“Like a lot of technologies, supply-chain visibility didn’t live up to the early hype. But just like the Internet, where Pets.com and Webvan failed, we can’t write off the whole concept of supply chain visibility due to some disappointments.” Given the fact that supply-chain visibility systems haven’t evolved into all-seeing, all-knowing, supply chain monitors and controllers, are they worth bothering with? Sure. These tools still provide a lot of utility (just not everything that’s been promised over the years):
This blog post first appeared on the UltraShipTMS Blog. UltraShipTMS is a web-based transportation management system (TMS) with clients in the food and consumer goods industries. ============================ Adrian Gonzalez of Talking Logistics recently asked the question: Why are companies replacing their legacy TMS? We’ve definitely seen increasing momentum in the SaaS TMS market in the past few months, with shippers who have legacy TMS systems in place actively working to replace these systems with SaaS solutions. So, OK Adrian, I’m going to take a swing that this question and share some reasons why I think this much-anticipated shift is really starting to accelerate.
At CayugaSoft we’ve decided to focus on Dedicated Offshore Development Teams, combined with Agile development methods. It’s really the best approach for successful software development over the long haul. The offshore team augments the onshore team, allowing the company to expand resources cost-effectively while building up the business, technology, and development process knowledge of the offshore team. So as opposed to a project-by-project approach to offshore development, where the team scatters to the winds once a project is complete, with a dedicated team approach you are looking to build up your team’s knowledge and leverage this knowledge over time. The result is a cost-effective expansion in resources, with much better productivity than you’d get with project-oriented offshore development.
Let’s talk about where we’ve been, historically, as an industry, when it comes to outsourced software development and offshore software development. In 1980’s and early 1990’s, in the US and in Europe, you had large consulting companies such as Andersen (remember them? I guess they were glad to have ditched the Andersen name in favor of Accenture) who would give you a multi-million dollar bid on your project. You would hand them an RFP that defined your system requirements as you best understood them (or they would help you define the requirements by letting you use their systems analysts) and based on these requirements, the consultants would estimate the work effort involved, price it, and develop your system for you. I don’t think people used the word “outsourcing” to describe this, but that’s what it was. Back in the 1980’s, and into the 1990’s, Andersen Consulting was famous for putting all of their young consultants—programmers–into “boot camp” and teaching them their methodology for doing software development (if you were around in the 1990’s you’ll get a smile from this article, talking about Andersen circa 1992). As I understand it, Andersen’s methodology (called Method-1) was essentially a waterfall-based process.