Commercial and business success of any transport-related company depends largely on the technology solution — Logistics Management System. Moreover, it has a direct impact on the company’s bottom line. With the well-designed system, you can provide your clients with top-notch services and save time and money as well. In addition to that, you will be aware that goods are delivered from point A to point B quickly and accurately. That's where a reliable and well-thought-out logistics management software solution comes to play. Not only does it help you process quotes and orders with ease and keep your expenses on track, but you can also have greater visibility throughout the entire logistics-related process. Sounds impressive, right? Let’s dive into the details below!
What exactly is a Logistics Management System?
Generally, this system is used as a fundamental element in the supply chain process flow. Not only does it help you plan, implement and gain control of the flow and storage of goods efficiently, but it also keeps track of data such as shipping origin and destination. However, people often get confused about the use of the logistics management system. They use a supply chain management system instead. The logistics system cannot be used interchangeably with that of the supply chain. It focuses on internal activities and flows — storage, transportation, distribution and delivery, while a supply chain solution aims to link major business processes across companies and turn them into a high-performance business model.
What’s the idea of the project?
We at DDI Development have built and implemented a plethora of software solutions for such sectors as logistics and booking, e-commerce and e-learning, fintech, healthcare and recruiting. Recently, we created a logistics management solution that enables customers to receive the desired product at the right time and with the right quality and price. If you decide to mount a challenge when transporting goods and determining the best delivery route, a logistics management solution is a way out for your business. With this system in place, you can better manage the logistics processes and ensure safe shipping, well-organized warehousing and fast delivery.
Moreover, you can trump your competitors with ease. Having that in mind, our team came up with a great concept of developing a logistics management system that includes all the features and functionality you need to plan, implement and take control of the storage and movement of goods and services. Sounds interesting, right? So let’s dive into the details below!
Why do you need a logistics management solution?
When it comes to business, effective management is the key to the success of any company. Moreover, if your business is growing, you need an efficient software solution that helps you improve output by streamlining logistics planning processes. That’s where the logistics management system comes into play. Not only does it help you provide quick and safe shipping, warehousing and delivery, but you can also increase the value of your business and outperform competitors. Let’s find out why this system is a necessity for your organization:
- There is a need to have full visibility of all the processes within your company
- There is a need to identify your business weak points
- There is a need to better coordinate transportation and determine the best delivery routes
- There is a need to reduce expenses in areas like warehousing, transportation, etc.
Project structure of the logistics management platform
Below you will find technologies that may be applied to create a logistics management system:
Development process of the logistics management system
Below is a description of some essential details about the development process of the logistics management system. Let’s delve into it.
When our team worked on the logistics management platform, Agile methodology was applied to better coordinate and balance the workload among teams. The team consisted of a number of specialists dedicated to the development including the following:
- 1 Business analyst (BA)
- 1 Project manager (PM)
- 2 UI/UX designers
- 4 Front-end engineers
- 3 Quality assurance engineers (QA)
- 4 Backend engineers
- 1 Android engineer
- 1 iOS engineer
To develop the logistics management system, we opted for the Agile software development methodology. Let's take a look at some major reasons why we applied it:
- When planning the overall development process, we could prioritize the client’s needs over the requirements.
- We could adapt to any change in the client’s requirements.
- We could deliver a working logistics system that provided value at the end of each sprint.
As a result, we implemented 24 sprints within 12 months during which the development team completed the project and reached established goals successfully.
During the Product Discovery phase, a Business Analyst collected requirements and prepared documentation - the functional specifications of the logistics management system. In addition to that, the Business Analyst analyzed the requirements to make sure that the future system would work as the client wanted. Once all the requirements were defined, the team was able to identify users' roles - head office manager, warehouse manager, booking manager, driver, customer and administrator. Also, it had the following features and functionalities:
- orders and invoices management;
- warehouse and fleet management;
- routes and transport coordination;
- bookings and shippings management;
- deliveries and departures;
- reporting and analytics.
Only after reviewing all the documentation could a Project Manager provide the client with a preliminary estimate and suggest the development process roadmap. Once the client approved it, we broke down the planned scope of work (so-called Backlog) into smaller chunks named 2-week sprints. In addition to that, the Project Manager had the overall responsibility for task management, risk mitigation and reporting to the client and stakeholders. Once the features from the backlog were chosen, the team was able to start the design, development and testing process. QA engineers worked together with web and mobile developers to identify any potential issues within the logistics management solution and fix them. Once the system was free of bugs, we launched and upgraded it, we also made improvements based on the client’s requirements.
Below we have provided some information on the user roles within the logistics management system. Not only does it help you get a better understanding of the users’ privileges on the logistics system, but you can also identify what permissions they have. There are six user levels you can find: Head Office Manager, Booking Manager, Warehouse Manager, Driver, Client, Administrator
- Client: any user who can get a quote and schedule shipping directly in the logistics system.
- Head Office Manager: a user whose responsibility is to manage, direct and monitor the overall performance of the team and ensure that logistics activities are high quality and profitable for the entire company.
