The Great Logistics Technology Debate: Build vs. Buy

As supply chain visibility and usability grow in importance, more companies find themselves reviewing whether the existing tech stack can live up to expectations or whether it’s time for a new logistics technology to take root. This, however, opens the door to another question, whether a company should build a fully custom, designed-for-specific-supply-chain-processes system or buy a ready-to-deploy, off-the-solution, such as Turvo. The decision can be much more apparent by merely knowing a few things about the undertaking and how buying a pre-built and configurable platform can make everything more natural and cost-effective.

Why Businesses Usually Want to Build Logistics Technology In-House

The business case for building logistics technology in-house begins with better control over internal logistics processes. In-house software development starts out with the vision that the final product will be a highly customizable solution that precisely does what a business needs.

It’s probable that the company can design and deliver an adaptive suite of systems that fulfill every need at every stage within its four walls today. But even then, it will come short when supply chain partners wish to share data, ask for access, the trade has grown or the complexity of the supply chain has increased.

As a result, optimization goes out the proverbial window. According to PYMNTS.com, “supply chain optimization is also about strengthening relationships between buyers, suppliers, logistics providers, financiers, and other players along the supply chain. Therefore, proprietary tools that are created must address the needs of more than one target user. This can be a tricky hurdle, particularly considering that organizations in a single supply chain are typically at various stages in their digitization journeys.”

Buying Well-Designed Technology Offers Core Benefits Before, During, and After Implementation

Buying and owning an off-the-shelf logistics technology, however, has its own challenges. The ownership includes long-term costs that arise in merely maintaining the system. Think about this. Designing and implementation incur a charge. Each new iteration of the software incurs a cost. Every activity adds to the total cost of ownership, and eventually, it becomes cost-prohibitive. This includes your internal IT team’s expenses to connect, work with third-parties to share data, and more.

Meanwhile, investing in a well-designed, adaptable Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) logistics technology platform that’s software-agnostic, meaning it works with any system or code, eliminates these costs. Moreover, utilizing SaaS subscription models allows for a scalable cost infrastructure that does not go severely over or under budget and contributes to freight management problems.

Other Key Advantages in Investing in Software From a Proven Vendor

There’s another side to the argument for buying over building a custom logistics software, a logistics collaboration platform. Technology is always changing, and since digitalization remains a top priority for all executives and supply chain professionals, the next rounds of requirements from internal stakeholders and external business partners are around the corner. If your company limits itself to in-house software now, it limits your future development.

Of course, other advantages of buying software play a role too, including:

  • Access to expert guidance in software selection, implementation, and management. 
  • Fewer questions, if at all, regarding coding and maintenance of the system. 
  • The platform’s increased brand to appeal to third-parties, eliminating the risk of using another company’s proprietary software. 
  • Decreased risk for miscommunications as the platform allows internal and external trading partners of your supply chain to message directly on the platform. 
  • Ability to apply and “turn on or off” core system functions based on user type, such as forwarder versus a retail customer seeking a status update on a shipment.

Save Time by Investing in the Software That’s Ready and Adaptive to Your Tech Stack With Turvo

The promise of a modern logistics technology systems stack is always limited without access to internal and external data. A TMS is only one system in a whole Alphabet Soup of platforms and programs that exist in even the simplest of supply chains. Supply chain executives need to save time and resources by choosing a pre-built and ready-to-roll platform like Turvo. They will leverage the existing tech stack’s prowess and still offer new functions that cover today’s requirements but scales too, as the market changes and your needs of tomorrow.

Visit Turvo online to check out more about how a simple, ready-to-deploy solution can save you more resources and still deliver.

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