It’s easy for an RFx process to get mired in the weeds. You have to ask the right questions to get the right answers to the most relevant challenges inherent in selecting a technology (and more importantly a provider/partner). Seeking detailed answers to questions about TMS features, functionality, data security and costs is surely important. But, don’t lose sight of the following questions; the answers to which will have a much more critical impact on the overall success (and cost) of your TMS initiative. Especially in a market where the leading Tier 1 TMS technologies all offer very similar functional capabilities.
Two Critical Questions to Explore in Selecting a TMS Solution and Provider
What is the total cost of ownership? Many solutions charge extra for the following services:
- Ongoing user training and support
- Carrier trainings/re-trainings
- New carrier onboarding
- System updates/upgrades and associated testing/training
Are these professional services included in the subscription fee or do they incur ala carte charges over the lifetime of the engagement?
How does the solution support supply chain digitization plans? How does the prospective solution:
- Ease integration challenges with other solutions in the supply chain tech stack?
- Effectively, efficiently handle data across multiple formats?
- Support the use of popular third-party offerings like visibility tools and others?
- Embrace (or seek to avoid) emerging tech advancements like Blockchain and others?
Many established TMS platforms have aging technology under the hood. The rapid pace of technological advancements will quickly expose a solution lagging innovation.
You only get one chance to make the right TMS selection. Failure means living with a costly and imperfect solution for years – or worse, absorbing the cost of failed implementation and a whole new selection/implementation process.