Serving as a centralized logistics management hub, a transportation management system (TMS) can help supply chain professionals gain greater visibility into their operations, reduce freight expenses, and increase efficiency. But does it make a difference which TMS solution you choose?
Short answer? Absolutely. A big difference.
The quality of TMS software can vary significantly from one provider to the next. And while shippers might assume that the most expensive solution is the superior one, this isn’t always necessarily the case. There are ultimately a lot of factors that go into determining the best logistics software for any given company, encompassing both the power and flexibility of the solution itself and the specific needs of the shipper.
Here are a few significant factors to consider when weighing up potential TMS solutions—so you can find the superior option for your business.
Scope and usefulness of features
A TMS can boast all the bells and whistles imaginable—but if a shipper isn’t going to use the majority of them, they’re more apt to get in the way and confuse people than they are to streamline operations. Instead, shippers should focus on identifying the core features that will solve real business problems for them, then look for a system that ticks off all the right boxes.
Depending on a businesses’ priorities, core features could include:
- Order management
- Load optimization
- Parcel manifesting
- Carrier selection
- Shipment execution
- Event management and tracking
- Claims management
- Easy-to-read reports and dashboards
It’s also important to note whether a system is cloud-based or not. Even if employees are primarily interacting with the TMS on-site, recent events have proven how critical it is to have the flexibility to access tools remotely if you need to.
Ease of deployment and use
After evaluating whether a logistics TMS has all the desired features, the next significant consideration should be ease of deployment and use.
Unfortunately, some TMS deployments drag on for years—or fail before they fully get off the ground. And even after a company’s new system is in place, it’s no good if no one knows how to use it. If employees are reverting to doing things manually because they can’t work the TMS, then the implementation has been a failure.
Superior solutions include expert support and guidance during implementation (and on an ongoing basis) and intuitive dashboards and features that empower employees to quickly get up to speed and make the most of the tool. They also make it easy for supply chain managers to produce accurate, easy-to-read reports built around key performance indicators (KPIs) that they can take to their leaders to drive better decision making.
Weak solutions, on the other hand, tend to lack robust reporting capabilities, confuse employees with cluttered dashboards, and feature little support during roll-out.
Customization and integration capabilities
One way to separate a superior TMS solution from a lackluster one is to ask about customization options.
Weak systems and repackaged white-labeled software can rarely be customized to suit a company’s exact needs. This can also make it challenging to integrate the solution with any other enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems that a shipper uses, which may result in siloed data, inefficient workarounds, and frustrated employees.
With a native system, this shouldn’t be a problem. At CTSI-Global, for example, we developed our own proprietary TMS, which allows us to work closely with companies to tailor the system to their needs.
Not every TMS solution is designed equal
Evaluating some TMS solutions is like comparing apples to oranges. There’s simply no competition.
CTSI-Global’s industry-leading, cloud-based transportation management system is robust, intuitive, and fully customizable. We developed the system in-house, and our expert staff works with clients every step of the way to ensure a successful roll-out and rapid return on investment.
Don’t settle for less than the best. Contact CTSI-Global today.