Q. I’m looking at adding a TMS system, but can’t pencil out the expense. Is the investment worth the potential reward?
A. This is a powerful question, for two reasons:
1. It is easily the most frequent concern that many supply chain participants (shippers, carriers, and brokers) have.
2. It is also a question that often goes unasked.
The truth is, cost matters! It seems we are all eager to do the cost/benefit analysis, as part of the risk/reward equation. So, we always expect the question, and recognize our responsibility to help with the evaluation. We want our customers to be the best-informed, and most deliberate in their decision; that is always a great reflection on us.
However, with a cloud-based platform such as EKA, you pay only for what you use. In fact, most of the users of our platform choose to pay by shipment (or per use), to avoid the “who’s a user” questions that often make it challenging to optimize resources in many small-to-midsize businesses.
You will find that there are some TMS products that tout themselves as being “free”, and may seem tempting. Most businesses that hope to grow, and use technology as a competitive advantage, view such services as limited, and limiting.
As far as an initial outlay with EKA - a supply chain platform - there may be some cost if there are specific adaptations that are required for your business. However, these would quickly and easily be identified. In such cases, we collaborate with our customers to design a strategy and plan mutually acceptable. There are three common paths forward:
1. If you desire a feature that is uniquely business-critical for you, we will identify the cost, and you can choose whether to go forward with it
2. It may be a feature or function that is on our development roadmap, in which case we provide you a timeline for completion and implementation
We can design an acceptable “work around”, or you may deem it “non-essential”
We hope this allays some of your concern about the potential “cost”; the “out of the gate” expense is much less than many believe. However, we still prefer to view our SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) TMS as an investment, whether our customer is a carrier, broker, or shipper. Here is why:
1. The EKA TMS platform will enable your people to be more productive
2. Our TMS can drive down the cost of your technology stack by virtue of the partnerships with which we have aligned and will facilitate your access
3. Our fully-integrated accounting and financials will streamline your office processes, and digitize your documentation
Your access to relevant external information, and the collection and analysis of your own operational data will empower your personnel, and optimize the performance of your resources
And finally, you can use our technology - a TMS based on EKA's supply chain platform - for sustainable competitive advantage.