TMS Implementation Process Stalled? Restart Your TMS Project

Is your TMS implementation plan or project stalled? Retire the spreadsheets and the manual work.

This blog presents a step-by-step TMS implementation process guide for getting a TMS selection project back on track.

Advancements in technology, particularly around transportation management systems (TMS), provide greater supply chain adaptability and efficiency. The combination of SaaS platforms, automation technology, and advanced visibility services has changed the industry.

However, choosing the right transportation management solution can take time and effort. Sometimes TMS projects are put on ice before a TMS partner is even selected. Stalled projects may result in lost time and wasted resources, decreased productivity, damaged stakeholder relationships, and reputational damage with vendors who engaged in proposals or demos. 

Fortunately, restarting a TMS project is possible. Keep reading for tips on building a business case, identifying essential TMS features, and managing vendor selection.

4 Steps to Getting a TMS Project Back on Track

1. Determine Why the Original Project Stalled

The first step to recovering a TMS project is knowing what went wrong to derail the selection and TMS implementation process. You should determine how it can be addressed and corrected. There are several reasons why TMS projects may fail before true value is achieved, including:

  • High setup costs.
  • Insufficient vendor support and too much pressure on the network.
  • Misalignment of project goals with business objectives.
  • Lack of clear goals and objectives.
  • Poor communication and coordination among stakeholders.
  • Unforeseen disruptions and deviations derailed progress.
2. Review Your Costs and Potential Savings with Successful TMS Implementation
A TMS plan must be reliable, simple, dependable, and financially practical. If the system implementation will hurt more than it helps, or if there is risk of unforeseen costs that will erode budgets in the future, it is difficult to get buy-in from key stakeholders to push a project to the finish line.
There are two key metrics to quantify the value of a new system: return on investment and total cost of ownership.
  • Return on investment (ROI) estimates the value of a technology solution in regards to savings – or the gain on a technology investment compared to the initial amount invested.
  • Total cost of ownership (TCO) projects the expenses associated with purchasing, implementing, and operating the technology product. TCO is essential when deciding whether to build in-house versus buy a preconfigured solution. TCO is also a primary driver of the shift from on-premise solutions to cloud-based solutions.
3. Build a New Business Case & Reevaluate TMS Project Requirements
When the plans to select a TMS stall or fall short, it usually means:
  • Something threw off planning in the early stages;
  • Or the plan did not properly align with company values and requirements.

Reengaging an old TMS project requires a revised business case, with input from all departments with a stake in a new TMS platform. 

The business case should examine current issues in the company’s supply chain and how TMS implementation addresses those issues. Review cost of ownership, ROI expectations, and how long a proven TMS implementation process may take.

It is critical to clearly articulate the technical and non-technical requirements a TMS must meet to solve issues identified in the business case. Some key features to look for in a TMS solution may include:
  • End-to-end visibility in outbound and inbound freight
  • Carrier contract management
  • Planning and load optimization
  • Settlement and payment processes
  • Push notifications and collaborative messaging resources
  • Cloud-based control towers for all applicable trading partners
  • Advanced, customized, and standard analytics and reporting capabilities
  • Mobile apps for drivers or various users
4. Initiate a Request for Information & Product Demos
Once you have a comprehensive requirements list, initiate a Request for Information (RFI) with TMS vendors to narrow the selection pool.
The top three or four vendors should present customized product demos to highlight their ability to meet your specific needs. As you complete each demo, make notes and rate the vendor on a predetermined set of criteria, with a running scorecard of the key categories you want to compare.
Subjective, standardized scoring can guide the selection process and ensure that the chosen vendor meets the predetermined requirements.

Calculate your potential Saving While Using an enterprise TMS

Restart a Stalled TMS Implementation Project with the Right Partner

Choosing TMS technology in today’s competitive market is never simple. It can take weeks, if not months, to navigate the selection and negotiation processes.

Whether you are a first-time buyer or upgrading an outdated system, partnering with TMS experts simplifies the selection process and delivers significant value. As you consider TMS implementation, download our TMS Buyer’s Guide

Explore MercuryGate, and get the help you need to calculate the value and efficiency a TMS implementation can bring to your business.

Calculate the ROI of a TMS in your business.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *