Pro Tips

Should you scrap your plans to implement a TMS during an economic downturn?

What time is it when an elephant sits on your fence?  Obviously, it’s time to get a new fence. What about when it’s CV-19?

Some things can’t be controlled. Maybe you had plans to implement a Transportation Management System (TMS). Suddenly the priority is in question. What can you do?

Implementing solutions with a positive ROI that support your remote workforce while helping your customers should remain a top priority. Sometimes, the things we don’t plan for is what finally pushes us into action.

How can you make a successful transition in uncertain times? By finding the right system, and a company that guides you through the process.

Prioritize TMS Selection Criteria for the Times

Before you abandon or postpone your project, ask yourself, do the business case and ROI fundamentals remain strong? Do you need to reduce your investment?

Can the solution quickly improve visibility and communication across your organization, not just within the shipping department?

By re-evaluating and prioritizing your selection criteria, you may find a strong case to continue. Think about ease of implementation, transparency, and upfront costs.

It’s easy to get caught up in the complex and feature rich TMS offerings like globalization, fleet routing, and freight order management when making a decision.  Instead, focus on a solution that can be up and running fast.  Once you achieve early results, your project will gain support and momentum.  Then consider expanding into more complex functionality like optimization.

If you’re looking to lower upfront investment costs, consider proven TMS solutions offered as a service by transportation management companies. These days, powerful technology-based solutions can be contracted with little or no upfront costs. Some are highly configurable with a strong baseline of preconfigured best practices. Increase transparency and get better employee output.

But, how? Choose a system that supports obtaining your goals, and a company that guides you through the process. With less friction, your transition is faster and easier.

Small or Medium Size Business with Limited Resources? Consider Managed Transportation as a Service

Maybe you’re concerned about the budget and resources to implement a new TMS. Maybe you don’t have time to operate one. Understandable, but waiting for an optimal situation may not be the solution either.

Consider partnering with a company that guides you and provides the hands to implement your new TMS. Even better, they’ll operate it and manage your freight as well.  Many can bring in a leveraged rate platform that immediately saves you money on your freight.

While it may be hard to give up control of daily operational tasks, it can be worth it if you gain better control in areas most important to your business.

Instead of operating in the weeds, determine and manage your vital outcomes. Keep control of the bigger decisions.

What about your logistics strategy? A good transportation management company helps create and execute a strategy by serving as your guide. But you will want to continue to own the key decisions.

For example, in strategy creation, you should make the final decisions on key scorecard metrics. You’ll finalize your on-time, tender accept, tracking, invoice accuracy, cost/pound requirements.  In addition, you determine which of your existing service providers, you want to include in the new process.

Once you are out of the weeds, spend your newfound time building better relationships with your customers, vendors and employees. For some, the newfound time will enable you to become a more effective leader for your organization.

When making your decision on which solution is the best fit for your organization, consider the ease of implementation. Will it move quickly and seamlessly? The smoother your solution, the faster you’ll experience benefits.

These are challenging times for small and medium sized businesses. Those who continue a disciplined march toward improvement will come out better positioned for success.

A Chance to Exercise Adaptability

Operating in today’s fast pace of change, a business needs to adapt quickly to survive. It’s become even more apparent with CV-19.

Prioritize benefits for your organization, whether through a TMS that you implement and run or by choosing a managed transportation service to do it for you.

While the decision criteria for your Transportation Management System may not have changed, how heavily you consider each of the criteria probably did. That’s okay — it’s called adapting.

Whatever your goals, the solution should achieve early results and be flexible, transparent, and accessible. Your tools should make your employees tasks seem routine.

Adaptability is vital when implementing a new system or service. Choose a company that is flexible enough to work with you each step of the way, guiding you for an easier, seamless transition.