The following information will help guide you to the best decision for your multi-carrier shipping software

Written by Richard Palmer, Enterprise Sales at ProShip

Adding a multi-carrier parcel solution to your existing enterprise software suite will help your business succeed, but the question of where to place the software is a big part of that decision.  Many large enterprises are downsizing their on-premise data centers and fleeing to the cloud to minimize internal costs and benefit from reliability and security.  At the same time, SMB enterprises are looking to save money wherever possible, and cloud hosting may seem outside their budget.  Regardless of your business size or today’s prevailing winds of IT, remember, your business is unique. The key to where you should host your multi-carrier parcel solution is not a single answer. Instead, consider the following questions to help you arrive at the best solution for your business.

How many labels will I be printing in an hour, a minute, or a second during my busiest time? 

  • If you are printing several labels a second via multiple workstations or automated equipment, you are a “high volume” shipper.  
  • If you are printing several a minute, you are a “medium volume” shipper. 
  • If you are printing several labels an hour, you are a “low volume” shipper.

What is my round-trip transaction time to create a shipment and print a label?  

The round-trip time is how long it takes for data to travel across the network and return to your system. You can obtain this information by executing a “ping” or “traceroute” or using other network testing software.   Run this test between two systems within your network for on-premise simulation, then again from your internal systems to the cloud system to simulate cloud hosting. Compare your round-trip times to determine which is faster and how much faster. Typically, on-premise round-trip times will be much lower than cloud round-trip times. A lower round-trip time represents a faster transaction time.

  • If you are a high-volume shipper, you will need the fastest transaction time possible to achieve the high volume of transactions required by your business. 
  • If you are a medium-volume shipper, you have options. Consider your growth projections, the difference between round-trip times, and costs to arrive at the best solution for your business.  
  • If you are a low-volume shipper, a fraction of a second or even one second of transaction time will not affect your operations negatively.

How critical is uptime to my business?   

Consider the reliability of your internal network and IT support staff when considering on-premise. For cloud hosting, consider the internet infrastructure between you and your cloud facility. In both scenarios, consider “how much” downtime your business can tolerate.   Your decision will involve speed, reliability and cost when compared to the requirements of your business. Balancing these factors will lead you to your answer. No matter the hosting option you choose, your software partner should have advanced options. Your business is unique, so your answer will be unique to your business. Contact us today to learn more about ProShip’s core technology and innovative approach to the logistics industry!

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