Logistics Software Solutions Can Benefit Your Company in Three Basic Ways

When companies present their transportation logistics solutions, they have tendency to either engage in corporate speak and not really say much about their solutions or speak with such expertise that they fail to give you a basic understanding of how logistics solutions can benefit your company in a daily way. For small to midsized companies, transportation logistics typically arrives in one of two forms: by a company outsourcing its logistics to a third party logistics (3PL) provider or by implementing logistics software solutions that are available as an online software application.

Given that logistics software offers an easy to use interface can be customized to a company’s particular shipping needs and costs far less than outsourcing to 3PL providers, it’s usually the logistics option of preference for small to midsized companies that don’t have the luxury of a shipping fleet or a large shipping budget. If you’ve heard of logistics software but are looking for a basic understanding of how it can aid your shipping process, we offer the following overview of how logistics-software solutions help companies in terms of freight optimization, shipping route optimization and shipping method integration.

Freight Optimization

For small to midsized companies that regularly ship less than a full freight load of products, freight optimization typically subsists on finding the best less than truckload (LTL) shipping options. LTL shipping is when a shipping carrier lets companies ship partial loads that combine to compose a full truckload. The cost value of LTL shipping comes from shippers splitting the cost of a full freight load. Although less than truck load shipping offers low shipping rates, due to numerous stops for delivery and pick up, it often takes goods longer to reach their destination than in other shipping arrangements. Nevertheless, logistics-software solutions can be used to find less than truckload carrier routes that offer the best delivery time. Because warehouse stops are a common feature of freight shipping, logistics software also offers warehouse optimization capabilities.

Shipping Route Optimization

If you use a 3PL provider, you probably won’t have any idea what shipping routes your carriers are using. But shipping routes are a major factor in determining overall shipping cost. Logistics-software can analyze shipping routes according to multiple criteria, including: length of route, traffic patterns, road quality and construction patterns. One example of how route optimization can decrease shipping cost and improve delivery time is by analyzing routes in terms of travel time. For example, a route that is shortest in distance may be longer than another route in terms of travel time due to traffic patterns.

Shipping Method Integration

Shipping method integration is an unofficial term that refers to the ability of logistics software to suggest integrated shipping methods for the sake of reducing shipping cost and improving delivery time. For example, even though air shipping is traditionally more expensive than ground shipping, logistics software might suggest shipping certain shipments by air due to expensive, unavoidable warehouse fees that would result from ground shipping. In addition, logistics software may make such suggestions as shipping products halfway to their destination by boat and the other half by freight truck.

Top Five Reasons It Makes Sense to Consider an Integrated Endicia Shipping Software Solution

Endicia is one of the oldest and most respected electronic postage providers, in competition with only a few others, which include Stamps.com and Pitney Bowes. You could say that Endicia was the original purveyor of electronic postage, a claim that their moniker makes which can be traced back to the late 80s, when founders Amine Khechfé and Scott Montgomery launched the company. By 2007, the company would be acquired by Newell Rubbermaid for an undisclosed price. Today, Endicia serves millions of customers daily, offering them a cost effective electronic postage solution that can drastically trim the price they are paying for postage. It is one of the top favored solutions for ecommerce store owners. Plenty of eCommerce shopkeepers are unaware that many of the remedial pack and ship processes they experience daily can actually be fully automated by integrating an Endicia shipping software solution. The top five reasons to consider doing so will be explained in this article for you.

Reason One: Easy Label Printing

While there are options to print shipping labels from Endicia, are they compatible with your elected shopping cart or order management system? If they are not, you could find yourself manually copying and pasting your orders in. This can equate to a large amount of time that you have to spend and can also contribute to increased order errors in the shipping process, which result in returns and dissatisfied customers, ultimately eating into your bottom line. Integrated software can talk to the Endicia API and that API of your online store to automate the shipping information to and from your shopping cart and Endicia, allowing you to easily print accurate and professional shipping labels using the electronic postage provided by Endicia.

Reason Two: Faster Pack & Ship Process

The more orders that you can fill, the happier that your customers will be. By extricating the tedious pack and ship process, as outlined in reason one, you can more accurately fill more orders each day. A software solution can allow you to better expedite your shipping process by speeding up the packing side of the process, so you can get outbound orders out the door sooner.

Reason Three: Fewer Ship Order Errors

Order errors can eat up your profits in a jiffy. When wrong items are shipped, or when items are shipped to the wrong address, they result in costly returns. What’s more is that your customers crave accurate shipping. With an integrated software powering your shipping and order fulfillment process, you can fill more orders more accurately. Furthermore, the best solutions have error flaggers that will find and flag order errors before your shipments are sent out.

Reason Four: Less Time Consuming Status Updates

Your customers need to know when their orders have been shipped. If Endicia can’t talk to your API (in your shopping cart or order management system), then the ship statuses have to be updated manually. Software, however, can automate this process and updated ship statuses, amend or add comments and even send automated tracking numbers to customers once the orders have been shipped out.

Reason Five: More Integrated Order Fulfillment & Management

A good software solution will do more than just talk to your Endicia account and your shopping cart; it will also talk to any order management system that you have in place. This means that you can run multiple stores, for example, and still retain an accurate inventory as the orders are fulfilled in real time. This can eliminate the costs of a fulfillment house while empowering you to take full command of your order and fulfillment processes.

Guidelines For Choosing the Right Shipping Software Solution

In the shipping industry, choosing a software solution is a crucial undertaking for long-term business growth and sustainability. It is therefore important for shipping companies to maneuver through the selection process with knowledge that not all shipping software vendors offer solutions that could address all their operational concerns.

In order to find the best software, shipping business leaders must always remember that acquiring new information technology should not just reduce costs but also assist the progress of processes to improve efficiency and gain significant business advantage. They must perform the following proactively when selecting the right shipping software solution:

Gather data. Choosing enterprise software solutions that do not meet a company’s operational requirements is a waste of time and resources. It is important to identify key issues prior to starting the selection process.

Develop a list of software requirements. This should be performed in order to find out which requirements solution providers respond to. Only then can a vendor short list be created to determine the candidates.

Request for information and prepare a proposal. Buying enterprise solutions demands scrutiny, piloting and comparison with other similar solutions. A collection of data from different departments of the company should be obtained. The information gathered should clearly define employee responsibilities, business processes, data and work flow for the vendors to identify which areas of operation the software solution is greatly and least advantageous to.

A proposal from the shipping company should be prepared to provide an orderly and sensible view of the business’ environment and ideals for automating vital business processes.

Create scripted scenarios. Conventional strategies for evaluating software have become insufficient for complex integrated systems. Scripted scenarios can be used by companies to help them with software selection. In a scripted scenario, businesses can present a unique challenge that they want to be addressed and resolved. Creating these scenarios provides the opportunity for the company to express their vision for their operational environment following the new software’s implementation.

Have the vendor perform a detailed demonstration. Companies should have vendors arrange a detailed product demonstration using the organization’s scenarios as basis. This should be done in order to avoid the vendor from running the demonstration freely and overlook vital issues that need to be addressed. Evaluating the software can be relatively simple if the software provider will perform a concise demonstration of their solution.

Choosing the most beneficial shipping software solution for liner businesses takes thorough analysis and proactive decision-making. Enterprise solutions can be extremely costly and companies do not want to waste both time and resources in implementing software applications that would fail. It helps businesses tremendously to utilize a system for evaluating and measuring software capabilities.