If you're in search of the ideal TMS to streamline your container drayage operations, you've come to the right place. Navigating the world of drayage software can be a bit overwhelming but worry not – we're here to simplify the process for you.
In this blog, we'll provide you with a comprehensive roadmap on how to evaluate and select the best drayage TMS for your unique business needs. So, grab a cup of coffee and let's dive in!
Step one: Assess your business pain points.
The first step in choosing the right drayage TMS is a thorough assessment of your business needs and pain points. Some pain points are common within the industry, while some are unique to your business. This means you should consider factors such as:
Customer expectations: Consumers of drayage services (BCO’s, 3PL’s, ocean carriers) continue to expand their requirements for connectivity. Whether it’s EDI or API requirements, a customer web portal, GPS tracking, automated email notifications, and reporting – can you meet these requirements for your current customers and prospects?
Tight profit margins: Most container drayage companies face external pressure on their margins. One day of per diem, demurrage, rail storage, chassis usage can significantly impact your margins. The right drayage TMS will automate all of this and ensure a better bottom line.
Inefficient workflow: Identify any specific operational challenges that your business faces, such as manual container tracing, the lack of a mobile app for drivers or inefficient document management.
Operations disconnected from accounting: How well are your operational workflows integrated with invoicing and driver settlements? Are you rekeying data into an accounting system, or are your operations and accounting integrated into an automated workflow?
Step two: Keep integration capabilities top of mind.
Integration capabilities are paramount when selecting a drayage TMS. Your TMS vendor should have broad expertise in enabling you to connect with your customers by various protocols, including APIs and EDI.
Every BCO or 3PL has its specific EDI or API interface requirements that you’ll need to adhere to in order to retain their business. Whether it’s delivery order processing, dispatch status and events, in-transit GPS updates, or invoicing with supporting documentation, you need to be prepared to meet these modern market demands.
Your TMS should also seamlessly integrate with the existing systems used by your company, such as the accounting system, yard systems, mileage system, etc. to create a unified and streamlined workflow for your business. Manual data entry and data transfer between systems are prime culprits for errors in logistics operations. These errors can lead to missed shipments, delivery delays, and costly mistakes. By implementing a TMS with robust integration capabilities, you minimize the chances of human error.
This is because integrated systems automatically share data, eliminating the need for manual intervention. This not only enhances accuracy but also boosts operational efficiency. You can trust that the information in your TMS is up-to-date and reflects the most recent changes across your logistics operations.
Step three: Flexibility is more important than you think.
Most drayage TMS applications have a standard set of workflows that provide an out-of-the-box deployment option. Some applications are more rigid than others. As every business is different, selecting a TMS that provides the flexibility for user-lead configurations, screen layouts and workflows, is key to unlocking the true value of the TMS.
In addition, it is especially beneficial to have a TMS vendor that provides the flexibility and capability to modify the TMS to meet your specific needs. As businesses grow, so do their needs and requirements. Choose a drayage TMS vendor that has a proven track record in this area.
Step four: Industry expertise drives relevant product and services levels.
The goal of any enterprise application is to help the customer improve their bottom-line performance. Industry expertise in the container drayage space is key to providing relevant and practical product development that helps port and rail drayage companies digitize and automate their operations. Industry expertise from a service level is equally important in assessing a TMS vendor’s capabilities, from onboarding to consulting, and ongoing support.
Also important is the structure and pedigree of the TMS vendor you are selecting. How long has the TMS vendor been in business, and what is the ownership structure? These are key determinants that can’t be overlooked. Opting for a drayage TMS backed by a large, established global corporation can provide a substantial advantage in terms of financial stability and long-term viability. Such corporations typically allocate substantial resources to research and development, ensuring continuous improvements and updates to their solutions.
A well-funded, globally recognized corporation can also offer a sense of security, knowing that your TMS provider is committed to long-term support and development. This commitment not only reduces the risk of sudden disruptions, but also ensures that your TMS remains competitive and aligned with evolving industry standards.
Your TMS partner for long-term success.
Selecting the right TMS for your drayage business is a pivotal decision that can shape your operational success. One option worth exploring is Trinium TMS.
With our strong reputation in the industry and a track record of empowering drayage businesses, Trinium offers a comprehensive solution that aligns with many of the key factors we've discussed in this blog. Our commitment to delivering real business value for container drayage companies of all sizes makes us a compelling choice.