What Does a TMS Implementation Look Like?

What Does A TMS Implementation Look Like?

A TMS implementation can be among the most confusing and costly processes for today’s logistics and supply chain enterprises. In reality, the confusion traces back to the challenges of TMS selection. As explained by Inbound Logistics, “when weighing [or implementing] new TMS options, getting hung up on features sometimes can distract from key considerations. Organizations should avoid emphasizing features and instead focus on the business problem, the key opportunity area.” The strong focus on customization becomes the priority, and finding an off-the-shelf solution quickly grows out of reach. At the same time, this can add to total cost of ownership, limit deployment speed, and even contribute to missteps along the way. To clarify things and help keep your buyer’s journey on the right track and get the right results from it, here are the top indicators of how your TMS implementation should look.

1. The TMS Implementation Must Follow a Clearly Defined and Documented Schedule

Almost every industry has a similar motto when it comes to process management. If it isn’t documented, it didn’t happen. The same could be applied to a new software implementation but with a future view. If it isn’t scheduled or documented, it won’t happen. All implementations should have a clear, well-defined schedule. That’s the easy part.

2. Implementation Should Bring Together People From Across All Departments to Ensure Nothing Is Overlooked

Any TMS implementation must also work across all teams that will use the TMS or share data with it. Yes, this means every department needs to play a role. However, this is easiest if your change management team comprises individuals from all departments when first beginning the buyer’s journey. This is a cost-effective and proactive step to ensure that your team is able to maximize ROI while using the system and not leave any department out of the event.

3. All Onboarding Processes Should Be Easily Replicable to Scale as Your Business Expands

Another factor to consider goes back to scalability. Onboarding processes need to be replicable, meaning they should be easily repeated later on when your business expands. That’s a critical function for adding new carriers, lanes or locations to the TMS. And using pre-configured resources within the TMS can go a long way to making that a reality.

4. Training and Education Must Be Part of All Implementations Through and Even After the Go-Live Date

The TMS is responsible for ensuring the timely sharing of information to get products from anywhere to anywhere. It’s all subject to the unique needs of each customer. Does the customer want to view online, shop in store and have it delivered around the globe? Regardless, the customer expects on-time delivery. So the TMS should be able to handle functionality and trace the order where it goes, optimizing it along the way and lowering costs. That includes teaching and training all team members from retail workers through drivers how to navigate the system from their interfaces or various work systems. That training should be everlasting and accessible for review later as well.

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Ensure Your Implementation Goes Smoothly by Selecting the Right TMS and Implementation Partner

There is one other step that deserves much more than a simple indicator of a successful implementation. The software vendor should be omnipresent and readily available to assist with anything that may go wrong. That’s why having a dedicated partner with more experience and decades of evidence-based best practices can make all the difference in making your next software or TMS implementation go up without a hitch. For those still unconvinced, consider requesting a MercuryGate demo. Find out how easily your team can hit the ground running and succeed when buying and implementing your next TMS.

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