Logistics Software Provides Companies With Freight Optimization

In the manufacturing industry, the discipline of logistics focuses on efficiently moving products from the manufacturer to the buyer. For large manufacturers, logistical operations can represent a large expense, especially when logistical elements are managed separately instead of being integrated into one solution. In an attempt to take the time and guesswork of out executing logistics, many companies totally or partially outsource their freight optimization needs to third parties. A complete outsourcing amounts to hiring a company to move products throughout the entire supply chain, while a partial outsourcing involves letting a third party manage the transportation of goods through the “stages” of the supply chain. However, implementing logistics software is a more cost effective way to achieve freight optimization that offers the same level of quality as a third party logistics provider.

There are several factors that contribute to a manufacturer’s total shipping costs, including warehouse fees, inventory fees and freight carriage fees. To minimize these fees, a manufacturer might choose to ship by air carrier instead of in tandem with freight carriage, significantly reducing warehouse fees by moving the goods from manufacturer to buyer in a matter of hours. However, to save the most money, companies have to examine all three cost areas with an eye toward developing an integrated cost savings solution. In developing such a solution, there are two basic issues that manufacturers must address: finding the right mix of freight carriage, inventory and warehouse services and finding the best price for each one.

Logistics software can help by providing an analysis of service combinations in relation to individual service cost. For small to midsize companies that deliver goods from the assembly line directly to retail outlets, logistics software can offer a basic analysis of routing options and freight rates. But companies that use multiple warehouses and multiple supply chain locations may require more, such as production scheduling analysis that develops manufacturing plans with regard to multiple supply chain locations (i.e. company’s whose products are assembled at more than one location before reaching the retailer).

The basic advantage of logistics software is that offers refined shipping solutions that meet the needs of a variety of manufacturing situations (and does so at a lower cost than hiring a third party logistics provider). For example, some solutions may focus on a particular freight carriage issue, such as analyzing how to increase delivery time by studying construction schedules and highway traffic data, while other solutions may focus on offering an integrated solution for all logistical concerns, including carrier loading, weight distribution, cube optimization and shortest path to destination. Studies show that manufacturer’s who implement logistics software regularly realize a 10 percent decrease in shipping costs after the first year.

Whether your company has its own trucking system or uses a third party, logistics software can help reduce your delivery costs without compromising punctuality, efficiency or freight safety. If you need to simplify your delivery process and reduce your cost of shipping, consulting with a logistics software provider is the best way to arrive at a solution that accomplishes both at the same time.

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.

Logistics & Transportation Solutions Moving Into the 21st Century

Logistics solutions are steadily making improvements in their technology and abilities to enhance the businesses prospective for many companies. They are already certified with the small parcel carriers such as FedEx, UPS, Canpar, USPS, BAX and others. They are creating specialties in the area of less than truckload shipping by using integration. They are hiring professionals in the areas of software, computer engineering, electrical engineering, and former LTL carriers.

Companies are turning their attention to logistics software such as RateLinx LTL Analysis. This software provides businesses with a greater level of market visibility at a previously unrealized level of granularity. It is providing them with answers and giving them plans that are specific to the shipping characteristics of their company. It will help companies execute their plans for improvements and give them outstanding results in the area of LTL pricing.

The logistics software is reducing and eliminating the need to outsource. They are realizing market discounts on a continuous basis and the ability to be setup with LTL carriers that they personally choose and have developed a strong trustworthy relationship with. At the same time they are ending their reliance on the seemingly never ending software maintenance costs. They are, in essence, taking back the control and making decisions regarding their freight on their own.

With the new technologies that are becoming so popular, companies are realizing savings that they have been looking for some time now. Many of the companies are saving, at the minimum, ten percent in only the first year of using the new software.

When a company decides to move their business to the next level, there are four simple steps that are necessary to get them started. They need to have an analysis run on their business needs. Once the analysis is complete they will begin putting the pieces together. They will determine what tools are needed, which specific carriers are desired by the company, what integration needs are necessary to get the project moving, and what auditing and payment needs are necessary.

By taking business to the next level and taking advantage of the state of the art technologies that are available, businesses are making their freight management and pricing extremely simple. Because the plan for improvements is made specific to a particular company, the cost reduction of the LTL costs will be at ten percent before they know it. They have trusted advisors for all of their LTL, TL, small parcel, international, ocean, and hazardous needs.

The process of moving to this new system will be very smooth and integrated. They will ensure that overpaying for freight is something from the past and that the savings will continue as long as the new technologies are being used.