A number of TMS providers now offer local trucking companies a variety of alternatives to the traditional in-house installation. In the more traditional setup, both the software application and your TMS data reside on a physical server in your company’s office building. For many local P&D companies, this method of hosting data in-house may still be the best one.
However, there are some other newer options for TMS hosting that you may want to consider. They include the following:
1. Data in the Cloud, an App on your Desktop (“Managed Hosting”)
In this scenario, you would launch your TMS by clicking on an icon on your desktop, just as if you’re launching Excel. The TMS application appears on your screen, just as it would if your data lived on your local. The only difference from the traditional in-house model—a difference that is invisible to the user—is that your data lives offsite, hosted by your TMS provider or one of its trusted providers such as Rackspace.
2. Data in the Cloud, App in the Cloud (an “All-Cloud TMS)
With this alternative, the TMS application itself lives “in the cloud” and is a web-based application. You get to it by going to a website and logging in there. You may already have experienced something like this if you use an offsite login to get access to your Exchange e-mail server.
How to Decide?
As usual, there are advantages and disadvantages to any setup. For example, some add-on TMS options (such as GPS or route optimization) require you to have an in-house TMS, so that its database can talk to your TMS’s database. In some cases, the cloud-hosted database works just fine with third-party vendors. Check with your current and potential future vendors and see which is the best option for you.
Happy Shopping from the Local Trucking Blog!