Can your TMS Application Weather the Competition?

The transportation and logistics industry is growing dependent on diverse transportation management systems (TMS). This is true not only for the big shippers but also for small companies triggered by different rates, international operations, and competitive landscape. Gartner’s 2019 Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems summarizes the growing importance of TMS solutions when it says, “Modern supply chains require an easy-to-use, flexible and scale TMS solution with broad global coverage. In a competitive transportation and logistics environment, TMS solutions help organizations to meet service commitments at the lowest cost.

For TMS solution providers, the path to developing or modernizing applications is not as simple as cruising calm seas. Their challenges are myriad and relate to ensuring systems that organize quotes seamlessly (no jumping from phone to a website). They need to help customers to select the ideal carrier based on temperature, time, and load to ensure maximized benefits. Very importantly, they need to help customers to track shipments while managing multiple carrier options and freight. Customers look for answers, and TMS solutions should be able to provide customers the best options in carriers. All this does not come easy and while developing and executing the solution is half of it, the more critical half lies in ensuring that the system’s functionality, security, and performance remain uncompromised. When looking for a TMS solution, customers look for providers who can present a clear picture of the total cost of ownership. Unpredictability is a no-no in this business which essentially means that the solution is implemented and tested for 100 percent performance and functionality.

Testing Makes the Difference

The TMS solution providers who will be able to sustain their competitive edge are the ones who have tested their solution from all angles and are sure of its superiority.

In a recent case study that explains the importance of testing, a cloud-based trucking intelligence company provides solutions to help fleets improve safety and compliance while reducing costs invested in a futuristic onboard telematics product. The product manages several processes and functions to provide accurate and real-time information such as tracking fleet vehicles, controlling unauthorized access to the company’s fleet assets, and mapping real-me vehicle location. The client’s customers know more about their trucks on the road using pressure monitoring, fault code monitoring, and remote diagnostics link. The onboard device records and transmits information such as speed, RPMs and idle time, distance traveled, etc. in real-time to a central server using a cellular data network.

The data stored in the central server is accessed using the associated web application via the internet. The web application also provides a driver portal for the drivers to know/edit their hours of service logs. Since the system deals with mission-critical business processes, providing accurate and real-time information is key to its success.

The challenge was to set up a test environment for the onboard device to accurately simulate the environment in the truck and simulate the transmission of data to the central server. Establishing appropriate harnesses to test the hardware and software interface was equally challenging. The other challenges were the simulation and real-time data generation of the vehicle movement using a simulator GPS.

A test lab was set up with various versions of the hardware and software and integration points with simulators. With use-case methodology and user interviews, test scenarios were chalked out to test the rich functionality and usage of the device. Functional testing and regression testing of new releases for both the onboard equipment and web application were undertaken. For each of the client’s built-in products, end-to-end testing was conducted.

As a result of the testing services, the IoT platform experienced shortened functional release cycles. The comprehensive test coverage ensured better GPS validation, reduced preventive cost by identification of holistic test cases, reduced detection cost by performing pre-emptive tests like integration testing.

Testing Integral to Functional Superiority for TMS 

As seen in the case study above, developing, integrating, operating, and maintaining a TMS is a challenging business. There are several stakeholders and a complex process that includes integrated hardware, software, humans, and processes performing myriad functions, making the TMS’s performance heavily reliant on its functioning. Adding complexity is the input/output of data, command, and control, data analysis, and communication. As a result of its complexity and the importance of its functioning in managing shipping and logistics, testing is an essential aspect of a TMS.

Testing TMS solutions from the functional, performance design and implementation aspect will ensure that:

  • Shipping loads are accurate, and there are no unwelcome surprises
  • Mobile status updates eliminate human intervention and provide real-time updates.
  • Electronic record management to ensure the workflow is smooth and accurate
  • Connectivity information to eliminate issues with shift changes and visibility
  • API integration to seamlessly communicate with customers.
  • Managing risk for both the TMS and the system’s partners/vendors.

TMS software providers need to offer new features and capabilities faster to be competitive, win more customers, and retain their business. Whether it relates to seamless dispatch workflows, freight billing or EDI, Trigent can help. Know more about Trigent’s Transportation & Logistics solutions

Cloud-based Transportation Management System: A Game Changer in Logistics Industry

Read how you can make your TMS more competitive.

Technological advances have brought rapid changes to the transportation and logistics sector.
For businesses with complex supply chains, a cloud-based TMS can unlock new levels of efficiency, improve opportunities for automation and data consistency.

According to a new market report published by Credence Research, Inc., “Transportation Management Systems Market” the global transportation management systems market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.8% during the forecast period 2015 – 2022.

Benefits of TMS

  • Plan, manage and optimize the daily operations of transportation across geographies
  • Reduce invoice errors by automating the freight payment and audit processes
  • Provide transport intelligence to improve service delivery and reduce cost
  • Increase delivery reliability through collaboration across all modes and providers
Cloud-based Transportation Management System

TMS is not a new concept, but when hosted in the cloud (often as SaaS), is still new to the Shipping industry. With SaaS TMS, there are no costly upgrades, businesses have access to complete and accurate information, and collaboration is faster.

This next-generation of cloud-based TMS gives remarkable benefits to:

  • Shippers – Can gain a global view of transportation in real-time, including order information for each vehicle and its routing progress.
  • Supply chain managers – Streamlining all supply chain activities and make better decisions based on real-time data.
  • Vendors – By eliminating the labor and upfront investment that traditional software implementations require.
  • Logistic Service Providers (LSPs) – Seamlessly connect with their network, optimize all web-based transport management system modes, provide the proper metrics needed to manage their businesses.

Trigent enables “logistics–as-a-service” (SaaS) business models for TMS providers. Our services facilitate flexible integrations with other key business processes to optimize all operations.

Our cloud-based TMS services provide flexibility and scalability, as well as standardized and harmonized processes across the whole organization, which is especially important for LSPs or carriers who have grown through acquisitions, and currently, rely on a patchwork of legacy systems.

Successfully Delivered 30+ Digital Transformation Projects in the Last 10 Years

For the modernization of legacy TMS applications, we start by understanding your unique business requirements and help create a roadmap. By establishing a phase-wise project plan, reinforced with industry best practices and structured processes, the migration will be well planned, executed, and supported. Read more about our Cloud Transformation services.

Using a cloud-based transportation management system will help your supply chain operate the best it can. Embrace SaaS TMS and stay ahead of the competition with Trigent.