Logistics software shopping can be stressful. Here are 4 tips for to keep in mind while shopping and why the space is about to get a lot more competitive.
What’s in this article:
Today’s software trends
The cost of today’s logistics software
How to ask about the software company’s structure
Shopping for Logistics Software? Don’t Forget These Four Things.
1. Get Comfortable with Today’s Software Trends
As fast as solutions are being developed and updated, companies must stay up to date with what’s on the market, the trends for their type of software, and what those trends might mean for their operations and bottom line.
For instance, automation is a very common feature in today’s programs. More and more of the freight lifecycle is being handled behind the scenes in software programs, allowing companies to get more done without increasing their staff.
2. Go into Shopping Expecting an Affordable Logistics Software Option
Once upon a time, software was a HUGE investment and companies were stuck with the bill if they wanted to modernize operations. You could choose between this expensive solution or that one.
The bottom line is that no company, large or small, should feel like they must settle for an expensive solution that doesn’t provide the features, functionality, or the ROI they need.
Today, there are many great programs on the market that are affordable, even for smaller operations with smaller budgets. SaaS solutions offer services on a subscription basis just like Zoom and many of the other services we use in our modern world, and there are plenty to choose from. The bottom line is that no company, large or small, should feel like they must settle for an expensive solution that doesn’t provide the features, functionality, or the ROI they need.
3. Look to Your Tech Team
Who better to consult on new technology than your trusted tech team? They understand your organizational structure, the technology you’re using now, and how new solutions would need to interact with the ones you keep.
You’ll want them to specifically look at the APIs and SDKs of potential solutions you’re considering. Older solutions that either don’t have those things or don’t do them very well could make it difficult for your company to adopt or expand those technologies.
64% of companies in one Gartner survey stated that lack of tech talent was their most significant barrier to the adoption of new technology.
If you don’t have the internal IT staff to spare, you might consider contracting out those services for the course of your new software implementation. Make sure you factor that into your budget, too.
4. Ask About the Logistics Software Company’s Organizational Structure
You might wonder if this really matters if you find a solution that looks great and fits your budget, but you’ve probably also heard the saying, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” Developing a great solution doesn’t guarantee success or longevity.
It’s important to remember that just because a product is revolutionary and amazing, it doesn’t mean that the company that built it has what it takes to survive. Small companies often live on small margins. What happens to your company if you invest time and money into implementing a solution and then the software provider that made it goes under?
Ask how big the company is, learn about the makeup of their team, see if the company’s founder and/or developers are still involved with the company. Small companies can develop amazing solutions, but you need to know you can count on them for a critical piece of your infrastructure.
Why Will These Tips Be Even More Important in The Years to Come?
The logistics software industry is entering an age of standardization. Modern APIs and EDIs mean that integrating programs so that they can talk to each other and share data back and forth is relatively easy compared to manual integrations of the past.
That standardization opens the market to a lot of smaller companies. They don’t have to develop a solution to fit each complementary existing product on the market; companies can (almost) plug and play with new solutions when those solutions can effectively interact with their old ones. In the past, a company could develop a program that executed its tasks perfectly, but it wasn’t worth the memory it took up if it couldn’t be easily connected to existing programs.
When there are thousands of options out there, knowing how to narrow them down to find the right solution at the right price becomes critical.
What does all this mean in a practical sense? It means that we can expect a surge of new products to hit the market over the next several years. When there are thousands of options out there, knowing how to narrow them down to find the right solution at the right price becomes critical.
The supply chain is on the precipice of a technological revolution, and BlueGrace’s tech-centered business model and innovative solutions have us poised to be right on the front lines of it. Is your company ready to step into the future?