How to Know When the Limitations of TMS Are Hurting More Than Helping

How to Know When the Limitations of TMS Are Hurting More Than Helping

Advancements in supply chain technology, including robotic process automation (RPA), big data analytics, and software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms, have broken down barriers to efficiency and made big promises. Unfortunately, not all transportation management systems (TMS) platforms are created equally, nor do they all carry the enterprise-level of sophistication and value. And that problem is only growing worse as the global TMS market expands. As explained by Global Trade Magazine, “The TMS market is growing globally, and for a good reason. Common objectives like controlling costs, establishing internal efficiencies, and managing capacity restrictions have established the need for technology that provides uninterrupted visibility across the supply chain and helps streamline operations.” As a result, supply chain leaders need to know the top signs to recognize when the limitations of TMS solutions are hurting the organization more than helping.

Limited Visibility Results in Missed Pickups

Missed pickups and deliveries are indications that the limitations of TMS software are beginning to fall short of offering full logistics management. When carriers or trading partners cannot keep their obligations, provided they were notified of them in the first place, it is time to consider a new TMS implementation or platform.

Users Cannot Access Data in Real-Time

Another of the top limitations of TMS software revolves around the accuracy and timeliness of data. In today’s world, outdated data can have disastrous consequences. As reported by Supply Chain Brain, “Navigating the supply chain challenges of today requires timely, accurate, and holistic visibility into a company’s transportation operations. But that doesn’t mean access to more spreadsheets containing old data; instead, success relies on a shipper’s ability to view the entire network in real-time and easily access critical actionable information.” And when users cannot access data in real-time or experience disruptions during routine operations, the limitations of the software are beginning to hurt your process further.

Updates Are Time Consuming and Disruptive

On the topic of disruptions, frequent updates to a TMS platform are inevitable. Software developers are continuously looking for ways to add more functionality and data-rich functions to the best media. However, that ongoing process alludes to one of the limitations of TMS software that can go overlooked. When updates become excessively time-consuming and disruptive to your supply chain’s overall flow, it is an indicator that the limitations of TMS software are beginning to reach their breaking point.

Freight Spend Continues to Climb Despite “Promised ROI”

Fly-by-night TMS vendors have built their reputations on promising a more substantial ROI. However, any successful TMS should continuously add value through realistic returns and process improvements.

The System Lacks Multimodal Optimization

Today’s consumer has high expectations for everything. This is the Amazon Effect on steroids, contributing to an increased demand for faster, lower-cost shipping. Offering free shipping to customers is one side of the equation. But the remainder of the equation rests on lowering the overhead expenses experienced by the shipper or transportation network. If the system cannot offer multimodal optimization, it may be time for a serious upgrade.

Overcome the Limitations of TMS Software With a World-Class, Enterprise Solution

There is a perception that maintaining the status quo is a way to handle supply chain growth. However, the pandemic and the significant disruptions of 2020 taught supply chain leaders that working within the limitations of TMS software may be a recipe for disaster. Supply chain leaders need to recognize when the limitations of TMS software are indeed hurting more than helping and intervene accordingly.

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