In recent years, the supply chain industry has undergone significant changes. With the advent of e-commerce, businesses are under increasing pressure to keep pace with growing customer demands, shorter product lifecycles, and global competition. Multi-enterprise business networks have been an effective first step to meeting these challenges and leveraging the vast potential of this new landscape.
However, in many ways, the industry has also reached a plateau. While supply networks and delivery models must continuously morph and adapt to cope with market demands, most transportation management systems (TMS) in use today are modeled on obsolete frameworks from the 1990s. Legacy systems were initially siloed because of the technological constraints of the time. Their communication was rudimentary and relied on a kind of “batch-mode” handling, where orders would be grouped within the order management system (OMS) then transferred in batches to the transportation management system (TMS) for shipment processing and execution. Though transportation management software has long since modernized, most continue to operate in functional isolation from order management.
This paper delves into the need to critically reevaluate this legacy approach to siloed transportation management. Fragmented systems landscapes introduce many issues for companies operating within expanding and evolving international, multi-enterprise business networks and hinders the supply chain’s continued evolution. The paper also explains why an order-centric transportation management system is the modern answer to supply chain complexity, offering far greater flexibility, agility, and resilience.