Monitoring global supply chains in unpredictable business environments has never been a straightforward process. With multiple stakeholders and a plethora of facets involved, this sector has always been dynamic.
But the COVID-19 pandemic brought about a massive transformation of the supply chain process. The global transportation industry witnessed unpredictable volumes of shipment, increased costs, and capacity challenges. This was accompanied by customers’ increasing demand from their providers for more transparency and speed. However, with innovative technology like transportation logistics software working its way up into the mainstream logistics process, managing the global supply chain became smarter and easier.
As global transportation continues to witness uncertainty, inculcating transportation logistics systems in the process can help businesses in the global trade sector to overcome the challenges.
What does transportation logistics software do?
Transportation management in logistics is a complex process that includes coordinating the movements of goods across the business’ distribution network. To make this management easier, transportation logistics software can be utilized to optimize the performance and enhance the efficiency of the vehicles, the staff, as well as the management of orders.
Transportation logistics software involves a set of tools that are aimed at managing costs of freight and shipping, automating the scheduling of deliveries, live monitoring and tracking of delivery and real-time route optimization. It helps businesses plan, execute, schedule and optimize the physical movement of goods while complying with rules and generating delightful delivery experiences.
Logistics software also provides visibility of transportation operations at every step, and documentation, and ensures timely deliveries, whether by land, sea, or air. The end result is cost-effectiveness in delivering the products by evaluating how changes in routes and shipping impact the overall journey of the goods.
How Savvy Businesses Leverage Transportation and Logistics Software
Before transportation and logistics software came into being, typical operations of supply chain and logistics processes were handled manually. Communication with suppliers, warehouses, carriers, and delivery personnel involved considerable amounts of time and energy. However, automating the transportation process by leveraging transportation logistics services is now essential for all businesses.
To Optimize Routes In Real-Time
Route optimization refers to creating the most efficient transportation plans to cut costs and save time along with optimum utilization of resources.
Weather conditions, historical traffic data, and time can be calculated through the complex algorithms that are a part of the software. Logistics software constantly analyzes and identifies new and more efficient routes to improve the delivery process. Even with multiple deliveries, route optimization in real-time enables the delivery personnel to finish the orders on time.
To Reduce Delivery Turnaround
When day-to-day route inefficiencies are taken care of, it is easier for a business to successfully undertake multiple deliveries in a single day. In fact, the time taken to complete one delivery aka the delivery turnaround rate is also reduced. One-day deliveries are also possible now as the process of undertaking deliveries is dramatically faster owing to transportation logistics software. Such software eliminates latency by automating core delivery processes like scheduling, task allocation, route planning, delay alerts and more.
To Improve In-Plant Operations
In-plant operations include movements of raw materials, storage and warehouse management, inventory management, and the management of finished goods. Tasks such as ensuring quality and labour management can efficiently be managed by leveraging transportation and logistics software.
These operations also need to be integrated well with the external logistics process. Logistics software enables businesses to have a holistic view of both in-plant operations and outbound logistics. Issues like lack of labour, inefficiencies in parts of the supply chain, and manufacturing faults can be recognized and rectified at the right time. Transportation and logistics software also automates in-plant compliance. Leveraging the Internet of Things it can quickly identify any irregularities in vehicle and driver details and restrict entry inside a plant. It also ensures that plant executives have complete visibility of vehicles moving in and out of the premises.
To Boost Customer Experience
Providing accurate and timely information to the customer is key to ensuring their experience with the business is always up to the mark. While delivering goods within the stipulated period of time is essential, it is also important to keep the customers updated about the exact location of their order and ETA. Transportation management software enables businesses to keep a track of goods and vehicles every step of the way and provide the same information to their customers.
To Shrink Total Cost of Ownership
The total cost of ownership refers to costs associated with every step of supply chain management, including costs related to the acquisition, transportation, and storage of goods. It takes into account various factors such as shipping costs, shipping duration, quality costs, currency fluctuations, and inventory.
It also includes the cost of owning a vehicle from the time of its purchase, throughout its operation and maintenance. Costs such as fuel cost, repairs, maintenance, depreciation, and insurance are also included.
Transportation management and logistics software helps a business to keep a track of the total costs- direct and indirect so that it can manage and control them more efficiently and reduce the total cost of ownership.
To Improve Logistics Partner Management
A logistics partner helps in streamlining operations and reduces risks. By coming up with the best solutions for transportation, warehousing, shipping, and distribution, transportation management software allows real-time visibility and sharing of all required information between the business and its logistics partner. A breakdown in coordination with a logistics partner is a recipe for disaster. With improved management, both teams can achieve greater success and also reduce costs.
