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Anyone who needs a multicarrier shipping system and has an IT department with its own software development is usually confronted with a kind of Gretchen question: Should I buy the shipping system? Or should I aim for in-house programming instead? Both options coexist. However, both have different advantages and disadvantages. Accordingly, there is neither a patent remedy nor the absolute ideal solution. This is precisely why we at HEIDLER would like to go into detail on this topic in today’s blog post. To this end, we will first examine the purchase of a shipping system and then go into more detail about programming it ourselves. In this way, we would like to help make it easier for you to make this important decision.

Buying a shipping system – These are the advantages

The advantage of buying a shipping system is that the market-leading providers usually already have years of experience in the field of shipping logistics. In addition to detailed process knowledge, partnerships often already exist between software manufacturers and carriers. In concrete terms, this means that certain carrier integrations/modules in a shipping system have often already been certified by the carriers on the basis of extensive test scenarios, thus ensuring seamless integration. The providers also already know the requirements of the carriers and are familiar with the specific details in the shipping process. The latter point is very crucial, especially for shipping systems that have been on the market for a long time. Because a software provider is also likely to have recognised the optimisation potential over time, many dispatch systems offer numerous useful additional functions that increase the efficiency and performance of frequent shipper customers. Those who decide to buy also know in advance what service they will get and at what price. In-house programming, on the other hand, is always accompanied by a certain development risk. Be it due to quality deficits or time or budget overruns. In addition, with in-house programming you also have to take into account the corresponding staff costs and may need external staff whose know-how can be incorporated into the project.

Buying a shipping system – These are the disadvantages

After purchasing the shipping system, it must be implemented by the software provider. Depending on the service provider, minor adjustments to your existing system / workflow may take some time to implement. This is especially a problem if internally, i.e. on the customer side, there are no resources and no know-how available to support the seamless implementation. Accordingly, this is of course a disadvantage that is always present when it comes to developing or buying a new system.

Programming a shipping system yourself – these are the advantages

If you decide to programme your own system, you can of course design it in such a way that it is 100% compatible with your existing company-specific processes and systems. However, this must be set against the fact that there are many dispatch systems (such as HEIDLER’s HVS32) on the market that have their great strength in precisely this individual integration through flexible interfaces, function modules and processes. Against this background, it is all the more important to first obtain detailed advice on whether and how a shipping system available on the market might not already offer the best possible functionality before planning an elaborate in-house development, which also entails a whole series of risks and dangers. Before we come to the disadvantages, however, the other advantages of in-house programming should be highlighted: Those who develop the shipping system in-house not only have complete ownership of their own programme and its code, but also always have short routes to internal support when problems arise. But without wanting to anticipate: In special situations, this can also be a great disadvantage if the in-house developer leaves the company, is absent due to illness or is simply on a well-deserved holiday. That is why in-house programming is always accompanied by the important prerequisite that internal precautions are taken to ensure that the know-how behind in-house development can always be maintained.

Programming a shipping system yourself – These are the disadvantages

A company that needs a shipping system does not always have a corresponding development department. Accordingly, either the existing team for in-house programming must be massively increased or external specialists must be brought in. This is not only costly, it is also simply incalculable. In the end, unexpected complications arise again and again in the development process. For example, employees might discover that they lack the technical expertise for a certain process, which must first be acquired. It is therefore rarely possible to stay on schedule and within budget when programming in-house. An even greater disadvantage, however, is that development is actually never complete. Not only should there be constant room for optimisation, which only arises from the daily work with the shipping system. There are also always innovations on the part of the carriers. Be it new services, specifications, label adaptations or other requirements. These have to be integrated into the in-house programming. And for this, you then have to invest again in the department / employees, who have to leave their other daily work during the incorporation of the innovations. So anyone who believes that in-house programming will protect them from ongoing costs is subject to a widespread fallacy.

The HVS32 multi-carrier shipping software from HEIDLER – your individual shipping system READY to use

By the way, with our HVS32 shipping system, we at HEIDLER offer an optimal solution for those companies for whom shipping systems for purchase are not individual and functional enough and in-house programming is too costly and risky. The HVS32 has a number of amazing advantages over other dispatch systems, which we would like to point out in conclusion. First of all, it should be emphasised that the HVS32 enables a quick change to another carrier. For this, only a carrier module has to be licensed and configured. With in-house programming, on the other hand, the carrier requirements would first have to be worked through and implemented, which would take an enormous amount of time. If, on the other hand, you have the HVS32 dispatch system, you benefit from the more than 300 carrier modules that are ready for use immediately after purchase. Another important point is the possibility of integrating the HVS32 shipping system into countless available and existing interfaces & integrations to ERP/WMS systems. We would be happy to convince you of the high degree of compatibility that comes with our solution in a personal conversation. In addition, the HVS32 shipping system is UPS Ready® certified, which we discuss in more detail in the linked blog post. Are you interested in more information about the HVS32? Click here to go to the shipping system product page!

As a competent partner with decades of experience in the field of shipping logistics, we have an immense customer base, offer the best advice and support, and are always up to date with changes in carriers.

Buying a shipping system vs. programming it yourself – the bottom line

In this article we have shown you the respective advantages and disadvantages of buying a shipping system or programming your own. We have also given you a small insight into the extensive range of functions of the HVS32 shipping system from HEIDLER, which makes up for many of the common disadvantages of a purchase with its numerous expansion functions and extensive interfaces. Finally, we would like to summarise the most important points for you once again in the following table:

 Buying a Multi-carrier shipping system

  • Regular updates
  • Exact cost calculation
  • Service hotline / support
  • Common business processes are included
  • Interfaces & integrations to other systems
  • Fast integration through existing modules when changing carriers
  • Extension modules (e.g. for invoice verification, status data or optimisation of the dispatch process)
  • Scalable and powerful

  • Possibly not individual enough with every software provider (at HEIDLER, however, there are very well individual developments in the shipping system on customer request).
  • Implementation times for small adjustments due to lack of resources / know-how (in-house)

  In-house programming

  • Right of ownership
  • Fast in-house support possible
  • Better integration into own system through individuality*.

  • Complex project management
  • Time and cost budget difficult to estimate
  • High maintenance effort (running costs) when adapting carrier specifications
  • Extensive programming necessary when changing carriers
  • Longer training period for innovations
  • Negative impact on core business


*Note that precisely this high degree of compatibility is one of the great strengths of our HVS32 shipping system. Do you still have questions? We will be happy to answer them in a personal conversation and clear up any uncertainties. Simply scroll a little further and send us a message via our contact form right now!