In today's lean and mean transportation logistics markets, many companies are fueling their supply chains and transportation management systems (TMS) with some form of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), or cloud-computing software platforms. But how do you know what's right for your organization? And will the choice you make today be suitable long-term as your business needs change due to acquisitions, expansion or contraction? Let's take a look at the three transportation logistics technology solutions currently available in the marketplace and the pros and cons of each:
Industry pundits have tried to qualify whether a deployment is appropriate for SaaS versus on-premise based on company size. But the right solution has less to do with revenue or size, and more to do with the maturity or complexity of your overall transportation logistics operation.
For example, a multi-billion dollar food manufacturer may find that their transportation logistics and management needs are actually relatively simple in spite of the fact that they have significant annual revenues. A much smaller firm, such as a designer shoe company, may have more complex transportation logistics needs.
As you examine the various TMS solutions at your disposal, consider the following strengths and weaknesses associated with each option and think about what's important to your organization:
Many transportation logistics and supply chain solution vendors identify themselves as either an on-premise or SaaS vendor, offering varying degrees of cost, functionality and flexibility. SaaS has become very popular due to the lower initial cost and faster speed to benefit, especially in view of the recent economic climate. With any logistics solution, keep in mind that it takes time for deployment strategies to deliver benefits, and that operational and economic factors will impact how quickly results occur.
With a comprehensive understanding of the transportation logistics options available in today's marketplace, you'll be able to select a solution that works best for your organization.
Regardless of what technology model you decide is best for your organization, choose a transportation logistics and management solution and supply chain partner that offers flexible deployment options that can adapt over time to changing business and market factors.
Manhattan Associates offers all three transportation logistics deployment options and can provide you with a customized roadmap that meets your organization's specific transportation needs. For more information about our products, visit our Transportation Management Solutions page or read our Transportation Lifecycle Management white paper.