Let’s Take a Look at NextGen TMS

Let’s take a look at NextGen TMS

Once upon a time, transportation management systems (TMSs) were prohibitively expensive for most small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Even large companies and 3PLs with big budgets had to deal with the fact that their TMS could very well be proprietary or have very specific or limited capabilities.

But TMS systems and their use models are changing, ushering in a new TMS era with a host of unique benefits and differentiators for SMBs like yours.

Next-gen TMS offerings will likely be a software-as-a-service (SaaS) hybrid of the 3PL freebies and the independents. These offerings are also bound to offer more flexibility in handling cross-border, multi-modal international freight, and transactions. Being able to handle domestic transportation in all modes for countries other than the U.S. means current TMS products with freight payment components will be challenged to accommodate different currencies, banking, and payment protocols in each country. The advantages are enormous, and the stakes are high.

The new TMS era will be built on better data and better data accessibility/usability, all of which will support better system integration for better insights. TMSs will no longer rely on data that needs to be consolidated in a sophisticated business intelligence (BI) tool for any meaningful carrier negotiation or strategic business decisions.

Instead, TMSs will turn to artificial intelligence (AI). Or perhaps a BI tool that could consolidate data from a companion warehouse management system (WMS) to assist with inventory and transportation optimization.

For that matter, as we enter the new TMS era, why not have a TMS work together with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to merge new purchase order data with inventory level data for global transportation and supply chain optimization?

Right now, blockchain is still in its infancy. But as we get better at collecting, using, and sharing data, we foresee the ability to streamline data and report across multiple players in a single transaction, for example, we could track in-transit goods from the Chinese supplier to the American trucker, and then ultimately to the U.S. consumer.

With some careful development, the TMS of the future could even prompt the origin-country supplier to issue a scannable, trackable universal code to track the product through all touchpoints in the supply chain and enable TMS data updates and distribution to those who need to know.

There are lots of other ways TMSs will evolve over the coming years. Stay tuned to the BrillDog blog.

But if you’re ready to go TMS shopping now, it’s best to consider multiple factors, including a potential TMS provider’s data accessibility and usability features and functions.

As you search for your new TMS, ask your TMS search team: How easy will TMS integration be with our current systems? Can the TMS provider customize our system, or will we be limited to an out-of-the-box TMS solution? Is the TMS provider a viable business (what’s their record? longevity? references?)?

Lastly, ask the TMS provider to share its development plans for the future. Do these plans break the mold? Just how far into the future are they looking as they develop and upgrade their TMS product during the new TMS era?

There’s a lot to consider when you’re considering a new TMS–especially if you are an SMB. Why not chat with the experts?

BrillDog is building a comprehensive supply chain management system (SCMS) for small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that incorporates transportation management. The BrillDog SCMS improves efficiencies and brings value to SMB supply chains. Look for BrillDog introductory offers coming in early 2023. Contact BrillDog today.

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