TMS Implementation

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ISC can help you with many aspects of TMS implementaion from initail system justification though supplier and system selection, project management and, finally, system implementation.


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A Transportation Management System (TMS) is an application to manage and optimise inbound and/or outbound transport. TMS is often an integral component of supply chain execution or SCE..

TMS usually sits between an ERP or Order Management System (OMS) and the Warehouse Management System (WMS). The ERP / OMS will pass inbound / outbound orders to the TMS application which then determines the optimized transportation routing. The TMS evaluates the pool of orders; consolidates them into shipments; and determines the optimal mode / lane / carrier / route / drop assignments. Often an additional tier can be added to the TMS for route optimisation.

In general, there are four basic types of TMS.

    Bullet For companies that ship with third party FTL / LTL / Small parcel carriers, there are TMS applications that optimise freight spend by evaluating available shipping options between the source and destination shipment points.

    Bullet There are TMS applications dedicated strictly to parcel carriers optimising small parcel shipments as used by companies such as DHL, UPS, FedEx, etc.,

    Bullet For companies with a private or dedicated fleet of delivery vehicles, there are TMS applications that optimize fleet routing and route/drop assignments.
    Many operators also add Telematics allowing for live vehicle tracking along with driving standards monitoring and vehicle and load status.

    Bullet There are TMS applications to manage international and multi-modal inbound and/or outbound shipments that may involve marine, rail, or road modes.

TMS products can vary in cost and complexity with prices ranging from a few thousand £’s to potentially hundreds of thousands £’s.

When embarking upon TMS selection and implementation It is important to understand that, arguably, the greatest challenge is that much of the knowledge is held in the heads of the traffic managers. This knowledge has to be extracted, not always an easy task, collated and entered into the TMS system. Often there will be a requirement for an intensive specialised transport evaluation to be carried out prior to any implementation.

    Bullet Which TMS application is best-suited for our company, size of our business, our industry, preferred computing platform and budget ?

    Bullet What are the main differences between the commercial TMS applications ?

    Bullet What is the business case for investing in TMS ?

    Bullet What financial benefits or competitive advantage can our business realistically expect to achieve from the implementation of TMS ?

    Bullet What are the required features and functions our business should expect from a new TMS ?

ISC can help you with all of those questions by:

    Bullet Developing a TMS requirements definition

    Bullet Organising structured software demonstrations

    Bullet Solution and supplier evaluation and selection.

    Bullet  Developing the project plan, internal and external resource requirements for implementation.

    Bullet  Project management.