Logistics Software Aids in Retail Vendor Compliancy

Vendor compliancy occurs when a vendor meets a set of requirements imposed on it by a buyer of its products. Vendor compliance focuses on making it easier for the buyer to receive goods, process them upon reception, and bring them to store shelves, where applicable. Unfortunately for manufacturers, the most complex compliance standards are usually handed down by companies that have the largest buying power, a fact that causes some companies to question whether the money necessary to implement the standards would be worth the profits that resulted from doing business with an entity. In the long run, adapting business standards to meet compliance standards is almost always beneficial, as nothing can replace the selling power of having large contracts with major companies and retailers. However, affording the infrastructure necessary to facilitate compliance can still be a problem in the short run.

Retail Vendor Compliancy and Logistics Software

When you look at a major buyer’s retail vendor compliancy scorecard, a rating system that ranks vendors according to their compliance to a number of requirements, it’s often difficult to ascertain how to begin meeting the requirements. However, upon closer inspection, many companies find that a majority of compliance issues, and certainly the most critical ones, are associated with the shipping process, such as product labeling, product packaging, and method of shipment, to name a few. Yet, here there emerges another roadblock for many vendors: how to gain more control over the shipping process through logistics. Most companies receive their shipping logistics from one of three sources: an in-house logistic department, a third party logistics (3PL) provider, or by implementing logistic software, which allows you to become your own logistics provider without possessing logistical expertise.

In-House Logistics

Meeting shipping needs in-house is the traditional preference of companies that can afford to hire their own logistic experts, who typically earn around $80,000 per year. This fact alone prevents many companies from going in-house with their shipping process, as well as the fact that most companies pursue in-house logistic arrangements upon purchasing their own fleet, once and for all ending their dependence on 3PL.

3PL

What you receive from 3PL depends entirely on what type of 3PL provider you contract with: standard 3PL providers, who offer basic shipping services and seldom practice shipping logistics as a core practice; service developers, who offer more specialized services but not a comprehensive approach to the shipping process; customer adapters, who manage an existing shipping process but don’t propose new solutions; and customer developers, who manage the shipping process and do propose new solutions. For vendor requirements, customer developers make the most sense. But you can receive the same level of focus through logistic software at a fraction of the cost.

Logistics Software

Also referred to as freight transportation software, logistic software is priced as a software as a service (SAAS) offering, making it less expensive than other logistic options. What this means for vendors is less money spent on meeting vendor requirements, and an annual reduction in shipping expense that can be delegated toward other compliance needs. After using freight transportation software for one year, most companies experience a 10 percent reduction in shipping expense that increases in years following.

TL Logistics Software – How Does it Compare to Third Party Logistics?

If your company is at the point that it ships enough goods to benefit from truckload (TL) shipping, achieving the optimal truckload transportation management system will require careful consideration, beginning with what logistics option you should choose. In most cases, companies have three basic options for applying logistics to the shipping process: hiring an in house logistics expert; contracting with a third party logistics (3PL) provider; or implementing TL logistics software-also known as truckload logistics software.

If your company feels like other shippers, it would probably prefer to have its own logistic expert on location. But, if adding a $70,000-$90,000 salary to your payroll isn’t acceptable, then contracting with a 3PL provider for TL shipping solutions or implementing logistics software are more affordable options.

To understand what you get when you hire a 3PL provider, it helps to distinguish the four types of 3PL providers: standard 3PL providers, which offer basic 3PL services and usually don’t feature 3PL as their main function; service developers, which offer a more specialized range of services than standard 3PL providers; customer developers, which manage a company’s entire shipping process but don’t suggest innovative shipping solutions; and customer adapters, which manage a company’s shipping process and propose innovative solutions.

If you were only looking for TL shipping solutions, hiring a standard 3PL provider or a service developer would be the most cost effective option. However, these types of providers typically place their customers with carriers that offer third party logistics providers a discounted rate that they profit from by charging their customers a rate that exceeds it.

If you think that this scenario sounds disingenuous, it is, especially as it places the provider’s interests above the customer’s in such a way that a customer has little chance of realizing optimal truckload shipping solutions, which is why it turned to the provider in the first place. TL logistics software, on the other hand, removes this situation by doing the work of a logistic expert and allowing companies to become their own logistics provider.

Like a logistic expert or customer adapter, the software evaluates every aspect of the truckload shipping process (i.e. route analysis and optimization, freight optimization, payment arrangements, etc.) and presents companies with a list of ranked shipping options that can be selected through the use of a user-friendly interface. If cost savings is a major goal in your company’s shipping process, logistics software offers a dual cost savings approach: it negates the need to outsource logistics and uncovers shipping solutions that offer the lowest price for you shipping needs.

Warehousing Management Software: How Software Can Streamline The Processes From Order To Delivery

There are so many processes involved when it comes to the ordering of a product from your business all the way up to the delivery.

You might be able to handle all of this just fine if you are a small business owner, but what if you have to deal with sending out hundreds if not thousands of products on a regular basis?

Think about how complex this can get without the use of warehousing management software to help you be able to quickly identify where to locate certain items in your warehouse.

You want the ability to streamline all of these processes having to do with orders and delivery. When you are able to do this you cut out things that add to the time it takes for a customer to get the products they are ordering from you.

You are able to quickly identify what is what, where it is located, and get all you need at once. The software allows you to input all the information you need into it in order to make all this possible.

Your ability to use this logistics software to help you streamline processes from order to delivery is going to enable you to determine the availability of products in your warehouse very precisely. There is going to be no accuracy problems in this respect.

This means you will be able to offer superior customer service, because you will be able to provide delivery dates to them that are realistic and that you will be able to keep with no problems.

Companies that are not able to use warehousing management software to help them speed up the time it takes to get products out of their warehouse and into the hands of costumers are going to struggle, particularly if they are a growing business.

These companies would be spending just too much time doing things that can be either avoided or speed up to the point of cutting down costs. A small business would definitely benefit from this, and warehousing management software is available at an affordable price so they can set up the system they need to make their processes run more efficiently.

What else can warehousing management software do for you because when you are trying to operate a warehouse that holds certain items you need to make sure you are able to quickly identify what you need and release it if it has been ordered.

When you can do this your shipping speeds are better not to mention certain businesses might have products on their shelves that are actually in their warehouse that have been back-ordered. The problem is your company might not know this information because it has not been released yet.

Use of this logistics software can help make sure this does not happen by automatically letting you know of back-ordered inventory. This is going to allow you to reduce problems with returns. You will be able to give your customers better shipping times as well as keep holding costs in your warehouse down.

You do not have to let all of the processes involved with ordering and getting products to customers overwhelm you. Warehousing management software helps to make all of these things easy and it can be a life saver for those smaller businesses that are fighting to establish themselves against the big boys.

The big boys likely already make use of such software, but for those who don’t they are doing their customers a disservice by not using it. Look into getting it today and watch how order and fulfillment for products that you carry improves overtime.