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Selecting Logistics Software
If you’re using too much software to manage your supply chain, you’re using the wrong software.
Only 36% of supply chain professionals say their organization operates on a single supply chain platform.
This means almost two-thirds of SCP’s are chasing piecemeal solutions with bolt-on software, a strategy that can quickly grow out of hand since each software comes with its own licensing requirements, service fees, and integration complexities.
A perfect example of the bolt-on approach is visibility software, or software that integrates with a TMS and ERP to provide tracking and predictive analytics for shipments.
But shouldn’t shipment visibility come from the shipping platform or whichever platform is owning outbound logistics?
In a time when only 6% of companies report total supply chain visibility, the necessity for this inclusion is clear. This lack of insight signals a need for a reevaluation of software already being used, not more software for companies to add to their learning curve.
"Many supply chains are perfectly suited to the needs that the business had 20 years ago."
-MIT Professor Jonathan Byrnes
A lot of established companies have built their bolt-on supply chain stacks over years or even decades of being in the market.
Many logistics organizations adopt software to fill immediate needs rather than finding solutions that are capable of aligning with their long-term goals. There are many great solutions on the market for retailers to bring their supply chain under one roof, but it’s important to choose wisely...
Seek real-time visibility - Real-time tracking and data updates are essential for logistics. Choose software that offers live updates and multi-party communication on shipments, inventory, and other crucial metrics out-of-the-box — no bolt-on visibility software needed.
Look for customization options - Every logistics operation is unique. Select software that allows for customization to cater to your specific needs. A mandatory platform feature is a flexible collection of APIs and services to help you meet evolving operational needs and consumer behaviors.
Consider cloud-based solutions - Cloud software solutions offer flexibility and scalability which are essential for modern logistics operations. It’s tempting to manage an open source of custom-built platform on-premise, but this requires more staff to maintain and scale.
Solutions that enable automation: Data captured on a piece of paper, spreadsheet, siloed legacy system isn’t going to help you be productive or automate decision making. Find a solution that prioritizes best-in-class data ingestion, so your data sources are clean and accessible.
Are you able to manage most areas of logistics operations from a single platform?