Upgrading: Is it a Hassle or an Important Technology Plan for Your Operations?
In my years of Supply Chain and Technology Experience, one subject that always gets brought up with prospects and clients is the importance of upgrading. While I do understand some reasons why people hold off, there are even more reasons to incorporate your software and technology updates into your annual plan or at minimum every other year.
Technology Moves Fast and is Ever-Changing Which Is Good and Bad
While the importance of a stable, tested, and working software/hardware environment are absolutely critical, it is equally important to ensure you’re using technology that works with the latest databases, hardware, security systems and services. Older technology can be subject to cyber-attacks and more. (Learn more about cyber security threats from one of our favored Technology Partners, Mindcore Inc. here.) Jumping straight into the latest and “greatest” technology is not always wise without a carefully thought out plan. However, sticking with an older version of your ERP or WMS system prevents you from using more modern features, newer secure technology, and additional services you can offer your customers to keep up with the competition.
Upgrading Your Current ERP or WMS Software Is Less Costly Than Replacement
Let’s face it; software systems have various levels of functionality based on the price point. Sometimes you may simply outgrow the base package features. When this happens, a new implementation is inevitable especially if the package does not have you need and you’re spending thousands with a company to develop new features not already included. However, a brand new implementation is not really necessary if you are consistently upgrading a product that continues to offer newer updates. I’ve found in general that our clients who build in an annual or biennial upgrade process are happier on our system.
We add many new features with each build/update. We have also developed integrations with other specialized systems (EDI, Packaging Machines, Scales, Web Store Fronts, Various Shipping API’s etc.). It is almost impossible to roll all those new features out to back-dated versions of the major ERP System we work seamlessly with. As such, customers using older versions of our WMS and the ERP Software cannot take advantage of extremely significant new features and services that can directly resolve operational issues and streamline processes. Oddly enough, we’ve had clients who thought they outgrew the ERP and our WMS system who are still stuck in the implementation phase of a replacement product or those who abandoned the idea completely and decided to upgrade with us after years of not having done so.
An Understated Benefit to Upgrading
As your company grows processes change, personnel evolves, and you start new initiatives. Combining an upgrade with analysis and updated training allows you to take your operations to a new level. This can mean expanding to new markets. For example, many of our clients have started working with Amazon® and we can facilitate their shipping and label requirements. We also have clients who increased their order volumes but were still utilizing unnecessary manual processes outside of our system. We worked with them to implement fully paperless picking and automated additional processes. Last but not least, many of our manufacturing customers have increased their production and grew in the past year. For these customers, we helped to implement even more wireless transactions and automation in their production processes allowing their existing team members to become more efficient and make better use of their time.
So, What’s the Point?
In conclusion upgrading your technology allows you to expand upon your current systems with additional helpful features rather than starting totally fresh. It also allows you a secure environment. This will save you time and money in the long run. It will be much easier to train personnel on a system they are already familiar with. Staying consistently up to date with both your ERP and WMS ensures you are getting the best modern technology to keep your operations running seamlessly and most efficiently. At DCSC, we update and add new features every couple of months and host free web sessions to review the updates with our customers. Here is a list of important upgrades we have implemented over the years to help you understand why it is so important to stay up to date!