Supply Chain Expertise and Technology Blog by TMC, a division of C.H. Robinson

How to Leverage Gartner Research in Your TMS Vendor Evaluation

transportation_management_systemAs you encounter various supply chain disruptions, from regional weather and traffic issues to the unprecedented global impacts of this pandemic, do you have the necessary agility, visibility, and risk management to keep your operations running during the unexpected? If not, a global transportation management system (TMS) can be your solution – but only if you select the right provider for your business.

With the diverse technology solutions available today, it can be challenging to pinpoint the best TMS solution that prepares your business for opportunities and challenges today and in the future. Finding the answers and narrowing your options may start with an unbiased, outside perspective.

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems
When looking for a TMS provider, many companies trust Gartner’s Magic Quadrant (MQ) research. According to Gartner, the “Magic Quadrant is a culmination of research in a specific market, giving you a wide-angle overview of the market’s vendors. By applying a graphical treatment and a uniform set of evaluation criteria, a Magic Quadrant helps you ascertain how well providers are executing their stated visions and how well they are performing against Gartner’s market view.”

In the MQ, Gartner evaluates vendors based on their Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute. Completeness of Vision includes market understanding, marketing strategy, sales strategy, offering (product) strategy, business model, vertical/industry strategy, innovation, and geographic strategy, while Ability to Execute refers to product or service, overall viability, sales execution/pricing, market responsiveness/record, marketing execution, customer experience, and operations.

C.H. Robinson (TMC) Recognized as a Challenger
We are pleased to share that Gartner recognized us as a Challenger in the Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems 2020.

Our Managed TMS solution combines global TMS technology with instant access to top tier logistics experts to achieve your goals faster. Our Navisphere platform connects, automates, and optimizes your logistics network across all modes of transportation in all regions of the world.

Our recommendations on how to leverage Gartner’s TMS research

1. Streamline the discovery, evaluation, and selection phases of the provider selection process. You can apply the information in the Gartner TMS MQ report for North America and global providers alike.
2. Compare your current provider or narrow your vendor search for a new provider. Gartner does not intend for their research to provide a single vendor recommendation.
3. Rely on the information to inform your purchase decision. Many shippers who are considering a purchase, refer to the information in the MQ document to back up their decision.
4. Compare Gartner’s evaluation criteria to your own priorities. Gartner may evaluate vendors using criteria that do not align with your organization’s priorities.
5. Do not limit your selection to a specific quadrant. Review each vendor—across all quadrants—and apply your own criteria based on the organization’s strategy, needs, budget, and goals.
6. Schedule an analyst inquiry with Gartner. Avoid making assumptions based on a provider’s location within the quadrant. If reading the entire report of Gartner’s evaluation does not provide clear understanding, one of their analysts can help.

Other considerations when evaluating TMS providers
As I mentioned earlier, the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems research is a great starting point for narrowing your options for a quality TMS provider. But, since it is not a selection tool, I believe, there are many other aspects to consider in your selection process—people, ability to scale, fees, and risks are just a few. Be sure you can positively answer the following questions when evaluating your existing TMS provider or choosing a new one:

• What level of expertise, experience, and knowledge is on the provider’s staff?
• Does your organization have a strong fit with the provider’s culture?
• What does the provider’s global reach and development pipeline look like?
• What is the provider’s approach to supporting continuous process improvement?
• Can they offer configurable solutions and scale of services based on your strategy and needs?
• Are there fees associated with implementation, integration, training, or maintenance?

Get the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant report
TMC is providing complimentary copies of Gartner’s 2020 Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems report. Access and review your copy today.

Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems, Bart De Muynck, Brock Johns, Oscar Sanchez Duran, 27 March 2020

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product, or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from C.H. Robinson (TMC).

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