Businesses of all descriptions work as Department of Defense suppliers; simply because the federal government is one of the largest purchasers of all sorts of things. But many DoD suppliers struggle with the systems and processes needed to effectively support their work.
For any vendors on the DoD approved software list you may consider, it’s important to know what to look for – not all DoD approved software is created equal.
What’s the difference between software and solutions?
The purpose of software solutions is to allow users to complete tasks as efficiently as possible. However, the words “software” and “solution” are often conflated, so as to suggest that all software is inherently a solution.
There are many kinds of software that organizations use to improve a specific process or meet a special requirement. Different teams use different software for different needs. For example…
- The sales team uses software to communicate with potential customers or respond to quote requests
- The shipping and logistics department uses software to create the required documents and labels to send assets out the door
- The accounting team uses software to efficiently invoice and maintain receipt of payment for compliant record keeping purposes
The only common thread between these tools is that they are separate in nature, unrelated to each other, and they force an organization to maintain multiple applications.
Is ERP the answer?
Many organizations have found a way to achieve better integration using Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP systems). ERP systems can be a great way for businesses to integrate their departments and allow users to work in a more streamlined way.
Yet for all their benefits, ERP systems have limitations in niche spaces. Seldom do they meet MIL-STD 129 r or MIL-STD 130 n mandates. Department of Defense requirements such as these can put companies at a disadvantage, especially when they’re working as a federal supplier for the first time.
Failing to comply with DoD requirements can have a major impact on your success as a government supplier. For all the time and money spent, you should expect your software to provide a complete and compliant solution. Unfortunately, it is common to hear from DoD suppliers that have purchased an ERP system only to later learn that more investment is necessary to create a solution that fits both their needs and the DoD’s requirements.
What makes DoD approved software different?
CRM, ERP, accounting, and logistics software works well for many businesses, but not necessarily for DoD suppliers. This is because DoD suppliers have unique requirements and process standards that other businesses do not, including:
With these needs in mind, what should DoD suppliers look for when it comes to software solutions?
Look for DoD approved software that provides an integrated, cross-departmental solution
Finding a compliant DoD approved software solution specific to your needs is often one of the greatest challenges facing supplier organizations. No matter which vendors you’re considering from the DoD approved software list, you will be best served by initially reviewing your DoD process from a 10,000-foot view rather than “boots on the ground.”
It’s important to first understand how the entire DoD commerce process flows between your departments. This will help you ask the right questions during a solution evaluation.
Here’s why the cross-departmental view matters:
- Tasks occurring within the contracts department affect the shipping and accounting departments
- Shipping and logistics data corresponds with required accounting information
- Compliant fulfillment affects your organization's future ability to win DoD awards
DoD commerce is truly a 360-degree process. Enabling your key departments to work together and capture the right data will help you be successful as a DoD supplier.
The bottom line? Software is not truly a “solution” when more than one unrelated application is needed to complete a process.
At Odyssey, we have deep experience working with DoD suppliers to help them drive efficiency and ensure compliance with DoD requirements. To learn more, see a demo of our DoD approved software solutions or contact us to start a conversation.