Gartner helps to understand the benefits of TMS solutions

Barcelona, 6 May 2015.-  The prestigious technology research firm juncture, Gartner has published a recent analysis of the TMS market. The following is his definition of TMS, main features, benefits and returns to a carrier or a logistics operator. We recommend a thorough reading of this report, whose precise reading of facilitating a series of contact. We would like your assessment and review, if fully agrees with the view of Gartner or the market, company by company, draw another picture. We invite you to give us your opinion at the end of the article in this blog, or our twitter:@softlogistico. Thank you.

AndSoft en #SIL2013 SIL Barcelona

Gartner Analysis of the TMS Market

Multimodal transportation management systems (TMSs) generically refer to the category of software that deals with the planning and execution of the physical movement of goods across the supply chain (see “Gartner’s Model for Holistic Multimodal Transportation Management Suites”). The TMS Magic Quadrant focuses on holistic multimodal TMS for use by shippers or non-asset-based, third-party logistics (3PL) organizations. The primary emphasis is on systems that support for-hire transportation management operations, whereby users utilize a variety of shipping modes, including over the road, private/dedicated fleet, small package, rail, intermodal, air and ocean. At a minimum, shipper companies use TMSs to manage freight sourcing, planning, execution and settlement. Multiple subcomponents make up a comprehensive TMS across planning (for example, load consolidation, routing, mode selection and carrier selection) and execution (for example, tendering loads to carriers, shipment track and trace, and freight audit and payment).

TMS suites have been extended to include all transportation management functions across multiple modes — from strategic planning, strategic freight sourcing and procurement, through visibility and performance management, to freight payment and audit capabilities. In addition to functional expansion, TMS solution providers have expanded the number of modes they support, adding deeper support for modes such as small package or parcel shipping, private fleet planning and execution, intermodal, and rail. With the expansion of global supply chains, TMSs also embrace global logistics functions and features. This research covers multiple TMS delivery and implementation approaches, including on-premises, hosted, on-demand cloud/SaaS and TMS-managed services, which are all subject to the specified inclusion criteria (see the Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria section).

Gartner TMS

This research focuses on non-asset-based shipping enterprises (shippers or 3PL companies), but it does include shippers that support for-hire and private fleet transportation. It does not focus on specialized solutions targeted only at private fleets or stand-alone parcel shipping. Enterprises that are focused exclusively on asset-based transportation capabilities, such as owned fleets, require additional functionality (for example, capacity planning and yield management), which is not the focus of this research. However, fleet is considered under the TMS vendor’s ability to support multiple modes, which include fleet and others. Additionally, although parcel labeling and manifesting solutions can be included in a multimodal TMS, stand-alone parcel manifesting solutions are not included in this research.

Multiple subcomponents make up comprehensive multimodal TMS solutions. In this Magic Quadrant, we evaluate the vendors’ offerings, considering all of the following product capabilities:

  • Strategic transportation network design and planning
  • Freight sourcing and bid optimization
  • Inbound, intercompany and outbound freight
  • Tactical planning (forward-looking scenario analysis and planning)
  • Operational transportation planning and optimization
  • Carrier assignment optimization and collaboration opportunity management
  • Transportation execution and carrier communication/collaboration
  • Trading partner (carrier, supplier and customer) network/community management
  • 3D load design/building
  • Freight rating and contract management
  • Multicarrier parcel shipping
  • Rail and intermodal shipment planning and execution
  • Multileg/multimodal international planning and execution
  • Asset- or fleet-based routing, scheduling and dispatching
  • Freight audit, payment and settlement
  • Carrier appointment management/dock scheduling
  • Logistics order and shipment visibility and event management
  • Analytics, performance management, scorecards and management dashboards
  • Globalization for international deployment (language, currency, local rules and geographic data)
  • Technology architecture, adaptability, flexibility, usability and deployment options

All solutions in the TMS Magic Quadrant support basic Level 3  transportation operations (see “Apply an Architectural Framework to Stratify Holistic Multimodal Transportation Suites”) for over-the-road transportation. Distinguishing characteristics will be:

