We write about how to run, manage, and grow global export sales and operations.

Why GTM Is Not Enough

“We have management systems. Transportation Management. Global Trade Management. Resource Management (ERP). What we don’t have, is an execution system.” - VP, Global Logistics of a Top 5 US Exporter
We’ve seen these systems - ERP, CTRM, GTM, TMS - consistently and continuously fail to meet the needs of trade execution teams across the globe. We typically see the following types of thinking:
  • Expensive, multi-year SAP, Oracle, CargoWise implementations that miss delivery times, go over budget (year after year) and never meet the baseline requirements for trade execution teams.
  • As the old adage says, "Nobody Gets Fired For Buying SAP". (That said, losing “share of wallet” from a customer due to poor performance is a form of getting fired.)
  • “Nothing fits my needs, just give me a TMS” point solution.

This article explains why TMS is just not enough.

Sure, a well-chosen TMS will reduce manual touchpoints, speed up the flow of information within an organization, and automate the sharing of data and documents with external partners. But a TMS just isn’t enough.

Transportation doesn’t exist in a vacuum. 

Managing logistics is just one piece in a much larger puzzle, its success dependent on a host of upstream factors. The life-cycle of any given shipment starts with a sales contract, and doesn’t end until payment is received. A TMS will handle the execution of that shipment (booking the cargo, submitting documents. etc.) but is by definition reactive, it still requires an operator to create a trade execution plan up front.  In many cases, by the time data reaches the TMS, the likelihood for an error is high. We see that over 70% of export documents are noncompliant.

Further, a TMS does not provide full control over your cost of goods sold (COGS) which requires a proactive management tool that is engaged even before the issuance of a sales contract, and stays active through the planning, execution, delivery of the shipment up through receipt of payment. 

Many companies are exploring transportation management initiatives that include route optimization, rate management, visibility, and trade compliance, but these projects remain fragmented and poorly connected. 

To be effective, companies must find ways to efficiently streamline the entire process of their global trade execution - starting at contract creation.

Want to learn more about how to go beyond a TMS to manage all aspects of your trade execution seamlessly online?