Right now, America is in a supply chain crisis.
Business is booming, but backlogged warehouses, overwhelmed drivers, and fuzzy shipping processes have created issues for the entire industry and the customers it’s supposed to be serving.
When it comes to running your shipping business smoothly, do you know what type of logistics software is best for it? Do you have a solid list of processes that help your orders and products flow efficiently from point A to point B?
If you resonated with those situations or said “yes” to any of those questions, it might be time to consider implementing an effective logistics software.
Read on to learn everything you need to know.
What Is Logistics Software?
Put simply, logistics software is a program built to help you manage the day-to-day elements of the production process. This could mean everything from the delivery of materials needed to create goods to manufacturing those goods, to shipping finished goods out to customers after production is complete.
Any software, like a transport management system or even a warehouse management system, is built to help you plan, implement, and manage an effective flow throughout your business and its processes.
What Does Good Logistics Management Look Like?
So, what does good logistics management software look like? Well, it depends on what you’re managing and what your business needs, but there are a few key elements that any software is going to cover:
- Logical order for carrying out processes
- Placement of loading and unloading zones
- Frequency of deliveries and shipments
- How and where to store your materials
- Site security
- Waste management
- Where to store big items, like cranes or hoists
- Even weather data
All these points are crucial for running an effective supply chain, and they sometimes require planning. You might not receive cranes or hoists, but you may need space for other big items or shipments, and having a place designated for those items ahead of time is only going to be helpful in the long run.
What Does Poor Logistics Management Look Like?
On the other side of that, there are a lot of key features that get left out and lead to poor logistics management. Here are a few things to help you identify that:
- Poor planning
- Disorganized storage rooms
- Lack of labels or a schedule
- Delayed deliveries or back-ordered materials
- Higher costs
- Strained work relationships or partnerships
- Lost business and declining sales
If you notice these things happening with your business, there shouldn’t be any doubt that it’s time for a change. Whether you’re working towards organizing your warehouse or you’re implementing some kind of software, taking control of things where you can is going to make a huge difference in the long run.
What Are Some Key Features?
So, now that you know what good and bad logistics management systems might look like, it’s time to learn about a few of the key features you can expect to see in any decent logistics software. Here are a few to start with:
- Warehouse management
- Transportation management
- Third-party fleet management
- Route optimization
- Logistics scheduling
- Document management
- Employee and vehicle management
Whatever software you choose to invest in is not only going to offer all these things, but it’s going to do so effectively. The biggest thing to remember about this type of software is that its main goal is to replace manual logistics processes with automated ones.
That sounds simple, but these automated processes have to be capable of enabling faster delivery times, growth, and even better risk management.
It has to consider both company and customer experience, and it has to find a way to marry the two to keep everyone happy and everything on schedule.
Some of the Benefits
Now, what are a few of the benefits that come with having in-house logistics software? We’ve already covered some, like faster shipping times and higher customer satisfaction, but there are other things to consider here as well.
1. Easier Onboarding, Less Disruption
When all your processes are automated, the risk that comes with bringing on a new hire decreases dramatically. Not only is their training a lot easier to handle, but it’s almost done for you with automated processes.
2. Reduced Budget, Easy Maintenance
While building a robust program and investing in this software is no small or cheap feat, it’s something that pays for itself in the long run.
With a lot of ready-to-use software, this maintenance comes included. Things like software updates, new features, and other parts of regular maintenance are part of what you pay for.
3. Risk Management and Safety Tools Are Included
Supply chains are are a delicate thing, and adding even the slightest amount of stress can have a major impact on the entire chain. When you pay for something like logistics software, it’s going to come equipped with risk management and safety tools.
Things like mandatory safety training and driver behavior tracking are just two examples of what can come with any software you invest in.
Logistics Software Can Help Scale Your Business
Now that you’ve learned about some of the pros of logistics software, it’s time to consider what it can do for your business. Whether you’re trying to grow your business and its leads, or you’re simply trying to get your plan back on track, investing in decent software can mean a world of difference. For more on the latest in business and technology, check out the rest of our website.