Realizing a New Vision for TMS Design

Cloud-based TMS software provides tools needed to achieve transportation optimization
What transportation and logistics professionals expect from their software is continuously evolving, and software developers must find new ways to keep pace with those expectations. This evolution has been accelerated by the simplicity that people experience in their everyday lives with their phones and tablets. At MercuryGate, we believe that transportation management software needs to evolve and adjust to the way our customers work. We constantly seek ways to make our software faster and easier to use so that our customers can be more productive.
A couple of years ago, we set out on a new project to redesign our user interface with the goal of setting a new standard by which all transportation management system (TMS) user interfaces would be measured against. Ambitious? Perhaps, but we believe our newly launched TMS user interface is exactly what we set out to achieve. This is more than just a new look and feel.  The interface introduces a new era of simplicity and data awareness for Transportation Management System software that is truly designed around the user, their needs and how they want to get work done.
Available now is a new, faster, more dynamic interface to help maximize productivity and efficiency by providing quick access to the most critical and frequent functions and aligning to the real workflow of transportation management professionals. This project is more than a year in development and was built on feedback from many of MercuryGate users.
See the new TMS user interface in action in this short preview.

Creating a ‘Near-Zero’ Click Experience

One of the guiding principles in developing the new interface is to reduce the number of clicks or actions required to complete a task. We looked very closely at click counts for tasks, and our goal was to drop those clicks to as close to zero as possible. And, what you’ll see in the new user interface is that we have reduced many tasks from 3 or 4 clicks to 1 or, in some cases, none. It may feel incremental, but fewer clicks means more efficiency, less wasted action and getting more done faster so that you can focus on higher value work.
Creating a great experience begins with creating a leading-edge visual appearance with a clean, attractive design with strong use of typography and color. But, just because a software interface looks good, doesn’t mean it’s useful. What you display is as important, or more important, than how you display it.  More than just a great looking design, the interface is truly a new experience designed around the user of Transportation Management System (TMS) software.  We have shifted the focus from simple feature/functionality to making every interaction with the TMS the best experience it can be, with speed being a measurable output of form.
At the core of this new interface are the new intelligent information displays that quickly convey the most important information to the user. New custom icons help convey multiple elements at a glance. The new interface allows us to drive users’ eyes to where they need to look and what they need to see next. We are putting more information in front of the user than ever, with the intent of helping users get the information they need faster to support faster decisions.

New Features of the TMS User Interface

The most striking changes in the new interface are on the home page when you log in and start the workday. The new Report Dashboard portal provides a control-tower view of what’s due, what’s upcoming and what’s overdue. At a glance, you can organize your work and prioritize what needs to get done first with your most important tasks displayed in a colorful, table layout. You can easily view these tasks consolidated across execution loads, customer loads, invoices and routes. And, you control how you want these items classified.
Another big change that you’ll see is a completely new home screen, where the screen has been re-designed to put an unprecedented amount of relevant information about active routes and loads right in front of you. This means less scrolling, fewer windows and less clicking to get the information you need. You can drive your entire TMS workflow from this intuitive screen with no need to flip from one window to another.
Key elements on the home screen include:
  • A new list screen with related data organized together in stacked, thematic columns to eliminate horizontal scrolling.
  • Contextual hovers for loads, stops, carriers, customers and rates, which allow you to display deeper levels of information without leaving the home screen.
  • A convenient Navigation Menu positioned on the left of the screen can be expanded or collapsed to provide access to Routes, Loads and Analytics, as well as an Admin menu and a configurable list of portlets.
  • The Button Bar across the top of the screen allows you to create loads, quotes, or other record types, with quick access to calculators and a currency converter, without leaving the home screen.
Everything you need is within reach of just a simple click or two (or no clicks at all), saving you time and reducing hassles of uncovering the data you need to do your work.

Taking Cues from the Modern Workspace

Ultimately, the heart of an application lies at its core with how well aligned it is to the flow of the user’s work. And, this new interface is designed to fit with how today’s professionals want to work. For instance, we know many of our customers work from more than just one screen. In this modern, multi-tasking world, you probably have at least two screens. The interface has been enabled to support dual-screen environments, allowing you to drag windows in the interface to a second screen to get even more done, faster.
Managing the Interrupted Workflow
As finely tuned as your workflow may be, most transportation professionals face frequent interruptions throughout the day that can create havoc with that workflow. You start the day with a set of priorities. You are going down that list of tasks and getting things done, feeling productive when the calls start rolling in. You now have to go deal with those issues, or perhaps you jot down the issue on a sticky note and post it to your monitor. You’ll get back to it later, right? After all, you can’t just stop in the middle of the task you were completing.
We’ve recognized that most people experience these frequent interruptions for various reasons, and we’ve made it easier to find the information you need, edit it, and get back to what you were doing in just a few minutes. No more relying on sticky notes to keep track of your backlog of tasks.
In the new interface, there is a single, consolidated search screen that searches across execution loads, customer loads, and invoices all at once. On the results page, you can click on a record and make edits directly from the search results screen, or you can open a separate detail page if you want to see a deeper level of information and make the edits on the detail page.
Getting back to where you were prior to the interruption is as simple as going to the Recent expansion tab at the bottom of the screen. The Recent tab is like your web history, but smarter, allowing you to resume your work with a single click.
Managing your workday while handling the unforeseen daily issues will be easier. You’ll get more done and stay on top of critical activities.

Making the Switch to the New TMS User Interface

If you are new to MercuryGate, you’ll be able to get the new interface from day one. For our existing customers who are currently on the legacy workflow, contact your account executive to discuss how to upgrade. Either way, we invite you to see it for yourself — schedule a more comprehensive demo of the new TMS user interface today.

Request a MercuryGate Demo to Get Started

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