Transportation management system (TMS) integration with existing enterprise resource planning (ERP), warehouse management system (WMS) or web based storefront, can be a very beneficial thing for many companies wanting more robust visibility, functionality and control over their logistics operations. With an effective TMS integration, businesses are able to streamline the workflow of a customer service team, shipping team and all other teams with pricing, shipping and even logistics spend responsibilities.
Some companies see new TMS implementation as a lengthy and difficult process likely to intrude on day-to-day business operations, but with knowledgeable and attentive client support, the execution will be a simple and educational experience for a company’s internal logistics team, that will provide minimal disruptions to daily activity.
Granting Departmental Access
Many companies choose to shift certain logistics responsibilities or make scheduling processes visible to more departments and individuals once a TMS is adopted. This is encouraged, as granting access to key insights provides important knowledge to extensions of your supply chain and serves as the necessary preparation for team members to address customer questions or solve other issues easily and skillfully.
An example of effective TMS sharing is allowing a shipper access to accurate pricing across multiple carriers from within the order fulfillment process. Another example is having a customer service representative pull up a sales quote to save pricing on sales orders, which makes it easy for shipping and fulfillment teams to pick up where they left off with consistent data and information throughout the process.
Undergoing the Integration Process
When blending a quality TMS with your business, the process should be seamless and straightforward.
Here’s what integration looks like:
- Specifications are sent from the TMS provider to a company’s programming team that contain detailed examples of integration steps.
- A process evaluation is performed internally to determine the best location to add the calls to the TMS to retrieve and display rates.
- Based on company feedback, stakeholders are identified as key TMS users to ensure a successful result once integration is complete.
- TMS coding begins using a dummy account that allows developers to make practice calls into the TMS with an API. This allows data sharing between systems and simulates shipment activity.
- TMS functionality is tested and fixes are put in place.
The average implementation takes around 2 to 4 weeks, depending on resource availability and the efficient organization of the stakeholders involved in the project.
Observing Direct Customer Satisfaction
Once implementation is complete, team members will have the added efficiency benefits of scheduling shipments from within their native systems and customers will have the ability to view those shipments in real time. TMS integration allows for a much more cohesive experience while eliminating duplicate data entry.
The ideal integration process is one that is quick but consciously gradual and error-free, acknowledging the amount of time and effort on the part of a company to research, select and implement a modern TMS.
Read our case study on how chemical manufacturer Misco Products improved processes, decreased logistics spend and saved valuable time and resources through a strategic partnership with Translogistics and its ViewPoint TMS.
Are you interested in logistics management services? Contact Translogistics today.