Top 54 Third Party Logistics (3PL) Software (Jan 2024)

2023's Best 55 Third Party Logistics (3PL) Systems

Shlomi LaviShlomi Lavi / Jan 21, 2024

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1. SAP ERP

  • Best for: Large business
  • Price: starts at $108 per user/month
  • Jan 25, 2023
Compare SAP ERP Vs. SAP ERP

SAP ERP is a cloud ERP suite that offers resource planning and business management solution designed to offer the users the financial transparency they need to execute growth plans, expand margins, and satisfy customers. It offers end-to-end with fully integrated business functions, automated proces...


2. Tovuti

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $700 per month
  • Dec 22, 2022
Compare Tovuti Vs. SAP ERP

Tovuti is a cloud-based learning management system software that offers users the possibility of sharing their ideas with the world in an instant. Organizations can develop and track the potentials of their employees through this training platform.


3. SkuVault Software

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $299 per 2 users/month
  • Mar 20, 2022
Compare SkuVault Software Vs. SAP ERP

SkuVault is an inventory management software designed to make the process of selling, picking, and shipping faster.


4. Infoplus Software

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $695 per month
  • Mar 22, 2022
Compare Infoplus Software Vs. SAP ERP

Infoplus software is a cloud-based distribution software that enables managers to automate their organizations crucial warehouse operations, as well as curating actionable data such as key alerts, reports, and user-defined metrics.


5. Da Vinci Supply Chain Business Suite

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $179 per user/year
  • Mar 25, 2022
Compare Da Vinci Supply Chain Business Suite Vs. SAP ERP

Da Vinci Supply Chain Business Suite is a supply chain management solution for businesses of all sizes. Its capabilities include order management, inventory management, warehouse management, and others. The software was designed and launched by Wolin Design Group Inc headquartered in Cal...


6. Reservation Assistant

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • May 13, 2022
Compare Reservation Assistant Vs. SAP ERP

More than 200 interfaces, such as to property management systems, accounting or payment providers, guarantee smooth integration into the existing IT infrastructure. The TAC software products dock with various real-time interfaces to other programs without any problems. Here you can see a first overv...


7. 3PLink WMS

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $250 per user/month
  • Apr 08, 2022
Compare 3PLink WMS Vs. SAP ERP

Excalibur WMS is an inventory and warehouse management solution for small and medium third-party logistics or 3PL. Its key features include barcoding/RFID, CRM, 3PL management, cross-docking, inventory, shipping, supplier, and fleet management.


8. Smith

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $210 per month
  • Apr 02, 2022
Compare Smith Vs. SAP ERP

Smith is a customer support software designed to reply to messages and calls automatically. The software guides potential clients on one business website, handles appointment booking, captures and follows up leads, and turn leads into conversions.


9. ITS Dispatch

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $39 per user/month
  • Jul 06, 2022
Compare ITS Dispatch Vs. SAP ERP

ITS Dispatch is a cloud-hosted transport management system (TMS) intended for small to mid-level fleets & freight brokerage agencies. The software incorporates a suite of fleet management tools such as dispatch & scheduling, freight brokerage, GPS tracking, as well as rates and quote management amon...


10. Epicor Supply Chain Management

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jul 04, 2022
Compare Epicor Supply Chain Management Vs. SAP ERP

Epicor for Distribution is a cloud-based as well as an on-premise enterprise resource planning solution that is geared towards supply chain management. The software assists in the organization of data, reporting, and planning as well. The software has also incorporated business intelligence (BI), th...


Pricing Guide - Third Party Logistics (3PL) Software:

Supply Chain Management Sotware Price Range

The typical starting price range for Supply chain management software is between $0 to more than $1000 a month. Most vendors offer tiered subscription plans which might also include extra services and features. The price analysis of Supply Chain Management software products based on the size of the business is as follows:

  • Small companies can expect to pay between $0 and $200 for a Supply Chain software unit. For example, FreightPOP begins at $199 a month, Determine Contract Lifecycle Management at $3 a month, and Agiliron charges $99 monthly. ContraxAware also pricing starts at $59 a month for each user, ShipperEdge pricing goes for $199 monthly and Rose Rocket charges $69 monthly for its base subscription. CoreIMS at $50 a month and Symfact plans costs up to $59 a month.
  • Supply Chain Management software for Medium-sized Businesses have base subscriptions which cost up to $625 a month. For example, GoFrugal POS pricing starts at $375 a month, with a standard plan which costs $625 per month. Infoplus pricing goes for $379 per month.
  • Large Organisations can expect to start to pay up to $1000 for a Supply Chain software. For instance, Oracle Netsuite charges $999 for its base license, Logistically costs $300 monthly for its base plan, and NorthStar WMS pricing starts at $600.

