What Do You Need to See in a TMS Demo?

A group of professionals gathered around a large screen displaying a TMS (Transportation Management System) demo, examining various features and discussing key aspects to look for in the software.

Are you ready for a TMS demo? Do you know the questions to ask to see the capabilities your business needs?

Selecting a transportation management system (TMS) is a massive undertaking for an organization. Whether your company is implementing a TMS for the first time or seeking more functionality over an existing system, the process starts with your TMS RFP.

The first steps of a TMS RFP include examining current logistics operations, identifying clear goals for a TMS implementation, and selecting TMS providers with a proven track record of success to participate in the RFP.

The next step of the TMS RFP process is evaluating the full capabilities of each TMS.

TMS evaluation can be broken into two unique components:

This article provides guidelines for navigating the TMS demo stage of the RFP evaluation process.

What to Request in the TMS Demo

Once you finish initial reviews of TMS proposals and identify providers that meet your minimum requirements, you will want them to demonstrate their real-world capabilities. At this stage, you should be ready to ask for a TMS demo that shows specific functionalities to support your transportation and supply chain goals.
Including these requests and questions will help you see unique TMS capability demonstrations:
Show us your web services communication and tracking capabilities.

Maintaining shipping visibility throughout the supply chain is essential for proactive freight management. A TMS should give your transportation team the visibility it needs to resolve quickly and easily issues like delays, added costs, and billing problems.

A TMS demo should also show how the platform supports end-to-end collaboration and allows parties across the supply chain to communicate in a dynamic and effective way. Look for transportation software solutions with these critical capabilities:
  • Supplier portal – Access order status updates across your supply chain in a single hub and keep everyone aligned.
  • Carrier portal – Get real-time shipment updates via API or EDI to better manage delays and exceptions.
  • Customer portal – Offer customers self-service options for better communication and streamlined processes.
  • Electronic integration – Collect, analyze, and apply data across systems to gain valuable insight for continuous improvement.
Can we see a live TMS demonstration of parcel capabilities?

The rapid expansion of e-commerce and growing consumer expectations for last-mile delivery make parcel management a top TMS priority.

Look for transportation software solutions with native parcel capabilities that optimize parcel freight and support multi-carriers domestically and internationally. A TMS demo should show you daily functionalities like parcel carrier booking and label generation, as well as capabilities to optimize through load building and zone-skipping.

The transport management system demo should also illustrate the ability to reduce parcel spend through comprehensive data analytics. TMS technology should provide a complete review of parcel freight costs and identify possible savings through consideration of tariffs, volume discounts, and net-net rates.
Demonstrate how invoicing works in the TMS demo.
Manual transportation billing and invoicing processes invariably result in higher supply chain costs. Management of billing and invoicing for an increased number of transactions bogs down your people with time-consuming and tedious work.

A TMS should automate invoice processes by generating documents, matching invoices to loads, and using robotic process automation (RPA) to settle invoices without manual intervention. In the case of exceptions, the software should alert your team to take proper action, allowing them to focus solely on solving problems.

Show us the TMS capabilities for managing BOLs.

The bill of lading (BOL) is an essential document in freight invoice processing and financial settlement. The complex settlement process benefits from TMS capabilities to manage and store all shipping and proof of delivery documents in one centralized location.

Look for a TMS solution that supports verifiable shipping documents, searchable by PRO numbers and SCAC information, to make your electronic BOLs quickly accessible. Use these files in claims management, shipment monitoring, delivery verification, and any financial settlement functions. Easily accessing this transportation information in the TMS is essential.

Show us how the TMS supports compliance and governance.
Whether your company owns a fleet of equipment with a team of drivers or you outsource your fleet operations, the right TMS eliminates manual monitoring for compliance with driver certifications, safety records, vehicle and equipment maintenance, safety checks, licensure, and insurance coverage.
Ask for a TMS demonstration of how compliance is monitored in a central and easily accessible database for all shareholders.

Calculate your potential Saving While Using an enterprise TMS

Ready to Start Your TMS RFP Journey?

Launching a TMS RFP is no small feat, so starting with a comprehensive plan is important.

Download MercuryGate’s TMS Journey Buying Guide eBook today for more useful tips and guidelines at every stage of the process. Get a complete roadmap for your TMS journey and allow us the opportunity to support your decision. When you’re ready to request a TMS demo, we offer an on-demand database of TMS capabilities and software demonstrations customized to your needs upon demo request.

Continue Your TMS Buying Journey

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