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7 Steps to Successful TMS Solution Selection

by Werawat on 28/04/2018 23:19:40
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7 Steps to Successful TMS Solution Selection

One technology that is proven to increase supply chain visibility is a transportation management system (TMS), and both shippers and logistics providers seem to agree. According to the report, 52 percent of shippers and 21 percent of logistics providers rank TMS technology as a top IT priority for 2018.
Here are seven steps to a successful TMS solution selection:

  1. Identifying the Issue(s)
    It is important to understand the issue(s) or problem(s) the TMS is expected to solve as well as the circumstances that have led to a decision to invest in technology. Most software purchase decisions begin for one of three reasons

- The current system, manual or automated, is not producing the desired results or is filled with inefficiencies.
- The company is going through a merger, acquisition, or divestiture, and it must re-evaluate or even consolidate its systems.
- To align with strategy, such as growth, a company may need to upgrade its technology.

  1. Requirements Gathering
    Documenting the critical requirements (technical and non-technical) of the business. This will allow potential solutions to be identified, and those that are not a fit to be put aside. In this phase, it is critical that the voices of all stakeholders are heard.
  1. Build the Business Case
    In many larger companies, simply identifying requirements is not sufficient, and a business case must be built and presented to various members of the executive team. At this point, it is best to have assessed the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), including how, or if, the new technology will integrate with existing systems, how quickly the solution is expected to yield a return, and how long the implementation process is anticipated to take. This is also the time to thoroughly investigate one-time costs and ongoing costs as well as service commitments.
  1. Demo Phase
    If possible, customized demos based on a company’s own data are preferred. It is also important to ensure that the demonstration stays within the scope of the documented requirements. This will save time, avoid delays, and keep the process on track.
  1. Evaluation Phase
    As each demo is completed, it is important that all decision makers make notes and rate the vendor based on a pre-determined list of criteria. Relying on memory alone is not the best way to approach a purchase of this significance to a business. A running scorecard will be very helpful at this point.
  1. Validation and Selection Phase
    Once the demos are complete, the final selection often comes down to two or three finalists. If there is little differentiation from a quantitative perspective, it may be important to factor in whether the TMS is scalable or if regular releases or enhancements are planned. The way that the vendor’s team responds to questions and requests during the evaluation phase may be a good barometer of what can be expected in terms of customer service going forward.
  1. Post-Selection Phase
    To ensure the chosen solution is a success, buyers should keep the momentum on the project moving forward from selection to implementation to integration. Keeping all stakeholders apprised of milestones.

 

 

Credit:
Thank you for interesting content: Logistics Viewpoints
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