The “cloud” is a part of an evolution in IT services. IT services took the mainframe and turned it into the cloud. In the beginning, the on-premise IT department was the be-all and end-all. Over time, things have changed. There began a shift in service providers, service levels expectations, and experiences.
Businesses that leverage cloud capabilities uncover new possibilities and alternatives to fulfill the everchanging demands of their business. This is the time for businesses to think beyond cloud migration.
Most businesses see cloud adoption as the culmination of the journey. Instead, they must recognize that the cloud is a future-proofing continuum. A technology that provides flexible access to a collection of dynamic, ever-improving services.
The pandemic has hastened the cloud adoption pace so NOW is the opportunity to build on this momentum and continue transforming at this new pace. Why?
Why Do Businesses Need To Think Beyond Cloud Migration?
Soon, any app or infrastructure that is not based on the cloud will be considered a legacy. Cloud is no longer a mere technological approach for delivering applications. It will serve as a foundation for corporate innovation and a sustainable supply chain.
When organizations employ the cloud as a future operating model, they set up a technological base that will assist them today and into the future. The cloud continuum includes various forms of ownership and location. All these are dynamically enabled by next-generation connectivity like 5G.
Cloud continuum helps businesses visualize a path from on-premises to cloud migration. Businesses can apply the continuum concepts throughout their technology stack. This includes everything from infrastructure to network to apps, and beyond.
Read on to find out how cloud continuum strategy can help your business realize its full potential.
How Cloud Continuum Strategy Can Help Businesses Realize Their Potential
The cloud continuum is made up of several technologies. Setting clear priorities will support all elements of the business and this will help all in your organization to move together towards your business objectives.
- Achieve best possible results: The cloud continuum strategy enables companies to collect incremental feedback. Such feedback will help businesses adjust their aims to obtain the best possible results. This way they can constantly align their objectives.
- A catalyst to accelerate innovation: The cloud continuum is a readymade strategy. It helps organizations improve decision-making and capitalize on new possibilities to disrupt and distinguish through accelerated innovation. It is a new-age innovation accelerator essential for increased agility and future-ready business advantage.
- Elevate customer experience: Businesses can elevate customer experience to the next level with the cloud continuum.
- Enhanced skill and talent: The cloud continuum strategy will contribute to an efficient and effective work environment. It addresses gaps and continuously adapts to change as a continuum best practice.
- Manage scale awareness: The cloud continuum addresses the challenges an organization faces with regard to computing, performance, and latency limits.
- Improves ecosystem network effect: Improvement of network ecosystem depends on the number of ecosystem personnel and their engagement. The more value drivers you have, the better is quantity and quality of the participants.
Keys To Unlocking The Potential Of The Cloud Continuum
Holistic and human-centric cloud continuum strategy depends on speed and change. You need agile techniques that can capitalize on continuous enhancements. Here are four keys that will help you unlock the potential of the cloud continuum:
1. Have a clear vision of your goal
Your cloud continuum strategy must address:
Vision: Establish future goals for a resilient and sustainable business. Also, devise a strategy for technical debt reduction.
Competitive landscape: Every organization has weaknesses and vulnerabilities that a competition seeks to take advantage of. Hence, identify any gaps in the supply chain and competitive ecosystem.
Skills and talents continuum: To achieve your business goals in the future, you need to locate and retain relevant skills and expertise today. The foundation you build today will enable you to define your pathway and help you win the talent war.
2. Establish cloud practices
Be agile and adaptive: Make sure you combine technology adoption with strict discipline. This will allow you to modify your non-technology areas as computational advances. Doing so will help you steer ahead of your competition.
Incorporate mobility into the creation of new processes. This will allow for more flexibility in the future.
3. Deliver extraordinary experiences
Recognize that experience is at the heart of your business: Customer experience and employee experience can be a gamechanger for your business. Hence, ensure to make your investments available and accessible to both your employees and customers.
4. Stick to your cloud continuum strategy
Stay on your business journey by sticking to your strategy: You may face several challenges in helping various departments in your organization to understand and stick to your cloud continuum strategy. However, do not give up on your strategy. Educate and encourage everyone in your organization to comprehend and comply with the strategy.
Do you still feel unsure? Here are some use cases that will help you see how some major organizations were reinvented on the cloud continuum.
How Organizations Are Being Reinvented On The Cloud Continuum
During the pandemic, 3M plants struggled to gather, transfer, and use the data from their production systems. The organization then pushed the data from the plant’s on-premises SQL Server to Azure SQL Edge. This enabled a faster and more streamlined process. By the end of 2020, 3M was able to double its production of N95 masks.
Sephora uses AI and AR to provide extraordinary experiences to all its customers.
Starbucks is well-positioned in the cloud continuum. It continues to innovate and grow despite socio-economic upheavals. It was able to stay ahead of its competition because it collects feedback and adapts its goals continuously.
It also ensures to provide a personalized experience for 100 million weekly customers by creating AI-driven recommendations.
Are You Ready For The Cloud Continuum?
The past year has been a witness to how fast an organization can pivot in the face of a crisis. Now is the golden opportunity to unlock your business potential with the cloud continuum. You too can stay ahead of your pack by becoming a continuum competitor. Partner with Fingent and see for yourself how your business will be transformed to be faster, more agile, and more successful. Let’s get talking!
DevOps is a fusion of development and operations that come together to form a technology that spreads rapidly throughout the technical community. The main objective of DevOps is to decrease the amount of time the company takes to deploy a program.
Before DevOps, most companies leveraged Agile methodology. However, it did not take care of the operations aspects and so gave rise to DevOps. In combination with Agile methodology, DevOps gave importance to communication between the development and operations team during all stages of the development cycle while developing software. This blog will take you briefly through why you need to consider DevOps and what are the upcoming trends in this technology.
Objectives of DevOps
The main goal of DevOps is to improve the collaboration between teams to;
- Improve the frequency of deployment
- Reduce time to market (TTM)
- Minimize the failure rate of new releases or productions
- Reduce the lead time between fixes
- Improve mean time to recovery
Statistics and Market Changes That Prove the Effectiveness of DevOps
DevOps includes different cross-functional teams such as business analysts, developers, QA practitioners, operations personnel, security specialists, suppliers, and partners. It not only helps seize the market opportunities quickly but also reduces time to include customer feedback. It also helps change and advances the relationship by improving the communication and collaboration between different business units. Here’s a look at a few statistics on how enterprises are driving efficiency using DevOps.
- 2x as likely as lower performers to achieve the goals across financial and non-financial measures.
- 46x more software deployments than their competitors
- 96x quicker recovery from failures
- 440x faster lead time for changes
- 96x faster recovery from failures
- Better customer satisfaction and operational efficiency
- DevOps teams spend about 21% less time resolving issues compared to traditional IT ops teams
- DevOps teams spend 33% more time improving infrastructure than traditional teams
- DevOps teams require 60% fewer teams per week to manage support cases than traditional teams
From shopping to banking to entertainment, every organization and industry is shifting towards accurate, practical software deployment and involves low maintenance costs. Additionally, emerging trends of AI and MI are steadily gaining momentum. Both technologies can process a large amount of data and perform menial tasks, help the IT staff do more targeted work, and help learn patterns, anticipate problems, and develop solutions.
