Outgrowing Your TMS Is OK, Just Don't Let It Happen Twice

truck drivers conferring over a laptop
As you grow, you need your software to be able to grow and adapt with you. (shotbydave/Getty Images)

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I hear this sentiment all the time from brokers and third-party logistics providers: “We’re looking for a new software or platform because what we were using simply isn’t able to keep up and no longer provides the tools we need.”

For any 3PL, broker or forwarder (or even shippers and carriers, for that matter), this is a normal rite of passage and honestly one that should be celebrated. You’re successful. You’re growing. You need new tools to keep up with your success and growth. Cheers.

However, after that first time, if you find yourself once again in need of new platforms, that’s a sign you probably made a mistake. You probably blundered in your upgrade. While your business likely won’t crumble by having to go out and do your software search all over again, you are wasting significant resources with these efforts — both time and money.



The point is: As you grow, you need your software to be able to grow and adapt with you. Otherwise, you’re going to be going back to the drawing board more than a few times — and draining valuable company resources each and every time.

The software you choose for your brokerage or logistics operation, particularly your TMS, should make challenges easier to overcome. Your software shouldn’t be a hurdle to your ability to scale and find exponential growth.

Finding the right second software solution is the key to facilitating your desired growth and providing your company the greatest chance of success, especially during this fraught time within the logistics industry. And yes, the current, hectic state of our industry is likely here to stay. There will be no more “normal,” but instead an ever-­evolving “new normal” that we’ll all have to operate within.

The stage is set for an explosion in the freight market over the next five years as the supply chain morphs to the demands of the modern economy and the modern consumer. You don’t want to be the broker, shipper, carrier or forwarder who squanders the opportunity for growth simply because you felt flat-footed and didn’t adapt your software needs to a solution that could flex with you as you grew.

Across freight modes, capacity is changing daily, and ongoing capacity crunches have made it nearly impossible to book loads without a throbbing headache and some ibuprofen (or something stronger at the end of the day). Navigating the current capacity crises, while not fun or easy, doesn’t need to be such a hassle. The right software, one that grows with you and adapts to your company’s ever-changing needs, can help you in that quest by finding capacity at fair rates.

While software isn’t a brokerage’s be-all, end-all, it sure is a great way to help fill cracks as they begin to form in your company’s foundation

The supply chain environment we’re experiencing right now is here to stay for at least another 18 months to two years — maybe longer. Therefore, brokers, shippers, 3PLs and all the other links within the transportation landscape must experiment with new software options to keep up with the growth and changes. It’s paramount, or otherwise you risk becoming a Toys “R” Us in a rapidly changing economy.

There’s no such thing as a dumb question, something we’ve heard throughout grade school and into our professional lives. Well, I hate to break it to you, but there is at least one dumb question, and it goes something like this: “Can you help our company with X,Y and Z? Because the software TMS we upgraded to last year has become obsolete.”

JP Wiggins is the co-founder and vice president of logistics for 3G, a provider of cloud-based, end-to-end transportation management software for omnichannel shippers, e-commerce companies, 3PLs and freight brokers. 3G’s products include 3Gtms, a multimodal transportation planning, optimization, execution and settlement system; and Pacejet, a multicarrier shipping software platform.

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