In this graphic we take you back all the way to the beginning of ERP-systems that now are widely used in today's business landscape. We do this in order to have a better look at the future of Transportation Management Systems.
The road of enterprise resource planning systems has not been an easy one. Many obstacles have been bypassed since the early sixties. Today, International businesses need an enterprise resource planning system for the same reasons one-location based companies: It's a means to integrate key business processes into one system for better management and more efficient operations both now and in the future.
A TMS usually "sits" between an ERP or legacy order processing and warehouse/distribution module. A typical scenario would include both inbound (procurement) and outbound (shipping) orders to be evaluated by the TMS Planning Module offering the user various suggested routing solutions.
A Transportation Management System (TMS) is a tool that should be used to plan global transportation moves and execute those plans. However, simply implementing a TMS is not enough and shippers must realize that this is simply not the holy grail. The maintenance of the system is an important point for shippers to consider, as are the different functions and specialties each and every system delivers.
Furthermore, there are concerns over cost (both upfront implementation and long-term subscription or maintenance costs), integration to internal systems and connectivity to outside partners. Despite big pushes from TMS vendors to make potential users feel these aspects are easy to overcome, there remains a fear that a TMS will take time to implement, will be complex to run, and that the ROI on an investment will be dependent on integrations with systems and partners.
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