A Transportation Management System (TMS) can offer huge benefits for manufacturers, distribution companies, and anyone who ships freight. The benefits go way beyond lowering the cost of shipping freight by helping to reduce costs throughout the entire transportation process.
Transportation Management Systems help companies move freight from origin to destination efficiently, reliably, and cost effectively. A TMS serves as the logistics hub for route planning, load optimization, freight audit and payment, order visibility, carrier management and much more.
But is every TMS the same?
Not every TMS is the same. Here is what you need to know before selecting a TMS for your business.
1. Upfront costs can be high
In most cases, your business will need to budget accordingly and prepare for a costly bill. At BlueGrace Logistics we offer our TMS to our customers as part of our business partnership package. Having a powerful and user-friendly TMS is a benefit to both our customers and to our staff.
2. It takes time
A full implementation and integration for a TMS can take several months and there will have to be upgrades every few months to ensure efficiency. It is true that integrating a TMS with other systems can take time, but at BlueGrace our in-house IT team works directly with yours to integrate almost any ERP system into our BlueShip product.
3. IT Staff
Will your IT staff be able to integrate the software into your ERP system? If you find that your staff will not be able to handle the work load for implementations and upgrades, you can partner with our IT staff at BlueGrace Logistics; we can help manage the upgrades and integrations.
4. Ongoing Management
Who will be using the system and how many people do you have on staff dedicated to transportation that would be logging into the system on a daily basis? We would recommend having a specialist dedicated to this system that is able to provide direct reports to your organization. Your team at BlueGrace will also be available to work closely with your team daily to answer questions, correct issues and instruct them how to maximize the system.
5. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
You will need to decide what exactly you will be using the TMS software for. Will your freight bills be invoiced into the TMS via EDI’s or API’s from freight carriers? Will the system manage accruals and freight cost allocation? If you answered yes, these variables would need multiple licenses and different departments working in the software during the implementation and attribute to the ongoing success of the software.
This all becomes before transportation procurement, negotiating with carriers, getting the carriers to EDI tracking, and invoicing into your TMS. Your new team at BlueGrace will discuss all these options before any integration takes place. We will work together to determine what KPIs matter most and report on them so we both know which KPIs are being hit and which may be a miss.
This whole process can be and will be overwhelming to most.
Partnering with a transportation management provider that has the dedicated resources as far as IT, transportation procurement, dedicated support, project management, finance, and operations is often a better option.
So, do the hard and soft costs outweigh the benefit of implementing a TMS software platform for your business exclusively?
Take the time to discuss with BlueGrace your needs before you shop for a new TMS. You will find that we offer all of the tools of a standard TMS. We combine that with the ability to integrate the TMS, monitor KPIs, handle disputes and provide customer support for all your shipments.