Further, the adoption of agile frameworks and cloud technologies and the digitization of enterprises are some of the factors driving the market’s growth across the globe.
That said, with the penetration of IoT, DevOps is more in demand owing to the co-dependence of the hardware and the embedded software that runs on it. Moreover, Global Market Insights reports the DevOps Market size exceeded $4 billion in 2019 and expects to grow at over 20% CAGR between 2020 and 2026. So, if you don’t upgrade to DevOps, you are more likely to lose out on several opportunities that can help drive business growth.
DevOps Market Trends
The Puppet 2021 State of DevOps report revealed that highly evolved firms are more likely to have implemented extensive automation. The report also stated that 90% of respondents with highly developed DevOps practices reported that their teams had automated most repetitive tasks.
These initiatives will only continue to have more urgency in their adoption for enterprises that are yet to evolve fully. To make these initiatives work, teams will have to integrate Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning alongside automation of the entire process. Incorporating machine learning into the delivery lifecycle helps enterprises to understand problems such as blockages or capacity issues. This information can be used to mitigate problems whenever they arise. In addition, the AI-based predictive analysis enables the DevOps pipeline to anticipate problems and provide potential solutions.
2. Application Performance Monitoring (APM) Software
APM software is essential as it helps provide rapid feedback to developers during deployments. It includes:
- Front-end monitoring- This helps observe the behavior and performance of user interactions.
- Application discovery, tracing, and diagnostics(ADTD) – This analyses the relation between the web and application servers, infrastructure, and microservices.
- AIOps-enabled analytics- This helps detect patterns, anomalies, and causality across the lifecycle.
APM plays a key role in minimizing the Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) and improving the user experience. APM capabilities help DevOps teams to understand the business processes better, provide insights into business operations, help with problem isolation and prioritization.
3. DevOps Security
Security is one of the most overlooked aspects of any organization. According to Gene Kim, DevOps researcher, for every 100 developers, there is only one security engineer.
However, with the pandemic changing many things and people working from home, more services are being run in the cloud, leading to more attacks. So, the way a developer writes the software and deploys it to its destination must be secure.
To get serious about prioritizing security for DevOps, you need to;
- Understand security goals
- Have proper cloud vulnerability scanners
- Secure the code with standard tests
4. Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) and DevOps
As per reports from Google Cloud’s 2021 Accelerate State of DevOps, SRE and DevOps will complement each other in years to come. SRE techniques such as service-level indicators will enhance the objectives of the DevOps team.
The report also indicates that teams who excel at modern practices are 1.4 times more likely to experience greater software delivery and operational performance than those who are less mature with operational practices. Such teams are also 1.8 times more likely to have better business outcomes.
5. The Rise of DevSecOps
As organizations embrace Kubernetes, serverless, and other cloud-based technologies, cloud-native security will become more critical. As a result, teams will need new tools and processes to protect assets making DevSecOps indispensable.
DevSecOps is a fusion of security and compliance testing into the development pipeline. It should:
- Integrate into the life cycle seamlessly
- Provide transparent results to the stakeholders
- Improve the agility of developers
- Help the teams to stay within their development environment
- Offer security protection at runtime
Why Choose Fingent as Your DevOps Service Provider?
With robust DevOps services, Fingent ensures rapid on-boarding of applications by automating the end-to-end delivery pipeline and facilitating continuous development and integration across leading cloud platforms. It provides faster time to market, increased efficiency, and reduced costs. Our DevOps solutions will help align your organization’s goals rapidly and reliably to ensure high-quality software-based products and services.
So, if you’re looking forward to deploying DevOps to improve your organization’s speed, agility, and gain a competitive advantage, then connect with our experts today!
Technology is getting better and better each day. Several technologies and architectural patterns have emerged and evolved during the past few years, and it only gets better with time. Microservices architecture or microservices is one of those patterns. It emerged from the world of domain-driven design and persistence.
In this article we will cover:
- What is microservices architecture?
- The difference between microservices, monolithic architecture, and service-oriented architecture (SOA)
- The benefits and examples of implementing Microservices Architecture.
What Is Microservices Architecture?
Microservices architecture is a specific method of designing software systems that can structure a single application as a collection of loosely coupled services.
Microservices architecture is made up of several components in their own individual compartments in the software. This makes them independently upgradeable or replaceable.
Microservices architecture simplifies the process of building and maintaining certain types of applications by breaking them down into many smaller pieces that work together. Though this increases the complexity, it offers greater advantages over the monolithic structure.
Now you may wonder: Isn’t Microservices just another name for monolithic architecture and service-oriented architecture (SOA)?
Let’s clarify that for you!
Read more: Progressive Web App Development: 10 Benefits
Microservices Architecture Vs. Monolithic Architecture
In the current age of Kubernetes, Monolithic architecture faces many limitations. Please note a few:
- Monolithic architecture is a single application. It is generally released once a year with the newest updates. Whereas, Microservices architecture is cloud-based and can be updated as required.
- Monolithic architecture is slow. Modifying a small section may require complete rebuilding and deployment of the software. Microservices on the other hand are faster to deploy and quick to isolate any defects.
- Monolithic architecture is harder to adapt to the specific or changing product lines while individual models of Microservices architecture enable scaling and development.
Microservices Architecture Vs. SOA (Service-oriented Architecture)
Microservices architecture is distinct from SOA. Here are a few differences:
- SOA model is dependent on ESBs and so it is slower. Whereas, microservices is faster as it leverages faster-messaging mechanisms.
- SOA focuses on imperative programming style, while microservices focuses on a responsive-actor programming style.
- SOA has an outsized relational database. But Microservices architecture tends to use NoSQL or micro-SQL databases.
Business Benefits Of Microservice Architecture
Microservices architecture can help your business grow quicker, increase productivity, and innovate better to deploy competitive products into the market. Here are some specific benefits of the Microservices architecture:
1. Better organization for efficiency
Microservices architecture organizes business applications. It can extend those applications to support plugins for new features, devices, etc. You can easily add more features to each of those popular applications to generate more revenue.
2. Increased scalability
Microservices architecture divides applications into smaller modules. Each of these modules can operate independently enabling businesses to scale applications up or down, as required. As these modules operate independently, a fault in the single module does not mean disruption of the entire system.
If one module fails due to outdated technology or the inability to further develop the code, developers can use another module. In other words, the applications continue to function even when one or more modules fail.
This capability allows developers the freedom to build and deploy services as needed without having to wait for the entire application to be corrected.
3. Easy to maintain
It is easier to maintain and test a single module as opposed to an entire system. Since each module has its own storage and database, organizations can build, test, and deploy all the modules with less complexity.
4. Faster development
Since all modules are loosely coupled, change in one module does not affect the performance of the other. This means you can update a single module at a time leading to faster development.
