Industry needs IT ombudsman, says 3PL chief

The logistics industry needs an ombudsman to monitor the working practices and pricing structures of companies that supply IT services – such as warehouse management systems, according to Mark Elward, managing director of DK Fulfilment.

“There seems to be a culture among some IT suppliers that leads them to focus on extracting as much revenue from their clients as they possibly can,” he said.

“Of course, I completely recognise and accept that we live in a commercial world but some of the fees that suppliers try to charge for undertaking what appear to be the most straightforward tasks are, in my view, completely unreasonable. And from conversations I have had with colleagues in the industry, I am not the only who feels this way.

“The establishment of an impartial ombudsman body to regulate the sector and resolve disputes would, I believe, be a positive step.”

He argued that some IT systems suppliers attempt to over-complicate the nature of the technology they deliver and create a ‘false mystique’ about it as a way of justifying their high fees.

“It seems that every time some minor modification has to be carried, logistics companies are told that the work will take at least three days and, of course, in most cases, the daily rate charged by an IT supplier is not insignificant.”