Once you have determined a need for a technology solution the first question you are confronted with is, should we build or buy? Fifteen years ago its likely that the only option was to build a technology solution for your business's specific needs; now there are more options than ever before. With the rise of B2B Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions, there are plenty of off the shelf options with customizable add ons for almost any imaginable business need. This rise of technology solutions in the market offers businesses of all sizes more choices, making “shopping around” a more complex task.
As you begin to evaluate and plan your digital transition to wholesale E-commerce, its essential that you asses your immediate needs and evaluates what your future needs might look like as well. Here are a few common considerations to review when you are evaluating whether to build or buy a technology solution.
Time to Market
Implementing any new technology solutions into existing business operations always requires an investment in time and resources. Building a custom solution takes time, to first determine the requirements and then to find the internal or third-party resources needed to start the build. Custom built solutions take a lot of time and resources up front making them less desirable for business looking to implement B2B E-commerce quickly. An existing system is already built and often only require a short period of time to implement for business, for example, OrderEase can set up, implement and train a wholesale distributor within a month offering quick time to market.
Level of Expertise
You are experts in your industry whether it be manufacturing or distribution, do you have experts in technology in your business? There is no doubt that you have a clear understanding of how your company operates and the expertise to understand how to make it run better. B2B E-commerce is much more complicated than a simple cart system on your website. There are a lot of factors that come into play like customized customer pricing and catalogs, not to mention sales rep permissions and mobile optimization. Off the shelf, B2B E-commerce solutions have been engineered to meet the complex needs of various wholesale businesses. Companies that work with countless wholesale companies and are experts in technology and B2B E-commerce offer your business more options to tackle your specific business needs.
Scalability and Flexibility
Technology moves quickly, making it particularly difficult to maintain. Custom built solutions for a specific business needs today might not translate well to the business needs of the future. Updating, maintaining, and adding new functionality to a custom built solution is costly. B2B Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions are constantly in a state of improvement to stay up to date and meet their customer's needs. As technology experts, they are always looking for the next new technology that their customers (you) will need.
B2B SaaS solutions offer you a million(s) dollar solution at a fraction of the cost through an annual fee. Yes, this means you don’t own the solution you are paying for the right to use it. When you build a solution, you own it, which means no annual fee, but you are responsible for maintenance costs.
As you continue with evaluating your options, it is important to consider future needs at the same level of importance as your present needs. Our team at OrderEase are always available to answer any questions you might have as you are evaluating your options, so please feel free to contact us at any time.