In today’s rapidly evolving freight tech landscape, having a robust Transportation Management System (TMS) at the center of your operations is critical to operation excellence and profitability. But in the search for the right TMS, you may get lost in the noise of keywords and buzzwords. Wait, what really matters for my next TMS? For one, Integrations. Not only that integrations exist. The depth of functionality enabled by that integration is critical. Each integration must be purpose-built to solve a user problem. Unfortunately, few TMSs put in the time and effort needed to make integrations that work well.
The Shallow Approach to Integrations
Many in the industry, including myself across 12 years of experience, are continually frustrated by the superficial approach tech companies take toward integrations. Companies often boast about integrating with other platforms, but upon inspection these integrations barely scratch the surface. They may connect system A to system B, but they don’t address the depth of functionality available in either of the systems—and sometimes the integration is not usable at all.
Why does this happen? Many tech companies maintain a separate “integrations” team. This team’s primary mission is to establish connections across platforms. But the issue is that these teams are typically deficient in many ways. They may be understaffed, inexperienced, or most importantly, they lack a comprehensive understanding of product usage. These issues yield a disjointed experience for users who expect integrations to provide more than just a connection.
The Alvys Difference
Enter Alvys. Our approach to integrations stands out in the industry. Rather than maintaining a separate integrations team, we ingrain integrations within our platform’s product team. This team is also comprised of individuals who have been on the frontline of logistics operations, facing the exact challenges our users confront.
What does this mean? It signifies that when Alvys says it integrates with another platform, it’s not just about a superficial connection. We prioritize user needs, ensuring that the data transferred through the integration improves the user experience rather than complicating it. For instance, one of our clients, Bear Down Logistics, saw their accounting time reduce from 3 hours daily to just 1.5 hours weekly, all thanks to our well-planned accounting integrations.
Brenden Boesgaard, Senior Sales Manager at Alvys, recalled another example, “TVA Logistics’ average time building a load went from 30 minutes to 2 minutes after switching to Alvys. While this isn’t only due to our well-built integrations, integrations played a big role. They are so seamless that you barely notice they are there! Things just work better. I hear from many of our customers who have seen meaningful impacts from our integration suite.”
The Paradigm Shift
Over the past several years, the trucking industry has seen a seismic shift. Previously, a TMS would handle 90% of the workload within its ecosystem, with optional integrations serving as mere add-ons—the cherry on the top. But in 2017, the ELD mandate forever changed the fundamentals of the trucking technology landscape. The mandate forced fleets to install IoT devices in every truck, which ushered in a flood of innovative telematics providers, which lowered the cost of connectivity by an order of magnitude, which meant fleets could now afford trailer tracking, too.
A new term was coined: “connected fleet.” But, connected to what? Reality punched me in the face when, as a fleet operations manager, I now had to have 20 tabs open to view each of these subsets of “connected” equipment.
With real-time communication infrastructure between trucks and backend systems now tenfold more reliable and cost-effective, TMS solutions must embrace the new world and deliver solutions that harness the availability of this real-time data to streamline and reduce operational overhead. While many TMSs added a mere field to track the truck’s location, the more profound question is: how should these integrations transform workflows? At Alvys, integrations aren’t an afterthought. They enable the core of our workflows.
Comprehensive Integrations at Alvys
Our integrations span a broad spectrum. In the realm of accounting alone, we’ve integrated with platforms like Microsoft Dynamics, QuickBooks Desktop, and QuickBooks Online, while Oracle NetSuite is in progress. Most TMS solutions may offer only one or two accounting integrations, thereby forcing carriers and brokers to double the scope of their technology overhaul just to find two systems that talk to each other. (Hint: even then, most of these integrations lose so much in translation). By offering a much more comprehensive array of integrations, there’s a much higher chance that your decision to switch TMS systems won’t bleed over into changing out every other piece of software in your tech stack, too.
But it’s not just about quantity; it’s also about quality. Our integrations aren’t one-way streets. They facilitate bi-directional data transfer, ensuring operations in the TMS and accounts in the accounting system remain in sync. Beyond accounting, we offer integrations across carrier packets, compliance, ELD, fuel cards, load boards, carrier onboarding, and more. Each of these integrations isn’t about just connecting; it’s about adding value.
Integrations in the modern logistics landscape are not mere cherries on the top; they’ve become the cake itself. In such a scenario, having a partner like Alvys who understands the depth and breadth of integrations and delivers that deep into the TMS becomes invaluable.
As the industry evolves, our commitment at Alvys remains consistent: to provide not just connections, but meaningful, functional, and value-driven integrations. Because without them, Alvys wouldn’t be the industry-leading solution it is today.
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