Logistics Management Software Simplified For Businesses

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Logistics Management Software

The landscape is constantly changing, and so are different industries’ operations. One of these broad spectra of industries is the supply chain that is taking the digitalized route for efficient management and smart operations with logistics management software. 

With its dedicated and versatile solutions to choose from, Logistics software is redefining everything. From warehouse management to stocking inventory and tracking orders to streamlining returns. It is optimizing every step.

So, if you want to know about logistic management solutions and how they can bring in manifold benefits, this guide is exactly what you need. We will cover everything, including what logistic management software is, how it works, its types, challenges, benefits, and so much more. 

What Is Logistics Management Software? 

Breaking it down in simpler words, logistics is related to transferring goods, like delivering a product/order from a company’s warehouse to a customer. For huge enterprises, managing these logistics can be complicated. And that’s where the digital management solution comes into the picture. 

Logistic management software streamlines planning, processing, storage management, production, and the right transportation for faster and more efficient services. The software manages and automates almost everything, including delivery and returns (if there are any). 

How Does Logistics Management Software Work?

The logistics management system mechanizes the processes and meets the client’s needs within the stipulated time frame. It automates the selection, picks the optimal delivery method, and manages warehouse storage. This allows the companies to fulfill the orders faster and more efficiently. 

It streamlines the process for everyone, including manufacturers, consumers, and retailers. Companies automate the sorting, selecting, and order management using custom software for logistics management. The request is processed in both forward and backward directions. 

Manufacturers quickly fulfill customer demands and offer quality support services because of their extensively automated solutions. This also helps streamline the process across varied channels and broaden business clientele horizons.

When moving in the forward direction, the goods ordered by the consumers are sourced and transported to the nearest warehouse. The delivery agent picks up the order, which is then delivered to the customer. 

Movement in a backward direction can also be seen as reverse logistics. This is where the customer returns the order if it is damaged, its quality is not up to the mark, or some other reason. The delivery agent collects the product from the customer and transports it back to the warehouse. It is then returned back to the manufacturer. 

Many supply-chain companies outsource the logistics software development teams through third parties to further manage the process. This ensures they get secure solutions without the hassle of hiring and developing one by scratch. 

Essential Features Of Logistic Management Software  

Warehouse Management

Warehouse management is an important part of the supply chain journey, as this is the connecting link between the manufacturer and the customer. This is why there’s a need for a digital solution for effective management. 

Warehouse management automates the operation through digital logistics solutions. It manages all the related operations like goods collection, proper storage, regular maintenance, transportation, etc. It also monitors if the parcel was delivered perfectly; hence, it can also be seen as a warehouse and order management tool. 

Inventory Management

A stocked inventory is a must for any supply chain management company. With thousands of products, keeping track of what needs to be restocked is next to impossible. But, with the digital inventory management solution, it seems doable.

So many issues and problems can be resolved using an optimal inventory management tool. It will automatically check the influx of supplies against the demand to ensure seamless flow throughout. Additional things like automated inventory tracking and process controlling methods further enhance its functionality. 

Security Management  

One of the many qualities of a reliable supply chain management company is providing secure solutions. Ensuring that the data is not compromised when integrating or during operations is important to protect the client’s privacy. 

Strict measures and integrations are a must to create a secure system that can prevent it from happening and detect it quickly if it does. To achieve this, ensure the system has extensive backup and limited access. Then, make sure that it complies with security standards unique to your area. 

Digital Payments And Finance Management

A well-organized ledger of all the payments made, be it credits, debits, or dues, is necessary for financial clarity about the systems. This is why financial administration is an uncompromising feature in logistic management software. Elements like general ledger, expense, earnings records, receipt details, etc., are must-haves. 

Today, multiple options are available to assist customers’ journeys. Self-regulating logistic management solutions assist in keeping track of all the different payment sources. An automated system makes it faster and error-free. It filters fraudulent invoices while making the system flexible enough to make any necessary adjustments in price. 

Real-Time Visibility And Analytics

There’s no need to emphasize the importance of real-time data monitoring and tracking, especially if it is about tracking the orders. Today, customers like to know about their packages, like where their package is – In the warehouse? Out for delivery? What is happening? 

With automated real-time tracking, companies can make it possible for customers and themselves to ensure a streamlined delivery experience. GPS tracking and regular transit updates can communicate any delay easily. 

Transportation Management 

Some call it cargo; for some, it is shipment; for the rest, this feature is transportation management. Big companies generally send thousands and thousands of packages daily, and planning beforehand is essential to ensure smoother delivery and better management. 

