A Transportation Management System (TMS) is a necessity for any short-haul trucking business looking to expand its operation. Used for e-ticketing, order/driver management, asset tracking, invoicing, and reporting, a quality TMS offers many benefits. However, a TMS implementation can be a tricky process and it’s critical to align your business goals with your operational processes and integration capabilities.
Before embarking on your own TMS implementation journey, make sure you're clear on the main factors driving your decision to implement a TMS. This keeps your drivers, dispatchers, and back-office teams productive. It also reduces the risk of unnecessarily prolonging the implementation, keeping you from reaching your goals. What are you hoping to gain by using a TMS? What do you expect it to do for you?
For starters, you can expect a TMS to greatly reduce operational costs for you and your customers. It eliminates laborious manual processes to save you time, while also enhancing data security for you and your customers across every department. And we’re only scratching the surface! Wondering how to get started?
TMS Selection Process and Implementation Tips
Prior to implementing a TMS, you have to select one! To maximize your return on investment, look for a reliable TMS that will:
- Provide ongoing support
- Offer a top-notch customer experience
- Incorporate user-friendly features
- Integrate with your existing systems/processes
- Customize to your business needs
- Be cloud-based for real-time data management and insights
It’s also highly recommended that there is mindset alignment between your hauling business and the TMS provider you’ve chosen. Does the TMS provider want what is best for you long-term? Will they treat this journey like a true partnership?
To guarantee a successful TMS implementation, determine your priority items and ensure all the right team members are involved. From the initial Discovery Call all the way through the sales handoff to the Onboarding process, when you work with Qv21, you can lean on our sales director and sales engineer to answer all of your questions. They will be able to give you a clear understanding of our capabilities and set your expectations ahead of time. Our onboarding team will be there to set timelines and manage the project so that all you need to worry about is having open communication and a teamwork attitude.
Post-implementation support is a must-have. This includes ongoing training, 24/7/365 customer support, and assistance with system configuration and maintenance. Once the system is fully live, drivers in every location can successfully run loads through the system. The onboarding team will hand off a customer to one of our Customer Experience representatives as the new point of contact.
How Qv21 Supports the TMS Implementation Process
We believe firmly that our technology makes our customers’ lives easier. Your entire experience with us should feel simple and easy, as TLF (and Qv21) sets out to lessen the workload. Before a deal is even made, we work with you to build a true partnership so that we can better understand each other’s business and vision.
Depending on your specific business needs, we recommend our standard 30, 60, or 90-day onboarding timelines. Our onboarding process has 6 main pillars:
Communication: We can't read your mind, which is why it’s better if you overshare with us instead of under-share. Any tidbits of information you can give us are helpful. The more we know about you, the better we can onboard you.
Documentation: Having example tickets or providing us with reports of what you are currently doing helps us understand and visualize your business processes. We build all future workflows around this information, with Qv21 acting as your e-ticketing solution.
Feedback: Feel free to reach out to us anytime -- not just on weekly calls -- to let us know how we are doing. Feedback helps us meet and exceed your expectations.
Harmony: Is everyone on your team in sync and on the same page when it comes to proceeding with a TMS? Even if one team member is out of the loop, it could cause delays and disagreements. We are here to answer any questions, whether from drivers or C-suite executives.
Deliverables List: After the kickoff call, we will build a list of all deliverables to be completed before you are officially onboarded. This list is included in an onboarding welcome packet and will cover the onboarding timeline, as well as all items and assets that we need from you before we get started. Both parties will work together to set project goals and timelines before final approval.
On-site Training: This is to help you familiarize yourself with the Qv21 product. All training can be conducted virtually (but face-to-face is always recommended so we can get to know you better!).
The great experience you had during the onboarding process doesn’t stop as soon as everyone has been trained! Post-implementation support can be scary for some, but with us you’re never left behind, fending for yourself.
Our Customer Experience and Support teams are there for you -- even during those odd hours -- to quell your concerns. Our team:
- Understands the current challenges facing the short-haul, bulk commodity industry
- Acknowledges your specific TMS expectations
- Recognizes the difference between where you were pre-TMS and what you’re growing toward post-TMS
- Maintains and encourages regular communication - we want to know you!
- Will pay you an on-site visit for every key milestone you reach (as well as any other time)
Setting the Standard
Short-haul, bulk commodity trucking technology is our specialty. With a user-friendly interface and out-of-the-box software modules, our cloud-based TMS, The LogisticsFramework™ (TLF) sets the standard for transportation management software. TLF can help you simplify and expedite the implementation process. With all of the tools you need for more effective fleet management, Qv21 is designed for exactly what you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to reach out to learn how we can help you navigate your way through the world of fleet logistics!
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