How Logistics Software Can Transform Your Supply Chain Workflow

Posted by Advanced Mobile Group on Jun 17, 2022 8:00:00 AM

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The logistics, warehousing, and transportation industries are complex. Consequently, any business that sells, stores, or ships products needs to learn to work smarter by using all the available resources to improve the efficiency of the supply chain.

To streamline processes and unlock efficiencies, many businesses are choosing to leverage technology solutions. These include things like automation, AI, and wireless tools. But few of these solutions can be implemented without the foundation of a strong logistics software suite. 

According to recent research, the global transportation management system market is expected to grow to $30 billion by 2025. This is just one piece of the logistics puzzle. In fact, logistics management software can help businesses reduce costs by as much as 10%. 

So, what is logistics software, and how can it transform your supply chain workflow? Here’s what you need to know. 

What is Logistics Management Software?

220315-overcoming-common-warehouse-automation-challengesLogistics software, also sometimes called Logistics Management Software (LMS), gives businesses the tools to simplify and optimize their logistics operations by refining processes and making information easily accessible. This type of software helps organizations manage several processes that are essential for the supply chain and production cycle to operate smoothly, from raw material delivery to the shipment of finished goods to consumers. 

In the past several years, logistics software improved substantially in scope and functionality to manage a wide range of operations and processes. The usefulness and functionality of the software extend to areas like:

  • Supplier Management
  • Sales and Distribution
  • Inventory Management
  • Purchase Order Processing
  • Customer Order Fulfillment

Logistics software helps businesses eliminate the traditional ways of managing these functions, such as with checklists and spreadsheets. Whether a company has an in-house supply chain, works with a variety of outside partners, or serves as a third-party logistics provider, this type of solution can be beneficial in managing various supply chain operations.

Top Logistics Challenges and How Software Can Help

Logistic software can help your business tackle some of its most pressing supply chain challenges. These include:

1. Planning

Every business needs planning to some extent if it wants to avoid obstacles and take advantage of opportunities. But this is critical in the logistics space with so many moving parts and variables. Supply chain managers might be accustomed to creating complex flow charts that document the entire operation, from the purchase and storage of goods to their transportation to and from the warehouse. 

Figuring out the optimal ordering, transportation, and storage strategies becomes much simpler with logistics software. In fact, it can become automatic. The right supply chain software can reduce stock-outs and overstocking costs, cut transportation costs and lead-time, and help you make the best use of the space you have. 

2. Coordination

220621-how-logistics-software-can-transform-your-supply-chain-workflow-1One of the most troubling challenges that supply chain companies face comes from the irregularity and fragmentation of the business. Because there are numerous stakeholders involved (manufacturers, storekeepers, warehousers, transporters, and customers), it can be difficult to centrally control the entire process. 

Having so many players can lead to delays and inefficiency, affecting everyone’s bottom-line results. Using logistics software, however, can put everyone on the same page to synchronize activities and provide more visibility. 

Today’s logistic software solutions include things like load and vehicle tracking to help monitor transportation activity. There is also routing assistance to optimize delivery routes considering the most up-to-date conditions. 

3. Documentation

Businesses in the logistics industry with several partners, large databases, and large customer bases, require extensive documentation. But managing this mountain of paperwork and data can be challenging. Logistics software can not only provide quick access to data. It can also properly document your operations and even automate some repetitive functions.

A robust logistics software solution can maintain accurate records relative to the entire supply chain. This massively simplifies and improves your operations, which can also cut costs. You automate functions like quotes, invoicing, and product re-ordering. 

Features That Help Logistics Software Transform Your Supply Chain Workflow

Logistics is a complex and continuously expanding industry that has significant potential to support various types of businesses. If your business is thinking about using logistics software, you are going to have a lot of choices (probably hundreds). Most, however, will include some standard features that can help you transform your supply chain workflow. These include:

1. Warehouse Management Systems

211102_Addressing_the_Warehouse_Device_Shortages_with_Process (1)Your warehouse is the central location for inventory storage and order fulfillment. A warehouse management system (WMS) can help your business optimize things like procuring, inspecting, packing, picking, and shipping products. 

A WMS will have a dashboard that allows you to customize its features. You can also integrate other solutions with your WMS, such as RFID or barcode tag reading, mobile devices, and wireless solutions for picking and packing. 

2. Transport Management Systems

A transportation management system will help you optimize the transportation functions in your logistics process. It brings visibility to this part of your business by integrating technology like GPS so that you can track transporters in real-time. Other features include:

    • Route Planning — This feature allows you to plan the most optimal route considering things like distance, weather, traffic, load, driver schedules, etc. 
    • Payments and Auditing — This feature allows you to calculate and plan your freight charges as well as make sure they are correct once you are billed. 
    • Order Management — You can use this feature to choose the best warehouse to ship from to save money and time. 
    • Analytics and Reporting — Companies can keep track of and analyze transportation data for reporting and planning purposes. 

3. Trade Management Modules

Trade management modules are used by stakeholders in the logistics sectors to oversee and improve their collaboration with various business partners. These partners can be foreign or domestic. 

Trade management software can help you deal with import and export requirements, reducing errors that can cause costly delays in your business. 

4. Custom Logistics Management Software Features

In addition to the modules just described, you may find logistics software with other useful features like advanced scheduling and planning, customer relationship management, and reverse logistics management. 

The point is that you can find logistic software that is customizable so that it meets your needs and integrates with your current systems. A robust software solution should give you complete visibility into the supply chain so that you can continue to make improvements that will boost your overall results. 

Bottom Line

Choosing the right logistic management software solution is one way your business can simplify its logistics and supply chain operations. Effective management of every process from product procurement to delivery to reverse logistics, requires a robust solution that accommodates your business’s unique demands. 

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Topics: Supply Chain, transporting

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