Scheduling the freight movement beforehand eliminates any last-minute rush decisions and streamlines the process from start to finish. Another thing that comes into this category is freight monitoring, done through effective data-driven insights. The data is used to optimize routes and make the delivery process more economical.  

Returns Management

This is more like backward movement in the logistics industry or reverse logistics that deals with returned goods. It involves faster query resolution, easy return processing, pickup, and refunds. This is also a part of the customer journey and requires as much attention as delivering the product. 

Logistics software makes sure that the customer’s query is handled well and provides insights on how the services can be improved to reduce the returns as much as possible. This is because fewer returns mean more reliability. 

Types Of Logistics Management System

Types of Logistics Management Software

Order Management System  

This covers the customer’s entire journey. From the moment they place an order till they receive it.  All the related functionalities like customer support, payments, fraud detection and related paperwork are handled by the order management system. 

The system creates a centralized space connecting different sales channels (different sources for customers to purchase). This brings every element (customers, relevant data, supplier, and order information) into one place to fulfill the orders without any errors. 

Warehouse Management System

A well-operating warehouse is a must to deliver the products quickly and efficiently. This can be achieved with a suitable warehouse management system that maximizes storage capacity by enhancing the overall goods and labor flow. 

It controls inventory placements, requirements, and warehouse staff to create a productive working environment. Using the warehouse management system, the staff can easily look for an item using a barcode for a more organized order pickup. Here’s how we resolved this problem with an optimal warehouse management solution called Mover Storage.

Inventory Management System

A supply chain business’s core operation is transporting goods, so having a stocked inventory and a proper management system is a prerequisite for success. Having complete knowledge of the product, like – name, description, storage, etc., is necessary. An inventory management system can streamline and automate the whole process. 

Businesses can leverage this type of logistics management software to automate reordering and prevent the product in demand from getting out of stock. It also lets businesses monitor their stocks and not order too much of one product – preventing both under and over-stocking.  

Transportation Management System

After the inventory and warehouse comes delivery, and that’s where fleet management comes into the picture. Features like fleet tracking, route optimization, performance, and seamless data flow across the whole system are a must.  

Integrating a fleet management system instead of manually tracking it all can prove to be really beneficial. It can save time, reduce errors, allow proper monitoring, provide cloud-based communication, and so many other benefits. 

Also, Read – How we created an optimal shipment tracking system, TrackHive

Return Management System

Having customers return the purchased item is a very common event, especially with online commerce. Tracking it is equally important as it gives insights into what needs to be changed and what works well. It also serves as a good quality check for the product and services.  

With a perfect return management system in order, the overall process will be streamlined by reducing mistakes and increasing speed. A return management system also allows businesses to monitor the return process, reason and analyze the patterns. Additionally, return status can also be provided to customers for more clarity. 

How To Develop The Logistics Management Software For Your Business

Logistics Management Software Development steps

Step 1: Understand The Requirement 

The main purpose of logistic management solutions is to fill in the gap, not replace the human workforce. Identifying the gaps is the key to building the right logistics software. So, when it comes to understanding your requirements, identify the hindering elements and missing factors in the current business plan.

While self-assessment is surely a faster and more cost-effective method, connecting with expert analysts is advised for precise and more accurate results. This will not only give a picture of the current situation but will also help envision the possible solution and its impact. 

Step 2: Plan Everything – Budget, Time, Etc. 

In order to minimize the disruption during the transformation process, make sure you plan well in advance for every step, budget, and timeframe. A well-planned approach mitigates communication gaps, provides clarity, and streamlines the overall process. 

Additionally, clarity about how much you are willing to spend both in terms of resources and time is appreciated when partnering with a software development company. Having a set budget and timeline helps design the right solution without much hassle. 

Step 3: Choose The Tech Stack And Hire The Right Experts 

Now, once the requirements are identified and communicated, it is time to choose the suitable tech stack and build a team with the required skill set. The combination depends on what functionalities you are seeking from the digital solution. 

Then, based on the combination of tech stacks, hiring should be done. You can hire by going through a huge pile of applicants and see if their skills match the requirements, or connect with a reliable software development company and let their experts handle the project.  

Step 4: Develop, Test, And Debug 

Once the hiring is done, it is time to get started – work with the development team and stay in the loop to understand what is going on. Building and perfecting a prototype before proceeding with the actual development is a better solution to ensure faster development. 

Once the prototype is finalized, start developing the software. In this step, everything comes together as a user-friendly and robust solution. So, develop the product, test it, debug it(if required), and continue till perfect. The process can be simplified with a team of industry experts who design robust solutions tailored to your needs.   

Step 5: Launch The Final App 

The last step is to deploy the final product. Once all the issues and bugs have been resolved, it is time to let everyone access and use it. This is the stage where you can get extensive reviews from first-time users, which is essential for further improvements. 

