Three Questions to Ask a TMS Solution Salesman

How to find the True Cost of implementing a TMS

If it sounds too good to be true, then it most probably is.  Learning this axiom the hard way can be a dreadful experience.  After all, you have much farther to fall into despair when riding high on the feeling you get when you think you’ve found a great value for an unbeatable price.  For instance, learning that the video game console is attractively priced, but the games themselves are cost-prohibitive is a bitter pill to be sure. 

But that’s nothing compared to the stomach churning experience of implementing a piece of enterprise software – after an exhaustive 12-month long RFx selection process –  only to realize that the seemingly low costs that attracted you to the software in the first place are illusory.  Sure, the up-front investment may have seemed irresistible.  But now that you’ve committed and there’s no turning back, you’re learning that there are additional charges to be levied for countless, costly incidentals the salesperson must’ve neglected to highlight during the sales process.  Maybe the implementation fee was not fixed, or maybe your selected provider underestimated, but all that matters is you’re on the hook for more than you expected.

If it seemed like you were getting everything you wanted for a price that couldn’t be beat when you were seeking a transportation management system (TMS) solution, you might have acknowledged that little voice in the back of your mind that said, “This seems too good to be true”.  In order to help those of you in the market for TMS solutions to make the most informed decision, the Supply Chain Collaborator has compiled the following list of three crucial questions to pose to TMS providers before you make any purchasing decision. 

Question 1 – Will you guarantee that the implementation costs are fixed?

Because, you’d hate to learn, too late, that there were some implementation activities that were not included or that your provider went over budget on the implementation and you’re forced to pony up if you want to finish the implementation.

Question 2 – Does your proposal include all the support and training needed for the life of the contact at no additional charge?

Because it can quickly become expensive to find out that training and support for employees or carriers is only included during the implementation period.   Now every time an update is released or you hire new workers, you have to allocate resources to train your users, or open up your wallet.

Question 3 – Will you provide a zero cost, 100% satisfaction guarantee?

Because if a provider isn’t willing to stand behind their product, why should you be willing to stand in front of it?  Ask your selected provider to guarantee satisfaction and insure that everything you saw in the demo is included in the quoted price.

When considering the total cost of ownership for a TMS, asking these three simple questions will separate the facts from the fiction about the actual costs involved.  If the answer to any of these three questions is anything other than “YES”, you should press the provider about what incidental costs may be incurred.  Uncover the true cost of your TMS and know before you sign on, what to expect by way of real ROI.

P.S.  Remember… You get what you pay for and nothing in life is free!



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