Logistics software for process optimisation in large and small companies

15 October 2021

The last two years have had a significant impact on many elements of our lives. Changes have been forced on the transport industry and the popular phrase “optimisation of logistics processes” has now become even more relevant to meet the new challenges. It is necessary to use technology and modern solutions for supply chain management.

We believe that every large company has a system or software that allows managing individual processes or the whole business. Until recently, most complete solutions were intended for large companies with a sufficient budget for purchase and implementation. As technology develops and new companies or start-ups emerge, even a small business can benefit from specialised systems. More and more IT companies provide software in the form of modules so that the customer can choose the ones they plan to use, without having to pay for a multitude of functions that they do not need.

Logistics management software 

Logistics applications are primarily aimed at work optimisation through shortening the execution time of individual processes or reducing errors and, as a result, minimising costs. 

Logistics software is designed to improve every stage of the supply chain management process. Its functionalities speed up production planning, the management of inbound and outbound transport as well as the vehicle fleet. Additionally, with its help, the warehouse works smoothly, at least in theory, along with the processing and packaging of orders and inventory control. Logistics management software is intended to replace outdated methods, such as spreadsheets, paperwork and excessively long email exchanges or phone calls. The systems available on the market offer various solutions, depending on the needs of the company. Cloud solutions or those with the possibility of integration with other systems are gaining in popularity. IT companies with modern technological resources have self-learning algorithms that allow them to respond even better to customer needs.

When looking for the most efficient software, it is important to specify the needs of the company that a given application should meet. If you are planning a significant growth and expansion of your company, choose a system comprising many modules which can be added to the ready-made solution as the company grows. It is also worth noting how often the available solutions are extended with new functionalities. By choosing software that is constantly developed, we have a guarantee that in the event of possible changes on the market, the application will be able to adapt quickly to the needs of its customers.

The choice of a process management software for a company also depends on the budget you have. It may turn out that a slightly cheaper system will be too complicated to implement. Therefore, it is worth considering many options before making the final decision.

Transport management systems 

Transport management applications are among the most popular systems in the industry. The availability of various solutions and the multitude of functions contributes to the fact that many enterprises with their own vehicle fleet, including transport and forwarding companies, use them. 

TMS systems are used to plan, execute and settle transport operations. They monitor all processes by providing ready-made reports on the basis of which companies can make analyses and take final decisions.

The main functions of transport management systems include:

  • planning and optimisation of transport routes,
  • management of the vehicle fleet and easier communication with the driver,
  • monitoring of cargo location using the GPS system,
  • organisation of loading and unloading,
  • calculation of costs and settlement of payments,
  • integration with other systems, e.g. telematics or smaller ones, such as Goodloading, which help to optimise loading. 

Some of the most popular TMS systems include Kuebix, Oracle and 3Gtms or Qguar TMS Mobile.

fot. Quantum software

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Warehouse logistics software 

WMS systems, i.e. those designed to manage warehouses, are addressed, among others, to production companies with their own halls, online shops renting warehouse areas, as well as courier companies providing services to many customers.

WMS systems are mainly aimed at managing and optimising the processes running in the warehouse. The basic functions include identification and optimization of goods distribution, location management, handling of deliveries and shipments as well as inventory of stored products. The use of WMS systems brings many benefits, such as:

– automation of product movement, 

– reducing the risk of errors during shipping,

– faster picking of orders,

– workflow of electronic documents. 

Some of the most popular WMS systems include Oracle NetSuite, Softeon and 3PL Central.

Enterprise resource planning systems (ERP)

ERP systems are not strictly logistics software, but they help considerably in running the business, also in the transport industry. Their purpose is to manage all processes within a company, ranging from purchasing, production and distribution to financial control and employee management support. With all this information collected in one place, data exchange is much faster and easier to analyse.

WMS or TMS systems can be part of the ERP system or a separate but integrated tool.

Logistics software for small business

Small businesses have much tighter budgets and often different needs than large companies. However, this does not mean that they cannot benefit from the same applications that the industry giants use. It can be seen that technological companies often offer additional subscriptions with fewer features and at a lower price, making them available to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Not every small business in its early days will have the need to implement sophisticated TMS, WMS or ERP systems. It may use other solutions to optimise one of its processes. It is important to identify stages at which work is inefficient and time consuming, then one can start looking for the right software. Optimisation does not have to involve the use of complex systems. 

For example, if planning the loading of a truck is a problem in your business, mistakes are made too often while loading and it takes too long to decide whether a particular load will fit on your vehicle, you can use the truck and container loading software.

Goodloading is one of the most popular systems of this type in the world. It is designed both for larger companies and local businesses. Users of the application appreciate the multitude of functions, while keeping a simple interface and ease of use. This can save around 30 minutes per loading project. You just add loads and select a vehicle or container – the software will indicate the most optimal arrangement. Users may adjust the application to the needs of the company by adding their own spaces and loads. The finished project can be sent to the driver or to the warehouse. Simply register to test the application for free. 

Other software that may be useful in your business:

  • telephone and e-mail customer service systems,
  • route planners,
  • software for handling customs procedures,
  • applications for drivers.

Own logistics systems

Although there are many transport management systems available on the market, some companies choose to develop their own solutions. They have the opportunity to prepare such a system that will perfectly fit the profile of their business. 

Many already available software solutions offer integration through APIs allowing companies to take advantage of available systems instead of developing a completely independent solution. Such an approach may turn out to be cheaper than the implementation of a ready-made solution.