Is your homegrown supply chain system holding you back?

Sep 15, 2020 | Industry

Everyone knows that one guy – we’ll call him Roger – who’s a whiz with computers. Wary, but hoping that he knows more than them, many start-up freight forwarders, 3PLs, and other new supply chain businesses go the route of having “Roger” set up a basic supply chain system to help keep records and organize invoices, customers, and shipments.

True to his word, Roger is indeed a whiz with computers. Perhaps he has concocted some fancy spreadsheets, full of macros and formulas. Perhaps it’s a custom database that he has designed just the way you wanted it. But now, it’s a decade later, and your business has grown. Times have changed. Technology has evolved. And, suddenly, it is readily evident that your homegrown supply chain management software is holding you back from hitting the next level of supply chain control that you need to remain competitive.

Let’s explore the indicators that show that your homegrown supply chain software is holding you back, and the steps you can take to make the most of modern supply chain software and automation technology to optimize all aspects of your business.

Perhaps you’ve spent countless hours working with the ultimate spreadsheet that holds every detail of your company. Maybe you’ve invested endless nights in maintaining a custom shipping infrastructure to get goods into the hands of waiting customers. You know the ins and outs of your current tools like the back of your hand. You know their pitfalls and how to sidestep them. You’ve been letting that system creak along as you begin to learn about and assess the efficacy of new supply chain software options.

Whether you’ve been suffering from analysis paralysis or you haven’t been able to justify the investment in new supply chain management software, you are not alone. When it comes to the adoption of new technologies, most people employ a cautious approach. Indeed, a scant 16 percent of the population would be categorized as early adopters of new technology, with the vast majority of us preferring to observe a given technology over time before adopting it as our own.

Failure to adopt a modern supply chain solution can hold businesses back from reaching their true potential. Business success in the new COVID-19 environment means reevaluating existing supply chain technology and equipping yourself to be more agile and resilient than ever. The right software can keep products from being left behind on the warehouse dock, help you build a loyal customer base, and even prevent profit from leaking out the door through avoidable errors or operational inefficiencies.

Indications Your Supply Chain Software Needs Revamping

While upgrading logistics software does come at a cost, the price of not taking action can take a greater toll on a business’ bottom line than any infrastructure investment. Still, it is understandable why some entrepreneurs might hesitate to pull the trigger on such asset improvement costs. When the following indicators begin creeping up, it’s time to allocate the resources to consider your options among supply chain software companies to modernize your supply chain solution.

  • Angry customers — If your customer satisfaction levels are not where you would like them to be, that can indicate that your current freight forwarding system is under stress and resulting in failed deliveries. When a company’s customer service sector is overwhelmed by customer inquiries, questions, and complaints, an increase in transparency and automation, delivered by modern software technology, provides the resources needed to meet customer expectations without eroding profit margins.
  • Lack of real-time visibility — The modern supply chain moves at the speed of light, so anything short of real-time visibility leaves you at a major disadvantage. Real-time visibility is the key to gaining full control over every aspect of your business, plus meeting sky-high expectations of customers demanding fast delivery speed and accuracy. The ability to pinpoint supply chain blockages and disruptions in an instant places companies in a position to proactively react to changing conditions.
  • Buried in paperwork — If you’re inundated with paperwork and bureaucratic, repetitive tasks, then you’re suffering from a symptom of an organization that is not operating as efficiently as it could in managing its supply chain. Whether it’s filing endless customer invoices or complicated customs forms, paperwork is the lifeblood of a business, but if there is no way to actively manage or audit the system, it is a system that is holding back the group’s goals. Modern freight forwarding systems allow for seamless and highly-efficient communication, direct connection with required customs portals, and tracking of goods throughout a supply chain.
  • IT problems — Recurrent IT headaches signal that there are weaknesses in your logistics infrastructure and place a drain on your resources. Whether you need to outsource the problem resolution to outside consultants or you choose to handle the issue in-house, technical problems cost you precious time and money, hurting your overall profitability. Managing an IT system with a cobbled together and antiquated software system can quickly cripple a business, which is why modern, cloud supply chain software packages are designed to streamline the entire logistics process, from origin to destination.

An efficient supply chain solution is the bedrock of a company’s success. Indeed, nearly four-fifths of high-performing supply chain businesses show significant revenue generation above the average business. The ultimate goal of any logistics business is the efficient movement of products towards the hands of eager consumers. From farm-to-fork or warehouse-to-front porch, an efficient supply chain is paramount to getting goods where they need to go, and modern supply chain software delivers that efficiently.

Is your homegrown supply chain software solution holding your company back from higher success? An efficient supply chain management software solution is the result of a logistics software upgrade, so if you are showing the aforementioned warning signs of an inefficient supply chain, you should consider revamping your existing system.


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