Does Achieving the Best Shipping Solutions Require Hiring a Logistic Expert?

Shipping products without the aid of logistics is like journeying to an unfamiliar destination without the aid of a map; eventually, you get there, but it usually takes more time and money than you anticipated. Just as an uninformed driver makes more stops and takes more roads than necessary to arrive at his destination, an uninformed shipping process results in freight making more stops and taking longer routes than necessary, increasing the cost of the shipping process. Realizing this, shipping companies that don’t have an “in house” logistics department will seek the advice of a logistic expert. But the type of logistic expertise that they retain can also have a significant impact on the cost of the shipping process.

When a company doesn’t have its own logistic expert, it has two options for implementing shipping logistics: hiring a third-party logistics (3PL) provider, or implementing logistics software. Traditionally, shipping companies have opted for 3PL. But today, shippers are increasingly choosing logistics software over 3PL for two reasons: the software offers more shipping options and it costs significantly less than hiring a 3PL provider that offers the same level of service. For companies that are considering hiring a 3PL provider, it’s important to realize that not all 3PL providers are the same. Currently, there are three types of 3PL providers: standard 3PL providers, service developers, customer adapters and customer developers.

Stand 3PL providers offer transportation logistics, but not as one of their core competencies, which ends up making them attractive due to the low cost of their services. Service developers perform transportation logistics as their core competency, but typically emphasize in “value-added” services, such as cross-docking and specific packaging. Customer adapters oversee a company’s logistics process, but don’t specialize in innovative shipping solutions. Customer developers oversee the logistics process and do specialize in innovation solutions. But the price of hiring a customer developer is can be similar to hiring your own logistics experts.

Moreover, 3PL often places small and midsize companies in the position of hiring logistics services that don’t offer comprehensive, innovative solutions or attempting to hire unaffordable logistics services that do; a situation that makes companies realize the value of logistics software, which allows them to realize comprehensive, innovative shipping solutions that increase the timeliness of the shipping process while reducing its price by eliminating the following costs: TMS software costs, 3PL costs, gain shares, freight margins, common rate base licensing costs and annual software maintenance costs.

Logistics software is available on either a software as a service (SaaS) model or as an onsite software solution, with the former offering the advantage of remote system access. But in either case, the software allows its customers to make expert logistics decisions through an easy to use interface. Research shows that companies who implement logistics software can reduce their annual shipping costs by 10 percent after the first year.

LTL Software Versus Other Logistics Resources

LTL Software is logistics software that is designed for shippers who need Less than Truck Load (LTL) shipping arrangements. Unlike a Full Truck Load (FTL) shipment, in which a semi trailer contains the freight of one shipper, an LTL shipment combines two or more shipments from different shippers into a semi trailer. This arrangement can benefit shippers that have a small to medium shipping volume in one of two ways:

  • It can be more cost effective than parcel shipping
  • It can be more cost effective than FTL shipping

A potential drawback of LTL shipping is that, depending on the number of times a shipment is sorted and routed during transit, it could take longer to reach its destination than is acceptable. When freight has a wide delivery window, this issue doesn’t pose a problem. When it has a narrow delivery window, delivering it via an LTL airfreight carrier, or combining into a full truckload and transporting it to a break-bulk facility located in the region of its delivery may be better options. After arriving at a break-bulk facility, LTL freight is separated and sent to its destinations.

LTL Softwareand Other Logistics Sources

LTL Software is an alternative to two sources of logistics that can also arrange LTL shipments: an in house logistics department and a freight broker, also known as a Third Party Logistics (3PL) provider. As small and midsized shippers know well, creating an in-house logistics department to oversee a small to medium volume shipping process can be cost prohibitive. But by the same token, not having a logistics resource can make the shipping process unaffordable. Faced with this dilemma, many shippers turn to 3PL providers for logistical expertise.

Today, there are four types of 3PL providers that offer different types of service. Standard 3PL providers offer the most basic shipping services; service developers offer value-added shipping services; Customer adapters manage an already existing shipping process; while customer developers manage an already existing shipping process and propose new shipping solutions.

How does logistics software compare to the services offered by these providers?

It does not manage the shipping process, but it allows shippers to manage it in the same capacity, and with the same resource-based effectiveness, as the 3PL providers above. By using logistics software instead contracting with a 3PL provider, shippers can pay less for shipping, gain control of the shipping process and realize more shipping options. Some 3PL providers arrange shipments using an electronic posting system, where available loads are matched up with available carriers. But logistics software can present options that aren’t available in a posting system.

Conclusion

LTL software is an ideal solution for companies that need an affordable alternative to 3PL or creating an in-house logistics department, one that doesn’t sacrifice the resourcefulness that these options provide. To learn more about how LTL software could benefit your shipping process, and how you can benefit from implementing it on a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, consult a provider of logistics software.

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.