There are some of the best breeds regarding Supply Chain Management software, and they have their price ranges for users who might be considering a specific Supply Chain software product.

The price ranges are as follows:

  • Warehousing Management Software Users can expect to pay up to $49 monthly for Warehousing Management Software. For example, EZOfficeInventory pricing starts at $35 a month, Zoho Inventory cost price begins at $49 per month and Handifox Online for $39 per month. Other vendors charge a one-time licensing fee as well; RetailOps, for example, goes for $2500, and FishBowl Inventory has a starting price of $4395.
  • Transportation Management Software Users can expect to pay up to $1500 a month for transportation Management software products. Some other vendors would offer one-time licensing, which could cost up to $20,000. For example, Trucker Helper pricing plan starts at $30 a month, Husky Intelligence costs up to $29 per month, and Viewpoint Logistics pricing goes for $1500 monthly. Furthermore, TMWSuite charges $20,000 one-time licensing, EnVision costs $3500 and Nova Transportation Solutions goes for $200 a month.
  • Contract Lifecycle Management Software This software subcategory pricing ranges is $19 - $1050 monthly. PandaDoc, for example, starts at $19 a month, Gatekeeper pricing starts at $450 per month, and MochaDocs pricing goes up to $44 monthly for each manager. Agiloft begins at $45 per month for its hosted services and $1050 per user for the software.
  • Demand Planning Software Software in this subcategory can cost up to $750 a month. For context, SkuBrain starts at $150 monthly, Skulocity pricing begins at $495 a month and PlanetTogether costs about $250. However, Some vendors charge a one-time licensing fee; an example is Demand Works Smoothie, which charges $5000.Also, StockIQ has its subscription plan at $750 a month.
  • Dropshipping Software Dropshipping Software has a price range of $19-$525 per month. For instance, EcomDash pricing starts at $60 a month, with other plans running up to $350 a month. Solid Commerce begins at $450 monthly, the Pro plan for SellerCloud goes for $525 a month, and Spocket pricing starts at $19 per month.
  • Freight Broker Software Freight Broker Software Users can expect to pay $69-$4000 a month for this product. For illustration, Descartes Aljex costs $290 per month, AscendTMS pricing goes for $69 per month, and 3G-TM pricing plan starts at $4000 monthly. Lastly, DAT Broker TMS pricing begins at $100 per month, and Dr Dispatch cost price goes for $99 a month.
  • Order Entry Software This subcategory has products that cost between $85 and $850 a month. For example, TotalETO pricing starts at $85 a month, SYSPRO at $199 per month and Epicor E10 ERP at $175. Also, Bizowie Cloud ERP costs $850 per month. Other vendors charge a perpetual licensing fee as well. Active ERP costs a one-time charge of $6000 per user.

11. Tailwind

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $9.99 per month
  • Sep 05, 2022
Compare Tailwind Vs. SAP ERP

Tailwind is a growing cloud-based Social Media Management software, it is designed to support small and medium size business. Tailwind received a rating of 4.5 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (1/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


12. Infor SCM

  • Best for: Start up, Small business, Medium business, Large business
  • Price:
  • Sep 23, 2022
Compare Infor SCM Vs. SAP ERP

Infor SCM is both cloud-based as well as an on-premise supply chain management solution that is developed majorly for logistics service providers. The on-premise deployment can be done on either the windows platform or the Mac OS platform depending on the customers choice.


13. Orderhive

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $95 per month
  • Oct 17, 2022
Compare Orderhive Vs. SAP ERP

Orderhive is a web based order and inventory management solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers such capabilities as 3PL inventory tracking, back order management, custom reporting, and others. The software was designed and launched by OpenXcell Technologies Pvt Ltd headquartered...


