Choosing the right transportation management system for your company can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Whether you’re a first-time TMS buyer or a long-time user looking for an upgrade, all you need to do is arm yourself with the right questions to ask before starting your TMS search.
Answering These Questions Will Help You Find the Right TMS for Your Company
Step One: Understand Your Business
The best place to start is to understand how your company operates and could most efficiently leverage a transportation management system. Having a complete understanding of how your company runs its logistics operations will give you a solid foundation to work from. Before doing research on specific TMS systems available, make sure you know how your logistics operations run.
- ☑ How many modes of transportation does my company ship with?
- ☑ How many shipments does my company make per month?
- ☑ Do we operate out of multiple locations?
- ☑ Are there multiple people at my company involved in the shipping process?
- ☑ Do we use an ERP system to streamline orders?
- ☑ Is routing and shipment consolidation a challenge right now?
- ☑ How many invoices do we audit each month?
Click here to discover which solution is right for your business: https://www.kuebix.com/productrec/
Step Two: Understand Your Goals
Understanding why you need a transportation management system will ensure that you implement a TMS that is right for your business. Ask yourself these questions to prepare yourself with a list of “must-haves” before you start researching the industry.
- ☑ What type of ROI do I need to see from a TMS? What’s most important:
- • Time savings
- • Bottom-line savings
- • Error mitigation savings
- ☑ Does the system need to be highly user-friendly for non-technical users?
- ☑ Will this technology need to be able to grow and adapt as our business needs change?
- ☑ How much do we want to spend on implementation? How much on subscription costs?
- ☑ How quickly do we need to be up and running with this new technology?
- ☑ Will we need to integrate to any internal systems?
- ☑ Do we want to attain full visibility to all of our shipments?
- ☑ Are we looking for a way to find additional spot volume when our regularly negotiated rates don’t cover a load?
Step Three: Understand the Market
Now that you have a solid understanding of your operational functionality laid, you’ll quickly be able to eliminate unsuitable types of transportation management systems. For example, some systems brand themselves as complete TMS solutions, but are in reality, only rate aggregators. If you are looking for a place to conduct all of your logistics operations, you’ll know right away that a simple solution like a rate aggregator won’t work for your company. Alternatively, you may be able to eliminate other TMS solutions that require you to purchase all available features, even ones you won’t use. This will help to narrow down the field quickly.
In your day to day life you probably rely on word-of-mouth and review sites to make important purchases. Buying a TMS shouldn’t be any different. Make sure to check out reputable review sites and research from 3rd party consultancies. These will give you unbiased accounts of the top TMS options available on the market.
Check out these resources to discover some of the leading TMS vendors:
- • 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for TMS
- • 2019 Critical Capabilities for TMS
- • Gartner Peer Insights
- • Capterra
- • G2 Crowd
Step Four: Understand a Specific Transportation Management System
Once you’ve reviewed some of the leading research and review sites to discover which TMS solutions have the best reputations for success, you’re ready to dive into researching specific TMSs. Below is a list of questions you should answer when evaluating a specific transportation management system. These questions will help you choose the right TMS for your business.
Download this list as a PDF to have with you during your evaluation process.
- ☑ How do current customers rank this TMS on review sites? (Gartner Peer Insights, Capterra, G2)
- ☑ What will the implementation process look like and what is the expected turn-around time?
- ☑ Will this TMS work for teams across my company? (Logistics, sales, customer support, etc.)
- ☑ Are there benefits for being a member of this TMS’ community such as a spot market?
- ☑ Will this TMS save me time with a user friendly UI and simple processes?
- ☑ Does this TMS have a history of creating outstanding ROI for its users?
- ☑ Does this TMS give preferential treatment to any carriers or brokers?
- ☑ Will this TMS be able to adapt and grow alongside my business?
- ☑ Can I manage all modes of transportation with this TMS?
- ☑ Is this TMS cloud-based or a monolithic, in-house model
By following these four steps you will be in the best position to choose the TMS that is right for your business. Click here to contact Kuebix and we would be happy to work with you directly to help you understand your company’s specific needs. After all, the decision to implement a transportation management system can have positive ramifications throughout your entire company and we want to make sure you get the most benefits from your final choice.