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    Sunday, October 23, 2011

    Ttransportation management

      Whether you’re a small biz owner or a big one, chances are good that you’ll spend a lot in your transportation management needs such as transportation rate negotiations from a warehouse design specialist in a typical year. Streamlined transportation management can be achieved through purchasing TMS technology or selecting a 3PL with TMS capabilities. Your level of internal expertise and available resources will determine whether you should go it alone or outsource. TMS solutions and transportation rate negotiations are available in enterprise and network models. Enterprise solutions are installed within your four walls, are highly customizable, require internal infrastructure, and use license pricing. Network solutions are web-hosted, configurable to your business processes, require no additional infrastructure, and provide services for an annual subscription fee. Your timeline, budget, and business processes should determine your model. Your TMS vendor needs to support and evolve its technology for years to come, so assessing its financial viability is a must. Are its revenues in line with its number of employees? Does it have loyal and satisfied customers that are deployed with long-term commitments? Answers to these questions quickly spotlight viable partners. Connecting core carriers and decentralized locations are key to the success of any TMS implementation. Vendors should demonstrate their ability to connect each of these companies to their enterprise TMS, or have a number of carriers already connected and operating with other shippers on their network. To meet your transportation needs now and in the future, a TMS should offer robust planning/optimization, execution, settlement, and analysis capabilities. The solution should extend shipment visibility to appropriate users and leverage supply chain event management to alert individuals to activities or shipments requiring attention. Be wary of solutions that don't offer these necessary capabilities. For almost any TMS implementation, users will range from the technology savvy to illiterate. Assess the TMS solution for its accessibility and usability. Are screens easy to navigate? Can users easily find what they need? Avoid frustration and lack of adoption by testing usability with a variety of interested parties.