6 Benefits of Transportation Logistics Software
1. Automated Route Planning
Transportation logistics software automates planning routes for efficient deliveries, including multiple ones in one day. It enables the managers to access real-time data to optimize routes for the delivery process, in order to enhance the customer experience and ensure a high level of transparency.
2. Predictive Logistics Operations
Predictive visibility with the data and insights provided by transportation logistics software allows businesses to provide real-time ETAs to all stakeholders. It not only boosts the customer experience but also improves the in-plant operations and facilitates data-driven decisions. It makes it easier to predict the challenges that might appear during transit and allows you to mitigate them on time.
3. Eliminating Risks & Delays
Transportation logistics software makes it easier to predict the challenges that might appear during transit and allows you to mitigate them on time. This involves damage to goods, theft, and other delays that could occur due to bad weather conditions or traffic on the delivery routes. Optimization of routes and predictive analytics help take care of such risks and delays at the right time and in the right manner.
4. Improving Delivery Productivity
Minimizing the drive time as well as the time spent on unloading and loading goods can create a massive impact on improving delivery productivity. Efficient management of these processes and integrated route planning allow businesses to reap the benefits of technology and enhance delivery productivity by allowing multiple deliveries in a shorter span of time. It also ensures that one-day deliveries can be undertaken with much more ease than before which can further delight the customers.
5. Seamless Management of Carrier Operations
Carrier operations need to be managed in a manner that supports the business’ overall goals and strategies. By leveraging technologies and data-driven decisions, booking shipments, monitoring, and follow-ups with carriers can be done through one platform. Moreover, the software acts as a single point of contact for shippers, carriers, and other stakeholders and also helps in measuring carrier performance for decision making.
6. Enhanced Customer Experience
The communication with customers needs to be streamlined with accurate data and alerts to keep them informed throughout the way. Their experience also can be enhanced further by taking their feedback into consideration after the delivery is completed to ensure better decision-making in the future and keep a track of the performance of the delivery personnel.
Three Capabilities of Machine Learning Powered Transportation Logistics Systems
Modern technology has transformed the transportation logistics sector in more ways than one. Delays in delivery, inadequate resources, or faults in engines became a thing of the past when machine learning came into the limelight. Enhanced productivity and an overall sophisticated business model are the end results of adopting machine learning, apart from the following benefits:
1. Demand Forecasting
Since the customer is king across all industries, it is imperative for a business to forecast and keep a tab on the ever-changing consumer preferences. Predicting future demands of the supply chain business is tricky, but owing to machine learning technologies, this process has become much easier!
Every factor that exerts an influence over the demand rate can be accounted for using machine learning, which in turn, enables a business to optimize its decisions. Customer-centric marketing campaigns can thus be created with accurate data and insights, leading to better outputs.
While it is true that the demand rate is also dependent on the product or service being offered, machine learning has provided businesses with the opportunity to stay one step ahead of their competitors.
2. Improving Supplier Quality
Keeping a tab on supplier quality is an enormous task for most manufacturing companies, but thanks to machine learning, it can now be performed in a matter of a few hours.
A manufacturing firm is highly dependent on its suppliers for the majority of its raw materials and other components. With the help of machine learning, it is now easy to track the performance of suppliers in terms of maintaining quality levels and to create track-and-trace data hierarchies for each supplier. This is an absolute must, especially for businesses involved in the food and beverages sector. It also helps in reducing the shortage of raw materials, enhancing the speed of delivery, and a more efficient planning and ordering process.
3. Last-Mile Tracking
The final step in the supply chain is the product’s journey from its origin to the final user. This last stage involves a major chunk of the total logistics cost and achieving efficiency during this step becomes essential.
The modern customer needs up-to-date and accurate information about their orders and machine learning allows businesses to make that happen! It allows the business owner to know the exact whereabouts of the driver and the goods, and give accurate information about ETA and the location of the goods to the end consumer.
Moreover, when utilized for internal operations, machine learning can also facilitate the creation of databases with addresses and details of customers. This saves time and efficiency on the business’ part, especially for returning customers.
FarEye’s transportation and logistics software is empowering 150+ customers around the globe to improve their delivery operations. It’s helping them drastically reduce the delivery turnaround time, optimize logistics costs, boost delivery productivity, orchestrate disparate logistics functions and generate delightful delivery experiences.