Five Key Questions to Ask a Vendor Before Buying Supply Chain Software
Supply Chain Management is constantly evolving with benefits that extend beyond operational efficiencies to strategic and financial improvements. Supply Chain Planning software integrates long-term, mid-term and short-term planning. Supply Chain Execution software is made up of Warehouse Management Systems and Transportation Management Systems. So, before you jump on board with a vendor, find the answers to the following key questions so you can confidently consider your move.
Does the software vendor understand your business and meet your needs?
A good software developer will know your sector in detail, with years of experience working with supply chain providers of all sizes, across all sectors. Ask if they’ve come across your obstacles, your workflow requirements, your challenges, and whether they’ve built solutions to these issues into their product.
Will you be empowered by the software partner or locked in?
True cloud solutions are the way forward. They’re capable of being switched on without months of costly implementation services, intuitive to use for rapid adoption, and have a low lifetime cost through being both flexible and scalable.
Who owns the software company?
Is there any conflict of interest between you and the software developer or the company that’s hosting your data? Do they have co-responsibilities across a forwarder business unit and the software solution provider? Even if it’s not structurally blurred, appreciate the impact of the degree of separation between the two operational units.
No one makes the considerable step to change IT systems lightly. It’s very important that the supplier you choose is going to be with you for the long haul. Drill into the financial strength of the organization, its reputation in the marketplace, and its stated directions for product development.
Is the vendor looking to future trends?
Logistics is constantly evolving and e-tail, productivity enhancement tools and logistics devices-as-a-service are positioned to become the next game-changers. You want to partner with a provider that proactively creates technology solutions for the future.
The only way to get the right answers which then best impact supply chain strategies is to ask the right questions. Further, the number of questions to be answered is expanding as modern Supply Chain Management systems are increasingly strategic, adaptive, demand driven and global, and deliver a much bigger foot print with even greater affect on an organization than earlier SCM systems.