Test driving logistics software
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This article was published in the April issue of International Cement Review in 2017.
Buying a new truck is a straight forward exercise for most fleet managers; with a strong automotive background, they know exactly what to look for. However, when investing in logistics software, many decision-makers feel a bit like they are buying a shiny car with its bonnet welded shut. What checklists can help to get the most out of a logistics software test drive?
■ by Dirk Schlemper and Thomas Bergmans, INFORM GmbH, Germany
Payload, trailer requirements, engine/torque specs, fuel economy, cab configuration, maintenance intervals, warranty, road side assistance, insurance costs, leasing contracts, etc. Experienced fleet managers know their checklists by heart when they go through the process of sourcing new trucks and analysing their total cost of ownership. Buying a truck is expensive, but as soon as the first cement has been loaded, the return on investment (ROI) immediately gets into gear.
Purchasing software is different, particularly when it comes to enterprise business solutions that are expected to deliver a quicker and bigger ROI. The continuous technological acceleration of logistics software makes it hard for decision-makers to keep pace. It is easy to get dazzled by so-called world records or bright and shiny features that increase costs but don’t necessarily add value. Finding the right transport planning software to optimise truck fleet utilisation can be tricky as there are no simple “from 0 to 60” metrics that quantify and compare their performance.
An article published in the April issue of International Cement Review explains what checklists and test tracks help to get the most out of a logistics software test drive and why world records have little value in the daily logistics routine.
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