When I read the recent news of Southwest Airlines canceling thousands of flights, I couldn’t help but think of software financing.
To refresh your memory, during the busy holiday travel season, Southwest Airlines canceled a great majority of their flights. At first they blamed the weather, but that narrative didn’t last long. After all, every other competing airline, serving the exact same airports, had scant issues with the weather. Sure, there were a few storms, and other airlines had to cancel / move around a few flights, but nothing even remotely approaching Southwest’s issues.
It was then revealed that Southwest’s software was outdated, and not up to the task of efficiently scheduling pilots and crews amidst a hiccup (like a winter storm.) It was also revealed that they knew their software was outdated, but put off updating it due to costs. Coupled with leaner operations, this led to disaster for the carrier.
As I write this in January 2023, it’s unclear how much damage was done to their reputation, but I can’t imagine a scenario where this doesn’t affect the future bottom line in a major way. Thousands of customers will never trust them again.
Software… we often don’t think about it, but for many companies, it’s their nervous system, and if there’s a glitch, everything is affected. But upgrading software is easy to push aside because it’s usually not a direct profit-generator. Buying a new production machine (or a plane) is both exciting and directly profitable. But upgrading your software… only the IT guys get excited about that – everyone else groans.
Well, we can’t help you with the excitement part, but there’s a way to get new software without worrying about the non-immediate revenue aspect of it – you can finance it!
Software financing is something that not many companies consider, probably because not too many lenders offer it. But a few do, including us. In fact, we’ve been offering software financing for a LONG time. Did we even finance applications that came on floppy disc? You bet we did!
Do not let aging software affect your operations in a negative way. It doesn’t have to be “we know we need this, but the budget…”. Spreading a major software purchase over years of monthly payments actually puts it more in line with the “back end” nature of its revenue responsibility. That’s smart business.
We’re well into the 21st century – software runs everything. Staying competitive means your backend operations need to be as efficient and modern as your machinery. In short, software matters. Just ask Southwest.