In B2B software, exit strategies matter.
For logistics service providers and shippers, the decision to adopt a new software or solution goes beyond the initial onboarding process. It's about understanding how you'll navigate the off-boarding process, if and when the need arises. You’ll want to ensure you remain in control of your data and configurations if you need to pivot to a new solution.
For software providers, you should be prepared to answer any questions about off-boarding clients openly and professionally before contracts are signed. Customers, especially potential customers, need to understand that you are committed to their success and security before they start sharing critical information.
Here are some essential questions for logistics software buyers to consider as they evaluate new tech and best practices for logistics software companies appealing to these buyers.
Three Questions to Ask When Evaluating New Software
1. Is there clear, contractual language that states my company (and only my company) owns my data?
Ownership of data is non-negotiable. Your exit strategy should include contractual language that unequivocally establishes your company's ownership of its data. This ensures that your critical information remains under your control, regardless of your relationship with a software provider.
2. Can I replicate my data in real time for backup and compliance reasons?
When connecting a software into your logistics operations, data integrity is paramount. An exit strategy should encompass a backup plan that ensures your data remains accessible and secure, even after you part ways with the software provider.
Real-time data replication ensures you have a reliable backup, safeguarding against unexpected disruptions and a potential transition to another provider.
3. Can I extract my data without notifying you, or do I need to work through a professional services team?
Flexibility is key when it comes to accessing your data. An effective exit strategy allows you to extract your data seamlessly and without unnecessary hurdles.
A professional services team might be helpful, but the ability to perform this independently is crucial, especially when time is of the essence.
Best Practices for Onboarding New Clients
Having a well-prepared exit plan to share with potential clients before they purchase your solution is a major trust building exercise. Potential clients will feel better about doing business with you if they know their data is safe and accessible to them at any time.
Even successful relationships don’t last forever, so exit strategy planning is crucial for software providers, too.
Here are some best practices we’ve implemented at Chain.io:
1. Data ownership:
A cornerstone of a successful exit strategy is data ownership. Our approach at Chain.io is simple: our customers own their data, not us. This mindset empowers our clients to confidently navigate transitions, knowing that their critical information remains theirs.
2. Transparency from the start:
Software companies should be transparent about their data handling practices. At Chain.io, we believe in complete transparency, offering a detailed breakdown of off-boarding steps to clients before they even come on board.
3. Simplicity in off-boarding:
Just as onboarding should be seamless, so too should off-boarding. Establishing a clear process for how clients can transition away from your software solution ensures that the relationship ends on a positive note. At Chain.io, we guide our clients on how to back up data, take data with them, and preserve configurations and settings.
Having an exit strategy with logistics software is not just a best practice – it's a necessity. Critical infrastructure demands meticulous planning, and an effective exit strategy can make all the difference in ensuring the continuity of operations.