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How to Leverage Gartner Research in Your TMS Vendor Evaluation

As more companies enter the transportation and logistics industry, your vendor choices and transportation management system (TMS) options expand. And evaluating each provider to ensure the right fit for your organization becomes increasingly complicated. Should you pursue a technology only solution? Or would a people plus technology provider be a better idea? Finding the answers and narrowing your options may start with an unbiased, outside perspective. 

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems

When looking for a TMS provider, many companies trust Gartner’s annual Magic Quadrant (MQ) research. Gartner Magic Quadrant is a culmination of research in a specific market, giving you a wide-angle view of the relative positions of the market’s competitors. By applying a graphical treatment and a uniform set of evaluation criteria, a Magic Quadrant helps you quickly ascertain how well technology providers are executing their stated visions and how well they are performing against Gartner’s market view.

The MQ evaluates TMS providers that meet specific inclusion criteria on how they compare to each other across a variety of areas. The weight of each of these areas on positioning within the quadrant varies. The two areas they focus on for TMS providers are Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute. Completeness of Vision includes Market Understanding, Marketing Strategy, Sales Strategy, Offering (Product) Strategy, Business Model, Vertical/Industry Strategy, Innovation, and Geographic Strategy, while Ability to Execute refers to Product or Service, Overall Viability, Sales Execution/Pricing, Market Responsiveness/Record, Marketing Execution, Customer Experience, and Operations.

Gartner Recognizes C.H. Robinson (TMS) as a Challenger
We are pleased to share that Gartner recognize us as a Challenger in the Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems 2019. We are proud of our position in the quadrant, which recognizes both our ability to execute and completeness of vision. We hope our position in this year’s MQ helps shippers recognize that our single, global TMS platform supports all modes of transportation in all regions of the world, to help translate complex needs into solutions.

6 ways to leverage Gartner’s TMS research

1. Streamline the discovery, evaluation, and selection phases of the provider selection process. You can apply the information in the Gartner TMS MQ report for North America and global providers alike.

  1. Compare your current provider or narrow your vendor search for a new provider. Gartner does not intend for their research to provide a single vendor recommendation.
  2. Rely on the information to inform your purchase decision. Many shippers who are considering a purchase, refer to the information in the MQ document to back up their decision.
  3. Compare Gartner’s evaluation criteria to your own priorities. Gartner may evaluate vendors using criteria that do not align with your organization’s priorities.
  4. Do not limit your selection to a specific quadrant. Review each vendor—across all quadrants—and apply your own criteria based on the organization’s strategy, needs, budget, and goals.
  5. Schedule an analyst inquiry with Gartner. Avoid making assumptions based on a provider’s location within the quadrant. If reading the entire report of Gartner’s evaluation does not provide clear understanding, one of their analysts can help.


Other considerations when evaluating TMS providers

As I mentioned earlier, the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems research is a great starting point for narrowing your options for a quality TMS provider. But, since it is not a selection tool, there are many other aspects to consider in your selection process—people, ability to scale, fees, and risks are just a few. Be sure you can positively answer the following questions when evaluating your existing TMS provider or choosing a new one:

  • What level of expertise, experience, and knowledge is on the provider’s staff?
  • Does your organization have a strong cultural fit with the provider’s culture?
  • What does the provider’s global reach and development pipeline look like?
  • Is the provider’s business continuity plan sufficient to protect your information?
  • What is the provider’s approach to supporting continuous process improvement?
  • Does the provider have a plan to drive ongoing value beyond initial results?
  • Are they flexible enough for you to retain the right amount of control over the strategic aspects of your business?
  • Are there fees associated with implementation, integration, training, or maintenance?


Get the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant report

From now until September 2019, TMC is providing complimentary copies of Gartner’s 2019 Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems report. Access and review your copy today.


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Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems, Bart De Muynck, Brock Johns, Oscar Sanchez Duran, 27 March 2019

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product, or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.