TMW TRANSFORUM, ORLANDO – Approximately 2,000 attendees participated in a schedule full of educational sessions and industry panels at TMW Systems annual user conference Sept. 14-15. TMW also introduced a menu of new features for many of its product offerings.
In opening the conference, TMW president David Wangler noted that trucking is an “Industry that makes the most of time, and time is one of the most precious commodities for any company,” tying into the conferences theme to “Make the Most of Now.”
Trucking companies “manage the time it takes to transport things in hundreds of ways,” he said – from planning the time required for a particular trip, to managing the time it takes to service and repair vehicles. And while fleets can’t alter the distance between two points, they can manage the time it takes to cover that distance by using software tools designed to improve efficiency.
He pointed out that society seems to be in undergoing a “maker movement.” From local artisans to do-it-yourselfers to chefs, “we are always making things,” perhaps as a backlash against inferior, mass-produced goods, or a simple desire to do something yourself in the case of DIY. And as this movement elevates the value of making and fixing things, perhaps the work mechanics and others who work with their hands do can be seen as more valuable.
But even back office personnel are making things, he said – they make plans, they make decisions, and it’s important that all “makers” have the right kinds of tools at their disposal.
And that’s where the software that transportation companies use comes into play – it allows them to make better plans and better decisions and also helps those in the shop or behind the wheel do their jobs.
“We get the maker movement – that’s what we do day in and day out,” Wangler said. And the company strives to deliver the kinds of tools that customers can use to make their own customized solutions.
TMW introduced a number of new features to its product lineup during the event, including:
- TMWSuite fuel dispatch software provides tools for fuel transporters, whether upstream or downstream to make better planning decisions such as forecasting demand. In a follow up interview, Wangler said TMW had started work on products for fuel and oil transportation companies some years ago by learning how those customers work. By getting access to what’s in the tanks and historical sales data, they developed a forecasting model to predict the amount of fuel customers will need.
- Additional rating capabilities were added to TMWSuite brokerage software through integration with 3G-TM’s software. It provides users a way to more accurately rate shipments and thus offer competitive price quotes.
- Improvements to TMW operations software featured new efficiency for planners and dispatchers with a commodity based loading guidelines and enhanced cross-dock capability.
- Improved support for agent-based pay scenarios in TMW back office helps companies grow by using an agent model.
- For LTL operations, new features incorporate rail reservation and drayage capabilities along with route optimization from TMW’s Appian DirectRoute.
- A redesigned handheld solution for Android devices in TruckMate is designed to improve data collection and reduce loading errors.
- Business intelligence improvements in TMW’s Data Warehouse is meant to help transportation companies make better use of their data. “What separates the most successful companies from the rest or the pack is how they make use of the data produced every day, Wangler said. The service allows fleets to combine many little things into “the magic of big data.”
- Enhancements to Innovative IED features integrations with new mobile comm providers, fuel card providers and fuel purchase software and a web-based mobile application.
- New features for Appian software include an optional Google geocoding function, the ability to run multiple routing scenarios and automated functions that reduce manual route uploads.
- A tire analyzer app in TMW’s asset management software measures and records air pressure and tread depth by wheel position.
- New capabilities in ExpertFuel includes in-cab directions to fuel stops and fuel pricing feeds from EFS and Comdata.