The LRM Dilemma: Should You Build or Buy?

The global pandemic has highlighted the value that Logistics Resource Management (LRM) platforms provide to export-import oriented companies. For organisations considering LRMs for the first time or an upgrade of their current solutions, should they invest in building a customised, in-house platform or buy a ready-to-go, off-the-shelf software?

Here are some of the factors to consider to help you make the decision that’s right for you. 

An ideal way to start is by outlining the key requirements of your company and the corresponding features you will need to meet those requirements. Consider making a list of features that you may or may not need or would be good to have. 

With your requirements defined, next consider your implementation timeline, budget and other resources available to you. 

To build, or not to build, that is the question…

  • Ok, your IT team have confirmed that they could build a system, but should you?

Your organisation may lean towards building an in-house system and may have all the resources it takes to build one but is it worth your time and money? Unless localised solutions are at the core of your business, building your solution might just translate to a waste of invaluable resources. 

On the other hand, a pre-built solution that can be customised to meet your needs can help you instantly leverage your resources while staying within your budget. 

  • What’s more scalable?

Quickly scaling up your customised solution to meet each need that arises with time may not be always viable. Quite often, companies are very specific about their needs and customise their solution accordingly. Unfortunately, this can become a barrier that limits the flexibility of the system especially when additional functionality is required, such as during the times of crisis. 

Even when it comes to investing in a pre-built solution, not all systems are scalable so it’s always recommended to double-check the scalability and flexibility of the platform so that it is able to accommodate the growth of your business. 

  • Can you build the best solution?

An in-house solution is only as good as its ability to gain competitive advantage by differentiating from what’s readily available in the market. 

Building a system that doesn’t offer you better functionality than off-the-shelf solutions can instead harm your company’s competitiveness.  You may well benefit more from investing that time and money to other areas of your business.

  • What’s more cost-effective?

While building an in-house solution demands heavy investment, the emergence of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms have dramatically reduced the costs associated with investing in technology.

SaaS allows businesses to instead make much smaller expenditures staggered over a period of time and gradually expand as and when the need arises. The result is that you spend only based on the usage of the software.

How about buying and then building?

An interesting answer to the buy vs build debate is to opt for a pre-built solution that can be easily customised to meet all your requirements and seamlessly integrate with your existing systems. 

Cloud-based systems are quick to set up and can be easily updated to keep pace with technological advancements. Moreover, leading systems provide a one-stop solution to multiple pain points in your supply chain, allowing you to enjoy a range of cost and time savings whilst simultaneously fortifying your processes for the unknowns of tomorrow. 

The question at the end is less about whether you can build a system or not, and more about what benefits your bottom line the most.

For an easy-to-use, automated LRM platform that helps you build an agile supply chain, reach us here.