Six Signs It’s Time to Switch Your TMS

Let’s do a quick exercise. Grab a pen and some paper. Write everything you love about your current transportation management system. Jot down all the ways the platform perfectly serves your operation. List the game-changing, business-improving, can’t-live-without features that enable your company to achieve peak performance.

Okay, now write down what you don’t like about your TMS. List ways the system falls short of the ideal. Capture the time-wasting, resource-monopolizing, margin-thinning issues impacting your operation every day. 

Which list is longer?

Unfortunately, if you’re like most carriers, it’s the second list. That means your company is losing and you feel it daily from suboptimal asset utilization, lower staff productivity, and customer service issues. What may seem like minor problems collectively add up and hit your bottom line. 

Yet switching TMS providers may seem like the bigger risk. A bird in the hand, right? After all, you’re making it work. But wait, read that again: YOU are making it work. That means the system really isn’t working FOR YOU. If this is the case, maintaining the status quo is the bigger danger to your business. Industry research suggests over the last decade modern TMS offerings have improved efficiencies and ROI by nearly 200%! 

If the disparity between your TMS love-hate lists doesn’t have you convinced, consider these six signs to assess if you should make a switch.

Optimization Is Underwhelming

According to the American Transportation Research Institute, 33% of all miles driven in trucking are empty. Adding insult to injury, 20% of trailers across North America sit unused at any given time—and analysts consider this a conservative estimate. 

Do these numbers sound like your fleet? Look at the desks of your planning team. If you see signs of pen-and-paper planning, your utilization likely is underperforming (and your TMS isn’t doing its job). Better options exist if your system lacks an AI-driven planning function capable of processing hundreds of pieces of data to find the best truck for every load. You’re also leaving money on the table if your current platform does not recalculate its recommendations in real time as network conditions change or offer customizable forecasting to help dispatchers and planners get ahead of problems. 

Manual Is the Modus Operandi

Manual check calls and customer updates. Multi-step processes to bypass system limitations. Sticky note reminders instead of automated workflows. These are telltale signs that your TMS is costing more than you might think. 

Legacy TMS’s typically create manual work for staff. The problems likely extend from the cab all the way to the back office. In response, staff develop workarounds when the TMS does not meet the operation’s needs. A research study found technology workarounds can add as much as 10 hours to each employee’s workweek. Calculate that number across your company for the estimated productivity gains and/or headcount reallocations possible by adopting a TMS that automates many manual tasks. 

Integration Feels Impossible

Is your company subject to system silos? The TMS, telematics, maintenance, and accounting platforms all work separately—separate data, separate processes, separate insights. Integrating the platforms means spending big bucks, waiting in the TMS provider’s long queue, or investing your own limited IT resources. 

All bad options. 

Research from McKinsey found that integrating systems and processes can reduce costs by 20-30%, increase customer satisfaction 5-10%, and generate an additional 3-5% in revenues. The math from these gains alone could provide the ROI needed to switch to a better TMS with API capabilities that make connecting systems simple and efficient. Add significant productivity gains from departments sharing data seamlessly. And don’t underestimate the financial benefits of improved maintenance management, faster billing, and better load plans all enabled by connecting disparate systems to inform real-time decision-making. 

The App Needs Scrapped

Is your app headed for abandonment? The answer is “yes” if: 

  • The technology causes more frustration than fixes.
  • User adoption is low and improvement requests high.
  • The app lacks full integration with your TMS.


Offering an easy-to-use app is becoming a fleet must-have to improve over-the-road work conditions. Untethering drivers from the cab to receive load assignments, scan documents, and communicate with dispatch makes a positive difference. Leveraging a digital workflow helps drivers operate more efficiently and effectively. Best practice is connecting the workflow from the palm of the driver’s hand to the TMS and back-office systems to streamline dispatch work, service alerts, billing, and payroll. 

Missing Modernity

Is your team relying on reports via spreadsheets? Is the dashboard days behind? Do you have an FTE spending hours every week on data and metrics management? This is a big, bold beacon that the time for a new TMS has come. 

Consider the hours saved—and information gained—through a TMS with set-it-and-forget-it reporting, easy data extraction, and dashboards driven by Business Intelligence software providing real-time performance indicators and insights on anything within the platform. What gets measured gets managed and the right TMS makes that possible. 

Paying Too Much for Too Little

Are the perceived costs of changing TMS platforms preventing the switch? The expenses of buying a new system, paying for implementation and integrations, and managing software updates are daunting in a down market. Plus, there is the budget guessing game for ongoing technical support and training. It can feel like money is constantly going out with no guaranteed return on investment. 

Luckily, TMS providers like Magnus have scrapped this traditional model. Instead, carriers benefit from a cloud-based system with a subscription model priced on utilization. That means no upfront costs, no implementation fees, and no monthly cost guesswork. The price is transparent and predictable. Plus, as a SaaS provider, the Magnus team constantly works to keep the system relevant to carrier and industry needs. Regular updates and system enhancements are part of the monthly fee meaning the system never goes out of date (without you doing the work.) 

Move On with Magnus

If your TMS’s time is running out, consider moving to Magnus. We offer the most mature and scalable enterprise-grade TMS solution for truckload operations, offering unlimited integration and expansion possibilities and a solid foundation of best-in-class cloud computing technologies and services. Whether you dispatch 50 or 5,000 trucks, the Magnus SaaS-based TMS has a full suite of features and connectivity to streamline your order-to-cash cycle in a way that maximizes business performance and growth. Schedule a demo now. 

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