If you work in logistics, you’ve likely heard the term TMS before. TMS is the acronym of a transportation management system. A TMS is a software program that allows you to manage your entire supply chain, including your internal logistics department, suppliers, warehouses, carriers, vendors, etc. Having a TMS for your supply chain can help provide your company with greater visibility, better reporting, and improved performance through automating many manual processes. Many companies use a TMS for their logistics management, like e-commerce companies, retail businesses, manufacturers, distributors, even logistics service providers such as 3PLs (like us!). If you’re reading this article, more than likely you’re interested in a TMS but are hesitant. Let’s talk through some of those hesitancies and see if we can help resolve them.
Most fear losing control of their logistics operations or that it won’t be done correctly. However, a best-in-class TMS allows you to decide the amount of control you would like to have. You can opt for a TMS that integrates with your current system, using your own carriers and rates. Or if you want to be more “hands-off” you can outsource your TMS with a 3PL that provides software, account management, and use of their carrier relationships and rates. If you’re in between, you can have help with account management but still be involved and a mix of your own carriers and rates and your 3PL’s carriers.
Even with all those options, no matter your role in logistics management, a TMS isn’t going to do it all for you. Instead, technology like a TMS simply helps you do your job more efficiently by automating those very manual and time-consuming tasks that we do every day!
This is often a misconception. With software as a service (Saas) and a cloud-based or web-based TMS, sometimes there are no costly up-front investments. It also means you won’t have to worry about having software installed on company servers and continuously managing updates.
It really depends on your logistics needs and the solutions your provider can offer you. At Trinity, we offer technology solutions for companies of all sizes and with different levels of services. A TMS can often end up saving you money in the long term by helping you better manage your freight spend and performance.
No business is too small! And even if you don’t want anything to change in your process, change is inevitable as it will happen in your industry and business. Will your business be ready for when that happens?
It’s vital to adopt technology, like a TMS, into your business before you grow too fast rather than waiting until while you are growing quickly. What you have in place may work for now, but when your business really starts growing, the cost and time to manage your workload will be growing too. Can your process handle that?
We all know change can come quickly and unexpectedly, causing disruptions in our processes.
A TMS can help you be better prepared and ready for any changes.
Some TMS’s can be difficult to navigate and if there’s not a lot of support, you may abandon it. But a best-in-class TMS should be user-friendly and configurable to the needs of each individual user. You should also have access to a support system that can help you when needed.
There’s a big difference between purchasing software to use from a company and working with a 3PL that offers it as a solution. Considering a 3PL often uses their own TMS, they’ll know how to use it and help you. Quality TMS providers will work with you to make sure the TMS meshes well with your other systems.
If you work with several different shipments, it can be time-consuming and overwhelming to be on the phone or going from website to website asking for rates from carriers in your network. Contacting all those carriers for your different shipments and keeping track of those quotes can take you away from the other important aspects of your business.
We know that not all shipment is the same. Some shipments need temperature control, require special delivery services, or need to be handled with extreme care. Because of that, not all shipments are handled by the same carrier. There are carriers best suited to handle all your shipment needs. However, managing them all can be difficult.
As mentioned above, most often all your freight is not hauled by the same carrier. It can be common for several different shipments to be in transit aboard different company trucks and all over the country/world. Because of this, freight tracking can be challenging. Without a TMS, there will have to be someone entering shipment numbers into forms on several different carrier sites.
Without proper reporting from a TMS, it can be hard to gather data to determine which carrier was the cheapest throughout this past year. Or analyze which carrier had the best performance. Or find out what your freight costs were on certain lanes.
Not all TMS’s may generate the reporting you need, but a best-in-class TMS can off you advanced reporting to go into specific logistics metrics. Without TMS technology to offer you data-driven insight into your business, can you really know how you are doing year over year?
We understand. Committing to a TMS can be a big change. We listened and heard you.
That’s why we now offer our Customer Portal for shippers working with Trinity. There’s no commitment, no additional charges, with a sample of TMS technology right at your fingertips.
Track your shipments, request quotes, view invoices, and historical quotes. See how easy it is.
Start shipping with us today to gain access.
We’re here and ready to help you with your logistics management. Our combination of experienced account management and best-in-class TMS technology offers you a customized solution to help achieve your unique supply chain goals. Through Trinity’s Managed Services, there’s no need to worry about an out-of-the-box solution that doesn’t fully meet your needs.
Whether you’re looking for Saas, a Managed TMS, a full Integrated Outsource, or something in between, we’ll work with you to design a solution unique to your business, not the other way around. You’ll gain control, visibility, improved performance, reduce costs, and eliminate manual, time-consuming processes.
So, what do you have to lose?
Looking to learn more about Trinity’s unique TMS solutions? Schedule a risk-free live demo with Ryan O’Halloran to learn more about our customizable solutions.
AUTHOR: CHRISTINE MORRIS
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