What's the best transportation management software (TMS) for freight brokers? There are many software vendors to choose from—including a TMS software from DAT—but no matter which one you select, here are 5 questions you should ask the vendor:
1. Who was this software created for?
Much of the TMS software on the market today was created for carriers and fleets. Others were created for shippers and warehouse personnel. The software company may have adapted it for use by freight brokers, but that means you'll be paying for functionality you'll never use. In addition, you may spend more time training your employees how to use those bulked-up systems. That’s why many freight brokers prefer to use a TMS that’s designed specifically for their business.
2. Will this TMS software grow with my business?
You need freight broker software that solves your problems right now. But what about the future? Ask the software vendor if you can add modules as your company grows. For example: What if you add independent agents who will need to use the same TMS? What if you start moving LTL freight in the future? What if a shipper requires you to use Electronic Data Interchange? Make sure the software you choose can accommodate those needs.
3. How is the software delivered?
Small brokerages without IT support staff often prefer to access their TMS software on the vendor's systems, with all the data stored in the cloud. Larger brokerages or those with IT departments may prefer to have the software installed on their own servers. Ask the TMS vendor whether they offer the delivery option that's right for your business.
4. What is the total cost?
Make sure the software vendor’s quote includes the total cost of the TMS. Ask about charges for installation, training, tech support, software updates, and any add-on modules you choose. Use this bottom-line figure when comparing one TMS system with another.
5. Will the software vendor be around when I need them?
A startup software company may have a slick-looking product. But what happens if that startup isn't around after you and your employees have already become proficient at—and dependent on—that TMS? Choose a company that has a solid history, and check out their reputation for customer service. A slick product quickly loses its appeal if you can't get anyone to help you when you have a problem.
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Categories: Best Practices and Benchmarks