14. ShipStation

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $9 per user/month
  • Apr 22, 2022
Compare ShipStation Vs. SAP ERP

ShipStation is a web based e-commerce and shopping cart solution for your business. The software was designed by ShipStation based in Texas, United States. It helps retailers to manage their shopping carts and supervise their e-commerce and retail processes.


15. Logiwa

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $300 per license
  • Apr 30, 2022
Compare Logiwa Vs. SAP ERP

Logiwa is a warehouse management software designed to improve warehouse operations for online sellers, distributors, and 3PLs.


16. Logimax

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Nov 04, 2022
Compare Logimax Vs. SAP ERP

Logimax is a warehouse management system that leverages the strength of the IBMi platform. The solution is browser-based and can be installed on premise or in the cloud. It can also integrate with the company’s existing systems like ERP, EDI, TMS and more. Logimax offers a warehouse management f...


17. Ameyo Engage

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $40 per user/month
  • May 24, 2022
Compare Ameyo Engage Vs. SAP ERP

Win more customers and orchestrate seamless customer journeys with a cloud based contact center software that grows with you.


18. 3rdWave

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $1,995 per month
  • May 16, 2022
Compare 3rdWave Vs. SAP ERP

3rdWave is a procurement software designed to help businesses experience the pinnacle of visibility. The software achieves this by validating and capturing supply chain data for a holistic view of operations.


19. SAP Business One

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $56 per user/month
  • Dec 20, 2022
Compare SAP Business One Vs. SAP ERP

SAP Business One software is an enterprise resource planning solution designed for small and midsized business. The solution offers a number of functionalities that include premium engagements that secure businesses long-term success with the highest level of enterprise and collaboration.


20. IBS Enterprise

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • May 17, 2022
Compare IBS Enterprise Vs. SAP ERP

IBS Enterprise is a web-based resource management software that can help you to make supply chain processes automated and accelerate it greatly. The success of any business depends on complete control over inventory, good accounting system, e-commerce system and CRM and this resource management solu...


21. Royal 4 WISE

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • May 17, 2022
Compare Royal 4 WISE Vs. SAP ERP

Royal 4 Wise is a warehouse management software that is ready to offer a complete warehouse management solution to those who are looking for a vigorous WMS system. The software can be customized according to the needs of each business and the rules can be also defined by users. This flexible solutio...


22. Kuebix TMS

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $100 per user/month
  • May 24, 2022
Compare Kuebix TMS Vs. SAP ERP

Keubix TMS is a transportation management software designed to manage disbursement, distribution, and delivery.


23. 3G-TM Software

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $4,000 per month
  • May 23, 2022
Compare 3G-TM Software Vs. SAP ERP

3G-TMS is a cloud-based transportation management software for 3PLs, suppliers, and brokers to manage transportation systems for their business growth.


24. TransPac

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Dec 14, 2022
Compare TransPac Vs. SAP ERP

TransPac is a growing cloud-based Field Service software, it is designed to support medium and large size business. TransPac received a rating of 4.1 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered a bit pricey (5/5) vs their competitors.


25. CoreWarehouse

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $1,500 per month
  • May 29, 2022
Compare CoreWarehouse Vs. SAP ERP

CoreWarehouse is an inventory management software for warehouse managers to manage warehouse activities, track the progress of goods, receive orders, and improve data capture accuracy.


26. Logistically

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $300 per month
  • Jun 15, 2022
Compare Logistically Vs. SAP ERP

Logistically is a cloud-based transportation management software designed for logistic companies to maximize shipping efficiency, manage freights easily, monitor sales margin, and control expenses.


27. ShippersEdge

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $199 per license
  • Jun 16, 2022
Compare ShippersEdge Vs. SAP ERP

ShippersEdge is shipping software for LTL and Truckload shipping...with scalability from a single user to large enterprises. It is an affordable, hosted TMS shipping software with all the functionality you will ever need. It can transform the way you manage your logistics by supporting all departmen...


28. LogiNext Mile

  • Best for: Medium business
  • Price: starts at $49 per resource/month
  • Jun 23, 2022
Compare LogiNext Mile Vs. SAP ERP

LogiNext Mile is a logistics and field service software for logistics companies to track workforce, carriers, shipments, and vehicles, plan and manage routes and dispatch schedules, automate logistics management tasks, and provide data-driven insights and visualization.


