Freight Logistics Software Vs Third Party Logistics: Which Is Better?

Today, two types of freight solutions appeal to shippers that rely on carriers: logistics software (a.k.a. TMS software) and third party logistics (3PL). Logistics software allows shippers to become their own logistics provider by using a software program, while 3PL providers negotiate arrangements between shippers and carriers. Frequently compared and contrasted, logistics software and 3PL each offer unique benefits. However, the former has the following important advantages:

Less Expensive

Standard 3PL providers and service developers, which offer particular services and not comprehensive solutions, are usually quite affordable. When you hire a provider that offers innovative management of the shipping process – namely, a customer developer – the cost can compare to hiring an in-house logistics department. Logistics software provides logistics through a software as a service (SaaS) platform. It can also be implemented as an in house solution. Instead of relying on a costly customer developer, you can save money and realize more control by using a software solution.

More Control

A top complaint of 3PL customers is they feel distanced from their shipping process and the entity that manages it. Different 3PL providers have different approaches, but few of them integrate the shipper in the shipping process in a formal capacity. For some shippers, having the shipping process fully managed by another entity is appealing. Due to its expense and vendor issues it involves, most shippers wish to be involved in the process. Freight logistics software does more than “involve” shippers in their own shipping process; it puts them in control of it.

Better Options

3PL providers make freight arrangements by listing an available load in an electronic posting system, where it can be matched with an available carrier, or by negotiating with carriers that don’t use a posting system. Because the former method is usually the easiest, many 3PL providers use it to arrange the largest percentage of shipments – a scenario that limits shippers to carriers who use a posting system. Logistics software removes this barrier and exposes you to more carrier options. In some instances, a shipper misses the best carrier option because the carrier who could provide it will not work with the shipper’s 3PL.

Greater Security

No shipping process is as secure as one that the shipper handles on its own. When outsourcing to a 3PL, shippers naturally lose the capacity to scrutinize the carriers with which their loads are placed. Although 3PL providers select carriers with the customer in mind, they also select them with themselves in mind – a dichotomy that can jeopardize the interests of shippers. Freight logistics software alleviates security concerns by putting you in control of the shipping process.

Conclusion

Logistics software is a viable replacement for 3PL, particularly for shippers who wish to control their own shipping process. Next to payroll, shipping is the second largest operating expense for most shippers. This means that rejuvenating a stale shipping process with better carrier options can have a significant impact on a company’s bottom line – an impact that logistics software allows you to achieve.

The Benefits of Warehouse Management Software

In its simplest terms warehouse software is an application, often called a warehouse management system, or WMS, that supports the day-to-day operations in a warehouse. Warehouse Management Software solutions enable centralized management of tasks such as tracking inventory levels and stock locations.

It is possible for Management Software systems to operate as standalone applications or to run as one part of a complete Enterprise Resource Planning, or ERP, system solution.

Before, warehouse software was limited in scope. For the most part, it was simply able to reveal to management where certain stock and products were located within the warehouse. Today, Warehouse Management Software systems are extremely complex and data intensive. In fact, the higher-end systems may include tracking and routing technologies such as Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, and even voice recognition. Due to this intricacy of operations, the more complete Warehouse Management Software systems often require a knowledgeable IT staff to run them properly. Therefore, initially a system to control movement and storage of materials within a warehouse, the role of Warehouse Management Software gradually evolved to embrace light manufacturing, transportation management, order management, and even complete accounting systems.

The detailed setup and processing within a Management Software system will differ significantly from one software vendor to another. Nevertheless, the basic logic will use a combination of item, location, quantity, unit of measure, and order information to determine where to stock, where to pick, and in what sequence to perform these operations because the goals remain the same. From the very simplest to the most complex of Warehouse Management Software systems, they have all been designed to provide management with the information it needs to efficiently control the movement of materials within a warehouse in a more efficient and effective manner. Thus, a true Warehouse Management Software system plays a key role in the supply chain with the fundamental objective being to be in charge of the materials in a warehouse -how they move along the chain of production, where they move to and when does this movement occur, and where they are stored when the route is finished. Warehouse management, therefore, includes a certain amount of control over the receipt, storage, and movement of goods -almost always finished goods, to intermediate storage locations or to the customer.

Because Warehouse Management takes charge of the progress of products through the warehouse, a second objective is to keep track of all the associated transactions, such as shipping, receiving, put-away, and picking. Directed picking, directed replenishment, and directed put-away are keys to this type of software. The systems also direct and optimize stock put-away based on real-time information about the status of bin utilization. It of necessity involves the physical infrastructure, tracking systems, and communication between product stations. In other words, the reason warehouses need and want good, in-house warehouse management software is to have a set of computerized procedures to handle the receipt of stock and returns into the facility, model and manage the logical representation of the physical storage facilities, manage the stock within the facility, and enable a seamless link to order processing and logistics.

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.