BeyondTrucks BLOG

What Questions to Ask Your TMS Vendor About Customizations vs Configurations

Customization and configuration are key aspects of implementing a Transportation Management System (TMS) that fits your specific needs. For trucking companies and field service applications, understanding the difference between the two and knowing what to ask your TMS vendor can significantly impact your operational efficiency. Here are essential questions to ask about customizations vs configurations.

**1. What Is the Difference Between Customization and Configuration?**

Start by understanding the basic difference. Customization involves modifying the system’s code, while configuration involves setting up the system using built-in options. Ask your vendor to explain how each is handled in their TMS.

**2. What Can Be Configured Out-of-the-Box?**

Inquire about the built-in configuration options available in the TMS. This can include setting up workflows, user roles, and reporting formats without the need for custom coding.

**3. What Areas Typically Require Customization?**

Understanding the common areas that might require customization helps in planning. Ask

 about scenarios where customization is necessary, such as integrating with legacy systems or implementing unique business processes.

**4. How Does Customization Affect Upgrades?**

Customizations can complicate future upgrades. Inquire how the vendor handles upgrades for customized systems and what support is provided to ensure smooth transitions.

**5. What Costs Are Associated with Customization?**

Customizations can be costly. Ask for a detailed breakdown of the costs involved in customizing the TMS, including initial development, testing, and ongoing maintenance.

**6. How Flexible Are the Configuration Options?**

Flexible configuration options can reduce the need for customizations. Inquire about the extent of configurability in the TMS and how easily it can be adjusted to meet your evolving needs.

**7. Can Configurations Be Made by End-Users?**

Ease of use is crucial. Ask if configurations can be made by your team or if they require vendor intervention. User-friendly configuration tools can empower your team to make necessary adjustments.

**8. What Support Is Available for Customizations and Configurations?**

Support is essential for both customizations and configurations. Inquire about the level of support provided, including training, documentation, and access to technical experts.

**9. How Are Customizations Documented?**

Proper documentation is critical for maintaining and upgrading customizations. Ask how customizations are documented and whether this documentation will be available to your IT team.

**10. What is the Vendor’s Experience with Customizations and Configurations?**

Finally, evaluate the vendor’s experience with both customizations and configurations. Request case studies or references from other trucking companies in segments like liquid and dry bulk, chemical transportation, petroleum transportation, and fuel transportation to understand their approach and success.


Balancing customizations and configurations is key to implementing a TMS that meets your specific needs while remaining flexible and cost-effective. By asking the right questions, you can ensure your TMS vendor provides robust, scalable, and user-friendly solutions. A well-implemented TMS will keep your fleet running smoothly and your business competitive in the dynamic trucking industry.