One thing that is becoming more and more important is for companies to perform proper due diligence when it comes selecting a software partner. It can be quite daunting, especially for small to medium companies who don’t have the resources to throw at such a project. Hopefully the below tips will assist companies navigate through such a project.
1. Avoid a big bang approach
IT Projects cost significant sums of money, require lengthy implementations, and take time to generate a Return on Investment. Our advice is to find a solution that will enable you to make incremental improvements that will steadily fulfil your overall Strategy.
Remember that successful projects are all about People, Process and Systems.
You need to ensure you have the right people involved in adopting new technology, but more importantly you need to have a process of implementing change that will be adopted by the business – it’s no good having feature rich software if no one uses it. Once you have these in place then you need to get a system that will solve your real problems over time.
2. Look for Software Partner that will Support you
Maintaining Logistics Software can be daunting, especially for small to medium logistics companies.
Most Software requires constant upkeep and teams of people to do so. It is so important to ensure your software provider is there to support and guide you, and to ensure you are getting the most out the software that will benefit your business. After all, software touches everything we do.
Look for a software company that is keen to form a partnership with you, this will give you the confidence they’ll have your back in times of need.
3. Do your Homework
There are so many factors when it comes to deciding on software:
· Functionality: You must walk before you can run. Don’t get carried away with dazzling presentations that have no real business benefit. Ensure that the software covers all of your key business areas and that those modules will be a suitable fit for your sized business.
· Support: as stated above, having a software company that will support you as you fulfil your IT strategy is hugely important. This is especially relevant for small to medium sized businesses that don’t have the resources to solely focus on maintaining their software
· Pricing models: Probably one of the most important aspects of selecting software is ensuring you have a very clear understanding of what you will be paying. Some software companies are now electing to adopt a price per seat PLUS transaction based pricing! Be very wary of these pricing structures. Not only do they penalize your success, but this billing structure gets very convoluted and difficult for organisations to fully understand what they are paying for. Look for a software company that offers clear, simple billing that you can understand, and more importantly, knowing what you will be paying in 2-3 years’ time.
4. Integration Capabilities (EDI)
Companies now are more and more relying on Electronic Data Interchange [EDI] to conduct business in a way to operate as efficiently as possible. This is why it is key to your success that your proposed software vendor have this covered. There are a few key areas to focus on with EDI:
· Scalability: How far has the software gone to integrate with other systems, and how quickly can they introduce new EDI Partners
· Breadth of Integration: Has the software integrated all different areas of the business.
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