Transportation Management System (TMS)

Considering the search for a competitive advantage to achieve better positioning in globalized markets, the flow of products through company storage points must be agile.

Transportation has progressively gained more attention from businesses, who are focusing on the associated costs as well as organization and service capacity, both as a standalone and as an integrated entity in the supply chain.

Axional ERP/TMS responds to the need to reduce logistics and transportation costs while optimizing the management and monitoring of an increasing number of shipments.

Axional ERP/TMS provides visibility and includes agile and innovative solutions for the most demanding transportation management requirements.

Axional ERP/TMS combines features spanning from shipping and receiving to cross-docking. It suits all kinds of business regulations and company controls, and is fully integrated with Axional ERP and Axional WMS, enhancing business processes and visibility throughout the supply chain.

The characteristics of Axional ERP/TMS allow companies to record price lists, both from carriers and for clients, maintain a fleet, define transportation routes with multiple characteristics, make freight inventories, assign drivers and shipment units, and monitor carriers in real time.

The main characteristics of Axional ERP/TMS include:

  • Transportation planning and management, both from an internal and external (outsourced) point of view.
  • Integration into the supply chain through Axional SCM.
  • Transport monitoring in real time.
  • Productivity analysis of carriers and workers.
  • Transportation invoicing.
  • Detailed inventory of fleets for a complete record of business vehicles.
  • Allows you to apply ISO standards to transportation management.
  • Complete record of past shipping and receiving with the associated transport, facilitating cost analysis.
  • Multiple types of searches and queries.
  • Interfaces with mobile terminals.
  • Wireless technology.
  • Communication by printing, fax, email or EDI, all of which may be used independently.

Characteristics

Commercial terms and conditions

Rates

Axional ERP/TMS allows companies to integrate all sorts of rates agreed upon with carriers and customers, for companies that outsource as much as for companies that provide transportation and logistics services.

To define rates, multiple aspects of transportation are considered. These include selection criteria of a suitable rate for shipping or receiving, intended for eventual matching of the costs of transportation by external carriers to the value of services provided to external or internal customers.
When defining rates companies can factor in zones, groups of zones, means of transportation and dates of validity, with criteria shared by clients and suppliers.

Price lists are defined according to one or more price descriptions. Each description may be defined with multiple variables, based on the following list:

  • Type of transportation: rates based on the mode of transportation, shipment of products, consolidation of deliveries and shipment via cross-docking, or urgent deliveries.
  • Characteristics of the items associated with shipment orders, such as type of item, manufacturer, or item family.
  • Full or partial shipment.

The calculation of the final rate also offers a high level of configuration:

  • Base calculation defined according to attributes such as weight, volume, number of packages, number and type of containers, as well as transportation hours, number of different destinations (stops in the delivery route), Intrastat code, and/or fixed amount.
  • Calculation formula by amount or percentage (scaling) applied to ranges of values from the base calculation.

Likewise, to calculate transportation price rates for clients, it is possible to define a percentage margin of increase compared to transportation cost obtained according to the rate.

Assignment of rates

Axional ERP/TMS allows companies to assign rates by individual carrier or customer, or jointly according to:

  • Company or companies.
  • Business unit(s) requesting or offering transportation services.
  • Customer and address, for companies that provide transportation services.
  • Delivery data.
Contracts

Contracts can be defined to cover the functions of providers of transportation services to clients, as well as contracts with external suppliers.

Transportation routes

Axional ERP/TMS allows you to set transportation routes based on multiple configuration options that automatically assign transportation orders and preparation of shipment units to the right route.

Each route is composed of a series of stops and has a flexible definition that may incorporate a specific address or wider geographical area, such as logistical transportation zone, postal code, town, province or state, etc.

By assigning the order and priority of route stops, we can plan and optimize transportation itineraries.

Axional ERP/TMS provides a high degree of flexibility in route assignment by including aspects such as mode and type of transport, as well as carriers.

At the logistical level, the assignment of routes to shipment orders takes into consideration the warehouse or compound, valid weekdays/periods and shifts/hours of preparation, as well as volume and weight capacity of the shipment units.

Route definition is integrated with Axional Warehouse Management.

The preparation of complete shipments involves, for each unit, the planning and assignment of tasks inside the warehouse. It covers priority preparation zones and the location of loading / unloading docks.

Likewise, a vehicle may be assigned to a route in order to complete monitoring and supervision functionalities once a shipment route is launched.

Shipment units

Shipment units are the starting point for Axional ERP/TMS for most shipment and transportation processes. They constitute the basic transportation unit to which pending shipment orders, planned transportation routes, carrier availability, and transport capacity are all assigned.

Each shipment unit is made from different shipment orders, allowing users to group merchandise with a common destination but a different source or nature. For instance, material to be consumed vs. material to maintain stock levels in the destination warehouse vs. material to be distributed.

In addition, a shipment unit can include different delivery addresses, allowing a truck to be fully loaded with material for the same destination, or to be delivered to several destinations.

