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Transportation Management System (TMS) Consulting Services

MWPVL International Transportation Management System TMS Consulting Services

A Transportation Management System (TMS) is a software application designed to manage and optimize inbound and/or outbound transportation operations.  A TMS is an integral component of a mission-critical supply chain execution (SCE) suite of applications.

A TMS typically sits between an ERP or Order Management System (OMS) and the Warehouse Management System (WMS).  The ERP (or OMS) application passes inbound and/or 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 / stop assignments to minimize transportation expense within the required customer service level constraints.

In general, there are several different types of TMS applications. 

  • For companies that ship with third party FTL / LTL / Small parcel carriers, there are TMS applications that optimize freight spend by evaluating available shipping options between the source and destination shipment points. 
  • There are TMS applications dedicated strictly to optimizing small parcel shipments between USPS, UPS, FedEx, and other parcel carriers. 
  • For companies that ship with a private or dedicated fleet of trucks, there are TMS applications that optimize fleet routing and route/stop assignments to each shipment.  As well, there are applications to manage the dispatch of outbound trucks as they are on the road with driver standards and load status monitoring.
  • Lastly, there are TMS applications to manage international and multi-modal inbound and/or outbound shipments that may involve marine, rail, or over the road modes.

Unlike the WMS market, the market for Transportation Management Systems has a very significant variance in cost and complexity.  Budgets for TMS applications can range from several thousand of dollars to tens of millions of dollars.  Software cost and complexity tend to be related to the total transportation spend being managed by the application.

Transportation Optimization
Private Fleet Routing
US Truck Flow

It is important to understand that most companies are challenged by the implementation of a TMS because much of the knowledge is held in the mind(s) of the traffic managers.  This knowledge needs to be extracted and entered into systems along with the required data structures for all carriers being considered.  Often there is an intensive up front specialized transportation evaluation exercise that is required to execute before implementing the software. 

MWPVL International works with suppliers, customers and business partners to provide unbiased TMS consulting services that address the following types of questions:   

  • Which TMS software application is best-suited for our company, size of business, industry vertical, preferred computing platform and financial budget?
  • What is the economic business case for investing in a TMS application?  What are the total capital investment requirements including internal and external resource requirements? What financial benefits or competitive advantage can our company realistically expect to obtain from a new TMS application?
  • What are the main features and functions that our company should expect from a TMS application?  
  • What are the main differences between the commercial TMS applications available within the market place? Which vendors should our company consider evaluating based on our operating profile and shipping-specific requirements?
  • Is there a structured process that our company should follow when selecting a TMS application to ensure due diligence and to protect our interests?

MWPVL International provides strictly unbiased consulting services and trusted experience in helping companies with:

  • Lane by Lane Analysis of all transportation expenses (equipment type / size / fuel surcharges)
  • Private Fleet route/stop analysis for optimization opportunities
  • Developing the economic business case and financial justification for a TMS application
  • TMS requirements definition and RFP development
  • Development of structured software demonstration scripts
  • Vendor/solution evaluation and selection
  • Software negotiation and acquisition
  • Developing the project budget, plan, schedule, internal and external resource requirements for deployment
  • Project management

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MWPVL International Inc. is a full-service global Supply Chain, Logistics and Distribution Consulting firm. Our consulting services include Supply Chain Network Strategy, 3PL Outsourcing Strategy, Distribution Center Design, Material Handling Systems, Supply Chain Technology Advisory Services (WMS, TMS, LMS, YMS, OMS, DMS, Purchasing, Slotting),  Lean Distribution, Transportation Management, Distribution Operations Assessments, Warehouse Operations Consulting and much more.