December 2018 | How-To | Ten Tips

Selecting a Cloud-based TMS

Tags: Logistics I.T., Transportation Management Systems (TMS), Logistics, Technology

Selecting and implementing a SaaS-based Transportation Management System (TMS) requires careful thought. Future users and decision-makers need to:

1. Establish clear goals and priorities in advance. Clearly understanding your priorities and goals in advance will help narrow your TMS search to only those SaaS platforms that meet your needs. Calculate the expected return on investment. Cloud-based TMS platforms may have quicker implementation times, leading to faster ROI.

2. Get key stakeholders on board early. Get a clear understanding of your business needs by looping in key stakeholders early in the process to avoid delays and setbacks. Think about how financial teams, procurement, and warehouse employees can leverage the TMS.

3. Look for AGILE vendors THAT can grow with you. The TMS vendor you select should be able to scale with you as your business needs change. Some cloud-based TMS solutions offer lots of flexibility by starting with basic functionality that can be expanded through adding advanced modules. This means that you only pay for the features you need.

4. SEEK a user-friendly interface. User experience should be a big part of your selection process; make sure that the daily users will actually be able to use it. A TMS with customizable dashboards and tools will also help keep operations flowing smoothly.

5. Ask how long the typical implementation takes. Long implementation times can drastically eat into your ROI. The technology won't do your business any good if implementation times last many months or even years.

6. See what others are saying. Before you select and implement a TMS, refer to review sites such as Capterra, Software Advice, and Gartner Peer Insights to get feedback from other buyers.

7. Look for packaged ERP integrations. Integrating your TMS with your ERP system can bring enormous efficiencies. If these integrations are out-of-the-box, they can be implemented quickly so that you can see ROI immediately. By integrating your TMS and ERP, you'll reduce the need to re-enter information between systems and facilitate the rapid creation of shipments with correct documentation.

8. Ask about the carrier network and ease of onboarding carriers. . The more carriers you have to choose from, the more likely it is that you'll find the best rate for each shipment. Check to make sure the TMS doesn't limit you to certain carriers as that could stifle your opportunities for savings and efficiency. If you can easily connect all the carriers of your choosing, you'll have a better chance of finding available trucks during the capacity crunch.

9. Take a test drive. One of the best ways to get a feel for the interface and see if the functionality will fit your business needs is to test the platform yourself. Find out if there is a freemium version of the tech or if a free trial is available. Giving yourself some time to check out the tool in a risk-free environment will help you make a final decision when selecting a TMS to implement.

10 Get a demo. Seeing is believing and a demo can help you make a final decision on your cloud-based SaaS TMS. During the demo, you'll be able to ask all of your questions and get answers directly from an expert. You may discover features that you didn't know about or uncover obstacles you need to tackle before you get further into the process.

Source: Dan Clark, Founder and President, Kuebix






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