This year has reminded everyone to expect the unexpected – even in the supply chain which is one of the most unflappable industries out there! Covid-19 has disrupted the logistics operations of companies throughout the U.S. Technology is rapidly advancing as new tools and integrations become available and consumer shopping habits have been directly affected in the process. In order to overcome these and many other challenges, companies can leverage the latest supply chain technology and find mutually beneficial opportunities with one another as part of connected logistics networks. Understanding the state of the industry and how it relates to the TMS market is the first step any company trying to ‘weather the storm’ must understand.
We believe Gartner’s recently published research titled Gartner Research: Macro Trends Affecting the Transportation Management System Market offers insight regarding current trends that are influencing the buying process for transportation management systems (TMS) and is a great place for any potential technology user to start with. It’s important that logistics professionals understand these trends as it will empower them to make better informed decisions when selecting technology for their supply chain.
Leverage this report to:
- • Evaluate key factors such as usability, ease of implementation, and carrier networks
- • Understand important trends shaping the TMS industry
- • Identify TMS vendors that bring innovation to a changing marketplace
One of the major trends affecting the buying process for transportation management systems is the constant maturing of technology. As technology advances, consumer expectations heighten. Think of it like the “Amazon Effect.” Now that the world knows 2-day shipping is possible, everyone starts to expect this from every retailer, not just Amazon. Factors like user experience and implementation times are becoming more important. TMS providers have to work harder to meet these expectations, but it’s up to the potential buyer to determine whether they will be up and running quickly enough to generate rapid ROI. Additionally, if the TMS doesn’t provide a user-friendly user interface (UI), it doesn’t matter how many bells and whistles the technology has if teams won’t adopt it into their everyday operations.
Nearly all transportation management systems on the market today are cloud-based, even those legacy systems with their main capabilities based in hardware are trying to play catch up. Solutions that are cloud-based make it easier for users to store data and regularly update software. As more digital networks and platforms arise in the transportation industry, providers continue to expand their capabilities and work together to create partnerships and integrations.
Technology is constantly evolving and as a result, shippers are thinking ahead before investing in a TMS. Decision making is no longer focused solely on the software’s current features but rather a combination of its current functionality and efforts to expand partnerships and capabilities. Shippers want a transportation management system that will be able to grow alongside their needs and take on new challenges in an uncertain market.
These trends and their impact on the market are important for shipping companies planning to grow their business in 2021. Understanding the effects of Covid-19, a changing technology landscape and consumer expectations will help any company make the best decisions for their supply chains in the face of uncertainty.
Gartner, Macro Trends Affecting the Transportation Management System Market, 17 September 2020, Bart De Muynck, Brock Johns, Carly West, Oscar Sanchez Duran