Logical Logistics

Trending Articles

Finding the Right SCM Software Solution for Your Business

by Wendy Buxton | Dec 13, 2018

As consumer demands for near-instant shipping and delivery grow, businesses are turning to supply chain management solutions to meet demand without overburdening their supply chain. The need for more digital and simple solutions has precipitated a growing market of supply chain management software and consulting agencies.

 

Whether you’re looking for an upgrade from your current software or installing a new system altogether, sifting through the ever-expanding options of supply chain management solutions can seem daunting. But if you go about your search methodically and ask the right questions, picking the best solution for your business can be easier than you think.

 

The market isn’t getting any smaller

The market for global supply chain management solutions is projected to reach $33 million over the next eight years. Although largely focused on the food and beverage industry, a growing number of transportation, logistics, automotive, and heavy industry supply chain management solutions are available as well.

 

The supply chain-related blockchain market is growing too. To meet the needs of companies looking for more security and visibility, the global market is expected to grow 78% in 2019. More options means more flexibility for businesses, but it also requires more effort to find the perfect solution for your business.

 

Strategies for narrowing your search for supply chain management solutions

Before you actually start looking at specialty software, assess your own needs first. A self-assessment will help eliminate different solutions and potential partners before you invest too much time researching them. Questions to answer before you start your search include:

 

  • What problems should this solution address? Knowing what the problem is and how software can address it can save you a lot of work and money in the long run.
  • What processes do you need to manage? Do you need planning software, which collects and analyzes data, or execution software, which is more for tracking and shipping management?
  • What kind of compliance do you need? Does the system have flexibility to management your own or regulatory compliance requirements?
  • How far-reaching do you want your analytics to go? Are you looking for solutions that can incorporate a current blockchain system?
  • How do you expect your use of the solution to scale? Do you plan to start small and scale up as you implement the solution, or do you plan on an expansion of services in the near future? Finding scalable solutions might be crucial to your future strategy.

 

After you answer these questions with key decision-makers in your department and in the wider company, you can use these guidelines to narrow your search before contacting potential supply chain management solution providers directly.

 

Identifying the best partner

Once you have a list of potential solutions, having open discussions with a potential service provider is the next step to finding your perfect partner. Knowing how a company addresses security concerns, manages service agreements, supports your business, and aligns with your values is crucial in determining if it is a good match for your company. A company’s responses can also signal potential red flags that can help you eliminate it as a possible solution.

 

If cybersecurity is important to your business — and it should be — and a company you’re considering is evasive or unsure about its own protocols, this should be a red flag. Making sure the company “walks the walk,” so to speak, can help differentiate mediocre services from profit-driving solutions.