TMS Software Purchasing: How to Avoid Mistakes Getting Started

TMS software purchasing decisions are complicated and sometimes frustrating.

TMS software purchasing for shippers is more than an “‘in thing” to do in the shipping and supply chain market today. 

The value of integrated and optimized TMS software comes from improved insight into industry trends and the ability for shippers, transportation providers, and logistics service providers to predict and plan for capacity and freight management fluctuations.

According to a review of trucking rates and statistics from DAT Freight & Analytics, “even though reefer load posts on the DAT network increased 18% last week, they’re still 38% lower than last year and almost identical to this time in 2018. In contrast, carriers posting their reefer equipment is at the highest level in six years, creating an oversupplied reefer market.”

Changes in demand and availability in all capacities, not just reefer freight transport, mean shippers and carriers must more closely monitor rate trends, market standings, and customer demands. TMS systems for carriers, shippers, brokers, and 3PLs make end-to-end management more manageable. Still, it all hinges on finding the right TMS platform for multimodal transport and shipping services.

TMS Software Purchasing Should Generate Strong ROI

Finding suitable TMS systems for carriers and shippers is vital to continued growth and success. The right TMS software pruchasing can head off many devastating shipper risks. Multiple studies show that the return on investment can be anywhere from 8% to 17% with proper implementation, onboarding, and implementation.

In addition, the best TMS software will offer the following benefits:

  • Better company operational management from start to finish.
  • Improved efficiency throughout all processes and procedures.
  • Reduced freight spending and better insight into rate fluctuations.
  • Higher service levels and improved customer service across the board.
  • Increased granular supply chain visibility and end-to-end transparency.
  • Competitive positioning in the market and better position for growth.
These benefits are easier to attain with the best shipping and trucking TMS software platform adequately integrated into existing supply chain and logistics management systems.

Know What You Truly Need when Purchasing TMS Software

Like everything else involved with optimized shipping and integrated transportation services, throwing just any TMS software package at the shipping management dilemma will not be effective.
Finding the best TMS systems for carriers, shippers, brokers, and LSPs means knowing what is needed, what can be left out, and how to personalize TMS platforms to meet specific needs and goals. Looking at vital services and finding the transportation management system to meet those needs with minimal cost and waste is at the heart of optimized transportation service optimization.

Considering TMS software prices and costs is much easier when management can focus on what they need without being distracted by extraneous features and functions.

4 Things to Look for in TMS Software

Choosing the best software and platform requires close attention to the TMS provider’s capabilities, features, and services.

Some critical points to consider include:

  1. Planning and reviewing options to customize and make the management system precisely what is needed for unique and specific goals.
  2. Executing proven training, onboarding, and integration to ensure the new TMS software works seamlessly and performs according to expectations.
  3. Carrier and fleet management with TMS systems for carriers to improve communications, integration, collaboration, and growth throughout the network.
  4. Settlement and document management functions enable optimal transportation execution.

Securing a software solution with these four capabilities can make it easier for management teams to find the best transportation for any given need or situation.

4 Steps to Purchasing TMS Tools and Software

Choosing a TMS software system requires attention to detail and knowledge of the end goals for short- and long-term projections. But in general, the following steps can make the process easier:

  1. Discovery – find out what options are available and what TMS platforms meet vital needs.
  2. Exploration – look at how TMS platforms can be implemented and personalized.
  3. Elevation – research top choices and see how TMS can impact company performance.
  4. Summit – ascend to the top of the line and improve company growth and projection.

Purchasing new technology and onboarding new platforms can sometimes be intimidating when dealing with optimized supply chain operations. Following these four steps can help management find the best TMS systems for carriers or shippers and properly onboard trucking TMS software into existing networks and systems.

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Get on the Right Track in Your TMS Software Buyer’s Journey With MercuryGate

Choosing the best TMS software for shippers, carriers, brokers, or LSPs can be complicated. Transportation management needs are individualized and personalized.
Today, shippers and transportation service providers must focus on changing market trends and customer demands. Above all else, remember this. Finding the TMS package designed to meet specific needs means that shippers and carriers must first know what those needs are in the short and long term.

Download the TMS Buyer’s Guide now, and find the best TMS systems for carriers, truckers, and shippers.


Get more guidance on finding the best TMS software for your business.


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