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Warehouse Management Blog

Our team of Fulfilment Consultants share warehouse management best practice and advice.

SaaS inventory software drives loyalty not imprisonment

WRITTEN BY Oliver Rhodes /

23 December 2010

The SaaS (Software-as-a-Service)  inventory rental model removes the requirement for costly software upgrades.

On-premise client/server inventory software companies have always had to make a choice between supporting older versions of their software and forcing customers to take an upgrade. Customers had two choices, either pay for upgrades or risk going unsupported. With the introduction of SaaS inventory there is a third option.

1. Supporting older versions of inventory software

Supporting old versions of software can be a real pain for some companies that did not design their software well at the start to allow extra functionality to be added. Supporting multiple iterations is expensive and resource draining. For the customer it often results in a poor customer service experience.

2. Forcing customers to take inventory software upgrades

Forcing your customers into taking upgrades has to a certain degree become an accepted practice and many customers will budget for this when buying on-premise software.

This is how Microsoft Windows does it for those going from XP to Windows 7 for example - not the total price, but still a hefty fee, for what should be a marked improvement. But being forced to upgrade as the old version that unfortunately company X is using can be an announcement not well received. SaaS does not give surprises as presents.

3. SaaS inventory upgrades free

Web applications delivered through SaaS do not need to be upgraded in the same way. Rather than having to upgrade each user, upgrades will automatically be seen by users when they log in and view the application via a internet browser like Explorer, Firefox or Chrome. This means that the actual delivery of the upgrade does not carry a cost; it is included in the regular payment you make.

SaaS inventory system customers are not trapped with their suppliers as they can stop paying and switch to another provider relatively easily. They have loyal customers, unlike many client/server (lots of software loaded onto your computers and servers) suppliers who have many of theirs trapped. Horrible.

This means that software providers are incentivised to continue to give their customers the best product and deliver free upgrades that ensure their customers continue to get value for money.

For SaaS inventory software providers all upgrade income is not lost. New features and functions can be placed into different packages at a higher rental cost. If they are deemed to be of value, customers can choose to upgrade on their own terms. This is a critical point that many SaaS providers have taken advantage of and their clients appreciate that innovation and choice. Everybody is a winner.

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