Last week, our Director of Engagement Ryan Schreiber and CEO Peter Rentschler hosted a webinar on how TMS selection is not a technology strategy. TMS has been the centerpiece of technology in trucking and logistics not because it was the best, but because of the way that technology has historically been built. Modern technology is fundamentally different. Your technology strategy must change to match the evolution of technology in order to take advantage of the benefits that you and your employees will otherwise be missing out on.
For access to the full Webinar, click here. Below are four main takeaways:
Why the Conversation is Hard
CarrierDirect has seen two major problems - that people often unknowingly mean different things when talking about technology strategy, and that thinking TMS-first is too limiting. The first is like speaking a ‘different ‘language’, where there’s no basic foundation of understanding and acknowledgement of what one or the other means. To illustrate the other, Ryan used the analogy of building a car, instead of asking for a faster horse. The actual way software is built has changed in a way that drives incredible value and efficiency. If you think TMS first, there’s no way that you can take advantage of modernized technology.
So how has it changed? Technology used to be like cable - bulky package deals that either made you pay more for things you didn’t need, or choose to give up services in order to keep costs affordable. Now, technology is more like a streaming service, allowing you to pick and choose individual services and products that best fit your business. They’re easy to turn on, or turn off less bulky to set up or change, and perform better. Solving business problems has become flexible, customizable, and less risky.
What it Means
Technology strategy is more than the suite of software products in your business. Technology strategy has implications across your business which need to be accounted for. CarrierDirect has seen time and again that good technology decisions are made to support the operating model of your business. Choosing technology without a strategy typically means picking technology and bending your business to support it.
How to Think About it and What to Do
First, figure out where your business is going. What do you want to look like 5 or 10 years down the road? What kind of company do you want to be, and what services will you be offering? Once you have that vision, determine what your business imperatives are. What are the problems that need to be solved, and what does your business need to grow and meet your goals? Lastly, think through what role technology plays in your business. What capabilities are currently needed that are missing, and what needs to be added in order to support your business imperatives?
Plan the execution of your technology strategy over time - nothing can happen overnight. Design a roadmap that makes these changes attainable while keeping your team accountable.