Choosing an IT Partner – Dovetail/FleetWatch

Like a heart transplant, you need to trust the surgeon!

Information Technology (IT) is right at the heart of your business.  Its proper functioning has a direct impact on how healthy your profits are and just how much you stay in control.  Now, if the ‘old ticker’ gives you trouble and you need a pacemaker, a by-pass, or even a transplant – would you consult your local GP or the best cardiac specialist in town?   In much the same way, choosing an IT partner is just as critical.

Liken it if you would rather to a Dino Ferrari – you just wouldn’t dream of letting the local ‘mackie’ have a look at it to adjust the timing!  Well, IT is just as specialised, it can get your business running on the fast track and put you in control of a really lean and efficient machine – your business.

Dovetail aims to help you choose the right ‘surgeon’ for your IT operation, select the right ‘heart’ for your business and ensure that this is done by a team of specialists that will make it work efficiently for you!

The first point to remember is to choose a specialist IT company that is credible and has expertise in the freight and transport industry – all the technical know-how in the world is not going to help an ‘intern’ understand the intricacies of the ‘heart’ of your business in order to offer an appropriate solution.  The IT company you choose should guarantee you continuity of support – not some friend of a friend who is here today and gone tomorrow (along with your money and any hope of back-up in two-year’s time when you need a software upgrade.)

An IT partner should also offer you comprehensive implementation support in the form of installation, programming, staff training and account management capabilities – and not just at your head-office, but at any depot’s or branch offices around the country as well.  The IT company you choose should be able to provide the correct software solution and be able to tailor it to your unique business needs.  In short, you need a ‘One Stop Shop’ with specialist knowledge and applications experience in the transport and freight industry.

From a basic system catering for operations, management, accounts and administration, to a full spectrum of needs including the linking of other technologies such as bar-coding, vehicle tracking, POD management, weighing and the Internet, a comprehensive IT solutions supplier should be able to offer it all.

In summary then, here is a quick reference list to use as a guideline when looking for an IT ‘partner’:

  1. Support – a stable, established company with critical mass & ongoing, nation-wide support
  2. Credibility – an established software specialist that can offer customised solutions
  3. Understanding – you need practical know-how – not just computer nerds
  4. Technical Ability – a company specialised in computers
  5. Implementation Skills – without professional training and installation – it’s an expensive or fatal mistake – remember the cardiac specialist!
  6. Value added services – the ability to integrate all your business systems – not just a mover of boxes!
  7. AND REMEMBER – if it’s cheap, you have to ask why!

Don’t get caught, look carefully and take your  time – it is time well spent for money that needs to be wisely spent, and the rewards of improved business efficiency will reflect in your bottom line!