The global logistics industry has developed and grown better with the adoption of a plethora of software. According to this UK government report, £340 billion worth of goods were exported in 2020.
From security to navigation, from management to communication, the software has changed and improved a lot in the logistics industry.
Today, computers of varying strength and purpose play essential roles in logistics. For new logistics companies and existing companies seeking to change their software, this article explores 14 important software that could improve efficiency, lower expenditure, and help conserve resources.
Essential Software For Logistics Companies
1. Shipping Status Software
Customers want a quick update about the status of their goods. But logistics companies are also interested in that information as it enables them to track delivery costs and efficiency.
Therefore, shipping status software is vital to logistics to provide real-time updates of the current status of goods.
Such software shows if orders are being processed, if they have been moved for shipping, the transit location, and the delivery status. Shipping status software typically allows customers and logistics companies to interact.
2. Lean Inventory Management Software
Lean inventory management focuses on cost-efficient logistics that removes unnecessary processes costing human and financial resources.
That process is easier and cheaper with a lean. Lean management aims to provide small but constant positive changes in the service delivery to improve customer satisfaction and reduce costs on the management side.
Lean management software is a framework designed to optimise time and resources, reduce waste, improve satisfaction and delivery, and finally deliver the exact product needs.
3. Order Processing Software
While some orders can be manually processed, automating the process is best, saving time and resources. Order management and processing software are best for that.
With an order processing software, logistics companies can process bulk orders at the same time at no extra cost.
Automating orders also improves the business flow as bottlenecks between confirmation and entries are practically non-existent. That potentially saves billions of dollars annually for the top logistics companies.
4. Tachograph Analysis Software
Tachograph analysis provides data about driving time, speed, and distance. Tachography is an essential aspect of logistics as it enables companies to track their drivers’ performance and generate meaningful data for analysis.
Logistics companies can accurately measure drivers’ compliance with established procedures and investigate incidents with tachograph analysis software.
UK-based logistics companies could leverage tachograph analysis software in the UK from companies such as FleetGO to improve driver performance, and compliance tachographs are digitally encrypted and cannot be edited by drivers.
5. Freight Handling Software
Freight planning, monitoring, and control are made easier with digital technology such as freight handling software. Some goods are transported at a specific temperature, pressure or humidity; a change in these parameters could lead to the loss of the goods.
Logistics companies can remotely monitor and control all parameters through specialised freight handling software. For example, the software can instantly alert monitors about the slightest temperature change for prompt attention before any damage occurs.
Alerts are seen by the logistics company base and the technicians travelling along with the goods. Freight handling software can also directly adjust storage conditions based on real-time conditions, keeping goods at optimum conditions.
6. Warehouse Management Software
Warehousing is one of the core operations in logistics. Goods must be received, stored, accounted for, and packaged for transportation. These operations mostly take place in a warehouse.
An unorganised warehouse could spell problems for logistics. With warehouse management software, logistics companies can track inbound and outbound goods, storage conditions, picking, putaway, and other associated operations.
Warehouse management’s key performance indexes (KPIs) are picking accuracy, receiving efficiency, backorder rate, and inventory turnover. With data retrieved from warehouse management software, logistics companies can take action to improve these KPIs efficiently.
7. Cloud Software And Solutions
Cloud solutions have revolutionised businesses. Today, cloud-based applications provide robust but cost-effective solutions to many business problems.
Cloud-based software, dubbed software-as-a-service (SaaS), is a valuable tool for logistics companies seeking to scale business operations in either direction.
Cloud support also enables logistics companies to provide instant solutions to problems, effectively removing the lag between reports, actions, and feedback for specific issues.
8. Demand Forecasting Software
Seasonal demands are crucial to logistics planning and execution. If the type of goods is affected by seasons, then the storage and transportation are also impacted.
With forecasting software, logistics companies can safely predict the demands for a season and plan. It is easier and relatively cheaper to pool and deploy resources to meet the demands.
Demand forecasting software obtains data such as previous forecasts, shipping history, news and global events impacting logistics, current orders, market analysis, and risk assessment. Data is then processed to predict future logistics demands.
9. Supplier Management Software
Logistics is communication and relationship-intensive. Customers and logistics companies must develop mutual trust and a healthy business relationship to get the best service and payment.
Supplier management software helps keep the communication between customers and logistics companies smooth and professional.
They provide a digital environment for customers and logistics companies to confirm orders, information about storage and shipment, and real-time delivery status.
Supplier management software makes collecting data and feedback about logistics operations easier. Recent supplier management tools are AI-driven to enhance the management process.
10. Writing Tools
In professional logistics, several writing tools are used in stock note-taking, organising essential files, images, documents, etc.
Apart from just writing, some writing tools also have built-in voice recording technology used to record voice memos. This helps the manager to track the success of the workforce when away. With these tools, the logistic managers are guaranteed success.
11. Logistics Accounting Software
Financial accounting software helps logistics companies tidy their financial activities and determine their financial strength. They are also necessary for calculating and even filing taxes.
Logistics and transport accounting software are beneficial for bulky financial transactions. Pair these software with automated entry software, and logistics accounting becomes easier and cheaper at the cost.
Companies can accurately audit income and expenditure with logistics accounting software, verify invoices and refunds, and reconcile accounts.
12. System Security Software
This 2021 report indicates that logistics companies are being targeted by hackers seeking to sell their logistic credentials to malicious users.
The importance of security to logistics can never be overstated, and as cyberthreats and cyberattacks increase, logistics companies must be proactive in preventing and dealing with cyberthreats.
Security software are also necessary to encrypt data sent over the internet. For example, customer orders are encrypted to protect their identity from malicious users.
Governments can also safely hire private logistics companies to transport sensitive goods securely.
13. Analytics Software
Analytics provides insights into current trends and gives the necessary information for predicting future trends. The logistics industry relies heavily on analytics to operate safely and efficiently.
Analytics software collects and provides insight into data on inventory, shipping and delivery status, supply chain, human resources, etc. They typically come with reporting features for employees and customers to make instant reports related to the company.
14. Employee Management Software
Most logistics companies have inclusive employee management software. That helps them interact with employees wherever they are, providing instant messaging features, on-the-go access to training, and instant updates regarding events.
That strengthens the employee-management relationship and improves their performance. Employee management software is also a tool for receiving feedback and collaborating on projects.
It improves when employees receive prompt attention and resolve their issues via the software.
There is a plethora of software for every category mentioned above, and it may be difficult for logistic companies to choose the ones that work best for them.
It is important for companies to first analyse their strength and operations before choosing software.