Shipping and fulfillment is a major cog in many industries. Warehouses, supply chains and logistics all run on powerful shipping software.
In this space, there are many competitors, and people often expect that the best software is going to be something new.
But this is one industry where that isn’t necessarily the case. IBM shipping software, known as IBMi, has been around for decades.
Despite that, it’s still in use in countless operations around the world, and many still consider it to be the best of the best. Here’s why.
IBMi’s Simplified Concept Empowers This Shipping Software
IBM i runs IBM Power (AS400) operating system software. Anyone who’s used AS400 understands that it heralds from a time before all the current software bells and whistles existed. It’s simplified to a degree that’s hard to find in modern programming.
This simplicity - which should not be mistaken for simplistic software - leads to a robust system that struggles to fail, even when faced with monumental challenges. IBMi is reliable for the simple fact that it has fewer ways it can falter.
- One Central System: IBMi runs like converged software. It functions like a packaged whole, allowing a central system to manage many nodes. You can run it on-premise or through the cloud, and you get the same experience regardless.
- Powerful Security: Another advantage of IBMi’s simplified concept is that it adds power to security. Many of today’s modern vulnerabilities don’t exist within IBMi and AS400. It’s important to note that this power doesn’t preclude the need for security altogether, but using IBMi significantly lowers the risk of both internal and external attacks.
- Scalable: IBMi shipping software favors scalability. Because there are fewer cogs in the machine - so to speak - it’s easy for an IBMi system to start with a small business and handle growth all the way to the enterprise level. For example, IBMi is the system of choice for many Las Vegas casinos. It can handle large-scale work, yet it is still sensible for businesses that are nowhere the level of operations a large-scale casino would require.
Benefits to a Strong Shipping Software That Builds on Your Resources
Any significant investment into software has to address ROI. If it doesn’t improve your bottom line in some measurable way, it’s difficult to justify the cost of transitioning. IBMi provides several ROI opportunities, and all of them are viable for virtually any business.
Benefit #1 - Security: The first ROI potential can be found in security. Hacks and breaches are extremely expensive. As noted, IBMi, as a function of its nature, removes many security threats. Again, it’s not a foolproof system on its own, but cybersecurity teams have a much easier job ahead of them when this software is running the show.
This translates to huge savings in potential losses that can likely be averted by using this robust system.
Benefit #2 - Labor: Your second return is tied to labor. Parcel shipping on IBMi provides a multi-carrier software solution. It can offer automation in many facets of order and fulfillment, and each point helps reduce human error.
It also improves workflow and overall fulfillment efficiency by keeping information organized and streamlined.
Benefit #3 - Customer Experience: The third return stems from improving the customer experience. When shipping and fulfillment are more reliable, customers get what they want when they want it.
This leads to a better experience, which ultimately can translate into greater overall sales and boosted revenue.
Benefit #4 - Carrier Costs: A final return comes from saving money on carrier costs. ShipAudit is an example of an IBMi module that helps companies lower their overall shipping costs. Varsity customers estimate that they’re able to lower carrier overcharges by an average of 8 to 10 percent when they use the module.
You can realize direct cost savings when you implement and use good software.
Why is IBMi still alive and well? Simply put, it performs. It is powerful, stable and secure. Those three words are more important than any other when it comes to enterprise software, and for shipping and fulfillment, IBMi is still a world-class competitor. Until something can outshine it on these vital fronts, it will continue to live a long life.
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Image by Jackie Zhao via Unsplash.