Pricing models for software went through a revolution when the internet took off. Not only was software now available for download (obviating the need for disks, CDs, and so on), but the models for software businesses themsleves began to morph and change. Terms like “freeware” and “premiumware” became common. Subscription services, often called “software as a service” or SaaS, started to grow. Business software became tiered to allow for different levels of service.
It’s a fair question to ask which pricing models make the most sense in terms of cost and commitment, especially for business operations software. This is especially true for the large majority of businesses that are too big for “home” software versions to be efficient, but also too small for huge enterprise solutions. (For a great example of such a business, see our case study on the Dixie Grace Candle Company.)
The Infoplus Warehouse Management System follows a monthly subscription model with a single price (no tiered services) designed to fit these companies. The aim was to provide a software solution robust enough for most fulfillment and inventory needs while keeping the price at a point where small businesses could afford the product and use it to scale their operations.
So this is the million-dollar question. (Not literally…though it could be!) Does the Infoplus pricing model actually save time and budget for IT departments fighting for resources? How does it compare to more traditional software solutions?
- Enterprise capabilities without enterprise budget. Many enterprise-sized software solutions in this space (Cadence, SAP, Manhattan, just to name a few) are a substantial investment. Even in larger organizations, an estimated 24% of IT budgets are allocated to cloud software solutions. For smaller ones, an enterprise-level WMS can obliterate profits. The team at Infoplus got around this by starting with an existing system and using it as a springboard to create a robust solution that scales easily, setting the price so much smaller businesses could afford it.
- Monthly subscription means free cloud updates. Some IT professionals argue that it is cheaper and affords them more control to simply buy and own software licenses, rather than pay for a subscription. But given the pace at which software is updated and changed, this makes little sense. Selling a subscription and keeping the software in the cloud allows Infoplus to make needed changes and implement them instantly across all installations. Your subscription pays for those changes and implementations, and with much less cost than keeping up with licenses. Cash flow also improves, as IT is not incurring a debt to pay for software up front.
- All features present at the start. Infoplus does not offer tiered plans; the subscription gives you access to all Infoplus features from the start. This means that merchants can have access to whichever set of features they need to keep their business running, all while keeping the budget predictable.
- Complete scalability. Infoplus handles data the same way whether you have 5 SKUs or 5,000. With flexible plans and alerts, a warehouse or fulfillment center can scale up and down as needed without worrying about changing your service level. It also means that Infoplus can grow with your company, without any radical changes needed.
- No need to worry about re-installs or future implementation. With traditional software, switching to a new platform (or simply getting the latest version of the existing one) took a complete reinstall. Aside from the cost of the software (mentioned above), the re-install itself would be a time-consuming process, often requiring a period of downtime as the changes took effect. With a cloud-based subscription to software that scales with you, downtime is practically non-existent, and there is no need for implementation outside of the initial install.
The Upshot: IT Saves Its 2 Most Precious Resources
Of course, IT’s two most precious resources are time and portion of the budget. Cloud-based subscription software means that a capital expense now becomes an ongoing monthly subscription line. Furthermore, with Infoplus, that annual cost will be a mere fraction of what it would be with traditional software or larger enterprise-level solutions. Finally, Infoplus clearly saves time and headache when it comes to implementation and changes.
If you are interested in pricing or what is involved in implementation, please contact us for a demo.