Supply Chain Management Technology for Manufacturers

Supply Chain Software is the system that enables manufacturers, or any company shipping their products automate their logistics and supply chain processes. All small and medium size companies are in a tough situation position because their shipping volume does not justify the cost of a big, complicated logistics management software application. The Return on Investment is just not there for some shippers when the cost to implement and maintain a large managed logistics software system starts at a hundred grand and only goes up from there.

So what do the large Logistic Software solutions provide for the big companies that can afford them?

The first role of a TMS system is to automate the flow of order and shipping information through the organization. Secondly, it streamlines and automates most of the communication between departments and outside logistics suppliers.

For instance, as a normal process, most companies that ship product will receives orders and need to make decisions on how the orders will ship. For the company with supply chain software:

  • the individual shipments are organized into the optimal Load Plan
  • carrier selection is made via the well organized Routing Guide
  • loads are tendered to, and delivered with all the relevant data captured and reported on
For companies without a logistics software solution, all these parts of the process are handled manually, or simply not done at all. Carriers are called for delivery updates... freight invoices come in the mail and are audited and paid manually... etc.

For instance, not having Bill of Lading Software a shipper obviously has to hand write or type of Bills of Lading. Shipping Software can also automate the selection of trucking companies and the communication process with the carriers. Instead of phone calls or faxes to schedule loads, carriers can accept or deny shipments via email or on-line. Carrier rate contracts are all managed in a single database, ensuring the correct carrier selection is made every time.

The best part from the perspective of sales, customer service, and other departments in the company: Delivery updates, Proof of Deliveries, Freight Invoices can all be provided electronically.

Simply stated, the benefit of the right logistics software solution is that it takes processes that in the past were done manually and automates them. The hardest challenge for shippers is to calculate the Return on Investment from implementing a new transportation management software solution. The system will save time, it will save money by improving carrier choice, it will make the workflow of getting delivery status updates and Proof of Deliveries quicker. - but, at what cost?

Author:.

Ken has been working in supply chain logistics for over 15 years and is the founder of companies in the order fulfillment, logistics software, and antique wood flooring markets. He can be reached at kkowal@eroutingguide.com.

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