Shipping Logistics Software: Frequently Asked Questions

In lieu of staffing a logistics department, many shippers turn to Third Party Logistics (3PL) providers to secure the best carrier arrangements. However, depending on the type of shipping management you need, 3PL can be as costly as staffing in-house experts. It can also make you feel distanced from the distribution process.

Instead of using 3PL, many businesses now use shipping logistics software – a class of applications that perform the logistical analysis traditionally performed by experts. If you are considering the software as an alternative to 3PL, but you have questions about its benefits and applications, the answers below can be helpful:

How much knowledge is required to operate the applications?

Ideally, the user should have a proficient understanding of transportation logistics, but a consummate understanding of logistical analysis is unnecessary. After performing logistical analysis based on the data you supply, the applications provide you with a list of recommended options via a user-friendly interface.

How much can the applications reduce the cost of freight transportation?

Research shows that top-notch shipping logistics software can reduce the cost of freight transportation by ten percent in the first year. Depending on your transportation process, the percentage could be even higher.

Can the applications support a transportation management system?

TMS software can support a Transportation Management System (TMS) by helping shippers perform the crucial processes of freight transportation management: planning and deciding on transportation arrangements, monitoring the transportation process, and measuring Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Are applications available that support LTL transportation?

Yes. The applications can be designed to support any freight transportation need, including LTL transportation. If you routinely ship partial loads, LTL software can help you identify more affordable transportation arrangements than Truck Load (TL) or parcel shipping.

Are the applications available on a web-based model?

Yes, the applications are available on a web-based model. They are also available on an in-house model. Most shippers choose the latter due to its cost effectiveness and the ability to access the application remotely.

How much do the applications cost?

The cost of the applications depends on several factors, particularly whether it is implemented on an in-house, or a SaaS (Software as a Service) model, along with the logistical options you need. The best way to receive an accurate cost assessment is to have a provider of logistics software review your freight transportation process and administrative needs.

What if the transportation process changes after implementing an application?

The application you implement is not set in stone. If you experience new shipping needs, you can add new logistical options to the existing system. In terms of adding new options, implementing a web-based application typically offers the most flexibility.

Conclusion

Shipping logistics software is a cost effective alternative to staffing experts or contracting with a 3PL provider. Unlike 3PL, it puts you in direct control of freight transportation, helping you identify the best transportation arrangements in terms of freight safety, delivery time, and transportation cost. To learn more about the benefits of TMS software and other types of logistics software, contact a provider of web-based logistical solutions today.

Warehousing Software: Use This Logistics Software To Upgrade The Way You Run Your Warehouse

Currently you might not be aware of why you need warehousing software. Right now your business might not be using various warehousing management systems and if this is the case you are really hurting your business. Maybe you have not been in business for that long and you have your own way of doing things.

You cannot rely on the old way of doing things just because you have a system in place that has worked out for you up until now.

The reality is you are going to need a sound warehousing management system in order to truly get the most out of your warehousing operations. Now you might be a bit worried about using warehousing software to implement such a system.

You do not need to be. A basic run down of what a warehouse management system is would be that it is advanced technology and different processes that optimize all warehousing functions.

You could not hope to be successful if you were not able to do this, and this is exactly what the software would enable you to do.

What are the functions warehousing software can help you better operate? Some of the functions you have in your warehouse that could be better managed would include dealing with receipts that come from different suppliers.

Other functions would include the process of making sure products are shipped to customers in a timely fashion the way they are supposed to be.

Warehouse operations also include any and all inventory movement and information that is going to flow in between. You do not have to be a large business owner in order to use this software, but it does tend to be used in bigger far more complicated distribution functions. It can still be an asset to the small business owner.

What warehousing software is designed to ultimately do for a business because when you decide to use this logistics software you are aiming to merge together different computer hardware, different software, and other peripheral equipment.

You want to combine these things with operating practices you are going to improve upon such as managing inventory, space, labor, and capital equipment inside of warehouses as well as distribution centers.

What implementation of this inventory software is going to do for your financially and otherwise because in the world of business you have to make sure you have every advantage you are able to get right?

If you are doing things in a way that put you at a disadvantage then it is going to be a matter of time before you are struggling to survive. Right now you might have a competitive advantage, but the competition is always working overtime to beat you out, so you must stay on top of things.

Implementation of warehousing software is going to allow you to increase the competitive edge you might already have or allow you to create one. One of the ways this happens is by reducing costs thus-fore increasing profits. Right now you have costs associated with labor, customer serve, inventory management, etc. All of these costs are going to be reduced.

Manage inventories in a warehouse in real time because with warehousing software you are not going to be using outdated methods that do not deal with what is going on in your warehouse now.

Using this inventory management software for your business will enable you to see what is going on and manage things in real time. The information you would be looking at is going to be as up to date as possible. You can get information as recent as the last order, shipment, receipt, or any type of movement in between.

Logistics Software Allows Shippers to Conduct Their Own Freight Optimization

If you plan on starting a manufacturing business or currently own a manufacturing business that needs new shipping solutions, a critical part of maximizing your bottom line will be arriving at shipping solutions that offer the best delivery result at the lowest cost. To arrive at such solutions, shipping companies have three basic options: they can hire an in house logistics team; they can outsource their logistics to third party logistics (3PL) providers; or they can implement logistics software. For small to midsized companies, the cost of hiring in house professionals is often prohibitive, leading them to outsource their logistics.

But before you outsource logistics, its important to know that most 3PL providers adhere to rigid shipping heuristics, making them a poor choice for companies that want innovative shipping solutions. Logistics software, on the other hand, allows companies to realize innovative shipping solutions on their own. By accessing a user-friendly interface, companies can conduct freight optimization without possessing logistics expertise. When you implement logistics software, the software acts as a logistics expert and guides you through the phases of the freight optimization process, which we describe below.

Channel Selection and Development

Channel selection and development begins with identifying shipping channels that have strong matching potential to your companies shipping needs according to various criteria, including: freight volume, shape of freight and freight destination. After performing channel selection, logistics software aids shippers in identifying and enlisting carrier companies that carry a high volume within a company’s ideal shipping channels.

Carrier Selection

Carrier selection commences with identifying and evaluating specific carrier companies. Logistics-software evaluates these companies according to the price and delivery efficiency of their shipping options. Commonly realized shipping options include LTL shipping solutions, TL shipping solutions and a combination of TL and LTL shipping solutions. Carrier selection also results in integrated shipping solutions between water, air and land carriers to offer the best shipping price and delivery time.

Transportation Route Design

As a part of the carrier selection process, logistics software allows companies to identify transportation routes that decrease shipping cost and improve delivery time. The transportation route design process entails three basic steps: discovering the fastest routes, discovering carriers that match shipping volume and negotiating rates with carriers and confirming shipping capacity.

Route Execution and Management

After your company has chosen carriers based on shipping route analysis and carrier offerings, logistics-software allows you to perform route execution and management. During the route execution and management process, logistics software offers two essential benefits: it allows you to function as a shipping captain, monitoring your overall shipping network performance; and it allows you to perform customer service and conduct billing and reporting. If you currently outsource your freight optimization needs to a 3PL provider, consider implementing logistics software today. Research shows that companies can reduce their annual shipping costs by 10 percent after the first year of implementing logistics software.

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