TMS Buyer’s Guide 2021: Tips to Get Company Stakeholders to Buy In

TMS System Buyer's Guide 2021

Selecting and implementing an enterprise transportation management system (TMS) involves many processes, including the need to secure stakeholder support. While software-as-a-service (SaaS) remains the go-to best practice for companies new to the implementation and value of a TMS, it’s not always a clear and straightforward decision. To help you secure stakeholder support for a new TMS implementation or upgrade, it helps to follow a few tips.

Emphasize the Value and Lower Upfront Investment Costs of SaaS-Based Platforms

The first step to success rests with understanding the value added by choosing a SaaS platform. Think about this: the benefits of a SaaS-based resource far outweigh the costs of building an in-house platform. According to Inbound Logistics, “With the SaaS delivery model, the vendor manages the hardware, infrastructure, software, tools, and personnel. Upgrades are seamless, and there is no need to schedule deployment windows to support upgrades, fixes, and patches.” At the same time, it’s vital to assess the frequency of updates from the vendor, how vendors support the TMS, and what types of future functionalities are expected from the SaaS.

Benchmark Current Operations

Benchmarking current operations means identifying the weaknesses within your existing functions. Failure to see the problems occurring now will inevitably lead to limited insight into how a given TMS can help overcome those barriers to efficiency. As explained further by Inbound Logistics, “A great TMS solution built to handle the largest global shipper’s requirements is expensive to deploy and too hard to configure for everyone else.” However, the best system vendors will go the extra mile to showcase the ease of configuration and how well the platform aligns with your brand’s corporate objectives. And meanwhile, others may even offer other advantages to help benchmark current operations, such as automated virtual robots to conduct thorough benchmarking of existing processes.

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Focus on the Positive, Such as Increased Worker Safety and More Efficient Load Execution

Another critical function of a valuable TMS goes back to the benefits afforded after implementation. Since a SaaS-based TMS resides within the cloud, it offers limitless scalability and remote management. And considering the insurmountable need for remote management in 2020, success through supply chain disruption implies an absolute necessity to provide remote capabilities. Simultaneously, the system should reduce safety risks to staff by integrating with your dock scheduling software and legacy ERP platforms. Ultimately, more integration points ensure managers can properly schedule staff to avoid risks and increase throughput. Therefore, these safety improvements and efficient load execution translate into significant selling points when building the business case to present to stakeholders.

Be Realistic About Implementation Strengths and Weaknesses

Another misconception of TMS implementation, especially from SaaS vendors, comes from some misinformation. Not all TMS vendors are created equally. And even with a world-class product, failures in implementation and collaboration, such as not using EDI and API, could lead to higher overhead expenses, unnecessary delays, and an extended time to return on investment (ROI).

Fortunately, the best vendors will have plenty of experience and best practices to conduct a series of sprints and checkpoints throughout implementation. This strategy ensures your team can start using the TMS to reduce inefficiencies on day one. Simultaneously, emphasizing some vendors’ lower value proposition may be necessary. For instance, those that may not offer a guided implementation can help stakeholders realize the real distinction between the right vendor and an okay vendor.

Apply These Tips to Build Support for a New TMS Implementation Throughout Your Process

Building support among stakeholders is an essential step to securing funding for TMS implementation. The right TMS will help your supply chain communicate, collaborate, and maximize throughput. However, it always helps to have a few tips that will encourage stakeholder support and align well with your business case objectives. Of course, there’s a simpler alternative. Choose a world-class TMS that follows all the above tips and offers the world-class experience to help build a winning business case; choose MercuryGate.

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