Choosing the right software for your needs is not an easy task. With the wide variety of available software options, difficult decisions often have to be made. The fear of purchasing inefficient software, considering the usually high cost, is just one of the reasons why businesses can find this process stressful. However, the right software tools can simplify many aspects of a business, resulting in increased productivity and efficiency and more revenue.
The type of software chosen highly impacts all business functions for growers and shippers, and it can make or ruin a business. Hence, it is vital to decide on the software option that best suits your needs and requirements.
There are plenty of factors to consider when it comes to software purchases. Silo is one of the most sought-after software solutions by growers and shippers. So, whether you are looking for new software for your business or updating to a better solution, you should take your time and factor in all aspects of your business.
Software selection tips for growers and shippers
Define your needs and wants
Choosing software without defining the needs and wants of your business can lead to poor optimization and financial repercussions. Start by grasping your unique business needs and preparing a comprehensive list of software requirements.
You can classify these into functionality, usability, technological preferences, and reporting requirements. For instance, software needs for most growers and shippers revolve around transferring their logistics and tracking systems to a digital platform.
Another strategy to help you structure your organizational needs is outlining the software must-haves (needs), bonuses (wants), and distractions (unnecessary features). You should also be able to adjust specific factors within your software as required, such as reporting, software mobility, and process efficiency.
Examine the pain points in your business
Growers and shippers ideally utilize software to eliminate inefficiencies and improve overall operations. However, this also means that software that efficiently serves one company may not be ideal for another. Business owners need to identify the pain points in their organization and the software’s ability to address these issues when making a decision.
Are you suffering losses due to spoiling produce? Are there any production areas that you need to improve on? Start by identifying obstacles and look for a workable solution for the specific problem. This way, you ensure that you’re choosing software that addresses and resolves pain points in your business.
Consider the cost of software
Businesses are often on the lookout for cost-cutting measures, and in the produce industry, this is extremely important, given how volatile the market can be. However, every grower and shipper needs to be smart about the exact steps they’re taking, especially when looking to purchase software.
While you need to save on costs, cheap software options may not be an ideal option. That being said, expensive software may not be an ideal option for your business and cannot guarantee efficiency. For instance, you may find expensive software that has many features, but if the features aren’t useful to you, it might not be worth the price.
The key to purchasing the software is to select features and offerings that are tailored for your business, while also considering your budget. It’s okay to be a bit flexible in one of these categories if you’re getting a fantastic deal within the other category. At the end of the day, everything depends on your overall needs and how well the software is implemented.
Factor in business growth projections
Is your business rapidly expanding? What are the growth projections? If you fail to factor in the growth projections in your company, you may outgrow the software months or years later, and you will be forced to purchase different software. Regardless of the size of your produce business, get software that will scale with your business needs.
Business growth projection remains a problem area for most business owners. To get this right, you may need to hire the services of a financial consultant. They will help you project the business needs in the coming years based on the available data. This way, you can make an informed decision on the kind of software to choose and avoid needing to purchase a replacement a short while down the line.
Ease of adoption
If you have been searching for software for growers and shippers, you know the complexity of available software options can vary greatly. The right software should be easy to adopt and implement, not only for you, but also for other employees.
If you want a more complex software option, then be sure to factor in how difficult it is to utilize, and any issues that may arise, as well as the customer service options offered by the provider. The more complex software gets, the more time you’ll spend getting your employees ready to use it.
Every grower and shipping business has varying business costs and needs. As a result, customization is always an advantage when it comes to adopting new software into your business model. Still, this doesn’t mean there aren’t any cons- for instance, some customizable software may be more costly than simplified versions. If your business is still in the initial stages, opting for a simpler model is ideal.
As mentioned earlier in the article, business trends and projects should also be considered in making this decision. While it may cost less, non-customizable software means that it is more difficult to tailor the software based on the needs of your business. At the end of the day, every business owner needs to learn how to balance trade-offs for the benefit of their business.
Do not disregard software security
Any digital business tools like software collects and stores sensitive data; it’s comparable to a safe that is used to store valuables. As such, the security functions of your software and how protected your systems are from intrusion are a huge decision factor. As any cyber security expert will advise, do not ignore software security when it comes to choosing software for your business.
On top of this, before you even get the system up and running, you need to designate an individual to be responsible for maintaining system security and ensuring that the software is compliant with the data protection regulations in your territory.
Ask for a demo
A demo is an opportunity that allows business owners to see the software in action. Most software providers have live demos that are personalized to suit a customer or their business models. This is an excellent opportunity to ask questions and fine-tune problem areas as you evaluate the product for your personal needs.
While technology is an essential part of any business, software selection remains a problem area for most growers and shippers. The tips listed above will ease the search process and ensure you get the right software for your business.