“In many cases, corporations try to findthe low-hanging fruit of the TMS, insearch of functions that will provide themost value. They then integrate thosefunctions as „phase one‟ of their TMSimplementation and never go beyondthat point.”
Factors that prevent companies from optimizing their TMS: Lack of regular maintenance Your TMS today is reflective of your firm‟s current operating environment. Rates, routes, carriers, fuel costs evolve. “Garbage in, garbage out” without current and accurate modeling
Whether a TMS‟ capabilities are optimized depends on: The amount of time the system has been in place The strength, involvement, and expertise of the team that‟s running it the level of sophistication of the software itself
Determine if your TMS is optimized:1. Read the software manual or release notes- talk to vendor to find out why features weren‟t mobilized2. Has your TMS lived up to its initial vision? Did it automate functions that were manual? Did it reduce phone calls, paper, and faxes? Is it saving the company money?
3. Add missing functionality- e.g. dashboards4. Maintain close relationships with vendors anddevelopers5. Perform TMS audits with vendor‟s help to find “missinglinks” in the software‟s value stream
“A TMS is not something that youset up once and forget about. It‟s aliving, breathing solution that needsto be maintained regularly in orderto perform at optimal capacity.”
Take quarterly “snapshots” of your TMS to see how they‟re performing and what adjustments need to be made. Consider the new software releases, upgrades, and/or patches that have been released recently, and determine whether they should be integrated into your existing setup. The content regarding carriers, rates, and ship to and from locations should be validated at least once a year, if not more regularly
Keep an eye on concepts like “embedded analytics” and “competitive intelligence.” These features will allow shippers to use real-time data points such as carrier lead times and create rules in their TMS—which in turn will make automatic adjustments when the “trigger points” are reached. Automate more processes and keep TMS up to date and aligned with what‟s happening in real-time
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