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How Procurement Professionals Help Build the Case for Parcel Shipping Software

Learn how the procurement team can find the best-fit multi-carrier shipping software to drive their supply chain

Procurement professionals have a tough road ahead. They are dealing with a complex variety of macroeconomic factors. The lingering aftermath of the pandemic, labor shortages, inflation, political conflicts, and more all continue to contribute – not to mention the risks still looming for supply chain disruption at any moment.

Today’s new “normal” has shifted how procurement departments must assist their supply chain divisions to remain successful. Those who are staying afloat are actively helping to deepen the layers of parcel shipping services and capabilities. They achieve this by deploying new systems that can tackle the unpredictability still threatening supply chains today.

Procurement is much more complex than just the purchasing of new products. It is a proactive approach that starts with understanding your brand. For the intricate and sophisticated supply chain of an enterprise-level organization, this can be very difficult.

Those looking for a supply chain technology solution that can assist with adjusting to these new evolving circumstances, whether that is related to cost savings or speed, should look no further than multi-carrier shipping software (MCSS).

Let’s look at how procurement professionals can help their supply chain departments in implementing a forward-looking strategy for their shipping and logistics programs.

Getting Started with Parcel Shipping Software

The first step for procurement professionals is identifying the need: finding a multi-carrier shipping software partner. From this point, they will need to start doing their homework. Before meeting with a vendor, they will need to know the following about their supply chain program.

What's the Problem?

With the help of the logistics team, the procurement professional needs to identify and understand the most impactful pain points in his or her organization’s current shipping system and process. Hint: Narrowing the list down to 3-5 key areas will help you distinguish between different solutions.

Here’s why it matters: A lot of software solutions are extremely similar with only a few differences. So, having a long list of “wants and needs” will make it difficult to compare different solutions. By agreeing on 3-5 key features that may address those pain points, procurement and logistics teams can focus on getting the key information they need to start the decision-making process.

What are the Numbers?

Procurement professionals should have a set budget and timeline before looking for the solution. Hint: Transparency is very important in initial conversations. Being transparent upfront can save yourself as well as your prospective software partners valuable time.

Here’s why it matters: Being straightforward will help the salesperson understand your current position and your needs. This will allow them to determine the best solution for you amongst other factors. These can include expediting your implementation as necessary or adding a discounted proposal for your specific business operation’s needs.

What's the Bottom Line?

Procurement professionals should know the estimated ROI in implementing the system. Hint: This number will never be exact, but you should have a ballpark number to be able to demonstrate the cost-effective impact to other stakeholders, such as C-Suite executives.

Here’s why it matters: There are many different factors within a shipping operation that impact ROI, so include all aspects of the process that would be impacted by the solution. For example, WorldLink’s Rate Shopping capabilities have helped customers significantly reduce their shipping costs.

However, this isn’t the only place that they’ve found to save money on their bottom line. Access to a broader portfolio of shipping carriers and services as well as the increased carrier compliance factor increase the customer experience (CX) and the overall ROI as well.

What do we need next?

Procurement professionals should understand the current needs and future requirements of their supply chain departments. This understanding is crucial to determine if multi-carrier shipping software is the right solution for both the short and long term. Hint: You should be aware of each vendor’s roadmap. No solution is perfect; however, the indicator of an innovative partner is growth.

Here’s why it matters: If you plan to keep this solution around for more than a few years (with all this work – you probably do!), a skilled, stable and financially secure partner is more important than ever. Look for a partner that is focused on parcel shipping software and continuing to develop their technology in that area. Beware of vendors who support multiple products because focus and resources can and will drift.

Procurement's Next Steps

Once you are ready to talk with a shipping software vendor, make sure you have your questions ready. Here are a few you can’t leave out:

  • What are the key differences between your product and your competitors?

  • How much easier will your product make our current processes?

  • How will this solution impact lead time?

For a lot of companies lead time has become the largest bottleneck in their shipping operation. Because of this, they will pay top dollar to get their product in a timely manner (or at least have a confirmed ETA).

  • What are the pricing models?
  • What is the integration process and difficulty?

  • What resources would I need to allocate to assist in implementing the solution?

  • What are the future plans for the software? Are there versions or upgrades?

  • What is the support structure? Where is support located?

Transforming your supply chain with WorldLink multi-carrier shipping software

Understanding how MCSS can aid in procurement professionals’ quest to help in future-proofing their business’ supply chain program is the final step necessary in challenging the unknowns hanging on the horizon. To learn more about WorldLink’s elite Multi-Carrier Shipping Software and how implementing it will transform your supply chain program, contact our team today!

Author Bio

Eric Levine is the Sales Executive for WorldLink, where he works with shippers to implement multi-carrier shipping solutions to solve their business needs. Prior to joining the WorldLink sales team, Eric worked in multiple procurement roles at Shiseido Americas. Eric lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.