29. Wireless Warehouse in a Box

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $50,000 per license
  • Jun 18, 2022
Compare Wireless Warehouse in a Box Vs. SAP ERP

Wireless Warehouse in a Box is a warehouse management solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers such services as capacity planning, inventory management, quality control, and others. The software was developed and released by Systems Logic headquartered in Ontario, Canada.


30. JDA software

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Dec 18, 2022
Compare JDA software Vs. SAP ERP

JDA software is a supply chain and inventory management software solution for your business. The software was designed by JDA Software Group, Inc., headquartered in Arizona, United States. It incorporates planning, management, and accounting services to streamline the supply chain of a business. 


31. LogFire Cloud-based Solutions

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $200 per month
  • Dec 18, 2022
Compare LogFire Cloud-based Solutions Vs. SAP ERP

LogFire is a web based inventory and warehouse management solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers such capabilities as 3PL management, category customization, quality control, and others. The software was designed and launched by LogFire Inc headquartered in Georgia, United States.


32. eBrief Ready

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $30 per user/month
  • Jan 21, 2024
Compare eBrief Ready Vs. SAP ERP

Ready is a cloud-based platform that provides a comprehensive solution for creating, managing, and sharing legal briefs. It is designed for legal professionals who want to streamline their workflow and increase their productivity.


33. Woffu

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $1.61 per employee/month
  • May 26, 2023
Compare Woffu Vs. SAP ERP

In today fast-paced and dynamic business environment, effective workforce management is crucial for any organization striving to stay ahead of the competition. This is where Woffu, a groundbreaking software solution, comes into play. Designed with versatility in mind, Woffu caters to a wide range of...


34. LEX247

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $49 per feature/month
  • Jun 09, 2022
Compare LEX247 Vs. SAP ERP

As a legal practitioner, there is nothing more important in your workflow than maximizing the efficiency of your time. Our mission is to help you make the most of it by streamlining your workflow and enabling you to collaborate and communicate with your team and clients from anywhere. LEX247 works o...


35. Lupl

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $29 per user/month
  • Jun 09, 2022
Compare Lupl Vs. SAP ERP

Law firms of all sizes use Lupl to collaborate better with clients, colleagues and other firms. The result - stronger and closer client relationships, more effectively managed projects and teams, and better outcomes.


36. SkillGuard

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jan 19, 2024
Compare SkillGuard Vs. SAP ERP

SkillGuard is a mobile workforce management system that helps ensure the safety and effectiveness of workers in various industries, such as utilities, rail, construction, and aviation. It is designed for employers, principal contractors, training providers, and workers who need to access, verify, an...


37. Ubeya

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $4 per active worker/month
  • Jun 07, 2023
Compare Ubeya Vs. SAP ERP

Designed with flexibility in mind, Ubeya caters to a wide range of industries, including hospitality, events, security, and healthcare. Whether you are a bustling hotel, an event planning company, or a healthcare facility, Ubeya streamlines your workforce operations, saving you time, resources, and ...


38. ActivityTimeline

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $2.50 per user/month
  • Jun 07, 2023
Compare ActivityTimeline Vs. SAP ERP

In the fast-paced world of project management, resource capacity planning can be a make-or-break factor in the success of any endeavor. That is where ActivityTimeline, the cutting-edge resource capacity planning plugin for Jira, steps in to revolutionize the way teams manage their resources and achi...


39. Appogee Leave

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $1.12 per user/month
  • Jun 07, 2023
Compare Appogee Leave Vs. SAP ERP

Appogee Leave is designed for organizations that value efficiency, accuracy, and transparency when it comes to managing employee leave. From small startups to large enterprises, this powerful tool empowers HR departments and managers to effectively track, approve, and monitor employee leave requests...


40. VeraCore

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Feb 03, 2022
Compare VeraCore Vs. SAP ERP

VeraCore streamlines the fulfillment process from order capture through pick, pack, and ship. With VeraCore, you can grow your business and handle any challenge with ease. VeraCore is trusted by top 3PLs and fulfillment companies.


