Thursday, May 5, 2011

When Is A TMS Not A TMS?

Transportation expenses as a percentage of sales continues to climb and need to be managed on a strategic as well as a transactional basis. Consequently, we have seen an explosion of companies requesting and utilizing (TMS) transportation management software to help them decrease costs and improve customer service for inbound, outbound and transfer freight movements.

Unfortunately, many of the existing enterprise ERP and "supply chain" solutions do not adequately address all the present and future transportation management needs. Enterprise level transportation management requirements and customers have become much more sophisticated.

In recent demos we have conducted with prospects, the claim that one solution can be "all things to all people" is being seriously challenged.

Concurrently, it seems that our definition of what comprises a TMS varies tremendously. The term "TMS" itself has degenerated into a catch all phrase that encompasses anything and everything in transportation just like "Cloud" now means everything Internet. See Wikipedia's TMS Definition.

Certainly, each company has different transportation requirements which range widely in complexity, but respectfully, for software to be considered a true transportation management solution, or for software vendors to "tag" their software as a TMS, it should have more functionality than loading a truck, assigning a carrier or costing out a load.