We have officially entered into an era where logistics demand has reached its highest peak, fueled in part by COVID-19 and the supply chain dump. The explosive growth in online purchases, including heavy goods, resulted in higher demand for delivery services. This also led to a growing need for smart, automated solutions which could streamline the entire operations for carriers.
As technology advances, TMS (transportation management system) platforms also underwent drastic improvements to adapt to companies’ shipping needs. While there are many retailers who prefer to manage logistics in-house, a large majority expect logistics partners to help automate supply chains using technology within their transportation capabilities. With so many providers in the market, it can be hard to decide which platform would best support your operational needs. To help you navigate through your options, here are some key elements to consider when choosing a software model for your logistics.
1. Automated Scheduling
Whether you’re a small, medium, or a large sized business, the delivery booking process is one of the first encounters a customer has with your service. Therefore, it’s important that they have a seamless experience when scheduling deliveries. Instead of dealing with the hassle of emails, figuring out fleet availability, order details, open dates etc., consider a platform that automates the booking process, allowing customers to schedule on their own. Some software support automatic scheduling in their API system, where it coordinates your delivery data into an accessible calendar system which customers can use to book deliveries. A simple feature that could save time and trouble for you and your customers.
2. Route Optimization
When your drivers are constantly on the road moving between hundreds, if not thousands of destinations and clients, your routing strategy plays a crucial role in determining the success rate of your deliveries. Driver wages and fuel costs make up nearly 60% of the total operational cost per mile. This means that if not optimized properly, you’re at risk of losing a large portion of your profits covering expenses. Route optimization upgrades your planning to the next level by maximizing the volume of deliveries completed per trip in the shortest amount of time possible. Rather than manually planning routes, you can pick and combine nearby deliveries into a single trip on your mobile app, optimizing your vehicle allocation as well. Scale up your operations cost effectively with a routing tool that’ll help you reach destinations quicker, while cutting down on unnecessary costs and delays.
3. Warehouse + Supply Chain Management
Are you still struggling with your inventory count? Have trouble locating a product in your warehouse? In today’s fast-paced world, automation and data flexibility plays a key role in achieving supply chain efficiency. Having a warehouse management system (WMS) can benefit operational efficiency and customer experience in many ways. It enables you to track every unit moving throughout the warehouse to the tiniest detail via scanning technology abilities. This is done through barcode scanning, accurate data entry, loading/unloading steps, and real-time updates regarding an item’s condition and location. Optimize space allocation, improve inventory management and grow your business with WMS automating your supply chain.
4. Online Documenting
The ability to access all necessary information and documents online through your mobile device provides convenience and security for you and your customers. Forget the manual flipping of endless piles of paper. What if you can’t find an important signature document? With online documenting, keep all your important files under one platform – whether that’s order booking, warehouse log, ePOD/eBOL, invoices, sales report, etc. Access it all within seconds at your fingertips, just like that.
5. Cloud-based System Flexibility
At the end of it all, what’s most important about a logistics software is that it is cloud-based, accurate and updates in real-time. When an employee enters new data, wants to check on a delivery status, or review a KPI report, cloud-based technology enables you to scale up or down to best assess your operational growth. A flexible API system that can integrate with other business applications also saves time and money without relying on multiple systems to complete a single process. Do less, achieve more and grow your operations.
We’ve listed a few important features to consider when assessing the right software to manage your logistics. To keep up in today’s competitive industry, a TMS needs to be an advanced open technology model that can integrate with different business applications. That can customize your fulfillment setting to support specific functions like heavy goods shipping or pre-inspection verification, etc. Most importantly, the technology model you choose should be scalable to provide tailored solutions to support different functions as your company grows, including partners, regions, coverage and service levels.
Grasshopper Labs was founded with a single mission in place: to embed technology into the traditional industry’s supply chain + logistics processes and help customers discover the efficiencies a cutting-edge technology can provide in their business. Grasshopper empowers hundreds of delivery terminals, retailers and delivery networks that service thousands of customers every day. Its technology provides businesses with end-to-end ERP solutions designed to help operate your logistics and business growth cost-effectively with real-time visibility through an entire operating system.