Amateurs Study Shipping Rates, Professionals Study Logistics

Omar Bradley offered a truism, that amateurs study tactics, armchair generals study strategy, and professionals study logistics. This is just as true in the world of business as it is in the military. Logistics is the art of getting supplies where they’re needed so other functions can happen. In the modern business world, logistics means freight shipping – both internally and externally. In this field, freight rates and carrier rates are the price of doing business.

Freight shipping is one of those expenses that can be minimized, but never totally eliminated. It’s also a manpower time sink, and because of this, more and more companies are outsourcing their freight needs to third party logistics companies. These are outfits that have people who do nothing but look over the assorted rates and package deals offered by the major freight carriers and try to find the best deal possible for their client, with a nice commission on top for them.

All in all, third party logistics management makes sense for organizations that are above a certain size (too small, and they don’t generate enough volume to be worth the trouble of maintaining the account) and below a certain size (at which point the company can have an inside staff that does the same function for less).

Alternatives to third party logistics offers are in house logistics software. Much the same way that travel agencies quickly became redundant with online booking services, logistics software vendors are trying to render the third party logistics company obsolete. Building automatic data scrapers that can do the basic work of comparing logistics rates to different parts of the country or world is fairly straightforward, as is a price search algorithm.

While these systems primarily offer a way to avoid third party logistics fees, they also offer a bit more direct control over your company’s shipping needs, and some managers and executives like that hands on feel. They can also be used to significantly automate a lot of routine functions in the shipping department and the mail room. They can also be used to identify process problems – there’s a saying that every time something was sent out overnight, someone higher up in the chain didn’t do their job correctly, and when you’re looking directly at the costs of expedited shipping, it becomes easier to focus on the process issues that lead to it, than when you’re looking at a third party statement of account.

Ultimately, which one works best is a function of your business’ needs and internal culture; some businesses simply don’t want to bring that job in house. Others need to. Both are viable strategies depending on what your operation’s needs truly are.

Warehousing Management Software: One Of The Best Investments You Can Make For Business Here’s Why

Warehousing software can be expensive which is why in this tough economy it is easy to understand why a business owner, whether they be large or small would not want to take on an unneeded expense.

After all the ultimate goal of business is to keep expenses down so you are able to maximize profits to the best of your ability. However, certain things you can purchase should not be looked at as expenses.

These things should be looked at as assets, tools for business to grow and function more efficiently. Warehousing management software offers just this. There are a lot of businesses who have probably heard of using this type of software, but many of them are still not sold on how powerful it can be for them. Not a problem, you can easily be convinced. The advantages are plenty.

The entire purpose of warehousing management software is to enable a user to get an instant picture of certain information that is very pivotal.

Quick access means that warehouse operations function far smoother than what they may be at the moment. You will be able to cut back on various costs, and as a result increase your bottom line.

For starters, you need to constantly be aware of how much inventory is in your warehouse. You may already have a system in place for this, but it can be made far more effective.

Warehousing management software will help you know instantly how much inventory is in your warehouse, whether it be for specific parts or for everything.

You need to know how many orders are being shipped at the moment, this gives you an idea of how much product is being moved. The logistics software is going to help you get an instant picture of this as well.

At times your business is going to have pending orders. There are several processes involved in this, and you need to know what they are. Warehousing management software will easily alert you to the various stages of processing when it comes to pending orders.

Does your business hire staff? Odds are it probably does, and you need to make sure they are being as productive as possible. You cannot afford to pay people who are not being productive right?

Warehousing management software will allow you to set up a system so that you can monitor staff productivity details. This enables you to make sure your staff is performing the way they should and that your warehouse is operating the way it is supposed to.

You also can use the software to see how many goods have been shipped by the warehouse for a specified period of time. This information is going to be needed at times, and you can easily search for it for any time period you wish.

Businesses that are smaller and have not had the chance to automate their warehousing management process will definitely benefit from using warehousing management software.

Logistics software is a very simple way to automate your warehouse management process without having to interrupt the flow of your business. You can be up and running in no time and if you need help it is easily available.

Do not let the cost of warehousing management software deter you from deciding to make an investment in it. The longevity of your business is important to you right?

Having this type of inventory software at your disposal will benefit you in ways that will protect your business from the tough economy.

Your business needs to operate as efficiently as possible, and you definitely cannot rely on the old way of doing things. Make the investment in some good warehousing management software today and start realizing the benefits mentioned in this article.

Six Benefits of Implementing a Software-Based Logistics Management Program

A logistics management program-also referred to as a transportation management program-is a comprehensive approach to managing every aspect of the logistics process while developing innovative shipping solutions that save time and money wherever possible. A logistics management program is achieved in one of three ways: hiring a team of in house logistics experts, hiring a third party logistics (3PL) provider or implementing third party logistics software.

Hiring a team of experts is usually too costly for small to midsized companies, and hiring the type of 3PL provider that would implement a comprehensive, innovative logistics management program is usually too costly as well. But implementing logistics software allows companies to develop a comprehensive, innovative management program without the aid of paid professionals. Logistics software does the work of a logistics expert, meaning that its users don’t need to possess logistics expertise. Instead, they use a user-friendly interface to choose from among recommended shipping solutions for every area of the shipping process. Below, we list six benefits that shippers experience after implementing logistics software.

Reduction of Expedited Order Costs

Expedited shipments can significantly drive up the cost of shipping if they occur on a regular basis; and without a comprehensive logistics solution, they typically do. Logistics-software allows shippers to reduce expedited shipments through better shipment planning and system directed exceptions handling, which resolves exceptions before they necessitate an expedited shipment.

Increase of Load Consolidation

Upon implementing logistics-software, shippers immediately realize the ability to consolidate parcel shipments into less than truckload (LTL) shipments, as well the ability to consolidate LTL shipments into truckload (TL) shipments, each of which significantly lessens annual shipping costs.

Automation of Carrier and Mode Selection

When companies automate the selection of the best carrier and the best shipping mode, they save money in terms of both saved time and saved manpower, especially considering that logistics software immediately pairs optimal carrier and optimal mode selection.

Identification of Invoice Discrepancies

Searching for discrepancies in invoices on your own can be tedious and time consuming. But logistics software can instantly compare the audit of a freight invoice against the shipping contract, allowing you to never pay for services that weren’t rendered as promised or that were rendered in violation of the shipping contract.

Tracking of Carrier Performance

Tracking a carrier’s performance can help you negotiate better rates. Logistics software provides information on a carrier prior to your forming a contract with them, which can allow you to receive a lower rate if, for example, a carrier’s promised delivery times average a few minutes or more less than the promised times.

Reduction of Product Breakage

Regardless of the cost effectiveness of shipping routes and load arrangements, a company doesn’t profit from an economical shipping process if its products regularly break en route. Logistics software solves this problem by connecting shippers with carriers that offer the right mixing and stacking strategies for a particular type of freight.