Your business has the right people, the right customers, and the right materials and resources. But how do you get them all to connect with each other? Logistics software is a critical part of your company’s operations. Without a way to efficiently transport goods from their point of origin and distribute them to their point of consumption, your business would barely last long enough to call yourself a business.
Modern supply chains can be extremely complex, spanning multiple locations in different states and countries. Businesses need to get the right products to the right people in a timely manner. So, you will need to rely on dedicated logistics software as your business expands. Not all logistics software applications are created equal, however. Below, we’ll discuss five of the most important functions that your software must perform in order to improve efficiency, lower costs, and make smarter decisions.
UPS has more than 108,000 vehicles in its delivery fleet, including cars, vans, tractors and even motorcycles. While your own fleet probably doesn’t have quite as high a number, monitoring and managing all the vehicles under your supervision can be a challenge. Dedicated logistics software tracks and displays vehicle status. You can also schedule repairs and maintenance as necessary.
Not only do you need to monitor your vehicles, you also need to manage your inventory to deliver the right items. Logistics software can automatically update your inventory in real time so that you can continue to sell items on backorder and provide an estimated date of availability.
Although you can spend hours planning the best schedules for your delivery vehicles, it won’t be of much use if you encounter delays along the way. Long delays can throw your entire plans out the window. Logistics software equipped with navigation functionality allows you to manage, monitor and track vehicles on the road in real time. In the event of unexpected accidents or weather conditions, you can easily re-route vehicles by finding the new optimal path.
Including vehicle navigation and tracking in your logistics software has another key benefit. You can ensure that drivers are behaving safely. The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Association now requires most commercial drivers to attach an electronic logging device to their vehicle so that their supervisors can verify they worked the correct number of hours and obeyed traffic laws.
3. Reporting and Business Intelligence
As you scale your operations, it will become harder and harder for human analysts to go through the data themselves. The best logistics software will empower you with more information about your fleet. It also includes ways to analyze and report on this data.
Sophisticated logistics applications can identify inefficiencies in your transport workflow that are invisible to the naked eye. It will also help you correct them. With software you can select a set of the most important metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). Then you can track them over time in custom-generated reports and dashboards. In doing so, you will improve data visibility throughout your organization and streamline the decision-making process.
With so many vehicles and goods moving from place to place, it’s a challenge to keep track of all the finances involved. You may want to have a dedicated accounting solution depending on the complexity of your operations. Logistics software often includes basic accounting functions to help you reduce errors and send and receive payments on time.
Logistics software can help you track credits, calculate your revenue and expenses, and manage your financial documentation. Many solutions include automatic costing and invoicing, lightening your employees’ manual workloads. You can even log information at regular intervals to help ensure your organization’s compliance in the event of an audit.
5. Planning and Booking
Whether you deliver by land, sea or air, logistics software can help you schedule deliveries in the ways that make the most sense and automatically resolve time conflicts. No matter who you are or what products you deliver, your supply chain can be optimized. Whether it’s in raw materials, inventory, warehousing, labor or delivery, logistics software can find hidden delays and extra costs that can be removed from your supply chain.
By strategically using custom logistics software, you can be smarter about how you plan for future business. This allows you to service more customers and increase profits. For example, you can study the order history of a particular item to forecast when you should order more, or improve your warehouse load planning so that delivery vehicles are sent out with the most efficient distribution of items.
Tailor-made Logistics Software
From better reporting and business intelligence to more efficient planning and scheduling, logistics software can drastically improve your company’s operations. By joining forces with a custom software development partner, you can build logistics software exactly in line with your own specifications and requirements. This will make your logistics solution more flexible and better suited to scale with your business. Ready to find out how custom logistics software can benefit your own organization? Contact Specific-Group today for a free consultation.