In our fast-paced global landscape, effective transportation management is vital for business success. Logistics software plays a pivotal role in simplifying the intricate process of moving goods, offering indispensable solutions to streamline operations and boost overall efficiency in the modern supply chain.
The world of global trade is complex, and the movement of goods serves as the engine driving our interconnected world economy. According to Statista, the global volume of freight transported is expected to increase from 122.7 billion metric tons in 2022 to 155.5 billion metric tons by 2028.
Looking at such a surge, the importance of logistics software cannot be overstated.
Logistics software serves as an essential tool for managing the complex and growing global trade landscape. It helps businesses automate and streamline their logistics processes, improve efficiency, reduce costs, and provide better customer service.
If you are a seasoned logistics professional seeking to fine-tune your operations or a budding business looking to conquer the global market, this guide will be your go-to companion.
In this blog, we will cover the important functions of logistic software and how they benefit, as well as a step-by-step guide by our software development experts to build custom logistics management software.
Table of Contents
What Is A Transportation Management System?
A transportation management system (TMS) is a software solution that helps businesses plan, execute, and optimize their transportation operations. It can be used to manage a wide range of transportation modes, including truck, rail, air, and ocean.
TMS solutions typically include the following features:
Order management: TMS allows businesses to manage their orders from start to finish, including order tracking, shipping documentation, and invoice processing.
Carrier management: TMS helps businesses manage their relationships with carriers, including carrier selection, rate negotiation, and booking shipments.
Freight management: TMS helps businesses manage their freight, including load planning, shipment tracking, and claims processing.
Reporting and analytics: TMS provides businesses with reports and analytics on their transportation operations, which can assist them in identifying areas for improvement.
TMS solutions can be used by businesses of all sizes, but they are especially useful for those with complex supply chains or high shipment volumes.
Major Functions of Logistics Software in Transportation Management
This software helps companies plan, execute, and enhance their transportation activities. It includes features like mapping efficient routes, optimizing cargo loads, selecting the best carriers, and tracking shipments.
Logistics software aids in overseeing inventory and warehouse tasks. It involves functions such as monitoring stock levels, organizing order picking, and efficiently packing and shipping goods.
This software streamlines the entire order process, from order placement to customer delivery. It includes order tracking, ensuring timely fulfillment, and providing good customer service.
Logistics software helps in monitoring and maintaining appropriate inventory levels, ensuring that the right products are available when needed. Inventory management system minimizes shortages and enhances customer satisfaction.
Reporting and Analytics
Logistics software provides valuable reports and analytical insights into supply chain and transportation operations. This data helps companies identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions.
Logistics Software Benefits
Logistics software automates various manual tasks involved in managing logistics, such as order processing, shipping, and tracking. By doing so, it liberates employees to concentrate on strategic activities, resulting in an overall boost in operational efficiency.
This software helps businesses trim costs in multiple ways. For instance, it aids in optimizing shipping routes, curbing fuel consumption, and securing favorable rates from carriers. These cost-saving measures can significantly impact a company’s bottom line.
Logistics software offers real-time insight into supply chains. This means that businesses can constantly monitor the whereabouts of their shipments and promptly address any potential issues. Enhanced visibility reduces surprises and enhances proactive decision-making.
Example– A retail company used logistics software to track its shipments in real time. This allowed the company to identify and resolve shipping delays quickly, which resulted in a 10% improvement in on-time delivery rates.
The software helps businesses maintain optimal inventory levels, preventing overstock or stockouts. This not only reduces storage costs but also ensures products are available when customers need them.
Logistics software generates valuable data and insights. Businesses can leverage this information to make informed decisions, whether it’s about route planning, supplier negotiations, or resource allocation.
For example– A warehouse management software provider used data from its software to identify areas where warehouse space was being underutilized. This information was used to redesign the warehouse and to increase storage capacity by 20%.
With real-time visibility and data analytics, logistics software aids in identifying and mitigating risks in the supply chain. This includes anticipating disruptions, such as weather-related delays or production issues, and having contingency plans in place.
Example– TMS software tracks shipments in real-time, identifying potential delays. It helps develop contingency plans, like rerouting or notifying customers in case of delays, to minimize disruptions.
For businesses eyeing international markets, logistics software can simplify the complexities of cross-border shipping, customs compliance, and regulatory requirements. This paves the way for smoother global expansion.
By optimizing routes and reducing fuel consumption, logistics software contributes to a company’s environmental sustainability efforts. This resonates positively with environmentally conscious consumers and stakeholders.
6 Key Steps To Build Logistics Management Software for Transportation Business
Step 1. Clearly define your objectives
Before diving into the development process, it’s crucial to outline your goals and expectations. Get specific about what you want to achieve with your logistics software. Identify key performance indicators (KPIs) that will measure your success. Take stock of your pain points and long-term aspirations. This clarity will guide your entire project.
Step 2. Choose the right technology
Choosing the right technology is important in logistics software development because it can have a significant impact on the cost, performance, and scalability of the software. For example, if you need to develop a logistics software solution for a global supply chain, you will need to choose a technology stack that can support multiple languages and currencies.
Step 3. Design the User Interface (UI) and Database
In the initial stages of building custom logistics management software, it’s essential to focus on both the user interface (UI) design and database design simultaneously. This step involves creating user-friendly wireframes and mockups to visualize the software’s UI while also designing the database schema to efficiently store and manage logistics data.
By coordinating these aspects in tandem, you ensure that the user interface aligns seamlessly with the database structure, ultimately resulting in a more cohesive and user-centric software solution.
Step 4. Start Developing the software
In the development phase, your software team builds the logistics management system by implementing key features like order processing, inventory tracking, route planning, and reporting. They work iteratively, testing and fixing issues as they arise, ensuring the software aligns with operational needs.
Step 5. Test the software
In the software testing phase, your development team conducts thorough evaluations to ensure the logistics software functions correctly. They scrutinize individual components of the software through unit testing and evaluate how these components work together using integration testing. Your team also assesses the software’s performance and ensures that any code changes made do not introduce new issues, a process known as regression testing.
User acceptance testing (UAT) remains a critical step, as it verifies that the software aligns with user expectations and fulfills business requirements. Stress testing assesses how well the software handles extreme scenarios. Any identified issues are logged in a bug-tracking system and resolved through debugging, with subsequent rounds of regression testing to prevent the issues from recurring. This comprehensive process ensures that the software is reliable and ready for use when handed over to the user’s team.
Step 6. Deployment
In the deployment phase, your logistics software goes live. It’s like moving from the construction phase to opening a new store. The software is carefully set up on your chosen infrastructure, be it your own servers or the cloud. All the configurations are tuned to make sure it runs smoothly.
As part of this process, all software components are thoroughly checked to ensure they’re working correctly, and any integrations with other systems are seamless. Once the deployment is successful, your software is ready to go, providing valuable support for your logistics operations. This marks a significant milestone in the software’s journey, where it transforms from a development project into a practical tool for your business.
Logistics software is a vital tool for succession in the complex world of global trade. When developing custom management logistics software, a careful approach is needed, including setting clear goals, choosing the right technology, designing a user-friendly interface, and thorough testing.
When the software is ready to use, it becomes a practical tool for making logistics operations smoother and achieving success in the global trade world. Using logistics software is not just helpful; it’s necessary for businesses that want to do well in the modern economy.
Pranjal Mehta is the Managing Director of Zealous System, a leading software solutions provider. Having 10+ years of experience and clientele across the globe, he is always curious to stay ahead in the market by inculcating latest technologies and trends in Zealous.