41. greytHR

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $42.88 per month
  • Jan 28, 2023
Compare greytHR Vs. SAP ERP

The greytHR Platform automates HR processes & empowers employee self-service. Get all-around productivity and engaged employees—the crucial ingredients for growth.


42. Ease HR

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $379 per month
  • Feb 13, 2023
Compare Ease HR Vs. SAP ERP

Scale your small group book of business with a purpose-built benefits administration system that works like you do.


43. Nrby

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • May 05, 2022
Compare Nrby Vs. SAP ERP

Nrby is a smart communication software that uses Smartpins to capture and document data, information, and images to help better collaboration between team members and improve managers business knowledge.


44. GuideCX

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Mar 16, 2023
Compare GuideCX Vs. SAP ERP

GuideCX is a project management software company that specializes in customer onboarding and implementation. Their platform is designed to streamline the customer onboarding process by providing a centralized location for project management, communication, and collaboration between all parties invol...


45. HR4

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $8 per user/month
  • Mar 17, 2023
Compare HR4 Vs. SAP ERP

HR4 is a software company that provides human resources management solutions to businesses of all sizes. The company was founded in 2010 and is based in London, but it has a global presence with customers in over 70 countries. The HR4 software suite includes modules for core HR functions such as ...


46. Taskeo

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $5 per user/month
  • Apr 16, 2023
Compare Taskeo Vs. SAP ERP

Taskeo Project Management is an innovative software designed to streamline project management, increase productivity, and improve team collaboration. It is a comprehensive solution for businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large enterprises.


47. ActivateStaff

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $0.01 per license
  • Jun 11, 2023
Compare ActivateStaff Vs. SAP ERP

ActivateStaff is designed for individuals from all walks of life, whether you are a fresh graduate looking for your first professional role or a seasoned veteran seeking new horizons. The platform caters to a diverse range of industries and job sectors, ensuring that everyone can find their perfect ...


48. Timewax

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $0.73 per user/month
  • Apr 16, 2023
Compare Timewax Vs. SAP ERP

Timewax is a powerful project management software designed to streamline workflows, boost productivity, and enhance collaboration among teams. The software is specifically designed for businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large corporations, in various industries, including engineering, c...


49. hfx Absence Management

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 12, 2023
Compare hfx Absence Management Vs. SAP ERP

Designed with the aim of streamlining absence management processes, hfx Absence Management caters to a wide range of organizations, from small businesses to large enterprises. Whether you are a retail store grappling with fluctuating employee schedules or a multinational corporation seeking to optim...


50. Rallyware

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jan 31, 2022
Compare Rallyware Vs. SAP ERP

Rallyware is a performance enablement software that helps business staff achieve success by analyzing performances using personalized paths like in-line training.


51. Lucca

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jun 15, 2023
Compare Lucca Vs. SAP ERP

Lucca Human Resources Software is a suite of 10 HR and administrative software programs that help you work smarter with efficient solutions for HR and finance. Whether you are a startup or a multinational company, you can use Lucca software to turn spreadsheets into interactive online services and s...


52. stayhome.ai

  • Best for: Medium business
  • Price: starts at $5 per user/month
  • May 19, 2022
Compare stayhome.ai Vs. SAP ERP

Stayhome.ai is a workforce management software that helps businesses manage remote and partly office-based teams while reducing office costs and increasing productivity and satisfaction.


53. eBuyerAssist

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $34.95 per user/month
  • Jul 09, 2022
Compare eBuyerAssist Vs. SAP ERP

eBuyerAssist is a trending cloud-based Supply Chain software, it is designed to support medium and large size business. eBuyerAssist received a rating of 5 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered average (3/5) when compared to other solutions in their category.


54. 3PL Warehouse Manager

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $625 per license
  • Jul 04, 2022
Compare 3PL Warehouse Manager Vs. SAP ERP

3PL warehouse manager software is a cloud-hosted warehouse management system that is ideal for small and midsize businesses. The system is designed to assist third-party logistics companies in managing multiple customers, billing schedules and processes.



A Buyer's Guide to Business Software Solutions

How to Evaluate and Buy Business Software
 
If you’re somehow puzzled if this article is only for a specific size of business, no, it’s not. This is for you SMEs, MNEs and start-ups software buyers. Also, we’re not talking about a specific software solution here. Whether the software solution that you’re planning to buy is for Accounting, Business Intelligence, ERP, CRM, Help Desk, Maintenance Management or other types of application, one thing is for sure; with the help of this article, you will be able to know the right process in evaluating and buying a business software solution.
 
