Buying Software in Q4September 24, 2018
You want a new WMS, but you aren’t sure if buying software in Q4 is a smart move. We’ve begun our approach to the awkward stage in the eCommerce industry. It’s too early to REALLY start preparing for the holiday season, but we are close enough to October that we are all starting to think about it. Being that Shipedge is in the software sector of the logistics industry, you might imagine that things slow down around the office this time of year. Believe it or not, we are actually busier.
All businesses have unique needs, personalities, and cycles. For some companies it actually makes more sense to think about buying software in Q4 than in the spring, summer, or fall. Ultimately, it comes down to an organization by organization basis. The main purpose of this article is to speak somewhat directly to those of you who are deciding whether or not you have a time to implement a new system. Not to push you one way or another, but to suggest criteria by which you can make an informed decision.
Why Are You Thinking About Buying Software in Q4?
I am biased because I work for a company that sells software. I see all of the benefits and am naturally disposed to believe that Shipedge will help you in the immediate and long-term. However, my perspective may not be the best for helping you to decide whether or not you want a new Warehouse Management System. You need to ask yourself what benefits you are looking for and when you want them.
Once you’ve noted some of your pain points, the next step is asking the question: “Is it worth fixing these issues before the holiday season?” If your frustrations include shipping rates, error rates, and labor efficiency, then it may end up costing you money to wait. Ultimately, it matters what you want and if you think it is worth having a solid system in place before your busy season.
Once you have a better grasp on your needs, the next step is considering the plausibility of completing implementation in Q4. For small-to-medium size companies, this may make a much bigger difference. An obvious example of an industry that slows down in the winter is construction. If you or a client ships a lot of construction materials, tools, hardware, etc. then you should think about buying software in Q4 because this is the slowest season.
Less obvious may be other factors: Are you B2B or B2C? Can you make a reasonable prediction based on order history? Are you in a high volume industry (clothing) or a low volume industry (designer electronics)? Ultimately, you are asking whether or not you realistically have the time to spend on learning a new system.
Taxes and Budgeting
When I was young, no one bothered to inform how frequently taxes rear their ugly heads at us. Supply Chain Software is a tax write off, so if you are nearing the end of your physical year, then now is actually better than later. If you can write off a business expense, that is money coming back into your pocket. In this case there are financial ramifications for waiting until next year.
This is the same for a corporate budget. If you are at the end of your year, you still have money to spend, and you are considering a new system, then buying software in Q4 is probably the right move.
Company Life Cycle
If you are a larger organization, then implementing a new system could take months. If you are a smaller 3PL, it may take less than a week. As you are vetting your options, it is very important to learn as much as you can about the implementation process. How big is your organization? Do you have the resources to handle a project like this? Do you have faith that your team can pick up the new system?
Ultimately, deciding on a new system comes down to: your needs, what the industry allows for, and whether or not your team can manage implementing the new system. Now, these are just guidelines. Every company is unique, so what works for you may not work for an organization that is otherwise identical.
If you would like to learn more about Shipedge and our implementations process, you can reach out to us here.