Logistics Software Provides Companies With Freight Optimization

In the manufacturing industry, the discipline of logistics focuses on efficiently moving products from the manufacturer to the buyer. For large manufacturers, logistical operations can represent a large expense, especially when logistical elements are managed separately instead of being integrated into one solution. In an attempt to take the time and guesswork of out executing logistics, many companies totally or partially outsource their freight optimization needs to third parties. A complete outsourcing amounts to hiring a company to move products throughout the entire supply chain, while a partial outsourcing involves letting a third party manage the transportation of goods through the “stages” of the supply chain. However, implementing logistics software is a more cost effective way to achieve freight optimization that offers the same level of quality as a third party logistics provider.

There are several factors that contribute to a manufacturer’s total shipping costs, including warehouse fees, inventory fees and freight carriage fees. To minimize these fees, a manufacturer might choose to ship by air carrier instead of in tandem with freight carriage, significantly reducing warehouse fees by moving the goods from manufacturer to buyer in a matter of hours. However, to save the most money, companies have to examine all three cost areas with an eye toward developing an integrated cost savings solution. In developing such a solution, there are two basic issues that manufacturers must address: finding the right mix of freight carriage, inventory and warehouse services and finding the best price for each one.

Logistics software can help by providing an analysis of service combinations in relation to individual service cost. For small to midsize companies that deliver goods from the assembly line directly to retail outlets, logistics software can offer a basic analysis of routing options and freight rates. But companies that use multiple warehouses and multiple supply chain locations may require more, such as production scheduling analysis that develops manufacturing plans with regard to multiple supply chain locations (i.e. company’s whose products are assembled at more than one location before reaching the retailer).

The basic advantage of logistics software is that offers refined shipping solutions that meet the needs of a variety of manufacturing situations (and does so at a lower cost than hiring a third party logistics provider). For example, some solutions may focus on a particular freight carriage issue, such as analyzing how to increase delivery time by studying construction schedules and highway traffic data, while other solutions may focus on offering an integrated solution for all logistical concerns, including carrier loading, weight distribution, cube optimization and shortest path to destination. Studies show that manufacturer’s who implement logistics software regularly realize a 10 percent decrease in shipping costs after the first year.

Whether your company has its own trucking system or uses a third party, logistics software can help reduce your delivery costs without compromising punctuality, efficiency or freight safety. If you need to simplify your delivery process and reduce your cost of shipping, consulting with a logistics software provider is the best way to arrive at a solution that accomplishes both at the same time.

The Benefits of Implementing Freight Logistics Software

More Control

Freight logistics software-also known as truckload logistics software-lets companies supreme control over the economy and timeliness of their shipping process by allowing them choose their own shipping options. When companies outsource to a third party logistics (3PL) provider, the provider develops shipping solutions that are in its best business interest, meaning that shipping companies can miss out on shipping options that would benefit them the most. Because logistics software is tailored to apply to a company’s unique shipping process and offers an easy to use interface, it does not require logistics expertise of its users. In addition, because logistics-software is offered on a SaaS model, it can easily be re-adapted to a company’s shipping needs as they change over time.

Lower Cost

Logistics-software costs less than 3PL for a simple reason: it is priced as a software solution and not as a logistics consultancy service. The cost of logistics software is based on a company’s shipping requirements, allowing companies to pay for only as many services as they need. For example, if a small company’s shipping needs consist only of less than truckload (LTL) shipping arrangements, the options offered through logistics-software will reflect these needs only. In addition to saving companies money on the logistics function, logistics software also allows companies to save on shipping solutions. Whereas some 3PL providers (e.g. non-asset based providers) charge shipping companies over and above the cost of a shipping solution in order to profit from a carrier discount, logistics-software insures that companies never pay hidden fees.

Integrated Shipping Solutions

When shipping companies outsource their logistics to asset-based logistics providers, they only realize shipping solutions that can be accommodated by the asset-based provider’s transportation assets (e.g. trucks, boats planes, etc.). But with logistics software, companies can realize shipping solutions that involve various modes of transportation to a certain location. For example, logistics-software may reveal that shipments to a certain location would be cheaper to transport by air for the majority of the trip due to warehouse fees that would result from ground shipping. Considering the cost of the shipping process, realizing integrated shipping solutions on a daily basis can dramatically impact a company’s bottom line.

Significantly Improved Bottom Line

Logistics-software can improve a company’s bottom line by presenting the most economical shipping options for a company’s shipping needs. But it can also save companies money by removing the need to hire in house logistics professionals when they grow large enough to purchase their own shipping fleet. Although logistics-software is often presented as an ideal solution for small to midsized companies that can’t hire their own logistics experts; it is also used by companies whose annual shipping costs exceed six figures, allowing them operate without the cost of logistics professionals. Research shows that companies can reduce their overall shipping costs by 10 percent after only one year of using logistics software.

Transportation and Logistics Software – What Are Its Advantages?

If you are a small to midsize company that tries to ship your goods without the aid of transportation logistics, you’ll likely end paying significantly more for shipping than you would if your hired a third party logistics (3PL) provider or implemented online transportation and logistics software. Without the aid of freight logistics, the cost of the shipping process can prohibitive for small to midsize companies for two main reasons: they either pay full truckload FTL shipping (full truck load) rates to ship partial loads or, realizing the economic disadvantage of FTL shipping for partial loads, they use parcel shipping, which is also a disadvantage when shipping multiple parcels on a regular basis. In response to these situations, 3PL and transportation and logistics software can revolutionize a company’s sipping costs by providing them with options such as LTL shipping (less than truckload), integrated transportation methods based on competitive pricing and shorter shipping routes based on route analytics.

But while 3PL and logistics software function in the same capacity, the latter has two basic advantages over the former, beginning with price differential.

Price Differential

Although 3PL and logistics software companies serve the same purpose, they are principally different in their corporate make up. Third party logistics providers are freight logistics experts that act as middlemen between manufacturers and shipping companies, while logistics-software providers are freight logistics experts that specialize in creating freight logistics software, which they offer as an online software application for an affordable monthly fee. In other words, when you opt for 3PL, you end up paying more because you pay for an expert to manage your account, whereas logistics software lets you manage your own freight logistics through an easy to use interface. Essentially, 3PL providers make their money by charging you for a logistics service that you could easily perform on your own with the aid of logistics software. It’s as simple as that.

Level of Control

When you outsource a service that isn’t one of your company’s core competencies, you’re naturally at the mercy of the company that you outsource to. This is not to say to that 3PL providers are out to profit on their clients’ lack of logistics expertise in an ulterior way. But it does mean that 3PL providers are always looking for LTL shipping rates and other shipping options that offer the greatest price differential between what the options actually cost and what they charge their clients to secure those options. In some cases, the greatest price differential might result from shipping your goods with a company that doesn’t have the best reputation; a situation that you could easily avoid if you opt for logistics software. In addition to allowing more control over what companies you ship with, logistics software also allows each of your company departments to participate in the shipping decision process by accessing the software online, which can prove extremely valuable from an accounting and management perspective.