It is no longer worthwhile to "own" software in logistics and supply chain management. Today, with a large variety of available and proven solutions, and little downside risk, it is much more cost effective to simply latch on to a web enabled service platform. Minor adjustments are made to match each customer's exact needs. However, the connection to the clisnt's database and information systems are tailor made to suit exact requirements.
Instead of making big bets with considerable financial commitments and heavy top management involvement, it is much quicker to try and test smaller cost effective solutions that get the job done.
"On Demand" software is a compelling alternative by offering:
Faster implementation: less than two months to full use of platform (basically training and reworking of work processes). Change management in the case of large companies still is much shorter thanks to easily understandable and configurable interfaces. Hence we favour training of trainers and "super users" for rapid hitch-free roll out throughout an organization.
Lower risk: You access a highly expert development team which shares through several clients the same investment in both hardware and software development costs. Content automation, functionalities and support services have already been developed and are acquired at a fraction of cost. Upfront fee relative to customization of connections to your ERP. Thereafter, cost is reduced to monthly subscription + per use fees. No end-of-life fees for terminating a contract.
Fewer resources: No need to call on scarce IT resources nor top management time. As one customer put it: "If we had to wait for our central IT staff to help us out, we'd still be waiting".
What role for logistics as a management tool today? How do you make it work for us?