.
  • The power to automate forms and reduce paperwork that can help with operational efficiency.
  • Improved driver satisfaction and retention with a user-friendly modern app experience.
  • Better on-time percentages and improved customer satisfaction with freight updates.

TMS integration through Verizon Connect

In order to provide a more holistic, seamless logistics management solution, Verizon Connect has partnered with Xenolytic Data Solutions to provide a robust TMS integration with TMW and McLeod Software. This customized integration between TMS providers and Verizon Connect’s fleet management solution provides a fully integrated experience for trucking dispatch and operations management.

This integration provides a number of key benefits for dispatchers, including near real-time GPS vehicle locations and drivers’ HOS data to help improve visibility and make informed decisions. Automatic data sharing between systems such as vehicle and driver synchronization, geofence creation at customer locations and shift/load schedules can help to reduce admin efforts and errors.

Verizon Connect’s integrated solution also provides a number of benefits to truck drivers, including:

  • Visibility and quick access to shift schedules.
  • The ability to better manage with details including unload info, directions and site maps.
  • Automatic load status for arrivals and departures.
  • Viewable, up to date HOS data to review alongside load schedules.

In today’s challenging supply chain landscape, bringing telematics and load management together provides greater visibility for better dispatching and an improved driver and customer experience for freight delivery. Find out more about integrating Verizon Connect products into your TMS system.

Verizon Connect

Verizon Connect Staff represents a team of professionals passionate about everything telematics. Get to hear about the latest trends, product features and industry best practices from the desk of Verizon Connect Staff.

Tags: Fleet utilization, Cost control

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