5. Enhanced performance
Microservices architecture can enhance the performance of the application. It reduces downtime while developers take their time to troubleshoot the issue and bring the system back to normalcy.
6. Dynamic yet consistent
The individual modular approach in Microservices architecture is easy to replicate. This allows for consistency in applications, which in turn makes managing these modules simple and easy.
Prominent Examples of Successful Microservices Implementation
Prominent examples of Microservices architecture are Amazon, Netflix, Uber, and Etsy. Over time these enterprises refactored their monolithic applications into Microservices-based architectures. This move has helped to quickly achieve scaling advantages, greater business agility, and unimaginable ROIs.
In the early 2000s, untangling dependencies was a complicated process for Amazon developers. It faced development delays, coding challenges, and service interdependencies.
However, Amazon assigned ownership to each independent service team. This allowed the developers to identify the bottlenecks and resolve issues more efficiently. Also, it helped them create a very highly decoupled architecture.
Within a year of starting its movie-streaming service, Netflix was suffering from service outages and scaling challenges. It experienced major database corruption and was on standstill for three days! That is when it decided to move towards more reliable, horizontally scalable systems in the cloud.
First, Netflix moved its movie-coding platform to cloud servers as an independent microservice. This allowed Netflix to overcome its scaling challenges and service outages.
Uber, the ride-sharing service faced growth hurdles. It struggled to launch new features, fix bugs, and integrate its global operations. Besides, it became increasingly difficult to make minor updates and changes to the system.
Uber then decided to move to cloud-based microservices. This allowed its developers to build individual functions like trip management or passenger management. This boosted the speed, quality, and manageability of their services. Among other things, they achieved more reliable fault tolerance.
Etsy experienced poor server processing time. However, with the help of Microservices architecture, Etsy created a variety of developer-friendly tools and went live in 2016. From that point forward, Etsy benefits from a structure that supports continual innovation, faster upgrades, and more.
How Fingent Can Help You Implement Microservices Architecture
Microservices architecture supersedes SOA and monolithic models. However, it has its challenges. This is where Fingent comes to your assistance.
Fingent can help you implement Microservices Architecture correctly to improve your productivity and ROI. Designing your architecture is not just a technological option. It is a necessity! It is a business decision that can directly affect your business growth. Fingent can help you take care of the technical aspect while you concentrate on your business goals. Give us a call and let’s get talking.
Everyone in the manufacturing world faces the fear of going bust if they do not adopt digital transformation. That is a given and yet we can all agree that digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight.
Currently, enterprises encounter several challenges on their digital transformation journey. One among them is to learn to create and use data through a product life cycle that creates flexible manufacturing processes. Such processes can respond instantly to changes in demand at a low cost to the firm without damage to the environment.
Are you a manufacturer with global aspirations? Do you need to accelerate lead times and product customization? If so, then you may encounter these common business challenges:
- Need for critical infrastructure in remote locations.
- Need for tailored and full-custom design with high quality and ruggedness that fit your specific requirements.
- Need for a simplified supply chain that enables you to get to market quicker and realize faster time to revenue.
- Need to maximize efficiency in the supply chain and ultimately reduce lead time.
- Need to ensure product longevity by providing the same time-zone technical support. And to provide personal support services with the ability to decrease lead times.
Technologies such as 5G, edge computing, and cloud have been pushed further into the limelight especially over the past year, in the wake of the pandemic. As enterprises react to the changing world, these technologies are now emerging at the forefront as a necessary component of network infrastructure.
How Do 5G, Cloud, And Edge Computing Unlock Enterprise Opportunities?
5G, cloud, and edge computing have become major areas of interest and investment at the enterprise level. They provide real-time insights, analytics, and business benefits that can be used once mission-critical latency issues are resolved.
5G, Edge Compute, and Cloud technologies are an emerging set of solutions. When orchestrated together these can enable a spectrum of benefits that are contingent on industry, maturity, and technology. These are complementary technologies that work together for most use cases.
What unlocks the enterprise opportunities is to marry new and existing technologies to create machinery that is as proactive and predictive as the best workers. Edge computing, cloud, and 5G connectivity can be combined to supercharge real-time decision-making and improve quality assurance throughout the supply line.
How would you like it if you can predict the future? Or if you could see the possible problems and correct them before they happen? 5G, edge computing, and cloud promise to give you that ability! These technologies are in a symbiotic relationship.
Cloud contains unlimited resources. Powered by 5G, AI models can continuously update and adapt to situations within the enterprise. This virtuous feedback loop delivers real-time results. Plus, it delivers ongoing improvements over time, as the entire system across the enterprise learns and improves from prior experiences.
This can greatly improve the productivity of your employees. Also, it can save costs tremendously as it can reduce downtime. Here are some specific ways in which 5G, edge computing, and the cloud can benefit the industry.
Cloud For Responsive Resilience
In the past when enterprises needed to deploy applications using their equipment, they had to ensure that their server, memory, and processing power were equipped to run the application efficiently. Any misjudgment could have a cascading effect throughout the enterprise. However, the cloud provides infinite opportunities.
What enterprise opportunities does this provide? It provides what all enterprises need more than ever: increased speed, resilience, and flexibility.
Bringing cloud intelligence to their IT networks can be very beneficial in performing preventive maintenance, making decisions in real-time, and keeping data more secure. It allows for automated decision-making while saving bandwidth costs.
By leveraging cloud capabilities, enterprises can reduce overall costs. They can benefit from automated one-click deployment and realize higher value from data. This contributes to resilience. Resilience is more important to enterprises that are struggling during major disruptions like the pandemic.
5G Can Help Process Information Across The Enterprise
5G technology enables enterprise connectivity, remains powerful, and is constantly updated. 5G enables all the machines and modules to function at the same speed, reliability, and security as we expect from our phones. In other words, it prevents loss of time due to hanging or buffering associated with the mobile networks.
5G will deliver multiple benefits to those who adopt it:
- Provides ultra-reliability and security. It is far more efficient than any wireless mechanism.
- Since 5G eliminates the need for wired connectivity, it enables a high-speed environment with higher flexibility and lower latency.
- Provides the ability to handle mass customization and personalization.
- 5G augments IoT capacity to support device density and data volume
- Improves productivity as it reduces failure rates.
Edge Computing Can Help Deploy Technology With Unhindered Network Performance
Edge computing can reduce pressure on data centers and service provider networks. Plus, it preserves bandwidth and brings real-time processing close to users and their devices. Here are specific ways in which edge computing can prove advantageous:
- Maintain competitive edge: Edge computing can provide the ability to use data from various machines, processes, and systems to adapt the manufacturing processes in real-time. It can support precision monitoring of the production line. This enables swift operational responsiveness to unforeseen events. Additionally, it can gather data from connected systems and devices in real-time. Hence, manufactures can now analyze data at the point of creation leading to faster and more informed decision-making within the enterprise.
- Helps seize the opportunities that data and performance-intensive technologies present: Edge computing can empower employees and streamline workflows. It can enable smarter supply chains and improve employee safety and productivity.
