You’re always thinking about growth.
- When do you hire?
- When do you expand your facility footprint?
- When do you need to deploy a new supply chain solution?
The answer is easy: yesterday.
‘When can I get value?’ is a little trickier
You can scurry to hire extra people if necessary. You could get a lease in a few months if pressed. But technology is tricky.
You find yourself considering your current needs but getting offers to go live a year or more later with [what you’ve been told is] the best WMS solution. Will your business be the same at that point then?
A lot of time and focus on the pain excuses a lag time in the remedy. While you don’t want to go so fast with your WMS platform implementation that you get fleeced, the opposite introduces other problems.
For most growth-minded companies, when you get value can be just as important as deploying the best WMS solution – and the speed of perennial value it will deliver.
Today’s problems, someday’s solutions
Buying the best WMS solution is like buying anything else. When we buy something online, we want it delivered in a reasonable time frame, but it doesn’t have to be immediate, according to new trends in shopping preferences. We want it as anticipated; getting it too late means that you’ve often missed your window of opportunity.
Unless something has fundamentally changed in the business, almost every opportunity has a time-bound component.
Maybe you are trying to capture new business; you could be taking on channel diversification. Whatever the opportunity, you address it or your competition will. And if they do, there’s a fair chance the opportunity is gone for good.
Procuring the best WMS solution carries the same logistical problem. You need to look at a combination of problems solved and how quickly. Next year’s not good enough.
Cash flow, an indicator of the best WMS solution
Projects Full of Sunk Costs -or- Your Value Deposit Can’t Be Withdrawn Yet
You always look at the price tag. We’re very good at considering the total cost of acquiring technology. We’re even trained to think about the ROI. But, you don’t generally think about how soon you will start seeing it in the bank.
Change is great, assuming that you will start driving business value in 3-6 months. What if the ROI doesn’t BEGIN for 2 years?
If the returns appear sooner, cash can be redeployed. You can put it back into inventory, people, and other growth projects. You can’t do that if it’s tied up and the business still isn’t generating new business or improved cost controls.
The promise of future ROI is all you’ve locked down and the timeline for making a withdrawal is critical.
Is value a magic 8-ball?
Future-Proofing the Unknowable -or- Outlook Not So Good, Try Again
Project timelines for traditional enterprise supply chain software benefited from a slower market cycle. Not a lot changed in that time: not the product, not the technology, and not the customers. If your business doesn’t change much in 2 years, what’s the risk?
Would you have told Netflix to double down on storing and shipping DVDs or backed them on going all in on streaming? Think of all the major changes in your space in just the most recent two years.
There’s a good chance your customer preferences, product offering, technology, and methodology are radically different. And that best WMS solution you are about to launch was designed for the state of play when you bought it.
If you’re behind the curve before you can even start returning value, the ROI may never materialize. With the market evolving quickly, acquiring and deploying your best-in-class WMS solution needs to keep pace.
Time-to-value is as important as total ROI
It’s easy to lose sight of WHEN value will be returned if you get focused on solution functions and ROI.
From your customers to the market as a whole, you can’t afford to let opportunities pass by, tie up capital non-productively, or deploy a system that is obsolete before it can go live. While it’s important to not go too fast, going too slow can turn a smart business investment into a drag on growth.
Deposco knows this. Our supply chain software solutions start with a warehouse management system (WMS) which customers can get into quickly, and build on as they grow.
We don’t expect you to over-buy on an enterprise solution that both locks you into a system with features you’ll never use – tying up capital for years and slowing reinvestment. We don’t expect you to address today’s problems and guess at tomorrow’s. We build best-in-class WMS solutions that fix foundational problems while providing flexibility to quickly yield returns AND drive long-term business growth.
While there’s security in the long-term incumbent, for brands seeking rapid growth, that can also mean your time-to-value and total ROI won’t be there.
What questions should you ask yourself to ensure that time-to-value matters to your WMS software partner?