Companies need logistics software for two critical processes: receiving raw materials and inventory from suppliers and shipping products to customers. Like other business processes, a technology platform increases efficiency and enables companies to provide exceptional customer service, resulting in higher revenues and profits.
Furthermore, logistics software provides businesses with real-time information about the status of deliveries and inventory, which aids in the reduction of transportation costs. According to Market Research Future, the logistics software market is expected to reach $18.31 billion by 2030. According to the research firm, these platforms increasingly utilize artificial intelligence (AI) to predict demand, optimize inventory, and ensure shipping accuracy.
In the following sections, we will look more closely at logistics software, including what it does, how it can improve supply chain management, the type of software your company may require, and why custom logistics software development may be beneficial.
What Are the Features of Logistics Software?
Logistics software functions include managing processes with suppliers, retailers, and customers to ensure that materials and other items are delivered in the right amounts and at the right times to ensure an optimal flow of materials and products sufficient to meet customer demand. These software applications also offer analytics to aid in the flow of materials, inventory, and customer orders.
Logistics software can be used at any product development or procurement stage, from conception to fulfillment. Processes previously performed by separate teams can now be performed in a single integrated platform. For example, customer requirements and sourcing may have previously been separate operations. They can be coordinated using software to ensure customers receive their preferred materials or brands.
The following are examples of common management modules found in logistics software platforms.
The analytics function uses data to make recommendations across all other software components listed below. This module can help you scale, improve efficiency, and increase revenue. Companies can gain a high-level understanding of the entire logistics process and implement changes to increase efficiency and lower costs.
This feature allows users to manage inventory and raw materials by scanning barcodes, RFID tags, or QR codes. Aside from the location, users can learn about the value and condition of each piece of freight. This module can be used to forecast future needs and place orders accordingly, as well as to reduce costs, improve delivery time, and keep customers informed.
This feature assists users in identifying potential suppliers and collaborating with them to ensure smooth operations. Furthermore, businesses can control the flow of materials and inventory from origin to location. This function assists in the elimination of intermediaries who add unnecessary complexity and cost to the process. This component adds another layer of assurance to customers’ knowledge of the status of their packages.
This function assists users in managing all warehouse activities. It monitors the movement of products and materials and analyzes issues such as space utilization. Price customization, invoice creation, notifications, and barcode scanning are some of the tools available in this module.
These functions are typically combined in a dashboard that displays the most important information. Users can customize the dashboard to display the information they need most frequently for optimal functionality.
The software also uses the following tools:
- Alerts notify the user when action is required, such as when cargo is delayed and other parties must be notified.
- GPS tracking shows where vehicles are at all times, keeping team members and customers up to date on delivery status.
- Customers can securely check out with their purchases thanks to payment functionality.
- Reporting enables users to collect the information they need to make better decisions and stay updated on the most important aspects of their logistics operations.
- To ensure the most efficient deliveries, route optimization uses mapping data to determine the fastest routes for vehicles.
- Vehicle management allows planners to choose specific vehicles to use as needed, resulting in the best delivery method for the situation.
How to Select the Best Logistics Software for Your Business
The steps below will assist you in obtaining the best logistics software for your company’s requirements.
Determine Your Objectives
Determine what problems need to be solved in your company, including those that may appear outside logistics initially. For example, your customer service team may know that late deliveries are a major customer issue. This may be the most common problem that customers report. However, you must ask that team or gain access to analytics that show this data to be aware of this.
Other objectives could include the following:
- Lowering vehicle maintenance costs.
- Reducing the number of people needed for logistics operations.
- Increasing overall company efficiency.
Once you have identified your goals, consider what features and functions might be useful.
Inquire with other businesses similar to yours about the logistics software they use and what they like about it. Make sure to inquire about usability, customer service, and functionality. You can also get recommendations by searching for the best logistics software on the internet.
Remember that online recommendations may be less trustworthy because they are frequently published or supported by companies that sell this software.
Make a list of potential vendors and investigate their offerings. Keep in mind the objectives you’ve already set, and ensure that the solutions you’re considering have the necessary features and functions. Aside from these features, each platform should be able to integrate with your current technology stack. And, of course, it must be within your financial constraints.
Narrow Your Search
Reduce your search to two or three final candidates based on your research. Find out if you can try out the software or, at the very least, get a demonstration. Now is the time to take advantage of any resources available from each vendor, such as a sales presentation.
The Value of a Good Solution
Companies that rely heavily on shipping face numerous challenges in today’s business environment, particularly in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic’s supply chain crisis. Labor and shipping shortages, rising freight costs, increasingly complex systems, and shifting customer expectations are all challenges. Right logistics software can manage all these issues. The key is ensuring that your chosen solution is compatible with your requirements and existing technology.