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  • Writer's pictureCorey Coogan

Why TMS Solutions Are So Vital in the Times of COVID

Updated: Aug 15, 2023


January 20th, 2021




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Modern Transportation Software Allows 3PLs, Brokers, and Shippers to Work From Home



COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on the transportation industry, and as expected, it has also affected the way technology is being used to continue to support logistics operations. Despite the overall negative economic impact of the pandemic, various business sectors are experiencing unplanned growth (Medical, and Food & Beverage are a couple of examples) which is driving the need for critical technology like a Transportation Management System, or TMS for short. Prior to the pandemic, many operations were able to get by without this type of solution in place, but as people have been forced to work remotely at a higher clip, the need for software to drive collaboration is crucial for businesses to operate efficiently and effectively despite the difficulties presented by the coronavirus.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY?

For many businesses who were already in the middle of a TMS implementation, the process has continued; but other businesses who had not begun implementing transportation management software now face a tough decision of whether or not putting that in place is the right move. In many respects, COVID-19 has created an environment where vendors and potential customers can be more open and honest about their goals and concerns than ever before – after all, every business out there has been affected by this pandemic in some way. But with greater communication comes a higher frequency of custom development requests and greater limitations on software development. In a recent Kiplinger Letter, it was indicated that IT investment is currently down by about 7% globally, but that is expected to rise almost 30% through 2024. The takeaway? Find a vendor you like and trust – the product enhancements will come.

WHY SHOULD YOU IMPLEMENT A TMS?

While the choice to implement a TMS can be a tough one to make, it is very clear that the impact is almost always a positive one. A recent study by the ARC Advisory Group found that TMS implementation led businesses to reduce their freight spend while still maintaining consistent service levels. In their report, over ⅓ of polled customers even saw an improvement in service level quality while still managing to reduce freight spend through their TMS usage. These savings come from things as simple as consistent rate comparison on a load to load basis – something that only 30% of shippers and brokers do now on their own. They don’t compare rates because they “know which lanes are best” right? The TMS gives a business valuable data which drives future decision making and creates visibility and accountability across the entire freight procurement process – this is something that too many businesses sorely lack.

IS THIS TMS THING JUST A FLASH IN THE PAN?

While many markets have suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic, the TMS market has continued to grow. This is because the need for collaborative technology has become more evident as businesses are forced to alter the way they operate. According to Technavio, the TMS market is expected to continue its growth at a rate of 8% year over year until 2024. This means that the need for a TMS will continue to grow regardless of the impact of COVID-19. The businesses that take advantage of this crucial technology will be more effectively equipped to weather the storm in the coming months and years.

OK, SO I NEED A TMS. NOW WHAT?

Begin the search! Finding the right TMS can be difficult, let’s face it. There is definitely not a shortage of potential options for businesses to vet, and they definitely all are trying their darndest to sell the dream. The best thing one can do as a potential buyer, is be honest about what they need and why. Too often, businesses make buying decisions without asking potential vendors the tough questions. Find something that can scale with your business. Make sure it’s cloud-based so your team can easily access it, even if they’re working from home. Ensure that your customers can access the system – this will create a more collaborative solution that will benefit each stakeholder long term. Most importantly, find a TMS vendor you trust and enjoy working with. In these crazy times trust and relationship building are more paramount than ever, and software solutions are as much about culture fit, as they are about the technology itself. Here at Logistically we pride ourselves on championing the above elements, and our goal is always to be a partner to our customers as their businesses continue to grow and evolve.


“[Logistically] TMS allowed us to remote our employees during COVID-19 without any loss in operational efficiency. I love the flexibility and simplicity of the tool, yet sophistication that effortlessly processes tens of thousands of shipments per month for our company.”

— Michael D.


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