  • Breadth of the TMS (not just planning, execution and settlement, but also system-of-innovation capabilities, such as tactical planning, fleet management, multicarrier parcel management, 3D load design and supply chain execution [SCE] convergence).
  • Depth of the TMS, as demonstrated by live references in Level 3 and above transportation environments, holistically using the breadth of the vendor’s TMS application. Particular emphasis is placed on the ability of vendors to handle the most complex planning scenarios because this ability distinguishes the offerings at the highest level of requirements.
  • Usability and adaptability, with particular emphasis on a vendor’s current and future UI strategies.
  • Global go-to-market strategy and offering, with strong emphasis on a vendor’s strength in the largest current TMS markets of North America and, to a lesser extent, Europe.
  • Partner ecosystem and project/implementation consulting capacity and quality.
  • Vision, thought leadership, roadmap and track record beyond basic over-the-road multimodal TMS.
  • A compelling SCE convergence strategy — that is, both the breadth of TMS and the ability to support end-to-end business processes through an SCE platform.

Several TMS vendors did not meet Gartner’s inclusion criteria for this year’s TMS Magic Quadrant. While these vendors did not qualify for this research, they may well offer a TMS solution that would be well-suited to the needs of a specific company. A few of the vendors that did not qualify were in the TMS Magic Quadrant in previous years — notably, Logility, TMW Systems and IBM Sterling Transportation Management System. While they did not qualify, this does not mean that these vendors’ offerings have changed markedly or are any less viable for a particular company. Furthermore, there are a number of emerging vendors, such as 3Gtms, BestTransport, Cloud Logistics and ProcessWeaver, which have yet to meet the inclusion criteria, even though their solutions are gaining some traction in the market. Because the Magic Quadrant is a market evaluation, vendors are positioned relative to each other. As such, if vendors are added or dropped from the Magic Quadrant, the specific positions of certain vendors can change, even though there has not been a fundamental change in the vendors’ offering.

TMS solutions break down into categories:

  • Traditional, primarily on-premises applications with the potential for dedicated cloud hosting — From vendors such as JDA Software, Manhattan Associates, Oracle and SAP.
  • SaaS-only TMS — From vendors such as inet, LeanLogistics, MercuryGate International and several notable mentions.
  • People-based operational services in addition to managed service providers’ software — From managed service providers, such as C.H. Robinson (TMC), Transplace and LeanLogistics. However, for these vendors to be included, they must have built their own TMS application, and they must offer their TMS to customers for traditional, self-service software usage as well as managed services. Pure managed service providers, while having strong TMS offerings, are not considered Leaders because they are not pure-play technology providers, and they do not have broad SCE convergence strategies.

SCE Convergence

A compelling trend in logistics management is a concept that Gartner calls “supply chain execution convergence,” which refers to the need for supply chain organizations to better orchestrate and synchronize processes across functional domains (see “Supply Chain Execution Convergence: Delivering on the End-to-End Process Promise”). More precisely, leading supply chain organizations want to orchestrate end-to-end processes, such as order to cash, that span traditional functional boundaries, including warehousing, transportation, manufacturing or global trade management. In Gartner’s 2014 SCM User Wants and Needs survey, we again found that more than 45% of respondents said that the inability to orchestrate and synchronize end-to-end business processes was one of the top three barriers to meeting their supply chain management (SCM) goals and objectives, while 15% said it was their No. 1 barrier to success.

Because end-to-end process orchestration is so fundamental to further promoting logistics maturity (see “Apply the Five-Stage Maturity Model to Drive Logistics Excellence Within the Supply Chain”), we have made SCE convergence a central tenet of the TMS market evaluation. Given the effect convergence is having on the SCE application landscape, we have made it an important component within the Completeness of Vision dimension of this Magic Quadrant. To be a Leader or a Visionary, a vendor must have a noteworthy SCE convergence vision and strategy. While a vendor’s SCE convergence strategy impacts its position in this Magic Quadrant, its SCE convergence strategy might have little relevance for companies that are narrowly focusing on transportation alone.


2 thoughts on “Gartner helps to understand the benefits of TMS solutions”

  1. […] Este tipo de herramientas son una solicitud cada vez más habitual de las empresas de transporte por carretera, cubriendo de forma muy gráfica y fácil el control del “core business” de los operadores de transporte y logísticos. […]


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