The decision to invest in dock scheduling software can lead to significant benefits in the supply chain and reduce stress. As with any change to supply chain management systems or records, it is imperative shippers thoroughly consider the software vendor and evaluate their service levels. As explained by Manhattan Associates, shippers that follow the right steps to selecting the best dock scheduling software can quickly manage fluctuations and ensure the system chosen adds value and generates a positive return in a faster time frame.
1. Benchmark Your Current Operations
Benchmarking is a common aspect of any type of change management in the supply chain. By definition, benchmarking means understanding your business problems and goals. After all, it is impossible to improve what shippers do not understand. For outdated supply chains, benchmarking can be a comprehensive, time-consuming activity, reflecting processes that are inefficient in the modern world. Since a dock scheduling platform is only one of the available types of improvements that can be made to speed order fulfillment and activity in your organization, do not skimp on the assessment. Also, consider obtaining feedback from your employees regarding their needs and wants for a new dock scheduling system.
2. Only Consider Systems Designed to Integrate With Existing SCM Platforms
It is impractical to assume your organization can upgrade and update all systems simultaneously. Therefore, choosing the best dock scheduling software means finding a software vendor that enables integration with existing systems. In today's world, this is most commonly achieved by an application programming interface (API). However, other integration technologies exist, including EDI. Ensure any systems reviewed meet and address the business problems identified within step one.
3. Look for Off-the-Shelf Solutions That Leverage Cloud-Based Capabilities and Payment Models
Choosing a cloud-based solution is a critical step in finding the best dock scheduling software available. While terminal-based systems still work, they often rely on outdated data and lack the real-time integration capabilities of modern platforms. Cloud-based systems are also integral to the software-as-a-service (SaaS) payment models, which level the playing field for organizations that lack the resources of big-box retailers and major brands. SaaS payment models also allow for a universal solution that is based on users and needs, not investment dollars.
4. Create Your Short-List, Evaluating Your Top Four Vendors
Next, shippers need to create the short-list of vendors. The short-list of vendors should be for off-the-shelf solutions that do not require modification and can be integrated within 3 to 4 months. For some software vendors, integration may be significantly shorter. However, setting a realistic timeline of 3 to 4 months is still considered a fast-paced integration and implementation. Send out requests for information to the top four vendors, requesting a demonstration, additional information, as well as available resources to aid in system selection.
5. Take Advantage of Vendor-Assisted Implementation Tools and Resources
High-quality vendors will have an armada of available resources, brochures, demonstrations, and data that can be reviewed during the selection process. Your change management team, including personnel from all departments, should thoroughly review all available tools and resources before making a final determination. It may also be necessary to move back through the previous steps to choose an appropriate vendor and software.
Choose the Right Dock Scheduling Software That Will Augment Your Team and Processes Now
Finding the best dock scheduling software augments your business capability and enables continuous scalability with the changing demands of the global supply chain. To stay competitive, shippers need to involve their dock and yard scheduling practices, taking advantage of newer software along the way. Visit C3 Solutions online to request a demonstration of how a best-of-breed dock scheduling software could make your operation run smoothly and efficiently now.