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How to Select the Best Logistics Management Software for Your Enterprise
Reduce delivery costs and increase speed for middle- to last-mile shipments with the right logistics software
Next- or same-day delivery is becoming the new normal for parcel distribution. An Invesp report found that 58% of consumers between the ages of 18-34 expect same-day delivery and 61% are willing to pay more for the service. Additionally, 25% of shoppers said they would abandon their cart online if same-day shipping wasn’t available.
In order to meet the influx of next- or same-day deliveries, logistics and transportation providers must use innovative technology in order to complete a high volume of deliveries in just a matter of hours.
Logistics management software is a pivotal solution that helps companies streamline supply chains and create optimized business connectivity.
Some logistics software can be used to complete the first, middle, and last mile of a delivery. However, many of these all-encompassing platforms supply run-of-the-mill solutions that offer very little innovative technology and features that drive a provider ahead of competition.
Therefore, for the purpose of this blog, we will focus on logistics software designed to manage middle- to last-mile shipments. These specialized programs usually give the most value to logistics and transportation providers and offer some of the most disruptive technologies on the market.
What is logistics management software?
Logistics management software creates internal efficiency by digitalizing the processes involved in moving goods from their point of origin to their end location—typically a consumer or business. Processing orders, managing inventory, creating routes, and transporting orders and return orders are just a few of the processes logistic management software can help optimize.
Logistics management software built to power middle- to last-mile deliveries offer advanced technology solutions for the shipment of goods and parcels from a warehouse or distribution center to a business or customer. This software typically provides auto dispatch and routing, real-time tracking, reports and analytics, an app for drivers, and more.
Benefits of logistics software:
Every logistics management software is unique and outfitted with a variety of features and services. However, the majority of logistics software provide the same basic advantages.
Fundamental benefits include:
- Minimized service time
- Reduced labor cost
- Quicker delivery time
- Seamless transportation
- Analytics and reports
- Automated daily processes
- Boosted profitability
- Improved delivery performance
Logistics management software also minimizes the amount of human error made by manual entries. Digitization keeps all records stored in one centralized location for easy access when being audited.
How to choose the best logistics management software for your company:
Aside from the fundamental features a logistics management software is expected to provide (listed in the previous section), companies should seek out software that supplies the most automation, innovation, and time-saving features.
Examples of these types of features include dynamic route optimization, advanced geocodes, AI-powered routing and dispatch, best-of-breed integrations, and timesheets and scheduling.
- Dynamic route optimization
Dynamic route optimization creates routes from scratch within established parameters and can adjust according to traffic-related or weather issues. Flexible and customizable, dynamic route optimization allows companies to easily scale and adapt as needed.
- Precise geocodes
Many logistics management software struggle with precise geocoding and snap a pin’s location to the street instead of the actual drop off location. Drivers using these systems often get lost and waste time, especially when making a delivery to an apartment complex. Precise geocodes that take a driver to within 10ft of a delivery, even at a large complex, help create smaller delivery windows and improve delivery performance.
- AI-powered route planning and dispatch
AI-powered route planning and dispatch learns how to optimize dispatch and routing and works to seamlessly coordinate the movements of goods, services, and people. This machine learning feature improves with each use and consistently creates better routes to save time and increase delivery efficiency.
- Best-of-breed integrations
Integrations allow a company to stay in one platform and view data by multiple systems. A dashboard that offers a complete ecosystem for transportation and logistics providers makes it easy for companies to manage their business, gain greater visibility and insight, and stay organized.
- Timesheets and scheduling
A comprehensive timesheets and scheduling built-in to a logistics management dashboard frees up AOs and BCs time and keeps the schedule on the app all the drivers already use for routing. A scheduling feature also helps companies meet DOT requirements and become alerted whenever a compliance issue arises.
These are only a few of the many features available through certain logistics management software.
Other desirable features include:
- Integrated visual telematics
- Real-time scanner data
- Real-time driver location
- Clock in/clock out
- Package scanning
- Ability to drop pins and edit maps
- Notes and customization
*Note: Only Beans Route currently offers all of the features listed in this section.
Consumer behavior changes over time and can change suddenly—a prime example being when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Therefore, a logistics management platform must be able to adapt to the needs of a transportation or logistics provider as they adjust to consumer demand.
Effective software should allow a company to scale up or down with ease and make adjustments as needed. An inflexible system causes inefficiencies and will ultimately harm a company’s profitability.
Logistics management software should also consistently push out innovative features that equip providers with disruptive technology. Management software that deploys groundbreaking features, such as in-app scanning or integrated AI-powered timesheets and scheduling, create further efficiencies that save a company time and boosts profitability.