A Document Management System (DMS) is the perfect complement to a Transportation Management System (TMS).
A DMS is strong where many TMSs are weak, especially when it comes to capturing, indexing and processing documents.
As a result, a DMS helps overcome some common TMS challenges by pushing and pulling information between systems.
TMSs are designed to increase fleet efficiency, so this is where they devote their time and energy.
The upside is that they deliver great results on the fleet side of things. The downside is that they often fall short on dealing with the practicalities of back-office paperwork.
1. No Way to Ingest Documents
There’s often a gap between capturing documents and getting them into your TMS. This gap is often filled with people doing manual work, opening envelopes, scanning paper, dragging and dropping files, and keying in information.
A DMS helps close this gap by ingesting documents from a variety of sources. In particular, a mobile capture app can be used by drivers to send documents back to the office immediately upon delivery. This makes the process completely paperless and billing can happen within minutes of a load being delivered.
2. Too Much Indexing
Information from trip documents needs to be stored in a TMS, but the only way to get in there is to type in the information manually. This indexing of documents takes up time, leads to errors, and is boring repetitive work.
A DMS helps remove this work from the process by pulling and pushing information from the TMS. When using a mobile capture app, like Origin, a driver sees their loads in real-time and all documents they submit automatically get associated with the correct load.
That means that drivers don't have to type in load numbers and other information, and the documents arrive back at the office already indexed. This saves time, eliminates errors, and leads to faster billing.
3. Poor Document Visibility/Missing Documents
A TMS doesn’t always provide an easy way to search and view freight documents like BOLs, PODs, and accessorials.
A cloud-based DMS stores all documents in one location. No filing cabinets. No complicated network of folders and spreadsheets. Any document is only ever a simple search or a few clicks away.
A good DMS ensures that anyone within your organization can access documents from anywhere in seconds, leading to better customer service and a lot fewer missing documents.
What Else Can a DMS Do?
Overcoming these challenges is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what a DMS can do for a TMS.
Because a TMS makes processes more digital, it creates opportunities to automate more manual work. By implementing a DMS with powerful automation, you can capitalize on these opportunities to drive greater returns on your TMS investment.
Steele Roddick is a Content Specialist at Microdea where he creates content that helps transportation companies drive their business forward. He’s endlessly fascinated by technology trends, chess, and discovering new places to travel with his wife.