TL Logistics Management Software is Essential to Cutting Shipping Costs

When companies grow large enough, they typically purchase their own shipping fleet and have a logistics department that manages their shipping process from a variety of vantage points. But for small to midsize companies that don’t have a shipping fleet or an in-house logistics team, carrying out and managing their shipping process means outsourcing their transportation logistics or trying to choose the right shipping options on their own. In most cases, these companies trust a third party logistics (3PL) provider to provide the best TL shipping solutions for their unique distribution needs. However, to save money and have more control over the shipping process, more and more companies are turning to truckload logistics software-also referred to as TL logistics management software. In addition to allowing small to midsize companies to become their own logistics provider, freight logistics software helps them save money with respect to the following areas of the shipping process: freight management, transportation execution and freight payment and audit.

Freight Management

Freight management amounts to managing each means freight distribution, including but not limited to: small parcel, less than truckload (LTL), full truckload (FTL), rail and sea. While large companies employ logistics professionals or construct internal freight councils, small companies typically either outsource freight management or defer to purchasing personnel or shipping or warehouse managers. By implementing TL logistics management software, companies realize more shipping options than they do from outsourcing to a 3PL provider. Because 3PL providers only use carriers that they can make the most money with, your shipping options with 3PL providers are limited to what makes the best sense for 3PL providers and not necessarily for your company.

Transportation Execution

Traditionally, transportation systems are designed for tendering outbound shipments, meaning that they aren’t designed for managing inbound and third party shipments. In addition, parcel carriers have compliance requirements that cause shippers to use a separate system for parcel processing, leading to higher freight costs. Ultimately, shippers have a difficult time keeping their freight from being tendered outside of their original pricing agreements and end up overpaying for freight transportation. To remedy this situation, TL logistics management software allows companies to enforce internal and external compliance throughout the shipping process with regard to the carrier pricing agreement.

Freight Payment and Audit

TL logistics management software allows you to combine your freight payment and pre-audit data, which gives you limitless reporting options concerning your freight spend. With the combined information uploaded to the software application’s dashboard to give you almost real time visibility of your freight spend, you can to monitor freight KPI’s on a daily basis to further control shipping costs as KPI’s change. The freight payment and auditing capabilities of truckload logistics software also allow you to receive more of your freight bills through EDI, which serves to lower your pre-audit costs.

Warehousing Management Software: How Software Can Streamline The Processes From Order To Delivery

There are so many processes involved when it comes to the ordering of a product from your business all the way up to the delivery.

You might be able to handle all of this just fine if you are a small business owner, but what if you have to deal with sending out hundreds if not thousands of products on a regular basis?

Think about how complex this can get without the use of warehousing management software to help you be able to quickly identify where to locate certain items in your warehouse.

You want the ability to streamline all of these processes having to do with orders and delivery. When you are able to do this you cut out things that add to the time it takes for a customer to get the products they are ordering from you.

You are able to quickly identify what is what, where it is located, and get all you need at once. The software allows you to input all the information you need into it in order to make all this possible.

Your ability to use this logistics software to help you streamline processes from order to delivery is going to enable you to determine the availability of products in your warehouse very precisely. There is going to be no accuracy problems in this respect.

This means you will be able to offer superior customer service, because you will be able to provide delivery dates to them that are realistic and that you will be able to keep with no problems.

Companies that are not able to use warehousing management software to help them speed up the time it takes to get products out of their warehouse and into the hands of costumers are going to struggle, particularly if they are a growing business.

These companies would be spending just too much time doing things that can be either avoided or speed up to the point of cutting down costs. A small business would definitely benefit from this, and warehousing management software is available at an affordable price so they can set up the system they need to make their processes run more efficiently.

What else can warehousing management software do for you because when you are trying to operate a warehouse that holds certain items you need to make sure you are able to quickly identify what you need and release it if it has been ordered.

When you can do this your shipping speeds are better not to mention certain businesses might have products on their shelves that are actually in their warehouse that have been back-ordered. The problem is your company might not know this information because it has not been released yet.

Use of this logistics software can help make sure this does not happen by automatically letting you know of back-ordered inventory. This is going to allow you to reduce problems with returns. You will be able to give your customers better shipping times as well as keep holding costs in your warehouse down.

You do not have to let all of the processes involved with ordering and getting products to customers overwhelm you. Warehousing management software helps to make all of these things easy and it can be a life saver for those smaller businesses that are fighting to establish themselves against the big boys.

The big boys likely already make use of such software, but for those who don’t they are doing their customers a disservice by not using it. Look into getting it today and watch how order and fulfillment for products that you carry improves overtime.

Transportation Management System Logistics: Evaluating Your Options

Research shows that a freight transportation management system can cut the cost of shipping by up to twenty-five percent in the first year, but for many shippers, implementing a system for managing freight transportation can impose financial hardships. Traditionally, such experts perform transportation management – an expense most small and midsize businesses can ill afford (hiring these experts can bring a six-figure payroll increase).

How can shippers manage freight distribution without hiring an expensive team of experts?

Traditionally, the answer has been to outsource to Third Party Logistics (3PL) providers-entities that set shipping arrangements between shippers and carriers. In theory, 3PL is a beneficial arrangement for shippers that do not staff experts because the logistics function is outsourced, and the need to hire experts is eliminated. However, for companies that need or prefer more control of the shipping process, using a 3PL provider can be frustrating.

When they opt for 3PL, shippers relinquish a degree of control over the shipping process. Depending on the quality of the 3PL provider’s logistics resources, the price of the relinquishment can be steep. Good 3PL providers leverage a variety of resources to identify the best carrier arrangements, but many 3PL providers use limited resources -a fact that their customers remain unaware of.

If you use a 3PL provider whose resources are limited, your ability to negotiate the best carrier arrangements is also limited.

Replacing 3PL

If your business needs to save money on transportation management, 3PL is a fair option, but it is not as affordable or empowering as logistics software-a class of applications that perform the logistical calculations traditionally performed by experts. By replacing 3PL with a program that provides this function for a Transportation Management System (TMS), you can resume control of the shipping process and reduce your costs in two ways:

  • By paying less for the program than you pay for 3PL
  • By negotiating better carrier arrangements via expanded shipping options

Research shows that TMS software can reduce the cost of freight transport by ten percent in the first year. For many businesses, such a cost savings can be a financial life raft, but receiving it requires a decisive step in a new direction-implementing a TMS application instead of renewing a 3PL contract. When they learn how painless the changeover can be, most shippers are ready to make the switch.

Easy Implementation

TMS applications are designed to support the existing shipping process. Before supplying an application, the provider analyzes a business’s shipping process in depth, creating a program that addresses each need. As the needs change, new options can be added to the existing options, creating a program that evolves with the shipping process.

TMS applications are available on a web-based model or an in-house model. To simplify the implementation process, acquire remote system access, and preserve investment capital, most businesses opt for the former. To learn how TMS software can improve the economy and efficiency of your business’s transportation management system, contact a provider of logistics software today.