How Transportation Management Software Promotes Intelligent Execution

There is a subset of supply chain management called “transportation management system” that refers specifically to transportation operations and is a component within an enterprise resource planning system. This area has evolved quite a bit in recent years thanks to technological advancements, and now transportation management software has made it possible for companies to add context to a shipper’s transportation data. This software oversees four key processes of transportation management: planning and decision making, transportation execution, transportation follow-up, and measurement. Modern transportation management software has the ability to use context to determine whether:

  • an incorrect invoice charge was caused by a carrier re-weighing their freight or by re-classifying their freight
  • a shipment arrived late due to inclement weather or due to the consignee not being available to sign for the delivery

These are just two examples of the types of judgments that logistics shipping companies can make with the help of transportation management software. Here are a few more ways that this technology can be used today:

Exception Management Process

This software can be configured to periodically alert an individual when lanes, carriers, or facilities do not meet specified targets. This is especially helpful because it allows managers to instantly know when the amount of business their company is doing has changed. Before transportation management software, management would have had to wait up to a year before being made aware that targets were not being met. The sooner that management is aware of a problem, the sooner it can begin to look for a solution.

Freight Execution

Today, a single transportation management software product can be used for shipments in all modes, whereas before additional applications had to be added for special cases like small parcels. Additional documents, which are needed for shipments like pallet labels or hazardous materials documentation, can now be printed on-site. In the past, this documentation needed to be printed ahead of time.

Improved Communication

Logistics shipping companiescan provide vendors with a tool that allows them to pre-load shipping business’ rules, carriers, and purchase orders. Using this pre-loaded information, vendors can send shipments to the shipper’s carriers without having to wait for the carrier to provide this information.

Dashboards

All of the aforementioned data can be pulled into a centralized location, or dashboard, that shippers can use to monitor the company’s freight activity in real-time. The result is an effective measurement of the Freight Payment and Pre-Audit so that it matches the data that is continuously coming in. Put more simply, the ability to monitor this data in real-time means that shipper is finally able to determine what is happening in their supply chain. Only by staying up-to-date on trends and data will a shipper be able to make the most intelligent decisions.

When logistics shipping companies decide that they are ready to acquire transportation management software, they have three ways to do so. They can use a traditional purchased license (on-premise licensing,) a remote or cloud-based solution (hosted licensing,) or a blend of these two options (on-premise hosted licensing.) Shippers looking to determine which option is best for their organization should reach out to a transportation management software provider about their preferred opinion.

Supply Chain Management – Software-as-a-Service

Is spending thousands of dollars to purchase supply chain software draining your cash flow? Is your software becoming out-of-date quickly after purchasing it?

Are you investing too much time programming supply chain software to make it work right? Are you continually having problems keeping software updated and working with different versions?

Are you having difficulties creating the supply chain collaboration and visibility you desire with global customers, partners, logistics providers, sales, operational centers and administrative departments?

Are you frustrated not getting the results you were promised from your supply chain software provider? Are you tired of hearing about why the software program doesn’t work?

If you are nodding “YES” to these concerns, don’t feel lonely as most supply chain management executives agree.

Each year exporters, importers and service providers invest millions of dollars and employ thousands of software and hardware technicians hoping to improved productivity and achieve better supply chain management collaboration. Most companies never realized their supply chain management goals. And, rarely does a company attain ROI value from their software technology investment before it becomes obsolete or needs extensive re-programming. One main reason is over-the counter software packages and in-house programmed software is comprised of bits and pieces fitted together without a comprehensive end-to-end business visibility plan.

According to Forrester Research, an independent technology and market research company, the current global economic crisis will reduce spending on IT products and services by three per cent in 2009. It may not sound much but perhaps this tightening of budgets is what supply chain management executives need to take a serious look at what benefits they are attaining from their current supply chain management software and at what total cost to their company’s productivity and competitiveness.

The affordable, sustainable solution to supply chain management software is Software-as-a-Service, know as SaaS. Software-as-a-Service offers four immediate benefits that makes it very attractive in these economic times: 1) Quick to Implement; 2) Pay-As-You-Go Variable Cost; 3) Scalability to your Requirements; and 4) No Capital Expense.

