Building a Business Case for TMS: How to Develop a Compelling Argument That Drives Investment

Adopting a robust transportation management system (TMS) is one of the best ways for companies to take their logistics operations to the next level. But in order to secure investment, supply chain managers first need to gain buy-in from their leaders—making it essential to build a strong business case.

To complicate things, managers may be required to pitch various stakeholders across the business and convince them that a TMS is a crucial tool. Since different departments will have varying priorities, tailoring the pitch to each stakeholder’s specific needs and interests is important here. Luckily, there are three core pillars that most arguments will be built around: it’s only the details that you’ll need to adjust.

To help you make a strong argument for why a TMS is not only a worthwhile but a vital investment, here are the foundations your business case should be built on.

Reduced transportation costs

A robust TMS can help shippers slash transportation costs in multiple ways. First, the system can automatically determine the optimal carrier and route for each shipment in a fraction of the amount of time it would have taken an employee to source and compare the information necessary to do the same. This also ensures that every team member is able to optimize shipment planning, regardless of tribal knowledge or pre-existing relationships with carriers that could easily be lost if an employee decides to leave.

Second, a TMS makes it easier to source and compare spot quotes—which is useful at the best of times and essential during economic downturns when carriers may no longer offer or honor contractual pricing. By utilizing a TMS to automate the spot quote process, shippers can source a larger pool of quotes in less time and encourage carriers to bid more competitively, helping to drive costs down.

Third, a TMS makes capacity issues a thing of the past. Where shippers might once have struggled to find capacity among the dozen or so carriers they relied on, forcing them to use more expensive options to get freight out on time, a TMS enables them to bring more carriers into the process. This is especially true with Honeybee TMS™, CTSI-Global’s proprietary system, which empowers shippers to tap into our 20,020-strong network of trusted, pre-vetted carriers to find the capacity they need, at the right rate.

Honeybee TMS’s load optimization algorithm also allows companies to fully utilize each trailer and container (or take advantage of less-than-truckload shipping options), which can further bring costs down. Poor planning can result in shippers paying for more space on the truck than they really need—but with Honeybee TMS, that won’t be a problem.

Improved processes

As budgets tighten and pressures increase, many supply chain managers are being asked to do a lot more with far fewer resources. A TMS makes this possible by allowing teams to harness the power of automation.

With the system handling everyday tasks, employees can manage by exception, only stepping in when the TMS flags a potential issue—freeing them up to focus on more tactical initiatives and big-picture strategy. And by automating processes that would often require extensive manual effort, the potential for human error is greatly reduced.

A TMS also allows leaders to put certain rules and validations in place at the corporate level. This is especially valuable for companies with multiple locations since leaders can standardize shipping processes across the board—preventing any facilities from acting in a bubble. In doing so, they can easily mitigate risk and prevent unruly spending while still retaining enough flexibility to allow adjustments at the regional level.

Increased visibility

Without a TMS, monitoring shipments with any degree of accuracy is virtually impossible. By investing in a TMS, shippers can rely on in-transit tracking tools to quickly identify shipments that have run into trouble, allowing them to deploy contingency plans and save client relationships. The system also enables shippers to evaluate carrier performance on a regular basis, giving them the information they need to make smarter decisions when it comes time to renew a contract or renegotiate a rate.

A TMS also provides robust reporting capabilities that allow shippers to gain a clear and nuanced view of the supply chain from end to end. Supply chain managers can assess their key performance indicators (KPIs) at a glance or drill down for more granular information—helping them pinpoint cost-saving opportunities and areas for improvement.

Another benefit: data is a powerful tool that can inform future decision-making. Predictive analytics can help shippers improve their forecasting—and get ready for what’s to come.

Build a business case that leaders can’t refuse

Crafting a compelling business case can be tricky—but you don’t have to do it alone.

At CTSI-Global, we regularly work with supply chain professionals to help them communicate the wide-reaching benefits of a TMS. We built Honeybee TMS™ from the ground up, so we know it through and through—and we’re here to help you achieve the buy-in you need to discover its benefits for yourself.

Open leaders’ eyes to the true value a TMS can bring. Contact us today.

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