TMS Implementation: How to Vet the Onboarding to Determine If a TMS Is Right for You

TMS Implementation | Vet Onboarding To Determine If A TMS Is Right For You
As part of ongoing network growth and process improvements, a strategic approach to a TMS implementation must include a thorough vetting of onboarding processes to assess the candidacy and ability of a TMS to work within your company. After all, extensive onboarding processes and cost-intrusive implementation could undermine the efficiency improvements a TMS seeks to make. According to InTek Freight & Logistics, “It can be argued the transportation management software (TMS) system is the most important IT software platform companies need to drive competitive advantage in their industry. The reason for this thought is supply chain management has increasingly become far more complex, and customers are demanding more.” With that in mind, here are a few steps to follow to vet TMS implementation and ongoing onboarding to determine if the platform is right for your company.

1. Know the Expected Timeline for Onboarding

The first step is the simplest. Know the expected timeline for onboarding during initial TMS implementation and through the onboarding of additional carriers or network partners in the future. That information is vital to ensuring the TMS continues to add value in the long-term outlook.

2. Review the Vendor’s Inclusion in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for TMS When Possible

Onboarding is a vital aspect of TMS implementation. And Gartner makes a specific point of highlighting a TMS vendor’s processes for carrier network onboarding. As a result, companies looking to upgrade or purchase a new TMS should consider whether the vendor was included in the annual Gartner Magic Quadrant for TMS. The chances are good that, if so, onboarding processes will be highlighted.

3. Scope out the Vendor’s Past Onboarding Processes

Another opportunity for evaluating TMS implementation onboarding processes is to review the vendor’s past clients and their experiences. That may include contacting available references, reviewing publicly available information, and getting a general feel for how the vendor’s onboarding will stack up in your business.

4. Choose a Vendor That Uses Best Practices-Based Onboarding to Reduce Delays/Unnecessary Costs

Next, it is essential to choose a vendor that uses best practices-based onboarding processes to reduce delays and unnecessary costs. A vendor should follow the tried and true methods of reducing confusion, getting the right configuration on the first implementation try, and avoiding unnecessary work.

5. Think About Training Opportunities and Value

Vetting the onboarding of TMS implementation also should touch on available training opportunities and value that can be added through educational opportunities with a vendor. In other words, ask yourself if the vendor offers online, remote, and accessible learning courses to make the most of the software. If those resources aren’t readily available, what costs will your company be looking at to train all employees properly?

6. Streamline Onboarding of Carriers by Choosing TMS Providers That Use EDI or API to Automate the Process

Many transportation managers associate onboarding as part of an initial TMS implementation process. However, freight management is continually changing, and carrier onboarding will continue well after the TMS is up and running. As a result, it is essential to narrow down the list of potential TMS vendors to those that use EDI or API to automate processes for onboarding carrier network partners, LSP’s, or other supply-chain trading partners.

Enhance Your TMS Implementation by Choosing the Right Solution

It is possible to thoroughly evaluate a number of TMS vendors from start to finish. But be sure not to ignore a vendor’s onboarding processes and how that will streamline initial TMS implementation and any necessary modifications of the system in the future.

Learn more about MercuryGate’s implementation process by requesting a demo of the MercuryGate platform online

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