5 Pitfalls to Avoid in Supply Chain Systems Selection

In the process of expanding a business, supply chains are required to grow. If you choose to organize your company by hiring a supply chain solutions provider, or possibly purchase software for tracking, monitoring, and processing – this post will cover how to meet all of those needs. With either choice you select, all sorts of incidents may arise in a supply chain system that could cause confusion, demise, and incapability. Holding to good principles while picking the best value solution in what software version to buy for your business is wise. Also consider the information contained in this guide from Software Advice and consider the implications of each of these five potential pitfalls outlined below in selecting your software solutions.

5 Pitfalls of Supply Chain Systems Selection

#1: Explore your options before signing up for pricy ERP Software.

While there are unprecedented software capabilities offered by ERP within a single central location – the costs of various ERP systems could become excessive. This cost imbalance occurs by forfeiting of cost savings by comparing the bottom line to the average cost of acquiring an individual Warehouse Management Systems (WMSs) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) suites, like FlashTrac. Considering some ERP systems are limited in their functionality compared to options afforded by lower-level Transportation Management Systems (TMSs), be sure to do a thorough cost comparison prior to final selection and purchase. Compare functionality as well. While an ERP system can facilitate variable platform integration with routine access to the web and use; the cost alone can defray the actualized benefits contrasted by price or value. To allocate the true value of an ERP side-by-side with TMS or SCM systems, carefully analyze the costs and functionality of each solution.

Mainly manufacturers were targeted during the design of ERP systems. Now ERP designers are marketing solutions directly to storefront businesses, distributors, and providers of logistics. This includes HR modules, manufacturing, and CRM, any of which could be inappropriate or unneeded functions for your business.

Take a close look at your options in best-of-breed first; ERP is best fitted where your applications of TMS or SCM would leave a major functionality gap. Based on our research, several ERP systems offering logistics provider features like 3PL billing and processing for value-added services are available. Advanced logistics providers recognized as 4PLs with a complete supply chain management employed for a client’s product (sales and order management included) would be more likely to explore buying a full-scale ERP solution.

#2: List the Features You Really Need.

With time-sensitive, crucial shipments handled within the supply chain – order management is key in avoiding chaos. Quick choices on supply chain system purchases can reap strife and strain for a business. Careful planning based on your actual software needs can avoid this pitfall with ease. Consider these questions:

  • Do I need accounting and billing within the software?
  • Will I be using parcel carriers?
  • Will my clients want to have access to the software?
  • How will the software benefit my inventory control measures?
  • Do we need value-added services processing?
  • Do you have an existing custom labeling software, or does it need to be included with the new supply chain systems?
  • Will the software monitor my assembly processes?
  • How will the software mesh with my current data through kitting?

After sourcing a thorough compilation of necessary process functions, include flexibility for prospective growth needs like next-tier features your business could soon need while expanding. Investing earlier may head off future inflation costs and mean higher returns on your system purchase.

#3: Check For Multi-Client and Multi-Location Capabilities.

Based on your type of individual software, its effectiveness of managing multiple clients and locations operations could be limited. Select software that has the capability to handle product inventories for several clients. While most owners buy a software system for around 10 clients, you can save by choosing a single-client WMS if each of your warehouse locations handle an individual client. With the development of cloud-based software, some have argued that the need for multi-client platforms has been eliminated.  That is incorrect as cloud storage is simply where your information resides and functions as a single client platform only.

#4: Does the TMS Solution Offer SCM Features?

When looking for software to manage your transportation system, you may find yourself stuck between multiple venues with differing capabilities. Fortunately, Flash Global offers the ability to integrate with several major SCM technology platforms through our robust integration capabilities. This eliminates the need to purchase or hire development resources. That integration should be paired with your supply chain systems purchase  along with improving your productivity and streamlining your shipping processes. As mentioned earlier, the features within the respective TMS solution need to align with the features you need.

#5: Where Does Visibility Fall on Your List of Needs?

A serious issue in supply chain system selections can boil down to compliance and risk management. In organizations, owners are required to follow all applicable laws at local, state, federal, and international levels. It is likely your business has installed ways of ensuring visibility to compliment your risk management program. In selecting a web-based platform, you choose to expand the number of people able to view all system processes by way of an approved Internet connection. This works to enhance connections of new customers to your business and add legitimacy as well – something vital for the globally interconnected market economy. In former blog posts, we have covered how important visibility is. It is one of five priority features for your organization’s software system.

At Flash Global, we offer multiple technology solutions for the supply chain to meet your unique business needs. We are ready and able to help make your life simple with a clear reading on what your business truly needs. It is wise to resist making impulse software purchases with fictional lures of savings from unreliable organizations. Where will you secure quality software support if the software suddenly fails? Will you have a trusted source to get it operating and back on track? Even after avoiding these five potential pitfalls, your organization needs reliable quality and service after the sale. Flash Global excels in service, reliability and troubleshooting. Selecting the right software today will prepare you for the future, so make sure you do not fall victim to watchdog groups. Savvy choices will keep your business operating at maximum efficiency.