Friday, March 28, 2014

Are Some TMS Solutions Too Difficult & Too Costly To Work With? - Some Final Thoughts From The 2014 Atlanta Supply Chain and Transportation Expo

While attending the Supply Chain and Transportation MODEX show in Atlanta, GA a week ago, we had several senior supply chain professionals come to our booth asking to view our transportation management software, FreightMaster TMS in action.

During our exchange, what we found curious, is that many of these folks already had sophisticated enterprise ERP software in place! So the natural question we asked was "Why Aren't You Using The TMS You Already Have and Paid For?"  (see recently published study on this issue)

They included statements such as:

1) Too difficult to understand, we don't have PhDs
2) IT department wanted it, but our users don't like it and just put up with it
3) Looks like Excel or Access on Steroids, all rows and columns
4) Too many "clicks" to book a load
5) Costs too much too keep updated
6) It doesn't do what we were told it would
7) We are disappointed in the results
8) A year later, little or no ROI
9) I can't get basic enhancements in time, I need them now
10) We don't want to wait for the next release to get basic functionality

Making complex transportation software user friendly is difficult not easy, it takes time, it takes domain knowledge and continues to be a primary issue for even large "Magic Quadrant" companies.

Most software developers do not have specific domain expertise in every single discipline and therefore, are not aware of best practices. Consequently, in transportation software, we have found that corporate and independent developers have taken a "Tell Me What You Want and I'll Program It For You But We Have To Develop It Quick and Easy For IT" approach. (see recently published on IT and supply chain misalignment) 

Unfortunately, this approach is shortsighted because it will likely ignore several aspects of transportation management requirements beyond the current company's sphere of knowledge, current industry best practices, local and global regulatory requirements to name a few.

The Complexity of the Supply Chain Process

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