We’ve been into the software business for years and we’re seeing a lot of nitty-gritty things that often bring confusions and hesitations to many companies looking for better software solutions. Some companies can’t afford to let go their legacy systems while a few is encountering technological snags once the new system is in place. While this is the underlying truth behind software acquisition and implementation, what’s exciting about buying a business software solution is that there is a clear and obvious proof that thousands of companies and corporations today are happy with the benefits this technology is bringing into their respective businesses.  There is a significant increase in their revenue and the growth is on-going. And it’s easy to say; many from the Fortune 500 companies are making a lot of money because of their smartly-acquired business software.
 
So, let’s get straight to the point. What should you do in order to acquire that business software that could make your organization achieve its goals? The answer to this is pretty straightforward: evaluate and buy that right business software. Yes, that’s what you need to do and here’s the best manual from ITQlick.com that could certainly help you in doing that strategically.
 
Consider the Needs of Your Organization
Let’s assume that at this point, the entire management team agreed that you are ready to invest on a certain software application. The budget has been compromised and the key persons who will be involved in the acquisition process were already identified. Therefore, it’s time to approach things the project management way.
 
Define the Project
Every business software solution is categorized base on application type, features, deployment model, market size and pricing model. Remember that our objective here is to evaluate and buy a business software product that will fit into the size and present needs of your business. So what the project management team should try to deal with first is to define the real requirements of your business exactly base on the categories set by the software industry. Moreover, by doing this activity, you are already narrowing down your search for the right solution. Now, consider bringing this list of FAQs to the project management and aim to come up with clear-cut answers.
 
  1. What type of software is needed? Is it Integrated-Suite, Best-of-Breed or Industry-Specific? Ask your CEO’s main agenda and find the perfect match from these available options.
  2. What are the core and secondary features? Are you looking for basic, advanced or hi-end features? List down the specific features per category and allow the department managers and supervisors to give their insights on this list.
  3. How are you going to deploy the system? Would it be on-premise, cloud-based, hosted, or mobile-based? Weigh these options with the help of your CIO.
  4. Are you going for Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 vendors? Their offered solutions are base on the size of their target market - SMEs, MNEs or start-ups. Seek your CFO’s advice as it is important to match your financial capacity against the cost of the solution that the providers have for you.
  5. Are you willing to pay for the perpetuity software license or a subscription-based solution is way better? How many users are there and what would be their roles in using the system? Solicit feedbacks from future end users for they know better what challenges and risks might possibly come along their way when they’re using the system.
 
Finalize the BOM or List of Requirements
After providing definite answers on the above questions, we can say that the project has already been defined. Your procurement team is now ready to do their role in the acquisition process of this solution. However, in order for them to execute their job properly, they must have the complete list of requirements - features, specifications, hardware, and the software product. In other words, the Bill-of-Materials (BOM) that is final, complete and well-prepared must be handed over to the procurement director. Needless to say, it is very important that everybody is following the company purchasing and procurement protocols at all times.  
 
Request for Proposal (RFP)
The RFP process will bring everything into formality. Since you’re more likely in a line of business that doesn’t regularly buy software products, it is of critical importance that your RFP is well-structured before you send it to your prospect solution providers.
 
Draft the RFP
An RFP that contains all the relevant information as discussed during the project management meetings will enable the providers to return back to you their proposal that is complete and substantial. Therefore, your RFP should basically contain the following:
 
Brief Introduction
  • Company Name
  • Mission and Goals
  • Purpose of the RFP (or the need for software solution)
Business Background
  • Organizational Structure
  • Current Situation (IT infrastructure, system currently in-use, system issues and desired solutions, etc.)
  • Major Objectives of the Software Purchase
Request for Specific Requirements
  • Solution Functionality
  • System Specifications
  • Vendor Company Information
  • Price Model, Service Plans, Package Options
Other Important Inquiries (if necessary)
 
Send the RFP
Well-structured RFP will bring a lot of advantages especially when the proposals from various providers are received and then subjected for review and analysis. Send your RFP to at least three to five providers (or prospects which you have already shortlisted during the project definition phase). Depending on the complexity of the solution, most vendors will send their proposal in a matter of time, which could be around 4 to 6 weeks for Integrated-Suite solution.
 
