Mission Critical KPI’s: How to Keep a TMS Implementation on Track

TMSI have been conducting a lot of research around TMS applications recently, and my colleague Steve Banker and I began to discuss how TMS providers keep their implementations on track. We determined that the providers must use a set of criteria and KPI’s to make sure that the project stays on time and on budget. The big question we had, however, was “what KPI’s do they use?” I recently spoke to Vivek Chhaochharia, Senior Solutions Director, Global Consulting Services at JDA about how they keep implementations on track.

Vivek informed that JDA has two main components to keeping an implementation on track. First, every implementation has a baseline set of KPI’s to keep the project on track. And these KPI’s are in place across the board, meaning every implementation of every project. To begin, JDA makes sure the implementation is adhering to cost, time, and resource constraints. JDA also performs a solution quality audit, to make sure the solution will meet the needs of the customer. Finally, JDA performs a program quality audit. The program quality audit is performed to make sure the customer is happy, and that business needs are being met. It also measures the quality of design of deliverables, and how is the project doing in terms of change management and risks. These audits are done every 4 months, or depending on what stage they are in, it can be more often. There are quality checks done before testing, and after every stage to make sure they are on track.

Vivek also mentioned that there are five main KPI’s in place for TMS-specific implementations: overall ROI (or value), solution acceptance, planning cycle times, productivity impact, and a global template approach to deployment. Additionally, there are often customer-specific KPI’s that are used to measure the program.

Below is an outline of how JDA uses each of these KPI’s to keep a TMS implementation on track.

Overall ROI

At the beginning of the implementation, a modeling study is performed. This looks at the current baseline as well as the functionality needed to execute on the business today. The company studies to see what areas they can benefit. Depending on the implementation, what the overall value could be. During design and construct, they make sure they are on track

Solution Acceptance

Here, JDA looks at the quality of planning. When the company runs an optimization, how many are turned out as unplannable? This could be determined by missing rates, bad data, shipment windows too small, etc. The goal is to get as close to 0% as possible. The company also looks at how often the user needs to touch the results of planning. Again, the goal here is as close to 0% as possible.

Planning Cycle Times

This KPI looks at specific windows where planning cycles need to be finished. This is key for keeping the implementation on time.

Productivity Impact

JDA looks at the current size of planning team. What will the size be after implementations and what tasks will they be performing. The goal is to ensure that future productivity will not be impacted during or after the implementation.

Global Template Approach to Deployment

This KPI is designed for global rollouts of TMS application. The company designs a global template which can be customized at a later date. This makes each region faster, at about 1/3 the time of normal implementation.


The key part of these KPI’s is to make sure they are communicated to the customer. According to Vivek, JDA is in constant communication with their customers during the implementation process. First, the company sets a baseline with customers. They figure out what to achieve and how to achieve it. During the initial phase, they define the criteria and KPI’s. The project manager and solution architect are responsible for defining both. During all phases of the implementation, feedback is communicated through a variety of means, including reports and meetings.

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