Pros & Cons of a TMS –is it right for your trucking business?
Coordinating the movement and shipment of goods can be a bit of a delicate dance. Drivers can end up taking the wrong route resulting in costly delays, shipments can go missing or miscounted, and concerned customers may find themselves wondering if their order will ever arrive. So how do you navigate these roadblocks within your business? This is where a Transportation Management Software (TMS) comes into play. A TMS can ensure that your team is fully in sync with what’s happening during every stage of the delivery process so there are no missteps that will damage customer relationships. It offers a streamlined solution for companies who are looking for cost savings while creating an open line of communication between your team, truck drivers, and customers. But, how do you know this is the right solution for your business?
Let’s take a closer look at some of the pros and cons of implementing a TMS system.
What are the advantages of a transportation management system?
Improved efficiency for your business
For businesses that are looking into integrating a TMS, moving from manual data entry and excel spreadsheets to an all-in-one logistics and delivery solution offers a large improvement to efficiency. While at first, this may seem disruptive, in the long long run, improved efficiency outweighs the time initially spent on set-up and training. A TMS can automate almost every step of the logistics management process from load planning, carrier selection, and shipment tracking, leading to increased efficiency, faster delivery times, and better customer service.
Higher cost savings
When all aspects of the business operate in a silo, it's difficult to see how each part of the business is impacting its overall financial health. A TMS can help businesses optimize routes, allowing you to save on fuel while avoiding problems like costly delays or lost shipments. Within a TMS, you also have the option to consolidate shipments where possible, and negotiate better freight rates with carriers, which can save you a lot down the line.
Increased visibility for you and your customers
A TMS provides a bird’s eye view of the entire workflow of your business. Businesses feel empowered to track their shipments in real-time, can monitor inventory levels, and gain greater visibility into their supply chain. After all the supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19, having a crystal clear view of any service disruptions is immensely helpful. If an issue arises, it can be solved quickly. This software also allows you to consolidate all of your data into one central database so you can make data-driven decisions moving forward, whether it's creating a more optimal schedule for certain routes or diversifying your delivery options for customers that need more flexibility.
Better customer service
Customers like to be in the know when it comes to shipping and delivery estimates. Giving them the ability to access tracking information and the flexibility to reroute shipments in transit to a more convenient location allows them to pivot when unexpected changes occur. Customers can access their portal and see shipments in real-time or sign up for email notifications. Options and flexibility like this allows you to provide a higher level of customer service for your customers, making your business workflows smoother and more efficient.
For example, after implementing TMS with Rose Rocket, Beech Hill Freight found an increase in their customer satisfaction and retention.
It’s a scalable system
As your business continues to grow and your headcount accelerates, managing a larger operation can become increasingly more complex. TMS software allows you to scale as your business changes and evolves without the headache or worry of outgrowing your system. So whether you identify as a start-up or as a large corporation, there’s a TMS solution that is right for you.
What are the disadvantages of a TMS system?
Onboarding can be lengthy
Getting your team engaged and excited to learn a new system can be tough if there are employees who are used to the old way of doing things. Getting your drivers, team members and customers comfortable with a new system can take time. The upside? Rose Rocket’s easy to use and intuitive UX system makes it easy to find what they are looking for and provides quick and easy access.
Higher set up costs
A cloud TMS solution may be more costly in comparison to some legacy systems, which for some businesses might come as a big surprise and might have you wondering if it's worth the long term investment. However, in comparison to a legacy system, a cloud system doesn’t require any additional IT support on your business end nor does it use servers. After the one time setup cost, you can have access to the platform within a couple hours. Regular software updates are done by the in-house software teams, so you’re always working with an up to date system for a seamless user experience. So while the initial cost may be jarring, it pays to spend more now in order to save over the years.
Need to find one that has the integrations you require
Every business is unique and finding a solution that can integrate with your existing system can be tricky. When choosing to move to TMS, a consideration for many businesses is evaluating the integrations of a new system and if it will line-up with other softwares you currently need and use. Some TMS systems, like Rose Rocket, offer a variety of pre-built integrations that can make importing customer data and accounting a lot easier. You can choose from ELD and telematic integrations, accounting software like Quickbooks and compliance tools to make cross-border shipments less of a headache.
The bottom line
Though it may seem intimidating to start, adding a TMS solution ultimately adds a lot of value to your business for the long haul. Aside from automating a lot of time consuming administrative tasks, it offers high visibility, larger cost savings and ultimately frees up time for your team to foster stronger and more meaningful relationships with your customers. If you think a Transportation Management Software could be the next step for your growth or want to learn more about how we can help your business, book a demo below with one of our Rose Rocket logistics experts – as the #1 Rated TMS, we’d be happy to help you learn more!