- Documents at fingertips: Edge computing can provide workers easy access to documents, new workflow instructions, real-time videos and images, and new product updates. This can increase greater efficiency despite social distancing protocols in the current scenario.
Gain a Competitive Edge with Next-Gen Technologies
With IoT deployment on the rise, enterprises are increasingly adopting 5G, cloud, and edge computing. These technologies provide a competitive advantage by reducing unexpected downtime issues. Hence, the enterprises enjoy improved overall efficiency.
The convergence of these technologies can increase agility and resilience. These technologies can be leveraged to establish enhanced productivity, customer satisfaction, and increased ROI. Hence, 5G, cloud, and edge computing technologies must form an important part of any post-pandemic strategies. You must be eager to get started on gaining that competitive edge. Let’s get talking and make that happen!
Planning a software development project for your business? Here’s a detailed guide on the various stages and life-cycle of Software Product Development!
- What Is Software Product Development?
- How To Gauge When Your Business Needs Software Product Development?
- How To Prepare For Software Product Development
- 5 Essential Stages Of Software Product Development
- Tips To Select The Right Partners For Software Product Development
- Healthier, Better Business With Software Product Development
Behind all the conveniences that we use in our everyday life, there is complex software. Such ease of life is possible when complex software is implemented in various stages in definitive order. These models address the diverse circumstances of product owners and development vendors.
However, such a rich choice can be confusing. To fully benefit from the development process and successfully communicate with the development team, you must realize your needs and expectations from the product.
Here is a complete guide to help you understand and organize the complex process of Software Product Development – what each stage means and how you can drive a successful Software Product Development project.
What Is Software Product Development?
Software Product Development is a combination of steps, tools, methodologies, and management techniques that bring the concept of a product from the ideation stage to implementation and eventually to the market.
The primary goal of Software Product Development is to provide high-level products within the set budget and timeline. Typically, the software development lifecycle includes product discovery, software development, testing, deployment, and so on.
How To Gauge When Your Business Needs Software Product Development?
Every business in today’s fast-paced and volatile world needs Software Products. Software Products help your business gain momentum and a competitive advantage for your business. Here are some scenarios that indicate when your business needs Software Product Development.
1. When your company starts experiencing low efficiency and miscommunication-related issues.
Are your current methods of collecting data complicating the effective management of your company? Have you noticed miscommunication between your employees and managers resulting in missed deadlines? If these are restricting your business from reaching its potential growth, you need software development.
2. When your supply chain has many bottlenecks
A dissatisfied customer will quickly hop over to your competition. Bottlenecks created by miscommunication lead to loss of opportunities. When your company is dealing with a higher volume of complaints and low satisfaction rates, you need software development. It can optimize your supply chain management and guide all your decisions.
3. When your business is growing
Despite exponential business growth, the quality of your products and services should continue to be of the highest standard. Product development can help you comply with government regulations, evaluate the quality of the suppliers and the quality of your product.
4. When your customer base increases
When your customers increase, data increases. And that data has to be organized and maintained to help you make better understand your finances and use it to make strategic decisions. Product development can provide you visibility into all transactions contributing to the financial health of your company.
5. When your company is expanding to other locations
When your organization expands to other locations, you will need a fully visible information system that records all that happens at that exact location. Software Product Development equips you with the possibility to record all inventory movements in real-time.
How To Prepare For Software Product Development
All Software Product Development needs detailed documentation. This documentation must cover the business requirements and clarify product functionality. It can also serve as the basis to discuss essential issues between business owners and developers. Here is how you can prepare to start a successful Software Product Development:
- Do your homework: Even before searching for a vendor for Software Product Development, you need to conduct marketing research. Qualified marketing research will help you achieve your sales growth now and in the future.
- Develop precise product vision: Work out the “whys” in projects that are focused on the main product. You can eliminate mistakes by answering questions such as, “who is the product for?” and “why do they need the product?”
- Plan: Have a clear vision and communicate that vision to the development team. This will help them to create a software product that is aligned with your requirements.
- Timely execution: Have a written communication with designers and engineers to nudge them in the right direction. This will contribute to well-articulated timely execution.
- Make team members accountable: From day one, help your team members see their share of tasks that contribute to the development of the software product.
- Document everything: Keeping a record of everything from ideation to execution can help your team to access all the features that must be included in the product and the functions each of those features must perform.
5 Essential Stages Of Software Product Development
Stage 1: Product Discovery
The first stage in the Software Product Development lifecycle is where new ideas or concepts originate. A team is organized to study the idea, perform market analysis, and identify technical and market risks. This will help organizations to determine the need for Software Product Development.
Stage 2: Product definition
In this stage, the team creates the first comprehensive evaluation of the technology. Developers and managers evaluate the important points of differentiation of the new product. This will avoid misinterpretation of the needs of the market.
Stage 3: Product development
This is the most time-consuming stage. Software developers use the design document to write code for the components. The task is divided between team members according to their area of expertise. This includes front-end developers, database administrators, and software developers.
Stage 4: Product testing
Quality assurance team steps in this stage to ensure the software meets all the requirements for which it was built. It involves functional testing, performance testing, unit testing, security testing, and usability testing.
During this stage, software developers fix any bugs and retest as many times as required. This stage continues until the software is free of bugs and measures up to the potential capability.
Stage 5: Product deployment
Now, the software is sent into the market for user acceptance testing. Once again, the software team fixes any bugs based on the feedback from its first users. Then the final version is launched into the market. This stage also includes maintenance and strengthening of the software.
Perhaps now you feel you are ready to start Software Product Development. But, hold on! Selecting the right partner for Software Product Development will impact your company in the long term. So, read on to find a few tips that can help you define the right partner.
Tips To Select The Right Partners For Software Product Development
Selecting the right partners is an important decision that should not be treated lightly. So, here are few tips:
1. Conduct a background check on the company
To validate the company’s experience and professional trajectory, contact some organizations that have worked with the vendor. This will help you know their experience and the final outcome of the product.
2. Check their ability
For your product to be of excellent quality, the vendor should have abilities and excellence in software development. To guarantee their excellence, find out if they have QAG (Quality Assurance Group) or GMO (Organizational Improvement Group).
3. Knowledge of different methodologies
Solid methodological training and experience in using various technologies are vital for product development.
4. Ability to support throughout the cycle
Ensure that the vendor does not abandon the project at any of the stages.
5. Ability to understand your business
All in the team should be able to understand your unique business requirements and help you find the best solution aligned with your objectives.
6. Capable testers
Ensure the vendor in consideration has qualified testers who can guide you on how to perform your own tests.
Healthier, Better Business With Software Product Development
It may be time for you to start thinking about Software Product Development that helps you run a healthier business. True, it requires an investment of time and money. However, in the long run, you will realize that you have saved time and money by enhancing customer satisfaction and improving employee retention. We at Fingent ensure a streamlined product development process that simplifies both deployment and transition. Call us to see how you can get this started for you right away.
