Logistics is used more broadly to refer to the process of coordinating and moving resources – people, materials, inventory, and equipment – from one location to storage at the desired destination. The term logistics originated in the military, referring to the movement of equipment and supplies to troops in the field.
Logistics and supply chain management are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to two aspects of the process. Logistics refers to what happens within one company, including the purchase and delivery of raw materials, packaging, shipment, and transportation of goods to distributors. While supply chain management refers to a larger network of outside organizations that work together to deliver products to customers, including vendors, transportation providers, call centers, warehouse providers, and others.
Although many small businesses focus on the design and production of their products and services to best meet customer needs, if those products cannot reach customers, the business will fail. That’s the major role that logistics plays.
But logistics also impacts other aspects of the business, too.
The more efficiently raw materials can be purchased, transported, and stored until used, the more profitable the business can be. Coordinating resources to allow for timely delivery and use of materials can make or break a company.
And on the customer side, if products cannot be produced and shipped in a timely manner, customer satisfaction can decline, also negatively impacting a company’s profitability and long-term viability.
The freight forwarding process can be broken up into 7 key stages, including:
With freight forwarding comes a lot of paperwork, especially when shipping overseas. freight forwarder should provide you with all of the relevant documents, including.
Freight forwarding companies adhere to strict regulations and will not carry certain goods and substances, particularly by air or sea freight. Although the list of prohibited items varies from country to country, freight forwarders are generally restricted on:
Many freight forwarding companies offer extra services. These extra services include warehouse storage, cargo insurance, cargo tracking and dangerous goods handling.
A Logistics management software simplifies operations by refining the production cycle and making it easier to access important information quickly. What a logistics management software does is help businesses manage the multifarious process that goes into the production cycle from the delivery of raw materials to shipping the finished products to the consumers.
Logistics software has become wider in its scope and functionality to deal with a wider array of operations and processes. It shares similarities with supply chain management softwares, which contains a set of tools that help deal with transactions, processes, and suppliers. The functionality of a logistics management software extends to areas such as:
A logistics management software gets rid of all the conventional approaches like paperwork and spreadsheets to simplify management. It comes in three variations such as warehouse management systems, enterprise resource planning systems, and integrated supply chain management suites.
Companies that have an in-house logistics or supply chain division and third-party logistics providers utilize any of these different versions according to their own requirement to manage their logistical and supply chain operations efficiently.
Logistics is on a forward growth and several trends have changed it remarkably. The demand for logistics has peaked with the widespread popularity of e-commerce. As a result, logistics is constantly evolving to accommodate the rising demands of each industry that depends on it. One area where logistics clearly transformed is in the digitization of its processes and resources.
With the introduction of logistics management software, the entire nature of logistics changed allowing a business owner to supervise the operations across different levels. Digitization combined physical devices and software solutions to streamline the entire cycle of logistics by putting the owner at the center.
Software as a service (SaaS) is clearly gaining the upper hand as this model continue to find widespread acceptance in logistics management and supply chain. It is a reliable model since it offers the security and convenience that logistics managers can depend upon along with the benefits of cloud computing.
The use of AI is another significant trend in logistics and supply chain. It holds the most potential to disrupt the field of logistics in the near future. Some of it is already a reality now such as in the automation of specific tasks and is slated to advance further with gesture recognition and autonomous delivery via self-driving vehicles.
Moreover, the trends also clearly hint at an improved collaboration in the processes that govern the logistics and supply chain. Emphasis is also given on managing risks and promoting resilience in the supply chain, which increases the dependence on logistics software for dealing with the processes more effective than before.
With the trends shifting logistics management in a progressive direction, the need for software solutions in the field has become indispensable. Businesses, whether focusing on e-commerce or delivering services, can benefit from having a logistics management software. However, the real question is finding the right kind of logistics software since the requirements vary for each business.
Prior to settling on software for logistics management, it is vital to understand the requirements and challenges that a business face on a daily basis. Carrying out a detailed analysis can help identify weaknesses in the existing logistical operations of a business. Besides that, it can suggest measures to redeem any discovered weaknesses in the cycle.
When deciding on logistics management software, there are several essential factors to consider. Firstly, it should contain a basic set of functions that can aid in simple logistical management operations. Besides that numerous other things should also be present in the software to tackle the wide base of logistical operations and processes that each business undertake. Some of the key features to look for in a potential Logistics software are:
With logistics pushed to the forefront of business operations, leveraging the right technology can make your business compatible with the changing environment.
Outsourcing to a software development vendor will help deploy a scalable software for logistics management into your entire supply chain operations. A global software solutions provider like Stellosys can give you the advantage of custom logistics solutions built solely with your requirements in mind.
In the area of logistics, handing over the process to a Logipulse has its own advantages. With Logipulse, a freight forwarder, NVOCC or 3PL could avail the following benefits.
A well-designed enterprise resource planning (ERP) system connects all the areas of your organization – including those related to indirect tax.
The challenge is to understand all the available options and make decisions that best support your business, invoicing and indirect tax reporting obligations.
How Stellosys can help you.