How to use TMS software to increase delivery efficiency

by Matt Corby, 15 June 2021

3 important steps to a faster, more profitable transport business

It’s pretty simple: increasing your delivery efficiency means you’ll get your goods delivered faster than your competitors. 

Now that’s a recipe for repeat business, isn’t it?

Transport and logistics are booming right now. Unfortunately there’s also no shortage of competition. If you can’t do it, someone else definitely can.

So, how can you increase delivery efficiency to ensure you get your goods into consumers’ hands as fast as possible?

Are you still manually allocating drivers, scheduling runs and missing time windows?

Let’s take a quick look at how an automated TMS can help you run a more efficient (and more profitable) delivery business.

1. Manage your drivers’ schedules

The most important thing that you can do to increase operational efficiency? Manage your driver schedules in the most efficient way possible. You’ll increase delivery efficiency, tightening costs and saving time.

How? Use your TMS software to manage your runs

Manage runs according to location or frequency. Your software will let you view maximum loaded weights and see overloaded vehicles, so you can pre-plan jobs with multiple legs. A handy feature to have is to be able to bulk-edit and re-assign jobs to different drivers or dates.

A fully-featured TMS will also provide you with detailed reports so you can calculate fleet data, check weights and measure delivery efficiency.

This all helps you to: make informed decisions, tighten your whole operation and ultimately raise your profits (via cost reduction) when you increase delivery efficiency.

2. Use route optimisation to stay on track

Today’s consumers and retailers expect your delivery to arrive when you say it will. You need to be sure that your driver will meet every allocated time window over their entire work day. When a delivery service arrives early it can be just as disruptive and frustrating as arriving late.

Route optimisation software turns route allocation into a one-step process. So you take the time and hassle out of planning trips and also feel reassured that you’re making an efficient delivery. Scan deliveries into the app, press one button and your software will calculate the best route for you.

  In just a few moments, it takes into account things like:

  • a driver’s workflow
  • the order of their stops
  • distance between stops
  • required time windows
  • historical delivery data.

Once the most efficient route is generated, your drivers can be guided by turn-by-turn navigation.

Being sure you have accurate departure and arrival times means you know you can meet those time windows. So not only will you increase delivery efficiency, you’ll meet (or exceed) KPIs and you’ll meet your performance metrics. 

3. Minimise wasted space and time with allocation management

If you know exactly what’s with each driver and where that driver is, you’ll increase delivery efficiency when you need to solve overdue pickups quickly

No more cross-town trips or having some vehicles only half loaded, and then some overfull, just to get the goods delivered on time.

A fully-featured TMS software gives you 100% visibility at any given time. Available drivers are sorted by location, so you’ll know who’s closest to the pickup point. 

In addition to their GPS position, you’ll see what they’ve got on board and where they’re heading next. You can check a live view of load details and match this to available nearby drivers. As quick as you can say ‘uh-oh…’ drivers are on the road again.

With real-time information on the status of live jobs, it’s never been easier to match the best driver for the pickup at the last minute.

To increase delivery efficiency, a little driver insight goes a long way

It can’t all be about the software, though, can it? Your drivers are a goldmine of knowledge: they know their routes and they know their customers.

So, make sure to check in with them too if you want to really increase delivery efficiency. They can help you in myriad ways. The two main ones are:

  1. Identify traffic bottlenecks and peak times. You know, that roundabout that always backs up for school pick up but not if it’s school holidays.
  2. Tell you which customers will slow them down. Some customers simply need more time added per stop so they don’t throw off future delivery schedules (remember those time windows and the importance of meeting expectations).

You can help your drivers, too, and they’ll thank you with their hard work. Try asking them if there are:

  • specific start or end locations that will give them job flexibility?
  • areas they’re more familiar with and can get around easily?

Showing your staff you care is a surefire way to inspire loyalty and a strong work ethic, and ultimately see increased delivery efficiency.

Find out more about leveraging a TMS for increased delivery efficiency

Has this article got you reconsidering the benefits of an automated TMS? It’s a huge change to contemplate, we know. We can talk you through how it might work in your business if you get in touch, or read more about how to implement a TMS. 

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