Choosing the right transportation management system (TMS) can completely revolutionize the way a company operates, increasing efficiency across the supply chain. But finding the right partner is just as important as deciding which bells and whistles to pay for.
In an earlier article, we looked at the features companies should consider before investing in a new TMS. Today, let’s look at what makes a great TMS provider—and how companies can evaluate their long-term potential before signing a contract.
Understand global reach
To succeed in today’s intensely competitive global marketplace, companies need to know their TMS provider can support them wherever they are. That requires finding a partner with global reach and local knowledge. Without both, companies may struggle to enter emerging markets, handle country-specific compliance and regulatory issues, and navigate regional business customs.
The trouble is, many providers that claim to have a global reach do not offer responsive on-the-ground support outside of the U.S. Instead of owning their global facilities, they outsource the work, often maintaining little oversight over what’s being done under their name. This can leave companies stranded when something goes wrong, struggling to get in touch with their vendor at critical moments.
If a vendor’s revenue is generated entirely within its origin country, then it probably isn’t the best fit for a global operation. The best vendors also offer globally available customer service—spanning multiple timezones and languages.
Rely on robust carrier networks
Many companies prioritize increased internal efficiencies as the main reason for investing in a TMS. While this is certainly important, one factor that is often overlooked when comparing vendors is whether or not they have a carrier network.
Best-in-class vendors can provide companies with access to a robust network of trusted carriers. This helps companies find rates that aren’t available elsewhere, all while streamlining and simplifying the vendor selection process.
In essence, the right TMS partner lets companies have the best of both worlds: the security and convenience of a network of pre-vetted carriers without the cost of maintaining an in-house fleet.
Turn to the data
Historically, companies have relied heavily on demand-driven data to inform their decisions. But advances in business intelligence (BI) technology have increased the accuracy of predictive analytics to the point where companies can be proactive rather than reactive—foreseeing trends and customer behavior and optimizing the supply chain accordingly. This improves asset planning and utilization, which can have a positive knock-on effect on customer service, performance, and profitability.
Leading TMS providers support a company’s BI efforts by providing key capabilities, like real-time data collection and visibility. They may also offer business intelligence solutions to help companies quickly synthesize and make sense of their data, ensuring no crucial insight goes unnoticed.
Look to the future
Investing in a TMS is a long-term commitment, and the last thing any company wants is for its TMS provider to go out of business six months into their engagement. As such, the long-term viability of the partnership should be a key consideration.
This goes beyond financial viability. Companies need to know that their TMS provider will not only meet their technological needs in the moment but will adapt and evolve to address new challenges in the future. If the vendor does not have a proven track record of innovation, then a company may soon find itself saddled with outdated systems that don’t meet its changing needs.
Partner with the right provider
Finding the right TMS provider can be tough—but it doesn’t have to be. For over 60 years, CTSI-Global has helped companies streamline their transportation needs, gain visibility, and boost efficiency across their supply chains.
Our industry-leading transportation management system can cut costs by optimizing a company’s processes—leading to greater profits and more satisfied customers. What’s more, we’re a truly global provider, with offices in the U.S., India, Singapore, and Ireland.
Find a partner that won’t let you down. Contact CTSI-Global today.