Progressive Web Apps: New Cutting-Edge Trend in Web Development
Speed and convenience have become crucial in keeping online shoppers engaged. Progressive Web Apps development is a solution that allows the shopper to enjoy an app-like experience via a website (using web browsers). Users can install the PWA application from the browser window and access it just like a native app. In addition, progressive web apps improve the quality of your web applications, making them reliable, fast, and engaging.
Are you considering PWA for your business growth? Is it worth exploring this option? This blog will help you take a closer look at why Progressive Web Apps are turning to be the new cutting-edge trend in web development.
What is a Progressive Web App?
Frances Berriman and Alex Russel coined the buzzword “Progressive Web Apps” in 2015. To date, PWA has been a big player in this mobile-first world. Progressive Web Apps (PWA) have caused digital marketers to rethink how they design and deliver sites.
Progressive Web Apps can deliver a blazingly fast and slick app-like shopping experience to the end-user. It combines the best of two worlds: your website and the native application. It can be called a hybrid app as users can now browse your website on their mobile. Besides, PWA promises to solve two vital issues:
- Performance and usability
- Mobile-web conversion rates
Business Benefits of Progressive Web Apps
Several companies that focused their efforts on PWAs instead of having a separate native app have experienced increased conversions. A best case in point is the world’s largest online B2B trading platform, Alibaba.com. Alibaba.com increased its conversion rate by 76% across browsers after upgrading its website to PWA.
Here’s how your business can benefit from PWA:
1. High-performance rate
Response time is crucial for audience engagement and better conversion rates. PWA responds quickly as the browser uses caching to save the elements of the layout that are repeated in the template. This improves the speed of downloads and reduces page load time. Subsequently, better performance leads to a better user experience, which in turn increases customer retention rates.
2. Ease of use across multiple devices
Progressive Web Apps are built with a responsive layout in mind for an improved user experience. A responsive design will fit into any size of the screen with ease. In other words, PWA will adjust the experience as per the device screen size. You can further improve the user experience with a PWA manifest file that controls the full-screen view.
3. Seamless browsing experience
A traditional website is virtually useless without a stable internet connection, but not a Progressive Web App. PWA can be easily viewed offline as service workers automatically cache important application features and information from the user’s last online access. This way, the user can access it without any network. Plus, you can add a brand logo, product descriptions, and few advanced features to your offline page.
This is an additional incentive for shoppers to choose businesses with a Progressive Web App over those that use native apps. Such a seamless browsing experience rewards you with better engagement rates and customer retention.
4. Resembles native-built applications
PWAs can be designed to look and behave like native apps, or they can be designed to let users know they are browsing the Progressive Web App. Regardless of the developer’s choice, it can contain a complete set of traditional app functionalities with database access. The best part is that you can seamlessly integrate the application into an existing website or an app.
Watch Video: Fingent can help you choose the right mobile app development approach by evaluating your requirements.
5. No installation is needed
Shoppers can download your app directly onto their devices. Once downloaded, it gets its own icon on the screen, just like a traditional mobile application. This will avoid the slow and complex installation process, improve user experience, and reduce user abandonment.
Here is another way it can benefit you: users can easily access the PWA via a URL. In other words, a user can easily share this link with a friend contributing to increased leads.
6. No manual updates are required
Native apps must be updated periodically through mobile internet or a WIFI connection. Such updates can consume large amounts of data, which may be costly for some users. Fortunately, Progressive Web App updates are performed “on-use,” much like how a website is updated.
7. Low development cost
Developing a mobile app can be a costly process, especially for small businesses and startups. Thankfully, PWA development is much cheaper than traditional app development but provides a better option for companies to generate a positive ROI.
Read more: Mobile app development: 4 tips to consider
8. Wide range of features
The most prominent feature of PWA is push notifications. Publishers and developers can use this feature to implement creative advertising solutions. As the push notifications appear on a shopper’s device screen, it is read more often than emails or updates on social media. This can lead to valuable brand awareness and promote products or services.
9. Improved app and data security
Security has been a concern for both users and developers. According to new standards of web design, all customer information must be moved to HTTPS. So it is highly convenient to launch Progressive Web App within a safe environment. Moreover, it builds customer confidence in the security of their personal information as they enter sensitive data into your PWA.
10. Low data and low storage
Data is costly in some developing nations. That is why it is a bonus that Progressive Web App consumes only a fraction of data usage compared to native apps. Moreover, it does not take up significant storage space on devices, so users are more inclined to use a lighter app on their smartphones. Also, it contributes to better performance.
Progress with Progressive Web Apps
Progressive Web Apps are the future of web-hosted apps as they can overcome the inherent limitations of web performance and insufficient or unavailable internet connections. Since PWAs can run on any modern platform, soon they will overtake truly native apps. Yes, PWAs have the potential to change the way the web works. However, Progressive Web Apps will not replace websites and mobile apps altogether. It is still in its infancy. To know which option is best for your business, have a chat with the technology experts at Fingent.
How Retail Software Solutions Help You Gain A Competitive Advantage
The retail industry has witnessed a tremendous transformation over the past few years. Innovative retail technologies have made the sector fast-paced and highly competitive. The advent of cloud technology has also disrupted the retail industry from the ground up. These technology changes accelerate the need for advanced and bespoke retail software solutions that can effectively automate most routine store operations.
Why should you adopt custom retail software solutions?
Fingent helps you develop custom retail software solutions that help you:
- Automate everyday retail store operations,
- Switch to e-commerce quickly,
- Enhance inventory management,
- Streamline payments and invoices tracking,
- Improve order fulfillment, and
- Serve your customers better and faster.
As several countries continue with lockdown measures, the digital shopping trend and the shift in consumer behavior are here to stay. Retailers are forced to address the rising consumer expectations with limited resources like transport restrictions, shortage of labor, out-of-stock scenarios, and so on. Contactless shopping has found a better place in today’s business landscape, and retailers need to adopt personalized retail software solutions to stay relevant and competent in the market.
A few stats that underscore the significance of custom retail software solutions
The following figures suggest why brick-and-mortar stores must adopt retail software solutions and digital transformation to stay ahead of competitors and attract loyal clients.
- 30% of consumers do not wait for more than two minutes to determine if the product they want to buy is in stock.
- 78% of the customers would not use a retailer again after three late or incomplete deliveries.
- 87% of buyers leave the store if the product they are looking for is unavailable and there is no assistant nearby.
Our custom retail software solutions are perfect for companies of different sizes. We help you build and integrate software tailored to your retail business. We create personalized retail software solutions that are scalable and meet the growing needs of a single shop or even a vast retail chain consisting of several Points of Sale (POS).
Benefits of custom retail software solutions
The most significant features and capabilities of retail software solutions include:
- Managing orders, products, and inventory,
- Handling financial transactions,
- Streamlining the supply chain,
- Helping human resources and marketing campaigns, and
- Managing customer relations.
Here are the benefits of custom retail software solutions.
1. Offers real-time visibility
Retail software solutions allow you to control warehouses and shop floors in online mode and identify if certain products are in or out of stock. Also, it helps you send instant alerts if something is out of order and thus avoid lengthy downtimes.
