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Dissecting TMS, Software or Solution Approach

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Last year, Market Watch rolled out a press release stating a 14.8% growth in TMS technology by 2024. Acceptance of a TMS, a Transportation Management System, is gaining ground due to ease of implementation and low cost. TMS is becoming accepted by shippers regardless of size or complexity. The evolution of TMS has become generally accepted by small and midsize shippers as an essential technology platform in the same way an OMS, ERP or CRM drives the heart of a business forward. A Google search of transportation management systems brings back keywords such as “Free” and “Easy,” underlying the fact that access and acceptance of a TMS regardless of your company size has never been easier.

With an array of TMS software available, the challenge is where to begin. Considerations such as ongoing expense, implementation cost, resource burden, and ultimately creating an ROI statement are the first daunting challenges that need to be addressed. For shippers in the mid-size to large spend category, the first challenge is determining the path forward.

Do you pursue a direct software license, or leverage a technology or logistics partner for the journey? If the leap forward is a new venture for the organization, then leveraging a logistics service provider brings the resources, knowledge and best practices to the table as a solution. In addition, support services such as freight audit & payment, carrier management and execution support are all services a logistics service provider can deliver as value within the framework of your TMS solution while acting as an extension of your logistics team.

Where mid-size shippers may lean more toward a TMS solution approach with a logistics partner, larger shippers are more apt to engage directly with a TMS software developer. The engagement may include ongoing support, a user help desk, and deeper development within the technology. The question of whether a software or solution approach is the best path forward is answered in the development of your current state.

Historically the current state focuses on processes, however in the
TMS journey it should also include a resource assessment for:

  • IT Resources
  • SME Job Function
  • Logistics Team
  • Process Engineering
  • Project Management
  • Order Lifecycle

“The current state focuses on processes but it must also encompass a breakdown of internal resources available to support the TMS implementation and ongoing operations.”

Each team member’s level of expertise within workflow engineering, project management, and company job functions helps point the path forward. If your team is lacking in the resource support necessary to onboard a TMS solution, then a failure in the form of extended timelines and cost is imminent. As your current state develops, a focus on the future state drives an element of decision-making that plans for the future of your business and its execution in the TMS. Answer the questions on where your supply chain is going to ensure the TMS chosen has the capabilities required in your future state. Questions such as international or eCommerce needs should be a part of your decision.

For more information on the TMS journey please reach out via email 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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