Selecting a new CSA management software for your farm's CSA is not a task to be taken likely. There are many excellent products on the market, but to find the one that will suit your business's needs, you'll have to look at three big factors: 1) Pricing 2) Feature Set 3) Service.
Not all pricing is the same- different home delivery software as a service companies charge different amounts. When trying to calculate the costs to your business, you should take the time to do a little math when comparing your options.
For example, let's say you are comparing CompanyZ and Kiva Logic. CompanyZ currently charges 2% of total sales, and Kiva Logic charges $1 per order. Here's what the different pricing might look like for the following scenarios:
Optimal pricing for higher box-totals
A CSA is making 150 deliveries, with an average sale of $64. With CompanyZ, your cost would be $192 dollars, and with Kiva Logic, your cost would be $150. With this model, we've found that a CSA with a higher per-box-total will pay less on the Kiva Logic platform.
Optimal pricing for lower box-totals
A neighboring CSA is making 150 deliveries, but their revenue per box is much lower and their average sale is only $35. In this case, it would cost $105 to use CompanyZ, and $150 to use Kiva Logic. The clear winner in this case CompanyZ for their percentage based pricing.
Does $45 really matter?
Yes, of course it does, because it's not just $45 you are saving, that is only for one week. If you extrapolate that cost over the year, in scenario b) you would be saving $2340! That's no small amount, especially if you are a bootstrapping business.
The point is, if pricing is a major determination for you, be prepared to calculate your costs ahead of time. With these scenarios, it looks pretty clear that if you have a lower per-box-total, CompanyZ is the winner in pricing. If you have a higher per-box-total, then the winner in pricing would be Kiva Logic.
How much does pricing matter?
If you are on a shoestring bootstrap budget starting your company, it's extremely important. Even if you can't launch your business on the software platform you want, don't fear. You can always move to Kiva Logic (or another platform of your choice) at any time in the future. So when your revenue starts growing, then you can switch to the software you want, and you'll hit another accelerated growth path as new and potential customers see the evolution of your business. Always up, and always forward!
Of course pricing is only one of the things that are important to consider when looking for CSA Management software for your business. Stay tuned for Part II where we talk about home delivery software features.
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