What to look for when purchasing a TMS

What to look for when purchasing a TMS

Digital transport management is generally more efficient than manual processing of the individual work steps, from order entry to route planning to processing invoices. Therefore, it is generally advisable to use a Transport Management System (TMS). However, there are a few matters to consider when purchasing one. We will give you a few tips here.

Key issues in the acquisition of a TMS

If a logistics service provider decides to purchase a TMS – whether for the very first time or to replace the existing one – they should take sufficient time in selecting the system. It is important that it is tailored to the individual requirements of the company.

Investing in an unsuitable TMS will not get you anywhere. Worse than manual transport management is a company’s attempt to optimize its processes with a system that does not fit its operational requirements and structures.

The following questions will help prevent this from happening:

  • Which work steps are to be integrated? The more manual processes are eliminated, the more efficient transport management is. Therefore, systems with a wide range of functions (including order entry, planning, execution, freight cost processing) and interfaces to systems used in operations (including ERP, WMS, CMR) make sense.
  • Which modes of transport should be included? Not every TMS is equally suitable for road, rail, water and air transport.
  • Which flows should be included? The system should meet the relevant needs of import and export transports, for example.
  • How complex is the transport network? A company that mainly drives routes from A to B has different requirements for software than a company that drives tours with several stops.
  • How can loads be well distributed? A good TMS is able to optimize the utilization of the transport modes.
  • Does the TMS provider attach importance to sustainability? Companies that want to reduce their carbon footprint are well advised to go with solutions from providers who have made this their own mission statement.
  • How flexibly can the solution be adapted to changing conditions? When selecting a TMS, companies should make sure that it also offers the option of reacting to unplanned changes in general conditions.
  • How long does the implementation take and when is the right time for it? Depending on the logistics processes and the TMS solution, the implementation process can vary in length and complexity.

TMS yes, but the right one at the right time!

Furthermore, it is important that the TMS is purchased at the right time. Even if the digital helper usually has a positive effect on the efficiency of the transport business, there is another limitation besides choosing the wrong system.

If the structural conditions in a company make an efficiency-enhancing implementation of a TMS impossible, the investment should initially be postponed. As soon as the general conditions fit, the acquisition/conversion is worthwhile. The important thing here is that…

  •  … the transport processes are clearly defined and have been well analyzed. Only then can a company accurately specify its requirements for software.
  • … the goals must be clear. If it is not clear what is to be improved by a TMS, it is difficult to measure and evaluate the effects after the implementation.
  • … the company and the employees are ready for change. If those who have to work with it block the introduction of a (new) system, process optimization will fail.

If you are still undecided or need help with your selection, please feel free to contact us.