What is meant by back office?
The back office in the transport industry
The back office manages all the carrier’s logistics processes. Back office staff take care of the ordering process – from initial order thru’ to invoicing – and of transportation planning. Over the past few years, several software applications have been launched to support the back office in these tasks. These tools help carriers work more efficiently and productively. The fleet management system and transport management system are the best-known applications. In addition, there are solutions for trailer management, Warehouse Management (WMS) and invoicing software, all designed to support the logistics process.
Back office and track & trace systems
The track & trace functionality allows back office staff to monitor the fleet on the road, in real time. A black box, which is built into the vehicle, facilitates the tracking system through GPS technology. Up-to-date information on the status and position is automatically sent to the central server, mostly via GPRS. In this way, the home office can track the GPS position and monitor aspects like speed, direction, route travelled and ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival), for every truck and any other fleet vehicle.
Back office and fleet management system (FMS)
Fleet management refers to the management of a carrier’s fleet and drivers. A fleet management system automates fleet management processes, thereby allowing the back office to enhance productivity of logistics processes, while reducing costs. On-board computers provide mobile data to the FMS. The data that the back office exchanges with the drivers in real time is displayed on the on-board computer.
Back office and transport management system (TMS)
TMS is a sector-specific Enterprise Resource Planning system (ERP), which is increasingly used in logistics companies. TMS back office software helps transport companies plan ahead, convert orders into files and automatically send information on the available cargo, stopping places, remaining driving and resting times or assets to the drivers. In addition, the FMS processes the information that the drivers send from their trucks. This information is useful for the back office to accurately calculate costs.