2. Automates in-store processes
Retail software solutions help automate all major store tasks such as billing, price regulation, inventory auditing, reporting, payroll records, returns processing, and more.
3. Improves customer service
As retail software solutions help automate most store processes, your employees can spend more time engaging with the customers and promoting your new products and latest arrivals. Customer reps will have the historical data in hand while attending a customer service call. This helps them save time, effort, and money, reduce returns and refunds, and direct customers to the optimal solution. Embedded analytics in the software allows your marketing team to send personalized recommendations to your customers based on their shopping history and online behavior.
Different types of retail software solutions
1. Point of Sales (POS) software
The software for shop management, implemented in brick-and-mortar stores, facilitates seamless transactions between customers and the store on the spot. The POS market is projected to grow at an annual rate of 14% from 2016 to 2024. Fingent helps you develop custom Point of Sales software that enables you to manage sales, inventory, and employees with ease. We build custom POS software for your single store or a retail network. It helps boost your customer engagement and revenue.
2. Inventory management software
We help you develop custom inventory management software for tracking, managing, and organizing product sales, material purchases, and other production processes. Typically, the inventory management software works with wireless tracking, barcodes, and radio-frequency identification to support inventory tracking and control.
3. Payment processing software
Payment processing software is a secure program that connects eCommerce sites via virtual terminals to other payment systems that acknowledge credit cards and other online payment methods. Payment processing software allows users to add their card or bank details and notifies financial institutions that approve or reject payments. We help integrate payment processing software into your retail software solutions.
4. Retail ERP systems
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems integrate modules for controlling all stages of business. An ERP system is a perfect software for shop management. ERPs are customizable and support integration with third-party systems. ERPs like Odoo and SAP allow developing specific modules to suit your business needs. For instance, SAP FICO (Finance and Cost controlling module in SAP) and SAP Ariba (sourcing, procurement, and financial supply chain solutions).
We are an Official Partner of Odoo as well as a Silver Partner of SAP. We are well placed to offer the best ERP consulting, implementation, and maintenance services for your business across these two platforms.
5. e-Commerce software
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the adoption of eCommerce among retailers. That said, retail software platforms are a must today. The software enables online store owners to add and remove products, process payments, fulfill orders, etc. Fingent helps leverage numerous eCommerce development frameworks such as Magento, Odoo, etc., to build B2B and B2C e-commerce software for your business.
You can deploy retail software solutions either in the cloud or on-premise according to your specific requirements:
- On-premise retail software solutions: An on-premise retail application is installed on your local computers or local servers. However, you may need the expertise of an IT specialist like Fingent to maintain the system and handle updates or fix issues.
- Cloud-based retail software solutions: Cloud-based retail software solutions do not require to be installed on your hardware. If you have a stable and reliable internet connection, you can deploy the retail software as a SaaS solution, which is managed by the providers automatically.
Steps to create custom retail software for your business
1. Choose the right vendor
Selecting the right software provider is crucial as well as challenging. Your choice will determine how positively a future system will impact your business performance.
2. Plan and budget
Create a detailed plan and discuss the key features your system should include. Whether to have an omnichannel solution, what function it should perform, what third-party system it needs to be integrated with, and the software development budget must be considered. You can opt for custom software development. At Fingent, we provide you with out-of-the-box retail software solutions within your budget.
3. Development and implementation
Here are a few best practices to take advantage of custom software development:
- Include an internal team of specialists having the needed expertise and experience to participate in the implementation process.
- Provide your team with adequate training to get started and explain the benefits. Your offshore software development partner can help you with this. At Fingent, we help ease your transition to custom software. We offer training and support and provide post-release maintenance and support to our customers.
- Eliminate inactive accounts and other documents that have not been processed for years to simplify the migration.
The retail software system implementation requires continuous control and testing. Thus, most companies rely on continuous testing to ensure the process will happen simultaneously with the integration.
Additionally, you must be prepared to address several issues. The primary purpose of the final testing is to simulate the lifecycle of your business with go-live processes. Fingent has a dedicated Quality Assurance & Testing team that ensures your application is bug-free, high-performing, and responsive.
After successfully implementing the custom retail software system, it needs support and maintenance that must be provided either by your technical experts or the software provider. As said above, Fingent offers post-launch maintenance support and change enhancement services for the custom software we develop.
With extensive experience in retail software development and eCommerce systems, we can become your reliable partner and make your company a front-runner in the retail industry.
If you are looking for custom software for shop management or tailored retail software solutions, please drop us a message.
Reduce your operational costs and unnecessary investments with legacy modernization
Since the pandemic started tightening its grip on the world, businesses have seen an unmistakable acceleration in digital transformation. Legacy application modernization enables enterprises to have the agility and ability to respond to dynamic changes. Software technologies are being enhanced and deployed at an unprecedented scale, and most businesses have noted a high appetite for digital transformation.
Your business should also have an application modernization strategy to ensure business continuity and growth in a highly volatile market. Modernizing your existing applications or systems is the best way to monetize the current capital and avoid unwanted technology investments.
Legacy application modernization helps you get rid of accumulating technical debts and business paralysis. This blog discusses how application modernization enables businesses to transform digitally and scale up during the pandemic.
What is application modernization?
Application modernization involves updating older software for new computing approaches. These updates include new languages, frameworks, and infrastructure platforms. We can compare this update to renovating an older home, enabling it with better safety, structural integrity, ease of use, design, and so forth. This practice is also called legacy modernization. Legacy modernization extends the lifespan of your applications instead of replacing them wholly. Such an approach will allow your business to take advantage of technology innovations.
Most businesses have thoughtfully invested in their existing application portfolio. Some companies are ready to retire these applications and adopt the latest. However, this can be costly from both a financial and operational standpoint. Hence, “application modernization is the most sensible way to leverage newer platforms, tools, and frameworks.”
5 ways application modernization enables businesses to scale up during the pandemic
Owning and operating outdated software can present a variety of challenges during the pandemic. Outdated software can accumulate problems over time, resulting in employee and customer frustration. Here’s how application modernization helps businesses scale up during the pandemic.
1. Application Modernization reduces costs
Because of diminishing resources during the pandemic, “cost“ has been the most important driving factor for application modernization. For example, the more data you accumulate, the more you have to pay for the on-premise data center forcing companies to buy new storage systems more frequently.
It is expensive to own and maintain the infrastructure as they incur extra costs for cooling, space, and electricity. Apart from these expenses, you would need a dedicated IT team to maintain a vast storage system. Therefore, it is reasonable and beneficial to invest in timely application modernization that helps avoid all the costs mentioned above.
2. Enhances customer experience
With stiff competition, the market has turned into a battleground for businesses that sell similar products and services. In this scenario, customer experience is what will set a company apart. Continued use of an outdated system can hurt your customer experience because they have limited functionality. Legacy software affects efficiency and waiting time. Additionally, the security problems of legacy software can easily compromise your business and customer data, impacting your brand severely.
