Imagine a world where every process is automated so that everything runs in a synchronized manner. You experience no traffic delays because your GPS navigation app has guided you seamlessly through the route of least resistance. As you arrive at your office, a hot cup of your favorite flavored coffee has been meticulously placed at your desk and your computer welcomes you with your top-priority emails ready for review ― all while your internal departments work together at optimal speed and efficiency. While this ideal state isn’t completely attainable yet, we can apply existing technology to optimize logistics management with significant benefits. Harnessing the value can be easier than you might think.
Common Logistics Challenges
First, let’s consider the most common challenges facing most logistics leaders. Your organization is likely working with multiple carriers that have their own pricing, processes and objectives. Your various departments may be using separate systems, so there’s little to no communication or integration organization-wide. Further, there’s no uniform data collection, so the data you have isn’t collected in consistent formats, complicating the ability to share data in a meaningful way. This is especially problematic in fields where compliance requirements are mandated. In all of these cases, technology available today presents powerful solutions.
Biggest Areas to Impact with Logistics Technology
A third party logistics (3PL) firm, like Broussard Logistics, can address these challenges with technology that is customized to your business needs. For instance, technology connects your various systems, data and goals so that your various departments and locations are able to work on a united front. With web-based visibility, your teams can share logistics data real-time and complete processes faster. The connected systems also reduce the need for multiple points of data entry and possibilities for errors. The benefits of connectivity extends beyond your organization when data is also shared with vendors and customers (shipping dates and expected arrival dates). Web-based visibility through an API also gives shippers accurate rates from carriers, avoiding costly manual uploads and updates when pricing changes.
Additionally, one technological platform organization-wide helps to collect data uniformly, report the information consistently and meet compliance requirements more easily. This also allows apples-to-apples comparisons across departments.
Technology also introduces greater flexibility with vendors, staff and processes. For example, if one vendor is experiencing sourcing issues, your software allows you to quickly source product from another vendor. This can positively impact your inbound freight costs as well as your outbound freight costs.
With international carriers, shipping rates can change as quickly as a few days. Easily stay up-to-date with evolving rates and terms with an interface that allows you to see and sort the best rates.
Choosing the Right (Technology) Path
Ready to explore how technology can enhance your logistics management? There are several avenues to consider. You can engage with a major enterprise resource planning (ERP) provider that, amongst other things, offers a transportation management system (TMS). The drawback can be the sheer expense. Plus, standardized software tends to be cumbersome to tailor to your environment, often resulting in the additional costs of hiring software programmers who can customize the application. Unfortunately, this can also extend your project timeline.
“With those solutions, you have to jump in head first,” Mike Broussard, Vice President of Broussard Logistics, said. “You must buy the entire system and then customize it to match your specific needs.”
Alternatively, Broussard Logistics takes a different approach, helping companies to identify, execute and ease their way into the technology. Taking more of a phased approach allows organizations to manage timelines and resources more effectively with a greater likelihood for overall success. Your organization can focus on applying technology solutions to one or two areas at a time and truly capture measurable results.
If your organization is facing any of these common logistics challenges, Broussard Logistics can help. The value that 3PL technology offers the logistics arena is so promising, that organizations of all sizes are seizing this opportunity. Are you ready to harness the power that technology can deliver to your organization?