The importance of integrating a transport management system into your business cannot be underestimated. But the more important question is: how to choose a TMS provider?
While you can find a range of TMS in the market nowadays, remember that not all are built the same. Whether you’re looking for a comprehensive logistics solution or just need specific features to compliment your current system, choosing the right TMS provider can mean a world of benefits for your business.
3 Tips for Choosing the Right TMS Provider
Choosing a TMS provider that can help make your processes more efficient can seem daunting. You need to answer a lot of questions before making a decision.
First Tip: Understand Your Business
Before choosing the right TMS provider, it’s crucial to understand your business. Understand how your logistics operations run. Check your current systems. Many TMS providers offer a one-stop solution to your logistics needs. If your business already has systems in place in some areas, you will want your TMS to be able to integrate to these existing systems. Integration is a critical component of any TMS implementation, and not all TMS’s have the ability to integrate into other systems.
Second Tip: Identify Your Goals
Your goals for a TMS simply reflect what you want to gain from the TMS—aka the features and benefits of a TMS. Identifying your goals and outlining the benefits you seek to acquire can help you create a checklist you can use to evaluate each TMS provider.
Common goals for adopting a new TMS include:
- Automation of transactions (fewer errors or incorrect billing)
- Easier tracking and tracing of orders
- Improved supply chain visibility (real-time data and better forecasts)
- Time and money savings
- Integration and compatibility with current systems
- Enhanced collaboration and teamwork
- Improved customer service and overall customer satisfaction
- Cash-flow optimisation (cost reduction and revenue growth)
- Security and scalability
Third Tip: Evaluate TMS Providers
Now that you have identified your goals and the benefits you aim for, it’s time to do your research on the different transport management systems available in the market. By this time, you should be able to eliminate the TMS providers unsuitable for your business. This will help you narrow down your list.
To evaluate TMS providers, use the checklist of goals, benefits, and questions you created. When dealing with a TMS provider, you want to make sure your current needs will be met. Asking questions can help you understand what each TMS provider offers and how they can help you run your logistics operations more efficiently.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a TMS Provider
Deciding on which TMS provider to implement requires careful thought because it can be expensive. Money, effort, and time may be at stake. As a business, you need to keep a sharp eye on your spending to minimise expenses and maximise revenue.
Check Available Integrations
In complex networks, the integrations available in a TMS reduce manual processes, minimise errors, and make your whole logistics operation more efficient. Some TMS integrations allow you to manage, schedule, and track trailers, view real-time analytics, and integrate an ordering system for a smoother flow of logistics and transportation data.
Keep Your Customers in Mind
Businesses put their customers at the heart of their decisions, including choosing a TMS provider. Select a TMS that can significantly enhance customer communication. A TMS that provides accurate, real-time, and secure data about order status should be preferred.
Consider Your Present and Future Needs
A TMS is a long-term investment. As such, make sure you understand both your current and future needs. Don’t pay for a TMS that offers more features than you need. However, the right transport management system also enables you to scale and add functionality in the future.
Customer Service and Technical Support
Besides the system itself, another thing to consider is the customer service or technical support available for users. An excellent TMS provider is highly responsive and able to provide timely support. Remember, a new TMS means new experiences and learnings. The transition process is especially challenging and requires technical support to prevent TMS implementation mistakes.
Look for Credibility and Reliability
Just like how you seek credibility with other service providers, you should look for a TMS provider with a reliable system and proven record. A good TMS provider should be able to provide real examples of how they meet certain business needs. Check if a vendor has case studies from similar businesses.
In this fast-paced society we live in, everything is undergoing rapid changes. Logistics and transportation aren’t exempted. One way to keep up with these changes is by implementing a reliable transport management system like Cario. Choosing the right TMS provider can set your business up to higher levels when it comes to performance and growth. Don’t rush your decision and choose wisely.