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COACHES CORNER: Overcoming Constraints to Embracing TMS Technology

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Regardless of your spending under management, TMS technology is more easily engaged today than it ever has been. Cloud-based platforms are dominating the market. According to Orbis Research in an article published by GlobeNewswire (2020), the global Transportation Management Systems (TMS) market size is expected to gain market in the forecast period of 2020 thru 2025. Growth of the TMS market is expected to grow from $2.3 billion in 2019 to $4.3 billion in 2025. Today, the pathway toward TMS technology is generally following two paths forward. The first is shippers already engaged with TMS technology, either directly with a TMS technology company or with a logistics service provider (LSP), that is seeking added capability at a lower price point. The second path is one where no TMS technology is in place.

The good news for both paths is TMS technology is easily accessible with varying levels of capabilities to meet the needs of shippers of all sizes. The challenge? Keeping your supply chain relevant to the business as it grows more complex. Competition, customer demands and disruption are part of the environment in which our supply chains operate. TMS technology is here to meet those challenges by simplifying the complex, supporting workflow automation and delivering enhanced visibility. To get there, constraints have to be overcome.

In our short time as a company, we have seen the adaption of a new ERP as the single biggest threat to a company’s ability to stay relevant. ERP integrations are costly, long term and not without peril. The task to integrate TMS technology into your company does not have to have the same trepidations. Overcoming constraints on cost, project integration and system management are easily accomplished today with a clear structure to maintain adaptation to future TMS technology enhancements regardless of the software.


Cost: ROI has become the factor by which we set our expectations with TMS technology. The challenge with ROI is we gloss over the exactness of what we are measuring. Generally, there are four components that we want our TMS to improve: Optimization; Productivity; Visibility and Time to Value. Creation of your current state baseline and gaining organizational buy-in to the baseline and the measurement process is the hurdle to clearly illustrating your TMS value.

Project Integration: Project Management is central to a successful launch and setting proper expectations for product deployment. Many shippers may not have a project manager and rely on the TMS provider to support the integration of the TMS. The challenge for the TMS provider is providing the same deep operational experience in the technology as to the business they are integrating. To overcome this constraint, identify an internal resource that shepherds the project alongside your technology provider. Other sources are supply chain consultants and LSPs that provide project management expertise and have a deep understanding of the TMS technology being deployed.

System Management: TMS providers today support their product and provide training to your superuser (s). The challenge for shippers is resources. To overcome the constraint of managing your TMS which can include maintenance, configurations, contract loading and help desk functions, a company has to keep talent. To overcome this constraint TMS providers are certifying partners that can provide the TMS support requested. Shippers should view such support as an extension of their team. This mitigates the risk of losing trained talent to the market while also achieving internal objectives focused on the ROI of a TMS.

For a deeper dive into fulfilling your current TMS journey or starting a new one, please reach out to Rockfarm at info@rockfarm.com.


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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