In today’s digital world, more companies are moving away from outdated technologies and manual processes and opting for logistics software solutions to anticipate difficulties and solve problems before they arise. Not only can logistics software solutions present significant opportunities for businesses to increase efficiencies, but also they provide value-added services to the customers by gaining access to real-time information. What’s more, companies can streamline logistical operations and produce noticeable improvements in the entire business processes. Sounds impressive? Let’s delve into the details below!
What’s exactly logistic software?
Essentially, logistics software is specifically designed to help companies of any size to coordinate complex business processes by managing the information flow, production, material handling, inventory, transportation and delivery, warehousing, and packaging, etc. In addition to that, logistics software helps your staff to more efficiently handle large volumes of inventory and coordinate processes across multiple departments. Typically, logistics software solutions include the following features:
- inbound and outbound transportation management;
- warehouse and fleet management;
- processing orders and inventory control;
- managing third-party logistics service providers;
- planning supply and demand.
Common types of logistics software
Here we have provided the most popular types of logistics software you should know about. Keep reading to reveal more information:
- On-premise: this type of system is located on the client’s server and requires complex hardware installation. Moreover, these systems are covered with a license.
- Software-as-a-service (SaaS): this type of system is located on the vendor’s server, and you, as a business owner, don’t have control and authority over setup, updating, and maintenance of such software.
- Cloud-hosted: a product owner or vendor provides all kinds of resources such as hardware, software, servers, storage, and networking, while a business owner is entitled to choose a business plan and pay for it. Also, a vendor is responsible for updating and maintenance procedures.
Key features of logistics software
Here we have provided the key features of the logistics software that can directly derive benefits for your company. Let’s discover more details below:
1. Inventory management and control
With that feature, you can manage and monitor such important tasks as purchase orders and supply levels, product tracking or expiry management, location, the SKU, etc. Not only does it help to ensure visibility, but also you can support order fulfillment, warehouse control, and supplier sourcing.
The key benefits of inventory control:
- Achieves efficiency and productivity in operations.
- Increases sales and profits.
- Cuts inventory costs.
- Provides automated manual tasks.
- Maintains customer satisfaction.
2. Transportation management
Thanks to that feature, you can easily move freight from point of origin to the final destination in a cost-effective manner. Also, it helps to identify the smartest shipping method or carrier for each delivery, real-time tracking option, and dispatch scheduling.
The key benefits of transportation management:
- Optimizes and consolidates shipments.
- Saves on freight costs.
- Ability to quickly evaluate carrier performance based on the historical reports.
- Provides access to a large pool of carriers.
- Visibility into what is happening within your transport operations.
- Monitors shipments in real-time.
3. Warehouse management
With that feature, you can control and manage the day-to-day operations of your warehouses. By breaking orders into batches based on the location of the products, it helps warehouse staff to fulfill orders more rapidly and make smart storage location decisions.
The key benefits of warehouse management:
- Improves order fulfillment.
- Optimizes warehouse space and cut.
- Reduces security vulnerabilities.
- Provides real-time visibility of goods and materials.
- Improves customer service and maximizes customer satisfaction.
4. Track and Trace
Thanks to that feature, you can monitor the previous and current locations of the item as it moves through the supply chain. By relying on barcoding, GPS and radio frequency identification devices, you can collect information about the items and raise the quality in the delivery of the items.
The key benefits of track and trace:
- Increasing inventory accuracy and forecasting to optimize shipping schedules better.
- Makes quality and traceability data available during all shipment stages.
- Delivers high-quality products on time.
- Provides greater visibility and reporting and decreases inventory thefts.
5. Risk management
That feature simplifies the accident processing, insurance claims, lost freight or other incidents. By identifying the origin of risky situations or potential areas to mitigate risk, it provides you with the different options that may be adopted for their mitigation.
The key benefits of risk management:
- Simplifies the process of identifying trouble spots.
- Provides better decision-making based on current data.
- Reduces negative surprises.
- Improves resource deployment.
The process of risk mitigation in logistics:
- Identify your predominant logistical risk factors: meeting the on-dock date for your customer, delivering your product without damage and completing last-mile delivery are key factors.
- Strategize a solution to mitigate risk: starting with forecasting, you should focus on developing a risk management plan to address issues throughout your supply chain.
- Work with a logistics partner to support your risk management plan.
6. Integrated accounting
When it comes to managing your business’ finances, you should opt for that feature. You can easily handle some time-consuming tasks as quotes, expenses, invoices, bills, taxes, and make sure all information is up-to-date. Not only does it help to focus more on primary business goals, but also to boost your revenue potential.
The key benefits of integrated accounting:
- Speeds up all the financial processes.
- Provides reports and analysis.
- Helps to fast and easily cope with errors.
- Eliminates manual tasks.
7. Customer relationship management
This feature helps you to manage a company’s interactions and relationships with both current and potential customers, support sales and marketing practices, etc. What’s more, you can store customer information, interactions and analytics in one place and push that data into other systems, if there is a need.
The key benefits of CRM:
- Helps to track business activity systematically.
- Stores all the necessary data.
- Provides individual customer service.
- Measures activity in the marketing and sales departments.
8. Import/export support
Dealing with international cargo, that feature helps you to manage currency exchanges, customs, taxes, trade regulations, etc. Also, you can create document sets (pre- and post-shipment documents) and make sure that there is no missing information when the shipment reaches customs.
The key benefits of import and export support:
- Automates the manual steps in export/import processes.
- Optimizes the import license usage.
- Generates pre-shipment and post-shipment documents fast.
- Provides accurate reports on all cross-border duties, taxes, and fees.
