After your products have been stored, sorted, picked and packaged in some way, you are ready to get it out the door. A customer wants it, and you gain a sense of accomplishment when your warehousing role is complete and you have efficiently moved the product to fulfill your customer’s demand. And coincidently and not a small point – there’s also the revenue you realize by this activity. But is your job done yet? If you haven’t decided on transportation of your products and the myriad of details associated with it, you aren’t done yet.
Transportation is complex now. What kind of shipments will you make and what do you expect the carrier to do? Complex questions must be answered to plan and execute your transportation strategy. The goal is to get your product to your customer safely, quickly and cheaply, and to have that process repeated every time without errors, delays or unsupported added costs. With the myriad of choices available to you, the use of systems in planning and executing this step in the supply chain must become a component of your business. But how do you assess transportation software solutions that make sense for your business?
The goal is to get your product to your customer safely, quickly and cheaply, and to have that process repeated every time without errors, delays or unsupported added costs. With the myriad of choices available to you, the use of systems in planning and executing this step in the supply chain must become a component of your business.
Here are five points to consider:
- Can the transportation solution help you integrate and expand into any of the three main types of freight transportation? Truckload (TL), less-than-truckload (LTL) and small package (Parcel) methods each have different rules, regulations and complex standards to plan for when shipping your product. Make sure that a transportation software solution provides a deep understanding and integration to any of the carriers in the methods your business utilizes. And if you use only one method today, if your business plans to use another transportation method soon, the flexibility to adapt to those other methods should be included as well.
- Can your transportation software issue compliant forms and labels? Shipping labels have become complex, and each customer may have unique needs. Shipping internationally or shipping objects that contain hazardous goods may require placarding and notice to the carrier. You will need a transportation solution that understands common carrier shipping rules and regulations, whether your goods travel by road, boat or airplane (or some combination of all three) and can issue all of the proper documentation necessary to ship successfully.
- Will your transportation solution integrate to your other business software systems easily and reliably? The integrity of your business information relies on moving the correct data at the correct time in the correct form to any system that needs to act on it. With wildly different and varying data models, integration between applications becomes a challenging exercise, but when done well, the results are seamless to your business.
- Can you shop for the best carrier rates and can freight billing be as unique as you need it to be? Factors such as accessorial charges, FOB points, collect, prepaid and COD freight charges, Incoterms and customs duties, and other factors all play a part in managing what you should do to transport your goods. If your software addresses each of these and any others that apply to your business, then you will have the tools for a holistic approach to the transportation puzzle while keeping costs manageable and minimized.
- Do you have a trusted partner to help your efforts to implement, supplement and gain real results from a transportation software system? Naturally, the more knowledge and experience your organization holds in software solutions and business challenges, then you are better off. Many times, that objective viewpoint, expertise, and experience that exists outside of your business provides real value to your efforts though. Choosing the right business partner to guide your efforts is a big consideration.
Customers today demand that their suppliers perform everything necessary to provide goods to them where and when they want it at the best price. Transportation is a key logistical and cost contributor to this complex puzzle. Transportation software solutions offer a promise to help your business if you can focus on the objectives every step of the way. And Accelogix can be that trusted partner that brings you the depth of skills to supplement your own organization to drive positive change and a winning holistic solution to today’s and tomorrow’s business challenges.
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