TMS in the Cloud: Greater Savings, Security and Efficiencies
Success in the transportation and logistics sectors increasingly depends on using technology effectively. Historically, businesses looking to upgrade their tech capabilities had three options for investing their resources: personnel, equipment and software.
Today, experts recommend a different path altogether: cloud computing. Think long-term savings, unparalleled security and greater efficiencies. The scale of today’s cloud capabilities means continued investment in in-house IT operations may no longer be the best strategic path for trucking and transportation companies.
Trimble recently debuted cloud-based versions of our TMW.Suite and TruckMate transportation management system (TMS) solutions. Now, you can pair Trimble’s decades of transportation industry experience with a subscription-based model that eliminates upfront capital expenses and maximizes your return on investment
But don’t just take the benefits of being in the cloud from us. Several of our customers have shown what success in the cloud looks like.
For Ralph Shepley, general manager of John Grant Haulage, being an early adopter paid off handsomely. Fifteen years ago the Ontario-based company had staffing, equipment, connectivity and software challenges. Looking at the cost of buying new servers and hiring new IT staff, they chose the cloud over rebuilding their entire network. From their perspective, they needed to hire more drivers, not IT people. John Grant Haulage, a Trimble customer, moved key operations to the cloud, including dispatch, rating, billing and accounting.
On top of giving their business new opportunities to scale and the ability to leverage state-of-the-art equipment, migrating to the cloud removed risky HR decisions and allowed them to focus on their core business–hauling freight. Presently the Grant Group manages more than 1000 highway assets, moving two million tons of freight annually, all of it with the help of a solid software provider and cloud hosting/services partner rolled into one. And the clincher? The company conducts its day-to-day business successfully with nearly zero IT resources of their own.
There are a number of ways to migrate your IT to the cloud, ranging from using hosted software through a subscription service to using managed services to store all of your data and applications. A fundamental step to moving forward with success is knowing all of your options before making any changes to your current personnel, equipment and software. Those include wide-ranging considerations that go beyond cost: connectivity, compatibility, geography (relevant to disaster recovery plans), maintenance and scaling opportunities.
Choosing a provider who will provide support and expertise at every step of the process–before, during and after migration–is essential. They should partner with you in establishing a plan to meet your goals, executing the plan and confirming results are as intended. That involves plenty of testing and developing implementation checklists for everything from ensuring licenses are compatible to knowing the failover procedures of a facility in the case of a disaster.
To that end, be sure to look at a provider’s track record in the transportation space for answers to important questions, especially:
- Where are they located geographically?
- What are the failover possibilities?
- How soon can you get back up and running after a disaster or system failure?
- What is the connectivity structure?
- Who are the carriers and how many entry points are there for the carriers?
- What kind of hardware can they provide?
- What’s the staff’s level of experience?
- Can the facility be toured to understand its capabilities?
Talking with an expert in the industry can help identify solutions that will yield the best results for your operation. Contact us today to explore cloud-based TMS solutions talk with us.