Logistics Software Removes the Need For 3rd Party Logistics Providers

The more products a company ships, the more shipping costs become subject to cost saving strategies. For most companies, realizing the most economical shipping solutions depends on the implementation of the most popular form of supply chain software (SCS): logistics planning software. On the most basic level, the solutions offered by logistics software improve a company’s phased planning measures, product sales forecasts and scientific safety stock. Some companies hire 3rd party logistics providers, but more and more companies are turning to logistics software in place of 3rd party logistics providers for two reasons: logistics software offers the same level of quality as 3rd party logistics providers and it offers it a much lower price.

When companies use logistics planning software, they can centralize and integrate their product delivery system by allowing drivers at different sites to connect using the most efficient travel routes, which increases product delivery time and decreases fuel costs by reducing empty running. Regardless of which style of logistical planning a company needs to implement-inbound logistics, contract logistics, LCL/FCL, LTL/FTL, etc.-logistics planning software allows companies to arrive at advanced planning and scheduling solutions that can significantly increase their bottom line. By implementing this software, companies can improve the cost effectiveness of the following product distribution arrangements, among others: container planning and empty container repositioning, intermodal transport, multi-hub and multi-leg transport, cross docking, multi-compartment trailer planning and inventory management.

One example of how logistics software helps companies reduce their shipping costs can be seen in less than truckload (LTL) shipping arrangements. Especially beneficial for companies that don’t ship a high volume of goods, LTL shipping allows companies to pay a fraction of full truckload (FTL) shipping costs. LTL shipping combines multiple partial truckloads into a full truckload and splits the full load price between the shippers. For trucking companies, LTL is beneficial because it draws in customers who would traditionally ship their good by parcel carrier. Another example of how logistics software can save companies money is by examining the characteristics of shipping routes. For example, while the shortest route might seem to be the fastest route, this software can reveal that a longer route would be faster due the traffic characteristics of the shorter route.

Without this software, most companies continue to pay more for logistical solutions than they need to. While research shows that both logistics software and 3rd Party logistics providers can help companies reduce their annual shipping costs by 10 percent at the end of one year, opting for this software adds to the savings. When companies use logistics software, they increase their bottom line in basic two ways: by delivering their products to the sales floor faster and by reducing the cost of getting them there.

Fleet Maintenance Management Software

The movement of goods in and out of warehouses, distribution centers and final outlets like retail chains form an integral part of supply chain management. With the gradual demise of ‘just-in-case’ inventory management and the arrival of the ‘just-in-time’ inventory concept, the logistics operations have become critical, and form the backbone of production and distribution operations.

The function of logistics is to provide auxiliary service along the value chain of a product, by transporting the product to different locations for value addition, storage and final consumption. This function assumes significance in light of companies moving their manufacturing locations across different parts of the world for competitive cost advantages. Furthermore, the concept of modular manufacturing and assembly at different locations has forced a strategic role upon logistics to deliver the goods in time.

The function of transporting goods is provided by transportation companies who have extensive fleets consisting of trucks, ships and planes. The ownership of oil tankers and other container carriers, and airplanes in the tourism and courier industries, involves huge costs. The fleet is owned by the companies who manufacture the goods, or is rented out by transportation companies.

Asset management for fleet owners means effective utilization of the fleet, maintenance of the fleet and prolonging the life of the fleet. Maintenance management software packages help achieve these goals. Since fleets are mobile assets, the computerized maintenance system is mostly networked through base stations and mobile stations like hand-held digital assistants and palmtops. Advanced technologies like RFID help pinpoint the location of assets for on-the-road maintenance.

The fleet MMS provides features like data management of the fleet, including fuel entry, the running of miles and crew details. It provides regular features, like scheduling preventive maintenance and crew shifts. The fleet MMS links to the financial parameters by allowing the entry of billing and payment of bills for fuel or on-the-road repairs.

ERP Software System Integration for Fast and Quick Decision

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software system is mainly implemented to integrate the major functional units of an enterprise with the latest advancements of information technology. Integration of business units helps in better flow of information and collaboration within and outside the organization, irrespective of its geographical location. ERP mainly targets in integrating three important components of a business procedure like Practices in Business Management, Information Technology and the business targets. This integration has helped the big and medium organizations to streamline their business processes, through the optimized use of assets, ultimately producing multi benefits. The beneficial features of ERP coupled with its successful implementation, have encouraged small and medium sized enterprises to switch over to this software system, to face new challenges in this competitive market. As a result, there has been marked improvement in productivity and profit margins.

ERP software system involves huge software architecture to streamline the distribution of data and information throughout the enterprise scattered in different geographical locations. This streamlined flow of information and communication is managed through the well developed central repository, which forms the core of the ERP software system. The central repository gathers all the important information from the organization and supplies the same to the different units as per requirement, which enhances the speed, performance and the competence of the organization.

Integration is the main aspect of ERP software system. Present day’s ERP architecture supports the various major functions like customer relationship management, human resource management, asset management, Finance, Supply chain management including the logistics and manufacturing warehouse management. ERP system has enabled the integration of the operations of the standalone units in a single platform in a coordinated and unified manner. This integration has enabled fast decision making irrespective of the geographical location and synchronizes the workflow that contributed a lot in the business growth. ERP architecture also provides the flexibility to accommodate customized software modules according to the organizational requirement, which can be updated regularly.

ERP implementation is a daunting task that requires very careful planning by a team of experts. This implementation involves huge expenses and is time consuming. So it is necessary to judge the requirements of the organizations first, and then plan for the ERP implementation accordingly. This planning involves five crucial stages like Structured Planning, assessment of the business process, compilation of data, educating the staff and testing and finally the usage of ERP and its evaluation. Any flaw in one of the stages can cause a failure in ERP implementation resulting in heavy financial loss for the organization.