Your company is choosing a new operating system to license and implement across the entire enterprise network. The CTO favors a commercial grade Microsoft operating system, but your Chief Supply Chain Officer thinks an open-source OS is a better choice. Odds are, your CEO would NEVER give final decision authority on this initiative to the CSCO. So, why do companies so often force Transportation to defer to IT when selecting supply chain logistics management software? Here are some facts transportation logistics leaders can use to build an iron-clad business case for engaging the best logistics IT solution and to overcome the obstacles typically thrown up by territorial IT leadership.
Let’s be clear. IT is the singular department involved in every operational area of the enterprise, so it’s appropriate for them to provide input on any department-level tech initiative. Their deep expertise and experience in sourcing and selecting of all types of applications makes them far better equipped to cut through the bewildering fog of marketing from solutions providers than the non-techies in transportation. However, IT’s objections aren’t always as dispassionate as they’d like the CEO to believe.
Here are four arguments the IT department typically makes against the cloud-based TMS platform you know is the best choice for the enterprise (and how to disarm each one).
The Systems Integration Argument | We all know IT handles a heavy load. Understandably, the last thing they want is the burden of engaging in another complex system integration.
The Counter-argument | Make clear that transportation has done its due diligence in the selection of a Software as a Service (SaaS) or “Cloud-based” TMS solution provider with a proven record of success. A good TMS provider has experience with an array of ERPs, WMSs, EDI/telematics, and other relevant systems. The core value prop of a SaaS solution is the extent to which they absorb the integration burden.
The Increased Support Burden Argument | New software means countless man-hours of user training/support as non-technical users grapple with a steep learning curve; specially when replacing manual processes. But it’s still a concern even when replacing a legacy solution with a contemporary one.
The Counter-argument | Share with the CIO (and other stakeholders) the proposed service level agreement. It helps to select a solution including support and training resources as part of subscription costs. Again, due diligence on provider choices helps ensure transportation sources a solution that doesn’t run up unplanned costs, which leads to the next likely objection.
Try this nifty TMS savings & ROI calculator, which uses conservative potential savings figures from neutral, 3rd party analyst organizations.
The Cost Argument | IT understands just how easy it is for costs to spiral out of control when implementing a new technology. What does Transportation know about the potential for their proposed solution to become a money pit?
The Counter-argument | Ask your preferred provider to help build a cost/benefit analysis showing the impressive level of cost savings (and even backhaul revenue generation) yielded by a world-class TMS platform. Try this nifty TMS savings & ROI calculator, which uses conservative potential savings figures from neutral, 3rd party analyst organizations. There’s plenty of literature illustrating how automation helps transform transportation from a historic cost-center into a modern profit center. Be sure to include savings not just from rate reductions but also from efficiency improvements and headcount reduction. Also, be aware the cost argument goes hand in hand with…
The Platform Loyalty Argument | “We’re an Oracle shop” says the CIO insisting that it makes the best sense to engage whatever module the company’s existing ERP offers for transportation logistics. It’s easier from an implementation standpoint and is expected to be less costly.
The Counter Argument | Logistics solutions offered by large ERP providers are sprawling and designed to be all things to all users. These solutions provide much more functionality than is needed and tend to be very confusing to end users. A TMS only delivers on its potential if it’s adopted and embraced by users. A pure-play cloud TMS is far more focused on the challenges and requirements of transportation logistics. It speaks their language and addresses their needs exclusively. Sprawling, diversified solutions prompt greater need for training and support. Training from these enormous organizations is almost always an expensive, ala carte purchase.
For help building your iron-clad business case, request a consultation today.