Written by Nick Darman, CEO and Founder at Alvys
What Makes a Good TMS?
Transportation Management Systems have to organize many complicated workflows. They provide the backbone for your entire logistics operation. It starts with finding loads and scheduling them. Then you have to monitor those loads and check-in with drivers. Finally, you have to make sure everything gets delivered on time and paid for.
It gets tricky when you try to account for the day-to-day anomalies that occur in logistics. Problems with loads are common, and the thing that separates excellent trucking companies from poor ones is how well exceptions get managed. TMS developers must think about the issues that arise: human errors, accidents, safety, compliance, government regulations, and more when programming. It’s the only way to ensure the software doesn’t fall short.
To handle all of this, a good TMS needs to be extremely advanced under the hood, but still very simple from the user’s perspective, The software should work for you. Not the other way around.
What to Watch Out for When Choosing a TMS
It’s easy to produce bad software. And there is plenty of bad software available on the market.
So what should you look for? For starters, pick something you can try before you buy. Who wants to get locked into a long contract only to realize the software doesn’t do what it said it would? Or, you get the “base” version, and realize you need to pay a bunch of extra money to get the proper modules to run your business.
It doesn’t have to be that way. There is a world where you get the full suite of software with no contracts and one flat rate. Good software should lower your overall monthly costs. Not raise them.
Beware of the Pre-recorded Software Demo
Some companies string together interactive screenshots for their software demos! This practice is not uncommon. Clients watch a highly curated smoke and mirror show and don’t even realize they are not seeing the actual software. Interactive screenshots move quickly and easily as part of a scripted performance, while the slow load times, bugs and glitches of the real software are not seen until the software has been purchased.
A Reliable, Expert Development Team Is Key
The backend of a good TMS is complex. Think about the Microsoft Office suite–simple in the front, very complex in the back. When you have all of this functionality for the user, there is heavy lifting going on behind the scenes. This heavy lifting requires complex code and a talented development team.
If the code is clunky and disorganized, then the user experience will be clunky and disorganized too. You’ll spend time waiting for pages to load, data that you enter will not be saved consistently, and system crashes will be frequent. Frustration will mount as realize your new software is more headache than it’s worth.
It’s a domino effect. If your software can’t keep up with the demands and challenges of the business, then your bottom line suffers. If you’re reliant on a development team that is not adaptable, then you continue to limp along as feature requests and integrations get ignored or shelved until further notice. Round and round the problems go.
The quality of a TMS’ development team directly impacts each user’s experience. And the quality of the software directly impacts the efficiency and growth of the business. Do you want frustration or freedom?
Our Focus Is on Quality Development
At Alvys, our development team is our number one priority. Our CTO, Leo Gorodinski, began organizing and leading the development team years before our TMS went to market. Leo was head of development at Jet.com in the the years before it was sold to Walmart for 3.3 billion. In essence, he architected and scaled a multi-billion dollar software that accommodated millions of users seamlessly.
Alvys has had his leadership and focus for the past two years. He built the team of engineers with a principled approach. There is no “throw it over the fence” mentality. QA and Engineering work together seamlessly to resolve issues quickly. The system is proactively monitored, especially when new updates are released. The Product teams work closely with Engineers to focus on the most relevant feature updates. All of this creates a system that delivers a good experience for the end-user.
How Alvys Does It Different
Alvys doesn’t allocate the majority of our resources toward marketing or sales like other TMS’—that’s the route you go if fast dollar signs are all you see. We have a long-term vision and the foundation is an elite code infrastructure and a highly effective development operation, and it’s where we spend the majority of our resources.
We believe that the software is so agile and smart, it will sell itself. No screenshot demos or other smoke shows necessary. The proof is in the actual software when you use it. With 51 engineers, we are able to architect the highest quality TMS on the market.
Give it a spin. You’ve got nothing to lose.
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