Business

5 Top Logistics Management Software – Top Features

Igor Dąbrowski

The role played by the logistics industry in the business world cannot be overemphasized – this is because logistics is an umbrella name for the process that acts as the final link between the producer of a product and the eventual consumer. In a world where the success or otherwise of a business is dependent mainly on the satisfaction of the customers, the logistics side of the business is as important as the production part – if not more important! Therefore, for a company’s logistics arm to function with utmost efficiency, attention must be paid to two areas that propel an efficient logistic system and logistic management software. Before examining the top five logistics management software and their most desirable features, it is of utmost importance that the fundamental terminologies relating to this discourse are defined and understood.

 According to sciencedirect.com, “Logistics management is the part of the supply chain process that plans, implements, and controls the efficient, effective flow and storage of goods, services, and related information from the point of origin to the point of consumption to meet customer requirements.”

Simply put, logistics management refers to the segment of the supply chain process concerned with the efficient management of the totality of the distribution process from the production point to the consumption point in a way that satisfies customers’ demand. According to experts, logistics management should involve the following; 

  • Inbound and outbound transportation management
  • Warehouse management
  • Fleet management
  • Processing orders
  • Inventory control
  • Managing third-party logistics service providers
  • Planning supply and demand.

Meanwhile, According to Fingent.com, logistics management software is referred to as software that “simplifies operations by refining the production cycle and making it easier to access important information quickly.”

Also, globalspec.com defines logistics management software as “…software (that) involves the integration of information, transportation, inventory, warehousing, material-handling, and packaging, and occasionally security.” 

Simply put, logistics management software refers to a program put in place to ensure the integration, effective running, and proper management of all the facets of the supply chain or distribution process, including storage, inventory, transportation, and so on. 

Just as an aside, it might interest you to know that there are three types of logistics or logistics flow. They are; inbound logistics (basically involves the movement of raw materials), outbound logistics (movement of finished products to the following supply link), and reverse logistics (for example, recycling).

What software is used in logistics? 

Even though ERP systems are in charge of organizing business data, a specific ERP system was developed for Logistics. It is known as SCM (Supply Chain Management). Supply chain management systems are a form of Enterprise Resources Planning, tailor-made for logistic purposes.

What is  SAP  for logistics? 

SAP stands for systems application and product data processing. It also stands as the name of a company specializing in providing “digital supply chain” services for logistics purposes. In easier terms, SAP offers ERP systems for logistics purposes. It is basically software for transport companies. 

With close to forty years of experience in the bag, SAP is easily a household name when it comes to the digital supply chain. The totality of services offered by SAP can be split into the following sectors; 

Materials Management (MM) – this extremely important  component covers “the purchasing functionality, inventory movements, accounts payable and the material master file, which contains information on all materials and services within a company.”

Sales and Distribution (SD) – This sector encompasses processes like customer order, product delivery, overseas pricing, overseas shipping, and most importantly, shipping. 

Quality Management (QM) – this function is hinged on ensuring that product quality meets a particular standard. This is determined by post-production inspection. 

Plant Maintenance (PM) – This involves pre-emptive and regular maintenance of equipment made use of in the production process in other to prevent damage or faults. For example, the constant servicing of machinery to ensure proper functioning. 

Production Planning (PP) – This function focuses on the understanding of a company’s productivity rate cum productive capacity, master production scheduling (MPS), material requirements planning (MRP), and the other shop floor functions carried out in producing finished goods. 

Customer Service (CS) – This function oversees product warranties and helps manages the process of repairs as regards damaged or broken products that have been returned by customers for repairs. 

Warehouse Management (WM) – This aspect is focused on aiding management companies to precisely manage inventory and at the same time help optimize storage capacity. 

What are the 7 R’s of logistics? 

 Right product  

When a company develops its products, the logistic process should be one of its important considerations. Also, companies should lookout for the best means of transportation in order to deliver a particular product and to ensure that it is delivered in optimum condition. When this is adequately anticipated, enough preparations are made for the proper delivery of such products. As an example, collapsible products are vastly easier to transport compared to Fragile products, which may need extra cushioning or packaging to prevent damage in transit. Peculiarities like this should not be overlooked.

 Right condition 

This is probably the most important of the ‘rights.’ This is because the condition in which a good is delivered to a customer would go a long way in determining customer satisfaction. As a result, Logistics companies have to pay careful attention to both the condition of the actual product and the packaging of the product – it must not show any signs of being tampered with or damage.

 Right quantity

Delivering the right quantity of goods is also very important. This is because the market is mainly dependent on the forces of demand and supply. Therefore it becomes necessary that a company must know the proper quantity of goods to produce and to deliver without putting a strain on the logistic system.

 Right place

 it is also of utmost importance that products are delivered to the right places. This goes a long way in customer satisfaction and helps not to incur losses. This system could be made more effective by the use of logistic tracking software.

 Right time

In today’s world,  Keeping to time is more critical than ever, and it ensures the maintenance of a competitive Edge. Therefore delivering your project on time is essential. To achieve timely delivery, route optimization software could come in handy.

Right customer 

 Getting a product to the right customer could be a tedious job especially considering the process of trying to raise awareness about such products amongst the desired sets of people. This could be made more accessible with a market survey and targeted ads. 

Right price

 after putting other factors into consideration, a product should be rightly priced. Priced in a way to ensure profitability and also in a way that still provides affordability by target consumers.

What is the  ERP  system in logistics? 

An ERP system, much like the traditional one, plays the role of improving efficiency in the logistic system. In short, it is a logistic management system software. It also helps streamline and control general business activities through the integration of diverse data systems. It improves a company’s inventory management, cost-saving, visibility, and so on. 

What is the best logistics software? 

Admittedly, it is not easy to say that a particular logistics software is the best. Notwithstanding, outlining the logistics management software features of these firms might help guide a potential consumer in determining their preferred choice. Subsequently, we would be examining five of such firms; 

NetSuite 

From the description on their website, “NetSuite is the leading integrated cloud business software suite, including business accounting, ERP, CRM, and e-commerce software.” From this, it is glaring that Netsuite is more of a general ERP and CRM system (it is not explicitly made for logistics), unlike some other software on this list. 

SAP 

SAP has dedicated software for the supply chain business, which is called the SAP SCM. It is described as “a tool provided by SAP AG for managing the supply chain process of an organization. SCM helps in planning, networking, and execution of all supply chain-related activities of an organization.”

Onfleet 

Described as “a leading delivery management solution that helps businesses around the world assign and track their local deliveries, communicate with their drivers and customers, and rapidly scale their delivery operations”. They are headquartered in San Francisco, USA. 

Front 

Front describes itself as; “the customer communication platform that combines emails, apps, and teammates into a single view. With Front, it’s simple for every person in your company to have an impact on the customer experience.” From the description, it is clear that Front only offers CRM services. 

Shipsy

This is a freight and logistics software company (a logistics fleet management software) that offers various services like freight (container) tracking – Shipsy track, rate procurement, and general logistics services in order to drive “operational efficiency for Supply Chain industry.” It is headquartered in Gurgaon, India. 

 Summary

  • Logistics is highly significant to business operations.
  • The 7 Rs are an essential part of logistics. 
  • SAP offers ERP systems for logistics purposes. 
  • ERP systems improve the overall efficiency of supply chains
  • Logistics software are quite numerous, client’s preferences and discretion are essential in choice making.

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