- Booking Manager: a user who is directly responsible for ensuring the smooth day-to-day shipping order processing including client requests and providing technical
- Warehouse Manager: a user who is directly responsible for all warehousing operations - planning delivery/dispatch schedules, overseeing daily transport requirements, ensuring delivery schedules are met in a timely manner.
- Administrator: a user who has the highest administrative responsibility level within the logistics management system and can customize that access for users.
- Driver: a user who is responsible for goods transportation and delivery in a timely manner.
Head Office Manager Dashboard
Only by logging in to the logistics management system as a Head Office Manager can you be on the main page. Here you can see and access important areas of the logistics management solution such as Quotes, Orders, Users, Transport, Warehouse, Shipments, Tracking, Invoices, Reports and Settings. Let’s take a closer look below!
On the Dashboard page, you will see all the essential information on the logistics processes.
Not only can you generate logistics KPIs (e.g., on-time final delivery, inventory accuracy, on-time shipping, order accuracy, etc.) but you can also monitor risk and performance, create reports, etc.
With the Quotes feature, you can estimate the total cost of shipping based on the information provided - weight, dimensions and other factors. Thanks to this information, you can plan your budget and make sure the charges involved in the movement of shipment is accurate and covers the client’s requirements.
With the Orders feature, you can manage the picking, packing and shipping. In addition to that, you can monitor accepted orders, keep track of them and keep the process well-organized.
With this feature, you can see 3 tabs - Clients, Managers, Drivers - and find all the information about the users within the logistics management system such as Name, Role, email and Responsibility. In addition to that, you can explore more detailed information by clicking on the chosen user.
With the Transport feature, you can see all the information about the vehicles. Moreover, it helps you to better manage the execution, direction and coordination of all transportation matters within the company. Not only can you manage budgets and organize schedules and routes, but you can also ensure that vehicles are safe and meet legal requirements.
With the Warehouse feature, you are in the know about receiving goods, efficiency in storage, packing and shipping. Moreover, you can view a full record of historic orders and shipping movements and provide information about goods that have been despatched or received.
With the Shipments feature, you can obtain all the information about the shipments within the logistics system. Not only can you review and add tracking numbers to the orders, but you can see all the information in a well-structured table that includes the following columns - tracking number, receiver, origin, destination, created by, created on, charges, status, booking, departure.
With the Tracking feature, you can obtain all the information on any shipment. This will give better visibility of your shipments and minimize the customer inquiries towards the shipment. In addition to that, you can schedule and plan your deliveries more efficiently that will streamline your fulfillment process.
Thanks to the Invoices feature, you can create, send, track and manage invoices (requests for payment) with a simple click. In addition to that, you can customize invoice templates and send payment reminders to get paid faster. On this page, you can see a table that includes the following columns - Type (Payable/Receivable), Invoice, Date, Client Name, Shipment, Total, Due Date, Status (paid/unpaid/overdue).
With the Reports feature, you can generate reports and analyze data to better manage your budget. Thanks to this feature, you can stay on top of your team's performances, uncover key insights and develop strategies to increase business and drive revenue. Moreover, better data disclosure enables you to make better and more informed decisions.
Booking Manager Dashboard
Once you log in as a Booking Manager, you land on the Dashboard page. Here you will see a number of bookings, canceled bookings, drivers available, total drivers, canceled drivers, total deliveries, cancelled deliveries, etc. In addition to that, you will see an active bookings table that includes the following columns - ID, Client name, Contact name, Origin, Destination, Status.
Thanks to this feature, all the information about the quotes is presented here. Only by using real-time quotes can you calculate the shipping charges. However, you should take into account the factors such as total weight and size of the order, the value of the order, origin and destination that will help you determine the exact shipping cost and improve clients’ confidence.
With the Invoices feature, you can create invoices from shipping orders. Being a record of purchase, it allows your clients to pay for the shipping services that you've provided. In addition to that, you can send, receive and process invoices without manual intervention and derive benefits from shorter payment delays, fewer errors, etc.
With the Booking feature, you can gather all the information on the booking process. Not only can you get a full overview of available departures and arrivals, but you can also get vehicles moving in just a few clicks. Only by accessing real-time data can you save time and improve efficiency.
Thanks to the Shipments feature, you are in the know about all the shipments within the logistics system. This allows you to review and add tracking numbers to the shipping orders quickly and easily. Moreover, this feature simplifies the shipping process from order management to shipment tracking.
With the Tracking feature, you can easily track and trace all the shipping orders within the logistics management system. Not only can you gain more detailed information on the location of the packages that have been sent, but you can also see how far or near the delivery vehicle is from the destination.
Inquiries can be accessed by clicking the Inquiries option in the main menu. Thanks to this feature, you can capture all the information regarding the type of shipment orders, details for those orders such as loss, damage and/or missing contents. Here you can find a table with the following columns - Status, ID#, date, Total, Due, Payment Status, Actions.
Warehouse Manager Dashboard
You can log in to the logistics system as a Warehouse Manager. Once you do it, you will be redirected to the Dashboard. To the right side is the main menu with the following options - Orders, Receipts, Commodities, Releases and Settings. Let’s take a closer look at them below!
