ProShip shares the importance of the update process in your shipping software.

We’re all familiar with those “time to update” pop-up windows – whether it is your phone, tablet or your computer. If you don’t apply these software updates, you leave your system vulnerable as updates are an important piece of digital safety, cybersecurity and performance.

The same can be said of the updates required by parcel shipping software. It’s necessary to understand how and when updates will occur with your shipping software vendor because this isn’t a standardized process across all vendors. There are several different possible update scenarios:

Software updates can be at an additional cost.

When you purchased your shipping software, did you look at the total cost of ownership? While it’s clearly important to recognize the up-front cost, it’s equally as important to remember the possible future fees and costs due to the pricing scheme or structure of the vendor. Make sure that when your vendor rolls out new updated versions, you won’t pay the costly fees to keep your shipping software up to date. [Learn more: The Price Is Right: Weighing Parcel Shipping Software Costs]

Upgrades to a new or different product may be required.

You’ve purchased your shipping software and have been using it somewhat successfully for the past 2 or 3 months. Your vendor calls you up to excitedly tell you about a newer software and all of the new capabilities – sign me up! But wait – it has a new name, a new look, and requires new training. Remember all those customizations you paid for with your initial shipping software? Unique customizations and integrations are likely to come at a steep service update price or may not even be possible with the upgraded version. [See the difference: A Closer Look at the Multi-Carrier Shipping Software Futurizing the Way Companies Ship Parcel] You may have purchased shipping software through one vendor but the fine print tells you that you have to pay for the new or upgraded version.

Updates can require downtime.

Has it been weeks or even months since you connected with your shipping software vendor? Carrier and service updates happen throughout the year and some vendors, who don’t have an automated update process, may not even reach out to you to tell you about necessary updates. When your system isn’t maintaining constant and consistent compliance, there is a good chance for a surprise downtime or an unexpected bill-back from surcharges because carriers’ policies have changed and your software hasn’t been updated. [Read more on empowering good data flow.]

No automated rate updates are available.

The issue here is pretty self-explanatory. If your rate updates aren’t automatic, then they are manual, which means you are probably performing them yourself. Not only are these a waste of your time (when other vendors offer automatic updates) but any manual task opens up the opportunity for errors and inaccuracy. These manual processes are a waste of your resources as someone on your team is probably responsible for checking how often these updates need to be performed. In addition, calculating the revenue lost by delayed shipments as a result of update downtime is likely more than you are wanting to spend. [Explore more: What Does It Take to Stay Carrier Compliant in Parcel Shipping?]

Updates are done automatically, and you are always on the newest software release.

This scenario is the ideal and the best case for any shipper. Automated carrier updates instill confidence about carrier compliant shipping whether that is for labels, the latest rate changes, or surcharges. Elite shipping software vendors perform updates and execute business rules without downtime. Because these labels and shipping documents are sent back to the software in real time, they can be electronically transmitted to other parts of your Enterprise Software Stack.

It all boils down to the facts: the most compliant and compatible software solutions are managed by knowledge experts. As the shipping landscape changes, updates related to carrier rates, zones, fees or surcharges, should be done automatically as they occur. Efficient and effective supply chains only function at the highest level with a trusted partner providing the right tool to ensure agility and control over carrier compliance.

Why trust ProShip for critical updates.

With ProShip, automatic updates can happen in real time, and you never need to halt your shipping strategy. Downtime is a pain point that no shipper wants deal with and with an expert multi-carrier shipping software- you won’t have to. But don’t let updates carry all the weight, other important factors should also influence your choice for a parcel shipping software partner. Choosing a partner and product that can boast high marks in all these categories will surely gain a competitive advantage in today’s e-commerce landscape. After all, “Remind me Later” won’t work for the long term and you need a shipping software that will.

Contact a ProShip Shipping Expert to learn about ProShip’s time-tested technology and advanced functionality.