The Number One Mistake People Make When Buying a TMS
Twenty years ago, choosing a TMS was easy - either you do it by yourself on excel, or you shell out hundreds of thousands for an enterprise solution from the likes of Oracle or SAP. Today, this task is harder than ever, with dime a dozen startups and legacy players all getting into different parts of the transportation technology space - all of them proclaiming “best in class technology”. That’s why it’s so easy to forget about the basics, leading to what I believe is the number one mistake people make when choosing a TMS. And that, is forgetting about inventory.
Sounds silly, right? Well this is one of the most important differentiating factors between the TMS offerings available on the market. They either support inventory level track and trace, or they’re limited to the PO or shipment level.
I hear you saying though, “I don’t deal with inventory!” So why are you paying for inventory level track and trace then? Not only is this a great chance to save on your overhead costs, it’ll also create a simpler workflow for your employees and make operations easier.
On the flip side, if your operations do involve handling and managing inventory, whether as a 3PL providing a managed freight solution or a distributor managing its own transportation, it’s critical that you pick a TMS that lets you track location and statuses down to the inventory level. This allows you not just to provide exceptional order details to your customers, it allows you to optimize operations and analyze poorly performing or mismanaged products in your TMS. Not only does this make your job easier as a manager, it’s the first step towards establishing a competitive advantage against your competition.