Logistics Software Helps Companies Achieve the Optimal Freight Bid

Whether your company’s success depends on shipping a large amount of goods or a small amount of gods, chances are that your shipping process can benefit from the implementation of logistics management software. Also referred to as freight transportation software, logistics management software uses the power of logistics to increase the delivery time of a company’s products and cut its shipping costs in the process. While logistics software can benefit companies of any size, it remains ideal for small to midsized companies that don’t have the IT infrastructure to support a full scale shipping system and must therefore rely on third party shipping for the delivery of their goods to and from warehouses, to and from manufacturing locations and ultimately to store shelves. By using logistics software, companies can examine the shipping process from a variety of vantage points, including accounting, billing, dispatching, payroll, driver settlements, carrier settlements and shipping route efficiency, allowing them to realize the optimal freight bid.

In addition to the shipping process benefits that logistics software offers companies, perhaps its greatest advantage is that you don’t have to have a background in logistics to understand and operate it. On the contrary, the software comes with an easy to understand user interface that reduces learning curve, and the software can easily be integrated into a company’s already existing transportation procedures. Logistics software can be accessed from any computer location through the Internet and offers a variety of customized modules that allow all employees associated with the shipping process to view the process from their particular vantage point. Some of the module areas commonly offered by logistics software are accounting, customized reporting, scheduling, shipping management, purchasing management, labor management, job management, order management, inventory management, data import and export, cross currency management and labor management.

One scenario where logistics software regularly benefits companies by improving their shipping time and reducing the cost of the shipping process involves warehouse management. In some cases, companies that lack logistical capabilities end up choosing the shortest shipping route in terms of distance without considering the number of warehouse stops that are made along the route. Consequently, their goods take longer to reach their destination than they would have if shipped on a longer route that didn’t contain as many warehouse stops. In addition, more warehouse stops equals increased warehouse fees, and logistics software may discover that the additional fuel charges that result from a longer route are less expansive than the total warehouse fees of the shorter route.

Another scenario where logistics software helps companies improve delivery time and save money involves evaluating alternate means of transportation. Although a company might be used to moving its products by freight, logistics might reveal that it could improve delivery time and saving money by air shipping their products. Although traditionally more expensive than ground shipping; in some situations, air shipping can prove more economical than grounding shipping due to the collective expenses associated with ground shipping routes. Regardless of your company’s current shipping arrangements, examining them using logistics is certain to save you time and money by allowing you to realize the optimal freight bid and/or integrated transportation solutions.

Warehouse Management Software Vs Inventory Management Software

But do what does your company really need? A fully-fledged custom warehouse management system can track everything from stock location, warehouse activity monitoring and user activity tracking, whereas asset management software is more focused on managing assets and/or inventory through a barcoding system. Warehouse management software and asset management software can be a great way to keep track of your assets and inventory, but it all begins with assessing your needs and requirements.

Warehouse Management Software

As the name suggests, warehouse management software encompasses a large part of your logistics operation, from tracking products from your suppliers, its storage and user interaction to its final destination. This process is accurately and closely monitored by a bar code scanning system that can identify products and receipts that need to be logged and eventually tracked from the warehouse management system itself.

If your business is involved with the delivery stage of the product, consider an automated service where the delivery route is planned according to multiple delivery points in any given delivery service. This will typically be implemented when goods are picked for delivery, a real time saver since loading personnel will first of all be able to choose the correct stock that will be selected on a certain day and then locate the stock according to its inventoried state.

As you can see, it’s a highly integrated approach that relies on correct user input and reliable software that will bridge each stage of development. Of course, this centrally managed warehouse system is even more valuable when you have multiple warehouses. As a result, web-based warehouse software is a much more attractive option in that different warehouses can store and retrieve information based on real-time inventory information – especially effective when you can synchronize data with existing products, such as Sage or QuickBooks.

Inventory Management Software

Where warehouse management is (usually) a seamless mesh of integration, an asset management system controls just one aspect of logistics – the assets (and inventory) of your business. A bar code scanner will usually be the interface of choice for most companies, although this is set to change with the advent of RFID tagging. Either way, stock or assets are managed through a central system much like warehouse management software and can be tracked at their different stages in the supply chain.

Wasp Barcode, the bar code scanning company, distinguishes assets as products which are used by the company and may need to track their assets based on who has them etc. Inventory management, on the other hand, is much more fluid in its operation since this is incoming (from suppliers) and outgoing (to customers) stock. In their line of products, then, asset tracking software is all about locating assets whereas inventory management software is basically tracking the input and output of stock in a business.

Despite this distinction in product type, if you need to track stock accurately (probably a requirement of most successful businesses!) and even want to update your customers with current stock levels (common in the case of e-commerce), then inventory management software is really the only way to go to ensure quality and efficient stock taking.

Which One?

When it comes to choosing, the most obvious difference in the two types of stock management is scalability. If your company is involved with picking stock from a supplier, storing in a large facility, selling to customers and delivering the goods, then warehouse management software is certainly a wise choice. On the other hand, small businesses might choose asset management software in conjunction with barcode scanners to maximize their stock management accuracy, ultimately reducing the time and cost for unnecessary deliveries and customer dissatisfaction.

Supply Chain and Logistics Management

Supply chain management is the supervision of a set of connections of organized businesses drawn in the definitive condition of manufactured goods and service parcels required by ending clientele. Supply Management spans all progress and storage space of raw materials, work-in-process stock, and completed merchandise from point of origin to point of utilization. Supply chainmgnt software includes tools or modules used to carry out dealings, administer supplier associations and be in charge of linked commerce processes.

Six most important activities can be observed in the progression of supply chain management study: Creation, Integration, Globalization Specialization Phases One and Two, and SCM 2.0.Supply chain business course of action involves shared work involving buyers and suppliers, joint product development, common systems and shared information. Common SCM problems involve distribution strategy, distribution of network configuration, trade-offs in logistical activities, information, inventory management and cash-flow.

Successful SCM entails a alteration from managing individual functions to integrating actions into key supply chain processes. An example scenario: the purchasing department places orders as requirements are known. The marketing department, responding to customer requirements, converses with a number of distributors and retailers as it tries to establish ways to satisfy this requirement.

Logistics management activities usually consist of inbound and outbound transportation management, fleet management, warehousing, materials handling, order fulfillment, logistics network design, inventory management, supply/demand planning, and management of third party logistics services providers.

If the Supply chain management is global in nature many more challenges in addition to existing problems comes into picture as the lead time is much longer. Actions in supply chain management can as well be classified into various levels like strategic, tactical and operation.