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STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS

IMPLEMENTING A TMS FOR YOUR BUSINESS

TMS implementation

The implementation of a TMS product comprises several steps and the active participation of different stakeholders to avoid step backs and to ensure that the chosen solution answers to the specific needs and challenges of the business. Some TMS vendors, like Alpega TMS, will actively participate in the different phases of the implementation, helping the organization optimize its operational processes and configuring the TMS to best cover their needs. 

Depending on the complexity of the chosen solution, the implementation may last between a few weeks to 8-9 months. It varies depending on the transportation modes of the business, the different integrations needed, and, overall, the specificities required in the supply chain. 
For a successful implementation – no matter the solution or size of business – members from different teams, from business to IT, have to be involved. Securing the support of executive team members as well as end-users is considered essential. 

The Steps to a Successful Implementation usually include

  • Project Setup: Customers and vendors arrive at a common understanding of the project and define the objectives, tasks, and responsibilities of each of the parties. It is usual to organize workshops with the different stakeholders to align on the right approach and to secure the commitment of the parties. It is as well during this first step that the resource planning and the preparation for the project infrastructure take place. 
  • Definition of the solution & desired capabilitiesIn this phase, customers identify the business processes and requirements, the systems that need integration with the TMS, the information and data flows to be set up, and objectives to tackle during the implementation of the TMS. This step is crucial for a successful implementation. It should be thorough in mapping all information from interfaces and data points of the business that have an impact on its supply chain. 
  • Setup and IT Implementation: The 3rd step comprises the setup and IT implementation of the solution, including the upload of all master data needed from the business side and integration of the customer’s existing software and systems. In this phase, the work and coordination is mainly with the IT department and the support team from the vendor.
  • Testing & key-user training : Once the IT implementation is completed, testing the functionality and the specific customer configurations under realistic conditions is crucial. Together with the vendor, the customer will run a set of tests to identify any possible risks or pending fixes. This step also includes training preparation and execution for key users. The documentation needed for end-user training is prepared, so the customer becomes as independent as possible in the knowledge transfer of the TMS solution within the company.
  • Project deployment & end-user training :It is time for the roll-out of the solution and the start of its usage within the organization. In organizations with several locations, transportation modes, or local specificities, it is common to start with a pilot deployment to test the solution before implementing it in the other sites. This is also frequently the case for smaller projects, taking the time to check all functionalities in a pilot environment. The key-users also take time to train the end-users, including suppliers, carriers, and third parties involved together with the support of the vendor. 
  • Go-live and continuous support: Once the project has proven successful in the pilot version, the final solution goes ‘live’. It is an excellent time to provide extra training to those users who need it, and the vendor offers support to the customer if incidents occur to ensure a smooth transition in the usage of the implemented solution.

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