When investing in a digitised process flow, there are many parameters that lead to what the final price of the service will be. Here we list these parameters:
Number of posts
Today, there are good opportunities to set up digitised processes in several different areas. These include transport administration, customs processes, daily goods flows or automotive/industrial processes. Each area is handled in a different way, requires different data and with different logic. In order to support and automate the different processes in each area in the best possible way, different software is required, which today can often be accessed through different services.
The more services you can use, the higher the cost, but the savings and business opportunities opened up are in most cases much higher than the price of the service.
Number of integrations with central business systems
Avoiding recording the same data more than once is one of the most important keys to reaping the big time, money and data quality gains.
Depending on the capabilities of the central system, integrations are done in different ways. In some cases, the central system has ready-made APIs (inputs/outputs) or file formats to exchange data with the chosen integration platform. In other cases, the choice is made to use the integration software's ready-made integration formats for data exchange. The cost will be lower for the party whose format is used and higher for the other party. However, the total cost of integration will be approximately the same for the procuring party. What determines the cost is mainly the number of connections to be made between different systems and the amount of logic to be added to the integration processes.
Number of external parties to communicate with
To maximise digitisation and savings, you want to communicate with as many people as possible, especially those with whom they exchange information frequently. That means customers, suppliers, carriers and government agencies with whom you often have recurring business flows. These stakeholders are commonly referred to as partners and you want to exchange business data with them in a standardised, automated and digital way.
Each party often has its own unique way of exchanging business data. So, find out which customers you want to communicate with. Find out whether you want to automate parts of your customer and supplier flows or possibly your entire customer and supplier flow using portal functionality. Also consider how many carriers you want to communicate with and whether you need to connect to one or more customs authorities. It is important to choose a platform that can communicate with the partners you have and may need to communicate with.
There are currently two main ways to pay for your digital business process flows. Either through a service you pay a fixed amount for per month or year, or through a service where you pay for the number of transactions communicated through the service. In the first option, there is a fixed cost which makes budgeting easy. No matter how much you increase or decrease your business transactions, the cost remains the same. In the second option, the cost varies depending on how the business increases or decreases its business transactions.
Whichever option you choose, it is interesting for the service provider to have an idea of the volume of transactions the service will receive, store and send.
For a cost-effective solution, choose an integration platform that has experience with the integrations, partners and business flows you need. Depending on whether or not you have large variations in transaction volumes, it may be relevant to consider whether you should have a fixed monthly fee or a so-called transaction-based model.
Today, it is common to opt for a solution as a service, i.e. a platform that is accessible in the cloud in one way or another.