Why still send RFP?
Is there really a need for RFP if your preferred solution (like cloud-based) and the service plans or packages are already displayed on the vendor’s website? Well, yes, you still need to undergo the RFP process. For most sales people, they certainly know that those figures appearing in the vendor’s website are usually the “list price” and not the “actual price”. More importantly, the vendor’s proposal (response to RFP) will serve as your main basis for the negotiation. Therefore, sending an RFP is a strict requirement.
 
Follow up questions relevant to RFP
More often than not, questions and concerns will be raised by the vendors to whom you send the RFP. You have to entertain them with utmost professionalism. Solution providers who are seeking further clarifications relevant to the RFP are consisting of professional software experts who wants to help your organization as much as they can. Entertain them but at the same time, always be cautious when providing additional information which you know is confidential or proprietary.
 
Evaluate the Proposals
Always refer to your finalized BOM when tabulating the contents of each proposal. Part of this process is to check the features that are available from this certain vendor and to cross out those that are not. While using spreadsheet aids the tabulation process, laying down the document proposals on the table and allowing your project management team to review them one by one should always be conducted. Evaluating the proposals in full force can help strengthen your decision-making process. Have another round of brain-storming session and come with the name of your preferred solution provider.
 
When selecting the final vendor, always promote the best interest of your organization. Consider answering these questions with full sincerity.
 
  1. Which vendor can provide the long-term benefits to your organization?
  2. Which vendor can provide the best and honest service from acquisition to full implementation?
  3. Which vendor is willing to devote most of its time in better serving its client?
 
Contact this solution provider and in your own strategic approach, try to get the answers to those three important questions above. In most cases, vendor who really wants to prove its craft will offer product demos on a higher level. Others will even invite you to check their already deployed and working systems. Feel free to connect with this type of vendor. Conduct simulation and testing, be it a cloud-based or on-premise solution. Examine all aspects and angles especially those that your project management team want to really know in-depth. For as long as it could help you arrive at a better decision, consider doing all the options available – for the interest of the organization.
 
Enter the Negotiation Process
Most solutions providers can be flexible in terms of pricing. Although the final say is oftentimes on the mouth of the sales person from the vendor’s side, a good negotiation process can always deliver a win-win situation to both parties involve. While negotiation sometimes cannot be settled in one sitting session, always be honest with your intentions whenever negotiating with your provider. If it’s about your budget, justify it with clarity. If it’s about their service plans, tell them what’s lacking or missing on their solution. At the end of the day, the most important event that should happen is that both of you are shaking hands because of a well done negotiation process.
 
Seal the Contract
So what are you going to do on a contract that involves a significant amount of investment? There are three project management approaches for this.
 
  1. Pass the ball to you legal team. They know what to do and more or less they will tell you if there is something wrong with the contract. Give them enough time to review before they affix their signature and then finally seal the contract.
  2. Hire a consultant base on the technical aspect that you want to clarify in the contract. If it’s the Scope of Work (SOW), a software implementation expert is the right person. If it is related to complex legal terms and conditions, a lawyer can help. If it has something to do with money, invite an accountant to conduct a thorough review and computation if necessary.
  3. Always consider consulting your project management team. Remember that the CIO, CFO and CEO are all team members. They will be the signatories and they know what’s best for the interest of the company when signing a contract agreement.
 
From evaluation to buying stage, it is important that the project manager must take full responsibility of monitoring all the works identified and distributed among team members. This is why delegating the right project manager is also an important consideration when buying a business software solution. And again, ITQlick.com wants to emphasize that whatever the size of your company is, using the project management approach will always lead you into a better outcome – that is getting what you paid for the right business software solution. 

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Auditor - Shlomi Lavi

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Shlomi Lavi is an entrepreneur and founder of ITQlick.com. He holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Information Systems Engineering from Ben Gurion University in Israel. Shlomi brings 17 years of global IT and IS management experience as a consultant and implementation expert for small, medium and large-sized (global) companies. Shlomi’s goal is to share the best knowledge and news about information systems so you can make smarter buying decisions for your business.