Consider these Software-as-a-Service benefits that will add value to your supply chain management and company profitability:

o SaaS saves money. No more software installation or maintenance headaches.

o SaaS reduces IT staffing, technology spend, and distractions.

o SaaS provides real-time global supply chain information with on-demand reporting.

o SaaS improves mobility. Desktop / Laptop compatible, no mainframe computer needed.

o SaaS saves deployment time. Get the entire company and all overseas offices upgraded instantly at the same time.

o SaaS allows immediate access to the latest software innovations, logistics supply chain tools and regulatory compliance.

o SaaS encourages supply chain coordination and collaboration. Company departments, customers, vendors, logistics providers and partners can contribute and collaborate in real time. And, eliminate duplicate data entry at your different locations and departments.

o SaaS helps control confidentially. Allocate access permissions based on who needs to know what information. Give your top executives full end-to-end visibility to track and trace, quote pricing, generate performance reports, ensure regulatory compliance, create what-if scenarios and much more.

o SaaS improves network security protection. Built-in global security to defend against malicious threats, hacker attacks and harmful viruses.

o SaaS allows redistribution of IT budget and eliminates tedious paperwork. More time and money available to focus on sales, marketing, customer service improvements and profit to the corporate bottom line.

o SaaS can be integrated into other company software applications and provide seamless end-to-end visibility into your business performance and profitability metrics.

o SaaS provides immediate real time information, statistics and reporting. Enables supply chain management by key performance indicators KPI’s.

o SaaS does not require a large capital expenditure. Pay-as-you-go. Variable monthly fee based on usage.

o SaaS offers scalability. Big and small companies. You can quickly deploy logistics applications and regulatory compliance applications that are urgently needed now to improve your competitive edge and visibility. Add more SaaS features and modules as your requirements expand.

o SaaS can be customization. Quick adaptation to your specific operational, sales, administrative and accounting requirements. Screen views, reports and communication mimics how you want to manage your business and logistics supply chain.

SaaS Software-as-a Service offer the best supply chain management technology at a cost you can afford delivering the results you need to sustain productivity, visibility and profitability. If your current supply chain software isn’t providing you the tools you need to manage on-demand; or not creating the coordination and collaboration you desire; and is more of a distraction and problem than the results, perhaps it’s time to explore Software-as-a-Service Supply Chain Management.

Warehousing Management Software: One Of The Best Investments You Can Make For Business Here’s Why

Warehousing software can be expensive which is why in this tough economy it is easy to understand why a business owner, whether they be large or small would not want to take on an unneeded expense.

After all the ultimate goal of business is to keep expenses down so you are able to maximize profits to the best of your ability. However, certain things you can purchase should not be looked at as expenses.

These things should be looked at as assets, tools for business to grow and function more efficiently. Warehousing management software offers just this. There are a lot of businesses who have probably heard of using this type of software, but many of them are still not sold on how powerful it can be for them. Not a problem, you can easily be convinced. The advantages are plenty.

The entire purpose of warehousing management software is to enable a user to get an instant picture of certain information that is very pivotal.

Quick access means that warehouse operations function far smoother than what they may be at the moment. You will be able to cut back on various costs, and as a result increase your bottom line.

For starters, you need to constantly be aware of how much inventory is in your warehouse. You may already have a system in place for this, but it can be made far more effective.

Warehousing management software will help you know instantly how much inventory is in your warehouse, whether it be for specific parts or for everything.

You need to know how many orders are being shipped at the moment, this gives you an idea of how much product is being moved. The logistics software is going to help you get an instant picture of this as well.

At times your business is going to have pending orders. There are several processes involved in this, and you need to know what they are. Warehousing management software will easily alert you to the various stages of processing when it comes to pending orders.

Does your business hire staff? Odds are it probably does, and you need to make sure they are being as productive as possible. You cannot afford to pay people who are not being productive right?

Warehousing management software will allow you to set up a system so that you can monitor staff productivity details. This enables you to make sure your staff is performing the way they should and that your warehouse is operating the way it is supposed to.

You also can use the software to see how many goods have been shipped by the warehouse for a specified period of time. This information is going to be needed at times, and you can easily search for it for any time period you wish.

Businesses that are smaller and have not had the chance to automate their warehousing management process will definitely benefit from using warehousing management software.

Logistics software is a very simple way to automate your warehouse management process without having to interrupt the flow of your business. You can be up and running in no time and if you need help it is easily available.

Do not let the cost of warehousing management software deter you from deciding to make an investment in it. The longevity of your business is important to you right?

Having this type of inventory software at your disposal will benefit you in ways that will protect your business from the tough economy.

Your business needs to operate as efficiently as possible, and you definitely cannot rely on the old way of doing things. Make the investment in some good warehousing management software today and start realizing the benefits mentioned in this article.