5 Things to Consider When Choosing a TMS
4 minute read
A Transportation Management System (TMS) Is A Necessity.
In an industry where data flows are increasing at a rapid pace it’s nearly impossible to understand your logistics operation without a TMS. The days of collecting data over a long period, and then taking a few weeks to analyze it are over because the future is now. If you want to have the most efficient supply chain, data analysis must occur in minutes rather than months.
The best TMS is your control center, able to communicate in real-time with all relevant systems in your operation. In this scenario, it provides you with the current condition of any shipment inbound to your operation or outbound to your end customer. In addition, it supplies the size, weight, cost, location, ETAs, temperature, or any other information necessary to you or your customer’s operation.
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Considering a TMS: Look to the Future.
Many companies take the short look–what do we need today?–when considering a TMS. It’s not that today isn’t relevant, only that in a rapidly changing industry, looking to the future may be more important.
Let me explain. When you begin to consider a new TMS or a change in your TMS, you are committing to a long process. The first step is assembling a group who will study all TMS options. Next, you’ll participate in demos. After the first round of demos, the competition is reduced to two, maybe three options which is when you’ll participate in another round of demos. Yes, it really is this time-intensive.
When you finally make a decision, the process of implementation begins. And this is where the fun starts because implementation typically takes more time and energy than the initial search.
This lengthy and intensive process extracts a cost hard to put on paper and often overlooked. This cost, in time, money, and brainpower, is probably why many companies prefer to keep their current TMS even when it’s limiting their growth. Here is where integration is key. The core of any TMS should carry a constantly evolving history of updates while remaining highly integrative. Providers are always developing new and more efficient systems that offer valuable data updates to your operation. You MUST be able to integrate with those providers as they grow and change because you do not want to miss out on efficient access to new information.
Not only should it be easy to integrate with your TMS, customization according to your operations is a must. It doesn’t matter if you’re a shipper, broker or even carrier, you should be able to configure the system specific to your needs. And we’re not talking about customization through the TMS provider and a team of developers charging you tens of thousands of dollars for simple structure changes. The core platform must allow YOU to easily modify according to your needs.
User Interface (UI) and your TMS.
The next thing to consider is the user interface of the TMS. Is it easy to train for and use now? What do the last five years of UI improvements looked like? Do you have a roadmap for the next five? The folks using it today have different user experience expectations than those who began using it five years ago, as will those using it five years from now. If you plan to change systems every five-ten years, this isn’t an issue for you. You’ll gain much expertise in demos and implementations.
Let’s talk about accessibility for a minute. If your business never wants to operate outside their physical location and loves maintaining servers, having a TMS on server at your location may be your best option. You can access a server-based TMS remotely, but it’s not as clean as using a cloud-based system. If you want to offer users the same UI and access wherever internet access is available, you should consider a cloud-based system. Cloud-based systems also offer other advantages such as ease of integration with other systems.
Our TMS is the best: Here’s Why.
Here at AM Transport, we have invested time, money, and years of study into implementing and building the best TMS available. We provide customers and carriers the full power of our TMS and they gain these eight benefits among others.
Core platform is built on 10+ billion dollar leading cloud provider.
True CRM capabilities are standard and not an add-on.
Three core updates and four application updates annually.
Desktop, tablet, smartphone supported with office and mobile environments are identical.
Open API support for easy integrations.
Portal accessibility for all.
Web based user training.
If you want more information on how a TMS can benefit your business or would like to see our TMS in action, give us a call. We’d love to talk.