Challenges with Transportation Spend Management Platform Pilots

Companies considering buying SaaS have come to expect a pilot of the software prior to purchasing it. A pilot, in general, is comforting—it allows for a test run before purchasing the full platform. Few businesses can afford to risk buying the wrong one, especially after investing in the decision-making process and then having to spend the time and resources on setting up the system. SaaS providers offering pilots in complex buying scenarios neither represent themselves nor the full potential within the marketplace. As such, desiring a pilot is inherently stacked against you from the start.

While a pilot seems to give a taste of the platform, it’s often a distorted insight and may even sway a company from buying a solution that’s actually better suited to their needs. Let’s discuss the challenges of piloting freight audit and payment platforms and what to do instead of relying on a pilot when choosing your solution.

Challenges with Freight Audit Platform Pilots 

Freight audit pilots come with an abundance of challenges that make it difficult to decide what’s the best option, much less if and how the solution addresses your needs. Here are some of the main challenges to consider. 

  • Poor qualifying return—Pilots often are a good trial run, but that’s rarely the case for freight audit platforms, as you don't actually get the qualifying return you expect. A pilot limits your risk exposure, and it also limits the provider’s success—the average conversion rate for free pilots range from 8% to 10%
  • Cherry picking—The philosophy behind pilots is ‘prove it and build it out more. Freight audit, when done right, is a vast sea of analytics and data, encompassing a wide range of financial and operational processes, and pilots often cherry-pick the more minor issues rather than focus on your more significant problems. When that happens, you find out too late that the investment wasn’t the right fit. The inverse is true, too—picking the hardest issue is great for showing that it can be done, but it takes more time and longer to attain an ROI. By that point, it would’ve been better to do a full, blended implementation to get a good return while also solving for the hardest issues.
  • Feature focused—Pilots tend to focus on feature offerings rather than resolutions to your pain points. Sales teams often try to present as many features as possible to intrigue you and encourage a purchase. At the same time, pilots are too limiting to be able to tell if the features will fully meet your needs to solve your pain points. 
  • No or little customization—Pilots lack the customization that the full platform can provide, often coming in a standard shape and size. A robust freight audit platform should make life easier, which means being customizable to meet your specific needs. Gathering and loading a client’s unique data into the pilot—to provide that customization and show that the tool meets your needs—is resource-draining for the provider when it may not even result in a sale.
  • Short term—A pilot focuses on your short-term needs. If you look at the platform as part of a maturity journey, however, what a pilot demonstrates won’t help you in the long run. In times of disruption, a successful supply chain analyzes itself structurally in today’s market—you need a long-term solution. You need to consider future fluctuations and actions, giving greater insight into its long-term sustainability. The same needs to be done with pilots. 

What You Need Instead of Pilots 

Pilots aren’t the best option for deciding which freight audit platform to purchase. The complexity and size of Transportation Spend Management, as well as the constant updating of the science, means pilots are too short and minimal to provide you with what you are looking for. 

At Trax instead of doing pilots, we position Freight Audit Services as the cornerstone of Transportation Spend Management and guide clients on their maturity journey. Instead of trying to pilot a small section of their business, you’re better off with a roadmap for sustainable and compounding success over time. We work with you to understand your concerns and how to solve your pain points in order to optimize your Transportation Spend Management, which offers you a roadmap of the steps, timing, and ROI along the way.

Optimize your data 

As the global leader of Transportation Spend Management, we understand the importance of high-quality, normalized data in order to optimize your transportation spend, which is why we enhance the quality of data and information that you receive. Whether it’s elevating data management processes or optimizing activities of data streams, such as freight audit and payment, we ensure that you have access to the best data available. 

Manage carriers 

Our Carrier Management Services let you tap into our expertise and assistance in managing carrier performance and services. Pair that with other tools like our Performance Manager, and you have the complete package that ensures you choose the right carriers every time, without sacrificing quality or your bottom line.

Find the right carriers 

The right RFP eliminates the costly mistake of choosing the wrong carrier for the job, which can lead to significant financial losses from lost sales or delayed/damaged shipments. Trax helps you identify your critical shipment needs and tailor RFPs to match. We have worked with more than 4,000 global carriers and used that expertise to create an RFx Manager tool that helps you compare bids, from capabilities to capacities to costs and more. 

Enhance visibility 

Freight audit is the cornerstone of Transportation Spend Management, which creates enhanced end-to-end visibility into carrier rates, cost allocation, accrual management, and much more. Quality freight audit data positions your operational metrics for optimization. We set you up to have the business intelligence to make informed decisions and forecasting models to grow your market share.

Automate processes 

Transportation Spend Management automates many of the pains in transportation logistics today. For example, the financial aspect of accrual management can be automated, or the matching of lost/damage claims back to a carrier or invoice payment. Automation offers the benefits of eliminating human errors and freeing up resources. 

Trax's Transportation Spend Management Maturity Model

Trax's Transportation Spend Management Maturity Model is a framework that builds on world-class Freight Audit Services and goes further to provide a roadmap for large, global enterprises to shift from a lack of visibility and control to a fully optimized and accurate data-based transportation supply chain for all modes and geographies. As you journey through the model, you’re handed the capabilities to eliminate error, control cost centers, increase savings, enhance efficiency, and become the leader within your market. 

Trax focuses on all your pain points, not the ones we think you have. We set you up to be in the position to leverage dire times to widen the gap between you and the competition.

Mature your Transportation Spend Management 

Pilots rarely give you a full view of the platform to determine if it will meet all of your needs now and in the future. Our status as the global leader of Transportation Spend Management gives us unique insight into supply chain management complexities. We understand the challenges, as well as the opportunities, and offer you a blend of expertise, services, best practices, and technological solutions to optimize your supply chain.

We at Trax believe that being guided by experts through maturing through Transportation Spend Management, with the right tools, is key to successful supply chain management. To learn more, contact Trax today.

Trax Technologies

Trax Technologies

Trax is the global leader in Transportation Spend Management solutions. We partner with the most global and complex brands to drive meaningful optimizations and savings through industry-leading technology solutions and world-class advisory services. With the largest global footprint spanning North America, Latin America, Asia, and Europe, we enable our clients to have greater control over their transportation performance and spend. Our focus is on your success.