Another thing that comes with launching the app is training and patience. Keep in mind that it will take some time for the employees to get used to the digital system of operations. Pre-launch training sessions and well-informed steps will ease the integration process. 

Tech Stack

FRONTENDAngular.js, Vue.js, jQuery, TypeScript, ReactJS
BACKEND PHP, Python, Java, C#, C++, JavaScript
MOBILE APPLICATIONSReact Native, Swift, Kotlin
FRAMEWORKS Django, .Net, Laravel
ANALYTICS Spark, Big Data, Apache
DATABASEMongoDB, MySQL, PostgreSQL
PAYMENT SYSTEMStripe, PayPal, eWallet
APIs GraphQL, REST API
CLOUD PLATFORMSAzure, AWS

Cost Of Developing Logistic Management Software 

A rough estimate would be $50,000 – $150,000. However, the cost can vary depending on the technology stack, integrations, complexities, hiring location, etc. Another factor that adds to the price is customization because designing specifically tailored solutions requires additional features. 

Next is the hiring location and team size. The cost of living varies from place to place, and that majorly determines hiring costs. For example, hiring from North America would cost approx. $100 – $150 per person per hour, while in Asia, it would be reduced to $18 – $40

As for the number of experts you are hiring, it is quite straightforward: the more people you hire, the more expensive it is. These are some of the most basic factors that define logistics software development costs. 

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Challenges Involved In Logistics Software Development

Integrating software for logistics management is not different from other digital transformation services. It also involves a set of roadblocks, both technical and non-technical. Some of the commonly occurring challenges are: 

Lack Of Suitable Training  

Any digital integration is futile if it is not utilized to its optimal potential. In order to reap all the benefits, the staff needs to be trained well. This involves giving them all the relevant information, taking training sessions, and giving them ample time to understand the new system.

Train the employees in a streamlined manner by aligning the training sessions with the development time. This way, the team will get used to the new integration by the time it is actually introduced in the system. 

Unclear Vision 

It is important to design a fitting solution to clarify why you wish to integrate logistics management software and what benefits it must serve. A clear understanding from your end will help narrow down the solutions for the service provider. 

Before jumping onto the bandwagon of digital integration, evaluate what areas of your business require digital integration and to what extent. This is to ensure that only the necessary integrations are added, and you don’t pay for anything extra. 

Security And Privacy Issues 

This is the primary reason why many companies back off from digital integration, and rightly so! Data privacy is the number one priority for many in the current digital age and time because of data breaches during migrations. 

This not only puts the client’s personal information in jeopardy but also puts the company’s reputation at risk. So before you finalize the company, make sure that you communicate the security concerns and gather all the relevant information. 

Benefits Of Integrating Logistic Management Software 

Digital transformation in the supply chain industry has become the need of the hour. It has become more of a requirement than an advantage to be able to keep up with today’s ever-evolving world.  

There are many reasons why one should overcome all the roadblocks and make their supply chain business future-ready with advanced logistics management system software. They are: 

  • It will improve the operational efficiency by automating repetitive tasks. 
  • The processes would get faster with digital solutions, thus reducing time and cost
  • It powers the system with modern features like real-time updates.
  • Powered by AI, it improves decision-making with relevant data-driven insights. 
  • It enhances customer service by providing faster delivery, easy returns, and more. 
  • It allows room for growth with easy-to-update and modify features. 

Things To Consider Before Choosing The Logistics Software

questions ask before selecting logistics solution

Logistics management solutions have become a staple for streamlined operations and improved functionality. But with so many features and functionalities, it is important to see which one will fit best for you – not your competitors, but your business model. 

This is challenging and equally crucial for businesses to get right, as this would be the foundation of the whole logistics software development. So, set the foundation right by answering these questions. 

Will The Logistics Management Solutions Improve The Workflow? 

Make sure that you select the right features that add value to your existing system. To achieve this, make informed decisions after thoroughly understanding each feature and its primary functions. The fundamental trick is to first understand the problem areas and then look through the list of features when making the final choices. 

Is This The Best Price For The Complete Solution? 

Custom digital solutions are already very expensive, and the price only rises further as the complexity increases. So it is important you get the value for your money when you get the final product. Do a thorough market research and partner with a trustworthy company to get exactly what you are promised. 

Will This Solution Offer Ample Scalability And Flexibility? 

Your digital solutions should be able to address but not be limited to present-day problems; they should be future-ready as well. Work with a company that helps you achieve your long-term and short-term goals so you don’t have to invest repeatedly.  

Is The Software Service Provider Reliable? 