Integration with logistics and distribution

Axional ERP/TMS can operate in an integrated model with Axional ERP/SD and Axional WMS. In this model, freight orders that fulfill a shipment unit are created as a continuation of the picking process, or directly from sales orders for a given destination.

Preparation of shipment units includes:

  • Picking according to route.
  • Preparation schedule by route.
  • Preparation zones.
  • Docks of shipment / location.
Automatic generation of shipment units

Axional ERP/TMS allows you to automatically generate shipment units from shipment orders, optimizing shipment planning by considering the routes and assignment criteria.

The preparation of shipment units takes into consideration the grouping of shipment orders by delivery addresses or areas, as well as the volume and weight of the vehicle, in order to avoid exceeding capacity.

Subsequently, the assignment of shipment orders to transportation routes is assessed based on planned stops, mode of transportation, or the day(s) of the week when the route is valid.

Monitoring

Axional ERP/TMS has a set of key monitoring features that allow users to check the status of products linked to a freight order (waiting for preparation, pending shipment). Features that enhance the tracking capabilities of a shipment unit include:

  • Redistribution of freight orders between shipment units (transfer of freight orders from one shipment unit to another).
  • Picking of freight orders.
  • Deletion of picking proposals under consideration.
SMS Alerts

Advance SMS alerts can be sent to the receivers of freight orders.

Other features of shipment units
  • Validation of drivers’ licenses and other transportation licenses.
  • Issuing hazardous product documentation.

Receiving

  • Receiving units from several types of purchase source documents.
  • Same considerations as for shipment units regarding routes, zone assignment, cost items, and rates.
  • Same considerations as for shipment units regarding the generation of delivery notes based on transportation costs (freight costs).
  • Automatic assignment of a reception dock. For instance, the closest dock to the storage location of the products to be received.
  • Ability to define loading, unloading and mixed docks.
  • SMS alerts to drivers for the unloading dock.
  • Ability to verify a driver, license plate, certifications, license expiration date, and technical inspection.
  • Ability to close receiving unit with radio frequency, creating corresponding delivery notes.
  • Calendar of deliveries made from purchase orders.

Cross-docking

As a reflection on the speed of current logistics processes and the exact synchronization needed between receiving and distributing, Axional ERP/TMS provides cross-docking functionalities.

In this system of distribution logistics units are received in a distribution platform, and rather than being stored, are prepared for immediate shipping to various delivery points via a reception consolidation process followed by un-consolidation in multiple shipments.

Axional ERP/TMS manages cross-docking in special receiving units which allow the reshipment of one or more units received consolidated into shipping units. As such, upon reception as many shipping units are generated as there are types of packages assigned to customers or shipping addresses.

This also affects the route parameters in the system as well as fleet capacity, managing various shipping units according to the dimensions of the packages assigned to known delivery points.

Package Type Assignment
  1. Package types are set and, subsequently, associated with certain customers or delivery points for reshipment, then assigned to destinations for each customer and delivery point.
  2. Package types are associated with customers or delivery points for reshipment.
  3. Finally, destinations are assigned to each customer and reshipment.

Tracking

Employing the location tracking services of Axional Mobile, the database receives tracking of the position of vehicles, which may be used to report distances, time spent on a delivery, client queries about the location of a purchase, route optimization, etc.

GPS Tracking

Transport fleet vehicles have tracking capacities via real-time mapping of their GPS coordinates, representing stop points and the route followed by the vehicle.

Times and coordinates are stored for reference, which facilitates subsequent analysis and route optimization.

Location Tracking

GPS localization of stops for a shipping unit, done via an Android mobile device, enable tracking of completed and pending routes, relating location data to details of previous deliveries.

This allows companies to improve customer service and increase the use of field work.

Transportation Costs

Whether transportation is invoiced internally or a service contracted to external providers, Axional ERP/TMS provides automatic cost settlement based on the rates established.

Rates
  • Rate zone. Based on the route, a rate zone is calculated according to the transporter’s route criteria.
  • Price items. Automatic assignment of price items (costs of transportation on the invoice) based on the route, zone, and the transporter or customer’s rate. Aspects which may affect the automatic assignment of price items:
    • Transportation of merchandise shipments or reshipments, as well as whether urgent transport rates apply.
    • Characteristics of items associated to loading orders, such as item type, manufacturer, or family.
    • Complete or partial load.
  • Ability to assign cost items manually per shipping unit.
Expense Notes and Transportation Services
  • Based on invoice items reported manually per shipping unit, as well as items derived automatically from rates defined by the transporter.
  • Generation of expense notes for transporters based on cost calculation. May be for an entire unit or loading order (based on the type of shipping unit).
  • Forecasting of transport costs. Cost calculation before receiving the transporter’s invoice.
Invoicing

The automatic invoicing of transportation includes:

  • Invoice type
  • Payment method
  • Grouping criteria
  • Document record