By the time you hand over the subscription fee for your TMS, you have to be sure it’s the right solution for you.
That you can find your way around. That it works as promised. That you could genuinely roll it out company-wide in the timeframes you’ve agreed with your CFO.
Choosing the right system can feel like a leap of faith, especially when you’re dealing with vendors that demand huge upfront costs or minimum commitments of 3-5 years. Get it wrong and you’re locked into a contract that drains your budget and potentially wrecks your reputation, without providing the hoped-for ROI.
Luckily, the best TMS vendors on the market provide a simple solution: try before you buy.
Here are 3 of the biggest benefits of opting for a free trial.
1. It Helps You Focus Your Priorities
The sheer range of tools and features offered by a powerful TMS can feel bewildering. Knowing whether each individual element lives up to its boast, and can genuinely advance the goals of your organisation, is tough.
But the TMS procurement process can be an excellent opportunity to refocus as a team, lay out your goals for the future, and test out how you can use technology to further them.
In particular, it’s a great opportunity to meet with your CFO/CEO to establish their primary aims for the years ahead.
Perhaps they are interested in new M&A opportunities, or in exploring refinancing options that will allow them to grow the business or reduce the cost of funding? In consolidating treasury, or making it more autonomous? Improving cash visibility? Strengthening banking relationships? Changing their debt mix?
Once you have a better understanding of what they want to achieve, you can seek out a TMS that’s geared to support these activities.
But with a free trial, you can go a step further. You can explore the features on offer, figuring out which ones genuinely make it easier for you to make those goals a reality.
By the time you sign on the dotted line, you’re perfectly positioned to pull together a strategy to drive forward the organisation’s goals and vision.
2. You Can Sound Out the Support on Offer
One of the most important factors when choosing a TMS is finding a vendor that provides high level, ongoing support, well beyond the initial sales process. An on-hand expert while you implement your TMS, design your training programme and tackle teething problems in the early stages.
In the long term, you’ll need this provider to discuss enhancements and upgrades, to train or retrain staff as required and to offer strategic insights that will help you get the most out of your investment.
Any technology provider can make these promises when they’re vying for your business. But when you sign up for a free trial, you see what it’s really like to work with them.
How quickly do they get back to you? How do they handle your queries? How deep is their technical knowledge? How do they respond if you have mismatched expectations of a feature?
Do you trust them to handle your business well into the future?
3. You Can Source Feedback from Your Team
Overcoming resistance from your team can be a major stumbling block.
Sometimes, people fear change for its own sake; they lack confidence in their skills to adapt, or worry that their workload will increase in the short term. At other times, they’re worried their role will be replaced or reduced by automation.
A free trial is an ideal opportunity to introduce colleagues to the technology. You can explain what you’re trying to achieve: how you want to join up the dots across the organisation, strip out unnecessary admin and the potential for error and help them to do their jobs better.
You can recruit team members to test out the system and discuss which features have the most potential to ease their workload and improve communication, which would need tweaking and which don’t work quite as well as they hoped.
Not only is this feedback invaluable in helping you assess the suitability of the TMS, it also helps your team feel personally invested in the process. Instead of being threatened by the change, they will be excited about its potential – and willing to help you make it a success.
For more great advice on selecting the best TMS for your organisation, download your FREE eBook, How to Choose a TMS that Will Supercharge Your Growth.