Today’s digitally connected world has made it possible for teams from across the continent to collaborate together without any hassle. But before you sign the contract, check their reviews, client testimonials, and portfolio for better knowledge of their expertise and work ethics. Partner with a logistics software development company that maintains transparency throughout the process. 

Some Top Logistics Management Software In The Market

Here are some of the top logistics software development companies leading the market with their phenomenal logistics software solutions: 

Oracle

Oracle’s OTM – Oracle Transportation Management is an end-to-end logistic management software solution for businesses with clientele across the globe. The platform comes with an easy-to-navigate, intuitive interface and is packed with features aimed at improving the overall operations.

It comes with some amazing features like real-time visibility, effective route tracking, automated scheduling, predictive analysis, etc. However, the one unique feature that sets it apart from others is the 3D load configuration. It allows users to utilize optimal vehicle capacity and maximize load transportation while reducing the number of actual trucks through simulation. 

SAP

The company known for its ERP software did not disappoint with its transportation management software. Aiming to improve the supply chain as a whole, the platform offers ample versatility that both global and domestic companies can use it. 

SAP’s logistic application offers progressive features like capacity planning, predictive forecasting, etc., at every phase through automation. The solutions offer complete visibility, scalability, better load management, and lower fuel consumption. What’s more? The software also comes with AI to automate the system further and improve decisions. 

Salesforce 

Salesforce offers transportation and logistic management software integrated with its CRM solution to create a customized experience with its exceptional features. This gives a bird-eye view of the whole process and design solutions, keeping the customer’s experiences and expectations in mind. 

The USP for Salesforce is that it brings the customer’s perspective into the picture as well, thus improving the logistics management as well as the customer’s journey. It easily integrates with other management systems, which makes it an amazing option for those looking for comprehensive logistics software solutions. 

Zoho 

Zoho designed a logistics management system called Zoho Inventory for businesses with multiple sales channels. It helps handle the production lines and sales. It oversees the whole warehouse. The user-friendly interface and easy-to-navigate dashboard make order and delivery management easy. 

It allows tracking orders based on batches and serial numbers, which is really helpful in the case of multiple sales channels. Based on the existing stock and market trends, it automatically reorders the products to avoid stock-outs. 

Future Trends Of Logistics Management Software 

Staying updated with the current and upcoming trends is important to keep the system updated. The latest technology and efficient functioning are enjoyed equally by both the employees and customers. 

So, here are some key trends that will be driving digital logistics solutions in the coming future: 

Artificial Intelligence

AI and ML have been and will continue to be the buzzword in the digital industry due to their major impact across industries. Businesses leverage these contemporary technologies to increase efficiency and reduce human errors. In the coming future, this is only going to improve and benefit everyone, including manufacturers, suppliers, and customers. 

AI in logistics will continue to be the trending technology because of its smart solutions like predictive analytics & forecasting, automating time-consuming, repetitive tasks, improved customer services, and a lot more. Combine it with ML, and businesses get insightful data on market trends, customer behaviors, etc, for better decision-making. 

Internet of Things 

Today, shipment tracking, inventory management, and real-time visibility are only possible thanks to the IoT and other connectivity technologies. Supply chain businesses are realizing the importance of these devices, especially in route optimization and fuel management. The future is set to witness more cases of IoT being used in logistics. 

It is the integration of these devices that makes the supply chain businesses self-sufficient, from acquiring products to securing them to delivering them and returning them in some cases. It can automate, connect, and streamline almost all the processes, thus keeping your human resources free from redundant jobs. 

Sustainable Solutions

With the rise in digital advancements, this one trend is inevitable. The present-day environmental issues and the socially conscious public have raised many concerns regarding fast-paced digital advancements. This has caused many companies to design sustainable and quality solutions. 

The shift is already visible in the form of reduced delivery trucks, maximized container storage, use of paper bags, fewer boxes, etc. The introduction of electric vehicles and route optimization is another way of creating sustainable solutions. These solutions will continue to be refined to make logistics more efficient and sustainable. 

Conclusion 

Logistics management software is needed more than ever today. It is to manage the increasing demands and maintain relevancy. The client-centric approach and sustainable solutions are not trends anymore, and a reliable digital solution can turn them into a reality. 

While logistics software can streamline the processes, developing and integrating it can also be simplified with a reliable software development partner. OpenXcell’s team of experts can promise you just that. Get complete transparency, a streamlined process and design a solution tailored to your needs.

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author
Vaishnavi Baghel
AUTHOR

A Philosophy student who knocked on the door of the technology, Vaishnavi is a writer who likes to explore stories, one write-up at a time. A reader at heart, she plays with words to tell the tales of the digital world.

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