By James Stevenson VP, Appian Software, TMW Systems, www.tmwsystems.com
Routing and tracking systems can be an easier alternative to complex TMS (transportation management software).
Distribution and service organizations, particularly those with larger fleets, may be using TMS to receive, plan, and execute orders from their internal or external customers. The need for visibility of drivers has led many logistics service providers to integrate their TMS systems with GPS fleet tracking data so that location information is constantly updated for dispatchers. GPS readings can be tied to order information in a TMS system for greater shipment visibility and to automate back office workflows such as billing.
An expansive TMS system can do many things well, but it may be overkill for many organizations with field service staff, regional delivery, or service routes. These companies may simply need a way to plan regular trips for their drivers and to maintain visibility of route progress. An integrated vehicle routing and tracking system can function as a basic dispatch platform and an economical TMS alternative to meet this need.