Top 21 logistics management software solutions
Inventory management and control software
inFlow Inventory: helps you easily track stock, manage orders, invoices, get reports, etc. More importantly, its payment tracking functionality provides you with real-time details of all the payment transactions - completed and pending.
ZhenHub: a cloud-based solution that offers inventory tracking, shipment tracking, and warehouse management; it can be integrated with DHL and FedEx shipping providers.
Sortly Pro: a cloud-based inventory management solution that allows you to track inventory movement more efficiently due to its ability to implement barcodes easily.
Zoho Inventory: a cloud-based inventory and warehouse management solution that helps you to schedule and track the location of inventory items more efficiently.
Transportation management software
3Gtms: designed to help shippers and logistics service providers to optimize and manage the transportation operations by handling the entire order-to-cash process in real-time.
Kuebix: gives shippers visibility into their transportation operations and provides detailed analysis to understand, automate and optimize current processes to meet the changing needs of less complex supply chains.
TMW: a cloud-based and on-premise solution that includes include asset maintenance management, routing, scheduling and dispatch management and business intelligence (BI).
BluJay: offers cloud-based procurement, supply chain planning, execution and settlement transportation.
Warehouse management software
NetSuite WMS: helps in streamlining warehouse and manufacturing operations. It helps the users in performing major functions of the warehouse like receiving, storing and shipping of goods.
Oracle WMC: a web-hosted inventory and warehouse management solution that supports fulfillment operations, provides high inventory and shipment accuracy, and increases visibility across all channels - from distribution facilities to sales.
Astro WMS: designed to provide warehousing solutions such as voice picking, real-time overview, resource planning, yard management, etc.
Deposko Warehouse: a modern cloud-based solution that helps businesses to optimize warehouse operations by handling inbound (transport, storage and delivery) and outbound (warehousing, packaging and transportation) operations fast and easily.
Track and Trace software
Acctivate: an inventory add-on (from QuickBooks) that helps you to manage the entire business and provides insight across the entire business due to include matrix inventory, web store (e-commerce), advanced picking, packing and shipment tracking, barcoding, traceability (lot and/or serial number tracking), etc.
DistributionPlus: an integrated ERP solution that includes inventory, warehouse and document management, business intelligence (BI) features. Not only does it help to manage purchase activities, but also it automates purchase actions and sending invoices.
Onfleet: a modern solution that helps businesses to plan and manage their local deliveries with the help of intuitive routing, dispatching, real-time tracking, analytics, etc.
Risk management and forecasting software
DynaSys: designed to improve sales collaboration, increase forecast accuracy, reduce inventory investment and improve customer service.
Forecast Pro: an easy-to-use solution that helps you to efficiently manage, monitor, and enhance forecast processes in the entire business by combining proven statistical methods with an intuitive interface.
SKU Brain: allows talented planners to take full control of their inventory planning and demand planning procedures, all while staying informed of shifts in real-time.
Integrated accounting and import/export support software
SDS4 Distribution: an ERP software that helps you to manage accounting operations such as creating invoices, receiving/sending payments, managing multiple bank accounts and awarding commissions, etc.
Sage 100cloud ERP: an accounting software platform built specifically to help you in handling key areas of your business - financials, distribution, manufacturing, and sales.
ShipStation: having a variety of add-ons, it integrates modern, automated shipping solutions into any business and provides full control to the distributor.
Here we have provided a comparison of the top logistics software available on the market. Let’s delve into details below:
How to benefit from logistics software?
Below you can find out how your business can benefit from logistics software solutions. Keep reading!
Reduced human errors: it helps to process difficult data without any errors and speeds up logistics operations without any delays.
Faster delivery: it provides faster delivery of products to the customers who can choose the shipping service based on their needs without getting involved in the production cycle.
Enhanced transportation services: by automating the business processes, providing clear analytics and reports, it helps to manage transportation activities and data and make more informed data-driven decisions and increase efficiency.
Automated functions: it helps to automate some logistics functions as routes creation, load planning, etc. that can be easily managed.
Cut costs: by comparing different shipping services, you can find out methods that open up the least pricing opportunities.
How to choose the right logistics software for your business?
It today’s digital world, there is a high need for logistics software solutions and an ocean of possible solutions to choose from. Whether you run a brick and mortar or online business, you will definitely think of logistics software to derive benefits. However, the tough question is how to choose the right software solution and how to meet the unique business wants and needs. Unfortunately, these questions are difficult to answer, but we try to help you.
At the very beginning, it’s imperative to understand a range of challenges your business face regularly. Only by conducting an in-depth analysis can you identify weak spots in the existing business processes and operations. In addition to that, you should identify a basic set of features and functionality that help you to manage them in a more efficient way. Sounds impressive, right? Here we have provided some of the key features and functionality of potential logistics software:
- finance Integration;
- inventory tracking and control;
- CRM integration;
- forecasting, reports, and analytics;
- warehousing and transportation management.
However, these are not all features and functionality that logistics software may include.There are some others you should take into account when deciding on logistics software for your business.
Bottom line: Have you already derived benefits from logistics software?
The coordination of the activities in the entire supply chain, product development and e-commerce cannot be done without logistics. That’s why more and more companies are looking for logistics software solutions to streamline their business processes and improve performance. Not only does it help to manage the entire business more efficiently, but also it keeps running a business more smoothly. We, at DDI Development, understand all the benefits of logistics software and know how it is critical to the overall business success. Let us know if you have any idea, and we are ready to help you and turn it into a real and sophisticated software solution that will boost your revenue and drive overall success of your business.