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April 2022 Coaches Corner: The Shopping Cart Approach to TMS Deployment

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2022 has started with a resurgence in TMS technology deployment. Shippers of all sizes are evaluating and testing the market to identify if a new TMS platform can fill the gaps in their current state and if the ROI is enough to make a change. The resurgence has two primary decision channels, securing a direct TMS technology subscription and automation. The change in direction from a traditional TMS model that leverages a logistics partner’s technology now has shippers in control of their destiny. Whether a shipper’s spend is over $50 million or at $5 million, a shipper can now own their TMS technology through a user license. Add a competitive field of “A” players in the Gartner Magic Quadrant and a host of SAAS-based TMS technologies for smaller shippers, and the potential to identify a solution that completes the vision is available more so today than at any other time.

We are seeing shippers that have new priorities. Priorities place automation at the forefront of the decision tree when evaluating a TMS. No doubt the pandemic has had a major impact on restructuring what is important when selecting the right TMS for your supply chain. Lack of and a constant strain on supply chain resources is pushing for deeper automation. Shippers can now manage by exception through enhanced workflow while the user experience becomes delegated to a few employees.

Rockfarm RFP Index Lanes- Average Market Rate per Mile Trend

Falling lower on the priority list are support services typically executed by the logistics partner on behalf of the shippers. Those services can range from shipment entry, rating, and routing to tendering. Additional back-off services may include carrier management and freight invoice audit and payment. As automation becomes the priority in a TMS selection, the need for additional support services becomes selective, giving the shipper a shopping cart to pick a service level and a price point that is commensurate with the level of service.

Continuing with the shopping cart approach, shippers are now in a position as TMS technology license holders to extend their logistics resources and expertise in a pay-as-you-go model. This model allows for additional resources to be deployed for month-end business fluctuations and capacity challenges with their logistics partner (s). Our current environment is very positive for shippers, the question that lies ahead is, “Are logistics service providers up for the challenge?”

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Brad Stewart, President

By Brad Stewart

Co-Founder, CCO

Brad’s journey into logistics began as a Marine Officer and transitioned from the LTL docks to the non-asset side within the logistics service provider arena.  As a co-founder of Rockfarm, Brad drives our business development efforts and delivery of our promise. An Arizona native, Brad enjoys spending time outdoors in his home state with his wife and family.

“Our approach to the market allowed us an opportunity to push forward in 2008 and enable our mission, “lower the cost to serve” to stand as a cornerstone to our company today.”



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