Once you click the Orders option on the main menu, you will be redirected to this page. Thanks to this feature, you can gain all the essential information about picking, packing, and shipping that simplifies the management process. In addition to that, you can monitor how many orders have been accepted that enables you to make a reservation for space.
The Receipts feature simplifies the process of maintaining a record of all shipping receipts, return receipts, etc. Generally, a receipt communicates information from a company to a client and provides proof of ownership of commodities stored in a warehouse. Thanks to this feature, you can receive commodities within their facilities and record this entry in a jiffy.
Thanks to the Commodities feature, you can optimize your shipping. Here you will see a table that includes such a column as - ID#, Status, Number of pieces, Type of package, Length, Width, Height, Note, Total weight, Total Value. In addition to that, you can get more detailed information once you click.
With the Releases feature, you can see how many orders have been released to the warehouse and shipped by transport trucks. Thanks to pallet configuration, container planning and trailer loading. you can ensure optimum utilization of space and resources and make this process more accurate and hassle-free.
As a Driver, you can log in to the application where you will see the following options: Dashboard/Home; Trips; Routes; Stops; Map and Notifications. Once you have been assigned to transport goods, you will be notified immediately.
Thanks to the Trips feature, you can see all the information about your trips - Start Time, Vehicle, Type, Status, Origin, Destination, Duration, Distance. Each trip is registered automatically, and there is no additional interaction needed from the driver. In addition to that, you can plan your trip around the orders.
With the Routes feature, you can follow complex routes effortlessly and explore routes with a simple click. Moreover, you can solve the route planning problem quickly and easily by planning the most efficient route between multiple destinations.
With this feature, you can see all the upcoming departures and plan stops in advance. In addition to that, you can add or remove stops on the fly that helps you optimize the goods transportation process and make it more optimized.
With the Map feature, you will see a map that provides an overview of the route structure and makes navigation easier. Also, you can find the most efficient route based on the traffic displayed.
As a Client, you can land on the homepage of the logistics system and fill in all the required information for the goods that need to be shipped. You can write down shipping origin and destination, type of destination, date of shipping, etc. Once you enter all the information, your quote request will be sent and received by the Booking Manager to be processed further.
Only by logging in to the logistics management system as an Administrator can you be on the main page. From this page, you can access important areas of the logistics management solution such as Dashboard, Quotes, Orders, Users, Transport, Warehouse, Shipments, Tracking, Invoices, Reports and System Settings.
Key features of the logistics management system
Let’s find out what essential features you can find in the logistics management system:
- Multi-client architecture: with this feature, users can share the same database and information while you can handle multiple clients simultaneously in different phases of the logistics activities.
- Better demand forecasting: with this feature, you can forecast demand and price that helps you reduce inventory without stocking out and plan resources accordingly.
- Finance Integration: thanks to this feature, you can guide and better manage the accounting and transactions.
- Hassle-free warehouse management: thanks to this feature, you can better control the movement and storage of goods that need to be delivered to the customers.
- Processing orders and billing: thanks to this feature, you can create orders and charge all the clients within the system.
- Bill of lading creation: this feature allows you to create receipts to speed up the goods transaction under the consignee of the shipper and the logistics company.
- Fleet management: with this feature, you can identify more optimized delivery routes that help you better coordinate your transport vehicles.
Benefits of the logistics management system for your business
Let’s take a closer look at what benefits you can derive from incorporating a logistics management solution:
- Thanks to real-time access to data for shipments and orders, not only will you and your consumer be always on the same page when it comes to cost and delivery, but you can also more accurately handle problems and questions that arise.
- You can take control of your operations and overall fleet, warehousing and billing management.
- You will be aware of fast and safe shipping, more organized warehousing and quick delivery.
- You can create route maps for shipments and make sure that the optimal shipping mode is used.
- It helps you reduce lead times from order to delivery and decrease shipping delays contributing to the increased efficiency and clients’ satisfaction.
How to choose a logistics management system for your business
At the very start, it’s imperative to develop your company’s detailed user requirements and define the business processes across your company that should be automated, improved or simplified. Based on that information, you can define what features and functionality are necessary to meet these business needs. Once you have identified all the required features and functionality, it’s crucial to look through the logistics management systems available on the market. Only by selecting 2-3 systems can you take a closer look at them and choose a vendor that provides a suitable solution for your company. In addition to that, you need to read reviews that will help you make a final decision. Also, you can find a reliable IT company that can create and develop a logistics management system from scratch based on your unique business needs.
Bottom line: Want to automate your logistics?
Staying ahead of the game and gaining a competitive edge over the competitors is essential for any logistics company. That’s why a logistics management system is an absolute necessity. Not only does it help you better manage logistics-related processes, but it enables you to execute the logistics lifecycle with ease and maximize profitability. This will result in increasing customer satisfaction, driving revenue and improving your business entirely. As you see, thanks to modern technologies, you can make sure that your business runs seamlessly and more efficiently. We, at DDI Development, have vast experience in delivering a great number of software solutions for different business verticals. Drop us a line and we can help you bring any idea to life.