One of the most common reasons for freight shippers to implement a transportation management system (TMS) is for the ROI. That’s obviously an important piece of the puzzle for freight shipping companies, but there is more they need to look at. Another major influence driving the TMS market is cloud-based shipping software, but that doesn’t sound as appealing as a proven ROI.

TMS saves companies money by finding ways to lower their freight shipping spend. The TMS helps with carrier selection for lowest rates with greatest shipping speeds, freight consolidation, optimized routing, and more. Time and again freight shipping companies have found that TMS shipping software does save money shipping. As ecommerce continues to grow, it’s not surprising that the TMS market is continuing to grow.

Strategies for Buying a Transportation Management System

The first thing to do is to research the TMS. It’s important to consider the details about the needs of your freight shipping company, and how certain TMS solutions will work to solve those problems. As your company looks at your freight shipping needs, you need to understand what different features and functionality are most important to your shipping operations now, and what will be in the future. There are strengths and weaknesses for every supply chain management solution, so freight shipping companies need to understand what these are before they buy.

It’s also important for potential TMS buyers to make modifications only when necessary. Most modern transportation management systems offered over the cloud now have the option to be customized. This can be very beneficial to freight shipping companies who have very niche needs not offered with the basic software functionality. It’s important to note, however, that the more customizations you make, the longer the implementation time, the more confusing the software is to use, and the more it will cost. Adding additional costs will ultimately reduce the ROI relative to the basic package.

Desirable TMS Trends

As we’ve stated, cloud-based transportation management systems are a common trend. The TMS market is making a strong move toward SaaS TMS shipping software. Cloud-based solutions offer the same functionality and features as in-house shipping software, but it has faster implementation, and it’s less expensive. Cloud-based solutions not only offer the savings and ROI provided by a TMS, but it allows freight shipping companies to take the money they would have put into an IT department into other areas of their supply chain.

Freight shipping companies looking to implement a TMS need to be ready to embrace innovation. Freight shipping is getting more complex and difficult all the time, and shipping software needs to offer innovative solutions to optimize supply chains and cut shipping costs. The shipping data and analytics that a transportation management system provides are important for making better business decisions.

Finally, freight shipping companies need to think globally about their TMS. Companies are expanding shipping around the world. Freight shipping companies need to utilize shipping software capable of handling all of their shipping needs. TMS vendors should have software that can support customers and shipping capabilities across the globe.

Making the Decision

Cloud-based TMS shipping software and proven ROI are is driving the industry. Freight shipping companies are implementing transportation management systems more frequently, because it’s almost a necessary supply chain tool. There’s a lot of criteria to consider for before selecting the shipping software you’ll use. It shouldn’t be taken lightly. Consider advancements in cloud-based technology, ROI, current and future supply chain and freight shipping needs, and other industry trends before deciding. Once you’ve carefully considered your options, all the benefits and savings will shortly follow.

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