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.

Logistics Planning Software and Freight Shipping

Since the deregulation of the trucking industry in the 1980’s, trucking companies have offered an increasing range of shipping solutions that helps the manufacturer minimize shipping costs; one of which is less than truckload (LTL) shipping. In LTL shipping, companies that ship less than full truckloads of goods can save money by paying a fraction of full load shipping fees. For trucking companies, shipping earnings remain the same. They create a full truckload out of partial load shipments and receive payment from each company. For manufacturers, arriving at the optimal LTL solution usually requires the implementation of logistics planning software, which analyzes the cost of shipping and transportation needs in relation to product destination.

The obvious advantage of LTL shipping is that it allows companies to decrease shipping costs. But the downside is that products often take longer to reach their destination due to the multiple destinations implied by the shared load. In such cases, using logistics planning software to analyze a shipping situation instead of opting for standard LTL is the best way to integrate a solution that brings lower shipping costs while ensuring timely delivery. Whereas as LTL companies specialize in LTL, logistics software specializes in developing solutions that combine each element of the shipping process into a streamlined, cost effective delivery system. A company that requires freight tracking services in addition to simple pick up and delivery would benefit more from using logistics software than relying on the advice of an LTL shipping company.

Most companies that utilize logistics software consistently run a large number of products that are assembled at multiple locations before they arrive at retailers. At first glance, incurring the start up cost and service fees of logistics software might seem contrary to the goal of decreasing operating costs. However, studies show that companies who implement logistics software regularly reduce their shipping costs by ten percent in the first year alone. Exactly how is this savings created? In part, it results form the fact that logistics software eliminates costs associated with other logistical solutions, such as annual software maintenance costs, TMS software costs, 3PL costs, freight margins, gain shares and common rate base licensing costs.

While logistics software is popular among companies whose yearly shipping costs can amount to more than a small company’s annual earnings, it can also offer solutions for smaller companies. For example, a company that simply wants to improve delivery time can use the software to analyze road construction trends and highways traffic patterns. In either case, the software never fails to improve a manufacturer’s finances by making its system of delivery markedly more efficient.

Warehousing Management Software And Getting This Software For Your Warehouse Operations

Any business owner that has to operate a warehouse knows that the process cannot operate efficiently if there isn’t a solid system in place. A solid system enables for every phase of the warehouse operations to be solid as possible.

So all of these warehouses are going to have a system they are using. The only issue is some of them choose not to make upgrades by means of implementing warehousing management software.

Now for smaller businesses, these types of businesses are usually put off by the high cost of having warehousing management software. A lot of them feel it is simply not a wise investment to make.

That might have been the case a long time ago, but now this type of software has been made affordable and easily accessible. Incorporating it into your warehouse management process would not be difficult at all.

Computer technology has advanced greatly over the course of the past few years. This means advanced warehousing management software is available to those who otherwise would not have had access to it before.

Smaller businesses can decide to utilize it by means of very affordable subscription plans. The amount you pay would be dependent on the features you need and or how long you plan on using the software.

Now what would this mean to the average business owner, particularly those who are smaller? This would mean the upfront cost of implementing warehousing management software would be greatly reduced.

This also means a business would not have to worry about hiring someone to help them decipher or implement the software. There will be no need to purchase additional equipment such as computer servers.

And in most cases the warehousing management software you would be utilizing would be completely hosted and maintained by means of the Internet. No need to worry about security or reliability problems either.

The software that is available these days is going to be extremely reliable and is going to be very secure. After all, you would not want to put your warehouse operations in the hands of any product you felt didn’t offer both to the highest degree.

Some of the key advantages to using warehousing management software would include the ability to reduce problems with shipping. Shipping errors cost a lot of money to correct and that can greatly impact the businesses bottom line. The software will give you the ability to greatly increase inventory visibility as well as accuracy.

Whatever carrying costs you have at the moment can be reduced as well. This is going to definitely help you in the long run, particularly in tough economic times.

Warehousing software will also allow you to increase order fulfillment capacity without having to hire additional staff. There are other benefits as well that you can learn about easily since the program can be taught in a relatively short time frame.

This type of logistics software is beneficial, because as a business is trying to grow the software will enable you to make adjustments so that you can scale it to fit your business as it grows.

Whatever requirements you have you do not have to worry about being locked into a specific way of doing things. You can customize certain things in order to meet specific requirements your warehouse operations are going to have moving forward.

Your process for warehousing management might very well be effective, and you can maintain that system. It is just that with using warehousing management software you can integrate the two so things run far more effectively.

If you intend for your business to grow you will need a way to do this no matter what. Start out now and start getting yourself acclimated to using this software for your business.