5 free tools for the logistics students and teachers
Logistics processes involve so many different activities that five people working as logisticians would not be able to cope with the tasks given to one another. Quite different tools are used by a warehouse, a forwarder or a transport company. Their multiplicity does not make things easy for the logistics teacher.
With extensive experience of working with universities, we are aware of the didactic challenge for academic staff. The use of new technologies in laboratories is usually difficult or even impossible to apply. The following 5 examples are a didactic must-have to use in the logistics IT room.
This is the absolute basis for teaching support. 4 courses (freight forwarding, warehousing, road transport, transport-logistics manager), with lessons prepared by industry experts. The topics covered include drivers’ working time, calculation of transport costs, carriage of hazardous materials, types of semi-trailers or infrastructure in the warehouse. All given in the form of articles, videos and applications. We know from a reliable source that a new version of the TransEdu game is under development.
Unfortunately, for the time being, the entire platform is only available in Polish.
The ability to use spreadsheets is a core skill when working in logistics. Calculation of rates, transport costs or any countable records with the use of Excel or Google Sheets allows all activities to be carried out in a structured manner. The use of ‘if’, ‘and’ ‘or’ and ‘not’ functions is an absolute must. On the Internet there are quite a few courses on the basics. A logistics student is expected to know a bit more.
The choice is obvious. Management of cargo space in road, sea or air transport is the planner’s daily job. In our opinion, it is not the knowledge of the software itself that matters, but the awareness of some of the loading rules. Stacking, the sequence of loading goods, capacity restrictions, axle loads or the way different types of semi-trailers or containers are used should constitute basic knowledge for anyone who starts working in transport. A simulation showing a 3D loading project should help with this.
4. Warehouse software
Software studio from Dąbrowa near Poznań (Poland) is one of the few companies which shows how the Warehouse Management System (WMS) works. Similarly to Goodloading, it is worth looking at the processes in the warehouse, although in this case the demo version clearly requires discussion with the teacher.
5. Demo Comarch
Accounting, invoicing, human resources, payroll, warehouse integration, access to information from the system, Customer Relations Management (CRM) and Business Intelligence analyses – all combined into one large ERP-class platform. Resource planning is the essence of how a logistics company works, and Comarch is one of the leading providers of the software – enterprise resource planning. ERP is mainly used in large companies and, in order to implement it, a company audit can take up to several months. The Comarch demo is available free of charge for 30 days. We recommend it to teachers who want to give their students a little more than just these few sentences of description.
Thanks to the experience gained over several years of cooperation with universities and businesses, we see how important the implementation of dual education in teaching has become. We are sure that those who are familiar with at least some of the tools available in the industry have a greater chance of being employed.