TMS & WMS : complementary software, essential for an agile and omnichannel supply chain

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New distribution channels, atomization of orders, fluctuating demand, need for greater visibility… To meet the demands of a constantly changing market, logistics organizations must always do more. To meet the demands of a constantly changing market, logistics organizations have to do more and more, with less and less, in a context of increasing complexity of flows, control of environmental impact, pressure on margins and costs, and shortage of transport and manpower.

This is a difficult equation, combining agility and omnichannel, with customer satisfaction at stake. At the forefront of this daily challenge is the logistics function, the company’s new showcase. Inventory control, order preparation, transport management… It is now a determining factor. The good news is that there are digital solutions for optimal management and organization. Among them, two are essential: the WMS* and the TMS*.

That’s why DDS Logistics, the leader in TMS in France, and ACSEP , a WMS expert, wanted to share their feedback and advice on the implementation of these software programs and the changes in the logistics organization in the face of its new challenges.

WMS and TMS software : Act on data and performance

From receiving to the implementation of KPI’s, through storage optimization, process scheduling, order preparation and shipping, the WMS software ensures the transfer, exchange and provision of data, in real time. Based on a customized mapping of the company’s logistic scheme, it helps the collaboration between the different actors of the chain, facilitates the operators’ work and finally guarantees a better customer satisfaction.

In the same way, in an omnichannel and agile mode, the transport TMS software also ensures the same level of coverage throughout the transport process. It collects, tracks and transmits all events up to the delivery of the parcels. From exchanges with the WMS, it is able to integrate orders, manage their chartering, appointment management, shipping and delivery. At the same time, it automates and ensures cost control, the various choices in terms of modes of transport or service providers and allows to ensure a better economic and environmental performance of the transport function.

Two transport and logistics solutions serving a common process 

Both capable of integrating orders, planning their preparation and shipping through multiple combinations, WMS software as TMS software have a common purpose: steering and communication at the service of logistics optimization. If for many years, the ERP, the central core of the company, was mainly coordinated with a warehouse management tool and a transport management solution to ensure the steering of warehouse operations, today new elements are changing the deal.

From now on, the client is the principal. He has the right to decide and even more to change his mind. Behind it, logistics is adapting. In addition to this necessary agility, the arrival of the OMS (Order Management System), whose main function is the intelligent management of stocks to accompany the management of logistics and transport flows. Finally, collaboration and the advent of dedicated portals to facilitate exchanges throughout the supply chain. “Almost 100% of our customers want this type of portal to be made available”, emphasizes Jean-Pierre Gautier, ACSEP’s Business Director.

For his part, Jérôme Bour, CEO of DDS Logistics insists on the development of modular transport solutions that allow for faster exchanges with partners, and on smaller budgets than before. “In the past, the use of a TMS software was considered from 5 million euros of transport budget. Today, we are on smaller budgets. Through the development of collaborative platforms such as Join2ship, the implementation threshold has been lowered considerably, making them accessible to SMEs in particular. ”

A joint integration for successful digitization of its supply chain 

Efficient and accessible, these solutions must nevertheless be integrated into an existing IT and organizational environment. It is therefore important, when embarking on an implementation project, to ask the right questions, control the risks and integrate the right decision factors. Because when it comes to sharing information, ensuring traceability and adding value to the logistics service, initiating this type of approach pays off.

A complete analysis of its processes, the development of precise specifications and possibly a POC* are prerequisites for the project. The integration of key users, partner departments (purchasing, sales, marketing, etc.) and external collaborators is also necessary prior to the start-up. Finally, it is also necessary to carry out concrete actions, such as the implementation of tests during the project and the assurance of maintenance in operational conditions.

Understand the roles of each solution.

But how to clearly determine the role of each of these tools? Who should drive, who should schedule? For the two experts, there is no single answer. A flow driven by the customer order or pushed to the warehouse will not have the same impact on the logistics organization. The variety of situations leads to multiple challenges in the implementation of these solutions. So, for the most accurate process, it is important to clearly identify your needs.

When it comes to WMS, volumes, work units, warehouse size, and the number of operators on site are among the many decision criteria to be examined before making the move. The latter then allows :

  • A complete view of available stock in real time 
  • Precise feedback on articles 
  • A scheduling of the organization 
  • A complete follow-up of the orders until their expedition 
  • Traceability of warehouse flows 

As far as TMS is concerned, the transport software allows :  

  • A better choice of carrier, mode of transport and offers 
  • A follow-up of the order outside the site 
  • A vision of the customer constraint, ETA or delivery appointment 
  • Increased collaboration with carriers and customers 
  • Management of tariffs and pre-invoicing of transport 

Fast and sustainable returns on investment.

Accompanied by your WMS or TMS editor, you then establish a process tailored to the needs of your organization, having understood the various operational benefits offered by these solutions. Quickly, the implementation of these digital tools results in sustainable gains and return on investment on direct costs, productivity & service quality.

The main WMS ROI: 

  • Optimization of space and means 
  • Increase in productivity 
  • Stock accuracy 
  • Optimization of filling rates  
  • Reduction of the error rate 

The main TMS ROI : 

  • Control of transport costs per product, 
  • Digitalization of processes and documents 
  • Agility in the face of hazards 
  • Quality of service measurement 
  • Reduction of CO2 emissions per product transported

To learn about your needs, answer your questions, and support you in your logistics and transportation optimization and digitalization process, find all the details of our intervention in the replay of our webinar

webinar acsep dds

*WMS: Warehouse Management System, is computer software to optimize and manage inventory management within a warehouse. 

*TMS : Transport Management System , is a software to optimize and manage its transport organization .

*POC Preuve du concept – Prototype.

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