Characteristics of good logistics software
16 Oct 2019
4 min read
During your search for good logistics software, you will soon find out that there are many parties that offer this. And in contrast to buying a new truck, it is not possible to take it for a quick test drive. Even if you could, there would not be enough time to find out if the software effectively and efficiently solves your problems. This immediately brings us to the first characteristic of good logistics software: it should solve your problems. In this blog I will elaborate on this and other characteristics of good logistics software.
Think in problems first, then in logistics solutions
Software suppliers often refer to their software system as a solution. Including us. And this is not without a reason. Because the first and most important characteristic of good logistics software is that it should solve your logistics issues. So good software development starts with a right and clear description of your problem. By doing so, the developer can consider multiple options to determine the best fitting approach. For this it is important that your software supplier hires consultants that know your market – and its problems. Pure IT-knowledge just is not enough.
Do you have your problems clearly in view?
Thinking in problems is harder than it sounds like. Usually, we are focused on the solution without dwelling upon the main issue. Do your customers demand clearer communication? What is the reason for this demand? Do you not have the right insights? Do your colleages not register enough or can they not get to the right information? Is this why you cannot correctly inform your customers? You might think about solutions related to communication ways, but the core of the issue lies with your own processes. We would like to think along about your problems, before we get to the right solution.
Good logistics software arises in an iterative process
The second characteristic might sound a bit odd, but good software is full of mistakes. Because of mistakes people learn. A kid does not think a few hours about the theory of walking before he tries to. No, he gets up, takes a few steps and falls over. And then again, but slightly different. And again. By failing, the child masters the skill of walking. Software is, just like a child, growing and a developer learns by working iteratively. So, by “failing faster” the best product is created faster too. This automatically means that in good software too, errors could still exist. As long as these can easily be found and solved, this does not make the software of less quality.
Doing more with less creates good logistics software
Next, good logistics software is due to efficiency. This relates to developing the software and to working with it. In terms of development (or configuration), efficiency is reflected by the project team. Here, more people do not lead to better or faster results. In many cases, the project only gets bigger with less focus.
Also, efficiency in use separates good from less good logistics software. In this case, the number of functionalities and features do not determine the quality of the product. But the usage and effect of these two most certainly do. The more functions, the fuller the software and the harder it is to keep it up. Including periodic updates. When there is an efficient way to solve a problem, it is unwise to keep the old solution. Then again, would you mind if your current printer did not have a fax option anymore? Besides, if you could apply one good functioning feature to multiple problems, you create a very powerful and functioning logistics solution for the long term.
Good software developers work pragmatic
Of course, good logistics software does not create itself. At least, not yet. Who knows where Artificial Intelligence will take us? But for now, engineers create software and a fast engineer is a good engineer. With fast I do not necessarily regard to building or delivering the software. But mainly on constructing a simple and adjustable architecture. By this, the developer prevents mistakes and the solution can easily be adjusted by colleagues, or even by end-users. Thus, a good software engineer focuses on reproducibility and the long term.
What can we conclude about good logistics software?
Concluding, we can say that good logistics software arises and keeps existing by:
- starting from a clear problem description;
- let a consultant with market knowledge find the best solution;
- find the best engineers to create this solution;
- make sure only the best solutions survive;
- and view this process as entirely iterative.
Are you curious about how we work at Elevate-IT or which of your problems our software can solve? Please contact us, we are more than happy to explain it to you.