Mistakes to avoid when using a TMS
By: Phil Sneed
There is no denying that transportation management systems are now an integral part of the trucking industry. In more ways than one, the modern delivery system would not be nearly as efficient without these programs, which allow shippers, carriers, receivers and loaders to track shipments, effectively communicate with each other and manage shipping routes for cost efficiency.
Even with the sophistication these systems provide and the benefits of streamlining shipping operations, it is still vitally important fleets know what mistakes to avoid. Mistakes, no matter their scope, can severely harm the business operations for an extended period of time.
With that in mind, here are some of the mistakes companies should look to avoid when using a TMS.
Utilizing a limited program
Today's TMSs offer a wide range of feature and benefits, so much so that some may be overlooked. By only focusing on a limited use of a TMS, organizations unnecessarily further complicate the supply chain.
To remedy this issue, a TMS needs to be used in a robust and thorough way, GTG Technology Group stated. This type of TMS will help companies paint a complete picture of the entire supply chain and provide information on every possible facet.
For example, oil and gas distributors may notice they are spending too much on transportation, yet because they were lacking a robust TMS, the excess costs were not able to be identified. A TMS solves this issue.
Is it user-friendly?
Software always must strike the perfect balance between user-friendliness and robust functionality. Even if a program is the most powerful on the market, it won't do a business any good if users have difficulty using it. Time spent figuring out basic features is time wasted from other matters.
"Software always must strike the perfect balance between user-friendliness and functionality."
Transportation companies will have to find a TMS that is able to provide the functionality required but is not too overly difficult to operate. Additionally, IT teams will likely need to determine if the TMS is safe to use.
When searching for a vendor, companies should try to test out the software before committing to it. Trial runs will help ensure any discomfort using the TMS is spotted earlier rather than later when it might be more harmful.
Ignoring the scale
Business today will not be the same next year, or in two years. Because the American Trucking Associations projects even more growth for the industry, fleets will want a TMS that is scalable and flexible, meaning the software is able to handle increased workloads when needed.
A surge in business will mandate that companies be able to quickly meet demand without any downtime. Without a scalable TMS, there is an underlying risk to business operations that will not be a good reflection on the company's end.
Cloud-based TMSs represent an attractive way for a company to have the full power of a TMS with the flexibility needed at a time when the trucking industry is growing.
Transportation management systems are powerful tools, but like other pieces of software, there are certain mistakes that should be avoided.