On the other hand, a customer expects your business to keep up with the latest trends and technology. Application modernization can enhance your customers’ experience by transforming the end-user interface, automating manual processes, and creating new features. Essentially, your business operations will be more efficient with more stable systems, quicker fixes, and better security. All of it together sets your business apart, ensuring your business thrives during the pandemic.
3. Enables you to create new features and services
You may have invested in software that is perfect for your current needs. However, the pandemic has taught us that change is inevitable. An application that is working well today may not perform so tomorrow. Every new patch, release, or update that is not purpose-built will be a problem for you. It is challenging to meet the changing customer needs during an economic downturn.
Thankfully, application modernization allows your business to create new features and services that align with your current and future goals. These new features and services can be purpose-built for your business to ensure the legacy application continues to provide value today and into the future.
4. Improves employee productivity
You cannot expect your employee to work with applications and systems that seem to take forever to respond or perform simple operations. Just as businesses expect efficiency from their employees, employees expect their companies to provide high-performance technologies in their offices.
Working on outdated applications can frustrate your employees, lowering their performance and hindering their success. Legacy and low-performing software can increase work stress resulting in missed deadlines. It can also affect overall productivity as it irritates and demotivates your workforce.
Application modernization can automate several repetitive tasks and processes, freeing up your employees to concentrate on more intelligent tasks. It will save time and increase the efficiency of your employees. Since modernization minimizes application problems, it allows you to develop more features designed to streamline your operations.
5. Erases technical debts
Technical debt creates friction between developers and their work. It may increase their job tomorrow, as the situation demands them to take the fastest and shortest approach to deliver the project today. Technical debt includes the implied cost of additional rework that developers have to bear for taking a shortcut today. It is translated into incremental cost and loss of agility because of prior decisions intended to save time or cost. Moreover, technical debt can build up to a point where developers will not be able to do anything to rectify it. Technical debt can result in increased maintenance costs and the inability to add new features. Since each part depends on the other, any attempt to fix one part might cause some damage to another.
Application modernization can erase technical debt because it eliminates the need to replace your existing systems completely. Thus, your company need not spend resources to maintain an outdated code. It will also reduce overall problems from technical debt. Legacy software modernization fixes your application’s glitches and makes it more robust and healthy.
Modernize your apps without burning a hole in your pocket
Your business can get up to speed with application modernization without investing heavily in all new systems. With application modernization, your business will see increased revenue in the long run. It boosts productivity and enhances the security of your applications.
Get started on your mission to legacy modernization. We at Fingent can help you make smart decisions and find the most effective way to modernize your systems without leaving a gaping hole in your company’s resources. Give us a call, and let’s get talking.
Technologies that help optimize revenue and performance of your medical practice
There’s no denying that revenue is essential for any business. Sustained revenue flow keeps the employees paid, leaves the doors open, and the patrons happy. It is the same for medical practice as well. However, it can be challenging to optimize medical practice revenue and increase avenues to bring in more money. It is crucial to find strategies that the medical practice can maintain over time to ensure a steady cash inflow.
Additionally, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to influence patient behaviors, it is pushing healthcare practices across the globe to re-evaluate their business operations and look for solutions that emphasize clinical efficiencies, improve patient revenue cycle management along with enhanced reporting and analytics tools.
Apart from the challenges related to the patient intake process during the pandemic, healthcare providers also have had to meet the sudden demand for virtual care by embracing digital healthcare technologies. Advanced technology in healthcare helps automate major processes, facilitate patient engagement efforts, and improve financial stability.
In this article, we share tips to optimize the revenue of your medical practice.
1. Robust financial management
Strong finance is the foundation of every business. You must consider what money is going out in the form of overhead costs, payroll, and miscellaneous expenses. Look for ways to cut unnecessary expenditures and save your practice some money.
There are chances that you are spending on something unnecessary at your practice or experiencing a small ROI due to a huge yet incompetent investment. If a service is not bringing you a good ROI, you should remove it. To overcome these issues, ensure you have a robust revenue cycle management system in place.
Custom RCM systems help improve the administrative and clinical functions associated with claims processing payments and revenue generation. The RCM system also facilitates the financial processes of identification, management, and collection between patients and providers. RCM helps you optimize your revenue cycle at all the points of the financial process. This enables you to collect and increase revenue whenever and wherever you should.
2. Leverage healthcare information technology
While the initial cost and ongoing investment may vary based on your practice, most of the following technological investments will help you save money and increase your revenue over time.
Read more: 7 Major Impacts of Technology in Healthcare
Example 1: Telehealth
Technologies like telehealth offer safer alternatives to in-person visits. With the ongoing pandemic, this technology helps provide safe care by connecting via virtual video visits. If your practice can allot for more appointments, then telehealth allows for more visits throughout your day.
Additionally, patient portals, self-check kiosks, and QR codes help reduce the risks of exposure and increase scheduling flexibility and clinical availability. Remote patient monitoring (RPM) helps bring about organizational resilience and stabilizes patient outcomes with better and safer alternatives to in-person visits.
Example 2: Appointment Management Systems
Most medical practices lose revenue due to no-shows, missed appointments, or late cancellations. Appointment management systems ensure that patients are notified well ahead of their appointment times. This will eventually provide your practice with a better chance of fulfilling appointment times and retaining revenue. It will also improve patient trust and credibility and allow your medical staff to stay organized at work.
Example 3: Practice Management System
This system includes all your appointment scheduling, billing, patient registration, claims processing, clearinghouse integration, and more. So, investing in an intelligent practice management system can bring billing in-house and retain previously claimed revenue from outsourcing.
3. Intuitive reporting and automation
An Electronic Health Record(EHR) system includes an array of innovative tools that can significantly impact your practice’s productivity and profitability. The EHR technology should also have tools that offer flexible functionality and interactive engagement in addition to simple record keeping so that you can focus more on patient care and waste less time on troubleshooting staff errors or reconfiguring documentation notes.
Additionally, automated workflows, comprehensive reporting features, and insightful productivity metrics help simplify your practice’s workload and streamline task management. Picklists allow you to create templates, line-item defaults and define column choices so that information is readily available and easily accessible.
4. Optimize your medical billing
To maximize your medical practice’s revenue, you must include efficient and personalized medical billing software. It allows you to optimize the bills according to the prevalent industry standards. Most practices bill patients at allowable lower levels to avoid being audited. While you may not get audited, the practice leaves behind a lot of money. So, when you provide clinical service, make sure to document it properly and bill customers appropriately. Medical billing software makes auditing easy and relieves your admins from revenue management challenges. The software also ensures that your billing and coding staff are not making mistakes, leading to significant claims denial.
If claims denials, coding errors, or any other billing issues keep your practice from optimizing the income, you may consider building customized software to handle your organization’s specific challenges. Fingent specializes in developing customized medical billing software and healthcare application platforms by working closely with your medical practice. It allows you to lower denial rates, reduce errors, and streamline your revenue cycle.
