Any new technology investment comes with its own set of challenges. However, when it comes to free or low-cost TMS options, those challenges may be even harder to overcome than you think. For those looking to gain the benefits of a comprehensive transportation management system, choosing the cheapest option may seem like a frugal choice, but it could lead to logistics disaster.
The truth is that while saving a few bucks upfront may seem like a smart choice for those looking to dip their toes into supply chain technology or shave some dollars off of their budget, the lurking dangers of skimping on a more capable TMS solution could leave you worse off than you were before.
All this is not to say that the low-cost, free, or ‘freemium’ options out there don’t have their place. But before making a commitment, it’s vital that you understand the risks they come with. If you find yourself considering a low-cost option, keep reading.
The hidden dangers of budget TMS options
The Scaling and Customization Snare: Bargain-basement TMS solutions may seem like a good fit for your business now, but as you grow, their limitations will become overwhelmingly apparent. Customization and advanced functionality may be out of their reach, leaving you to face unexpected costs and operational disruptions. Consider the long-term implications before you box yourself in.
The Customer Support Black Hole: When things go haywire, you need help fast. But with a freemium TMS, you’re likely to be left stranded. These platforms often lack dedicated customer support, which can lead to long wait times and frustrating experiences. Don’t waste your time wrestling with problems on your own. Invest in a platform with responsive customer support that can help you get back up and running quickly.
The Resource Vacuum: A lack of support can extend to training materials, self-service resources, and detailed documentation. This means that you may not be able to get the help you need to get started or troubleshoot problems. Choose a TMS that offers comprehensive resources to help you succeed.
The Trap of Vendor Lock-in: Choosing a free TMS could lock you into their platform, making it difficult or impossible to switch to a better solution later. This is because data migration from one TMS to another can be a costly and time-consuming process. Don’t let yourself get caught in the trap. Pick a platform that gives you the freedom to switch to a better solution if your needs change.
The Data Privacy Enigma: The price of “free” might be your data. Free TMS providers may not have the same commitment to data privacy as paid providers. This means your information could be sold to third parties or used for other purposes without your knowledge or consent. Ensure your TMS provider has strong data privacy policies in place to protect your information.
The Reliability Mirage: Many free TMS solutions claim to be reliable, but they may not have the technical architecture to support it. This can lead to bugs, crashes, and slow performance, which could disrupt your entire logistics operations. Be sure there is a proven track record of reliability.
The Implementation Nightmare: Implementing a TMS can be a complex and challenging process. Without proper planning, support, and stakeholder buy-in, you risk facing a long list of challenges and delays. Save yourself the stress and choose a TMS that includes a proven implementation plan.
For those looking to gain the benefits of a TMS solution without the risk, Shipwell emerges as a reliable ally. Unlike free or low-cost alternatives, Shipwell offers a robust platform that ensures scalability and customization without hidden upgrade costs. Our platform ensures your business is free from compromise and has the necessary capabilities you need to grow. And with a dedicated support team, extensive training resources, and comprehensive documentation, Shipwell provides a dependable safety net in times of need.
Shipwell also provides personalized support and capabilities geared to meet your precise requirements, from offering seamless integration with existing systems to alleviating concerns about data migration and security. Few in the industry can compare with our platform’s capabilities, implementation speed, and reliability.
If you’re still on the fence about choosing a budget TMS option, we recommend exploring the risks involved before you do so. In our free guide, What Businesses Need to Know Before Choosing a Free or Low-Cost TMS Solution, we provide more detail on these risks involved, allowing you to make the most informed decision for your business.
Download the guide today and learn more about the risks of choosing a budget TMS solution.