Bill Todd, Business Development Manager for WiseTech Global, lists three common reasons businesses hesitate to adopt new solutions and explains why you shouldn’t put off the move to new technology.
The decision-making dilemmas for buying technology seem similar to those for many of life’s milestones. Should we buy this house now or wait for better options and interest rates? Should we have children now or wait until we’re more settled with less debt? Should we go on vacation now or wait for cheaper airfares later in the year? To wait ‘until the time is right’ or to make a move now may be a complicated decision in life, but it’s actually a simple one when considering logistics Software-as-a-Service.
For every month you hesitate – deciding not to leverage the undeniable benefits of today’s leading logistics technology – your competitors move forward. They’re showcasing the speed and accessibility of the latest service offerings to poach your clients and improve their profit margins with greater productivity.
The roadblocks that stall the selection of a new system are seldom financial, especially since subscriptions to cloud-based software are so affordable. So, what exactly are these obstacles? How can you move past them?
1. “We’re too busy.”
Many forwarders operate non-stop through significant busy seasons, and if they service the retail sector, their workload doubles or triples before the holidays. The apparel industry has its peaks and troughs. Chinese New Year halts manufacturing. The shipment of agricultural products is cyclical. Logistics is a pressurized, 24/7 industry. There are constant demands on staff to take care of the stream of issues and disruptions. Taking just a little time in the present to analyze your specific needs will pay off immensely when your operations are greatly streamlined in the future.
2. “Implementation of our earlier systems failed.”
This is a complex mix of not truly understanding the pain points within your business and eagerly buying into the first sales pitch that sounds promising. If you’re not cautious, you might end up with software that doesn’t address your needs, time and time again. As an extreme example, I know of one business that attempted four times over six years to find the right system.
Once you have the right solution, don’t think of the required training as a ‘necessary evil.’ Think of it as a necessary good. Look forward to learning all the good it will bring your company. The sooner you get a new system and learn the basics, the sooner you can start learning the advanced features that set you above your competitors. You’ll have time to review all your internal work processes. With the real-time management and reporting tools, you’ll be able to identify what areas are profitable and where you’re losing revenue.
Failure to reap the benefits of a new system is often the result of a failure to commit to training – to build essential confidence and productivity – because staff are too busy doing the day-to-day, repetitive, error-prone paper pushing. Yes, there is a learning curve, but it’s only as steep as you make it. Once you’ve learned the technology and broken the ‘too busy’ cycle, you learn how it adds value and improved service to your clients. By configuring the tools within your new system, you can further automate their specific processes and better satisfy their specific needs.
3. “There are too many unknowns.”
For those forwarders that are coming off paper-based, spreadsheet-centric, or ‘kept-in-my-head’ operations, the move to trusting an automated process is unnerving. And for those companies with aging ownership who have the sale of the business and retirement always in mind, taking the technology leap often appears too difficult. They worry the business won’t land on its feet. In this case, the opposite expectation is true: the company has a better chance of success now and later by adapting to the latest and best technology.
Planning to sell the business should be one of the most compelling arguments for installing a modern system. A streamlined, efficient operation with highly productive, customer-focused staff is an enormous plus for your asset register.
The Benefits of Better Software
Whether you have entrenched inefficiencies that sap hours out of your day, or you’re simply ‘too busy,’ I can’t emphasize enough the importance of ‘finding time to make time.’ When you search for a technology solution, however, I advise keeping it simple. Don’t look for functionality that you’ll never use just so you can say the product ticks all the boxes.
Find the solution that brings you gains in productivity and efficiency. Having a reliable, mature SaaS and the simplicity of ‘switch-on’ functionality, you can better focus on your customer service and streamline your documentation. Because a typical frontline pain point is often customer communication, consider a system that automates notifications and provides customer visibility.
Ultimately, when your technology helps you save some of your ‘busy time,’ you can spend your time seeking more prospects and profit streams instead. www.wisetechglobal.com