5. Security and compliance
When it comes to healthcare, efficiency matters not just at the surface level but in every single aspect of treatment, including financing, scheduling, and reporting. To ensure your EHR can keep up with the regular system, it should include an educational database that allows providers to quickly train their staff and give the patient access to explanatory articles and videos. Keeping these resources available will help bring about positive outcomes and hassle-free software maintenance. Fingent offers custom software development, testing, implementation, maintenance, and support services for healthcare service providers. We’ve partnered with organizations like NHS to help them improve clinical process management using technology.
While compliance laws ensure patient health information (PHI) and overall safety of practice operations, you must make cybersecurity a top priority. This is especially true now with the shift to working remotely. Employees are more prone to hacker’s attempts to cease connectivity and steal confidential data. To overcome this, you must use virtual private networks (VPN) and reliable firewall software to safeguard vital business information. Our network security and IT infrastructure management services ensure that your business-critical assets are protected from cyber threats, and your proprietary information is protected 24/7.
Advanced technology in healthcare has helped providers choose and select a system that benefits their business. For example, medical billing software, revenue cycle management, appointment management, and patient engagement systems are a few solutions that providers should consider when employing an EHR solution. Healthcare technology improves patient resolutions, avoids preventable errors, and expands clinical availability.
Practice is a step ahead of theory. Our healthcare IT system developers follow this rule of thumb. Connect with our team to learn more about the technologies you can adopt to gain business benefits and significant cost savings.
How does a Warehousing Management System Simplify Operations and Help Your Business Scale?
A Warehousing Management System is a software application that controls and manages the operations in a warehouse. It can either be a standalone system or part of the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.
Additionally, most consumers today want to buy anywhere and return anywhere. So, businesses must have the ability to respond quickly with Warehousing Management Software that optimizes the fulfillment capabilities.
A modern WMS solution:
- Guides inventory receiving and put-away,
- Optimizes picking and shipping consignments, and
- Advises inventory replenishment.
Simply put, the solution offers visibility into a business’s entire inventory and manages the whole supply chain fulfillment right from the distribution to the store.
While many companies have ERP or Order Management System (OMS) systems that include warehousing functionality, companies can outgrow their warehousing and distribution functionality capabilities by implementing warehousing management software.
In the past, many small and mid-sized companies wanted to increase the functionality of the warehousing management system. However, the entry-level costs were excessive. Today, with cloud-based platforms, the deployment and operational costs have reduced drastically.
This article discusses the various benefits of a warehousing management system that can support your growing company.
Why is a Warehousing Management System better than a traditional order management system?
There’s no denying that both OMS and ERP systems have warehousing and distribution functions. However, they often lack critical functions such as accepting ASNs (Advanced Shipping Notice) or managing the inbound receiving docks.
Additionally, the traditional system can become obsolete if your company runs several distribution centers. It will not be easy to manage multiple warehouse inventories if you don’t have a warehousing management system. It is also true when retail companies need small parcel shipping for omnichannel commerce like a “ship from a store” or to “manage inventory in stockrooms” in addition to the central warehouse. In such cases, a warehousing management system is a must as they are built from scratch with multiple distribution centers in mind.
A WMS manages activities and functions across the warehouse and will help give you better control over managing the labor to improve the levels of efficiency. Warehouse management software improves inventory visibility, makes it easy to track shipments, monitors expiration dates, and performs cycle counts.
Most OMS and ERP systems are not effective in reporting employee productivity and throughput by job function. The most significant benefit of being barcoded throughout the DC processes or using voice technologies is identifying the work performed by an employee by job function. On the other hand, a warehousing management system improves the company’s gain as the cost of labor increases.
Additionally, most OMS or ERP systems are selected and implemented to improve other departments such as contact centers, accounting, marketing, etc. Warehousing management software will ensure the distribution center organization grows, controls costs, gains efficiency, improves customer service, and extends the life of the OMS or ERP.
What are the benefits of a Warehousing Management System?
1. Receiving and marking
Typical functions of a WMS include ASN and EDI transactions, carrier scheduling of dock appointments, and receiving and putting-away personnel. Additional functions include:
- Identifying forward and bulk locations after receiving the product and quantity on hand
- Creating barcodes for pallets and carton labels
- Ability to record any vendor or carrier damage claims upon receiving
- The capability of both paper and paperless receiving
- Identifying special processing of product before put-away process
- Eliminating the put-away process by cross-docking from receiving to packing
- Resolving any issues through status reporting of incoming receipts to warehousing and merchandising staff
- Store product specifications for QA
- Support vendor compliance programs and report a vendor scorecard, on-time delivery, errors in shipment and receiving, and more.
- Store vendor, product, SKU sample testing criteria
- Marking direct, retail, and wholesale customer print and ticket formats
After receiving the inventory, products have to be either cross-docked to packing stations or shipping to fill backorders or put-away. A warehousing management system can help identify storage type, open bin/slot locations, cubic capacity, and more, along with profile characteristics and cube required. Many warehousing management systems will have “directed put-away” options based on products. Storage parameters, system rules, and velocity functions may be available in a few smaller warehouse management systems.
Slotting products is one of the most significant benefits of warehousing management software. It assigns SKUs to pick locations based on various factors such as size, sales, velocity, weight, category, and more. Sometimes, slotting functionality is available through add-on modules from some WMS vendors at an additional cost.
The slotting functionality reduces picker travel time and recommends changes in bin or slot size requiring less replenishment, thereby improving productivity.
Velocity reporting enables personnel to re-slot primary locations to get more space or change fast-selling items to the “hot pick” slot locations. Advanced operations can use dynamic slotting functionality.
4. Automates restoring of forward pick
A WMS automates refilling of primary or forward pick storage from bulk before the next set of orders is directed to the floor for picking. It reduces warehouse backorder costs and lost time.
Sales velocity data helps plan the size of the forward pick storage according to the item to reduce the number of replenishment tasks. Also, a product’s demand replenishment functions trigger recommended stock movement in an automated way.
Most warehousing management software provides several functions such as work orders, kitting, assembly control of labor and material costs, and more. Other functions such as a single-level bill of material (BOM) or a multi-level BOM and managing component inventory assignment through the work order process are also available.
Other options such as tracking inventory usage and sales at the finished kit and component level, tracking labor usage by work order and assembled product, and also about work in progress reports are available. While ERPs may have a comparable function, it is not the case with OMS.
Packing is as crucial as picking in fulfillment of small parcel eCommerce. To gain customer satisfaction, consider the “pack confirm” verification process in your operations. You can pull aside all missed picks, and incorrect order quantities for correction through the “pack confirm” process. Many warehousing management systems can print-on-demand customer documents, assembly directions, and shipping labels and support the insertion of promotional materials.
Today, most businesses struggle to keep pace with customer demands. Thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the demand has only increased. At Fingent, we provide you with custom software solutions that streamline business processes and save time and money. We help you develop custom warehousing management software for businesses that deal in logistics, shipping, transportation, eCommerce, third-party logistics (3PL), and more. If you want to discover our services further, please chat with our consultant.