Transportation Management Systems
March 31, 2014
Transportation Management Systems (TMS) have changed the way companies do business. Handling transportation planning, TMS transformed the way United Parcel Service (UPS) executes their delivery business. Enabling what once was a small business by providing assistance in managing the shipping and receiving of retailers, manufacturers and suppliers goods, United Parcel Service (UPS) is now an international servicing company. The conjoined efforts of UPS and its TMS have allowed brick-and-mortar businesses to focus on core competencies and customer service by eliminating the shipping and receiving responsibility. In this composition basic uses of the TMS within UPS will be discussed. Addressing the factors that influenced the need for a developed transportation system, this article will cover the influences involved in the growth of a TMS system within companies such as UPS.
IDENTIFIYING TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
Transportation management system is a subset of supply chain management (SCM) software focused on transportation logistics. Connecting cities, manufactures, retailers and consumers, this system consolidates shipping and plans destination or travel routes. TMS was introduced to the supply chain process in the 1980s (McCrea, 2012). The sole intention of the system creation is to make the distribution of products from manufacturers to consumers efficient and affordable. This system is available to companies such as United Parcel Service (UPS) in many forms; standalone software packages, integrated into enterprise resource planning systems (ERP) or accessible online in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). UPS utilizes TMS integrated into the ERP and offers the consumer SaaS solutions to easily schedule and track the delivery process. The infrastructure of UPS is extensive, specifically adapted to the needs of parcel collection. UPS implemented a developed form of transportation management in and around 1975. This system consisted of primary delivery executed via public transit or on foot. Shortly after this time UPS progressed, starting with a local area they currently service forty-eight additional states becoming the common carrier (in the United States). During this expansion time of its service area, UPS is thinking globally and shifting its attention to developing a more efficient method of delivery. TMS transforms UPS
Beginning as a private messenger and delivery service in the nineteen hundreds UPS is a successful developing business. It was during this time phones and transportation were not what they are today. The need for a private messenger, as a form of communication, in urban populated areas was in high demand. Then the telephone evolved and the general public found less of a need for private delivery. Able to have a conversation instantly via the phone service, writing letters was not as popular. Ironically the telephone negatively impacted UPSs and at the same time a boom in department store deliveries came about. Consumers placing phone orders attempt to pick up their purchase, to found out without a vehicle getting the purchases home was nearly impossible. The consumers relied on the retailers to assist in getting the purchases to their requested destination. The department stores discovering that their existing systems were unable to handle the request, invested in the assistance of parcel delivery. UPS became the distribution and or delivery option of the department stores. This required advancement in UPS TMS system. Business-to-business (B2B) relationships developed supplementing the business lost from no longer servicing as a private messenger. Back in business UPS needed to find a way to effectively take on the increase in demand for delivery service to and from brick-and-mortar businesses. Consolidation of freight is what they did, combining...
References: McCrea, Bridget (2013). Supply Chain and logistics technology; 8 trends driving TMS adoption. Retrieved March 18, 2014 from
Rodrigue, Dr. Jean-Paul (2014). UPS: Logistics management of distribution networks. The Geography of Transport Systems. Retrieved March 18, 2014 from
United Parcel Service. Technology support, Transportation management systems. Ups.Com Retrieved March 18, 2014 from http://www.ups.com/content/us/en/resources/techsupport/alliances/application_tms.html
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