The logistics industry is one of the most competitive across the world and much of this is due to technology. The logistics sector brings together a wide range of transportation services including shipping, courier, sea, warehousing, air, and rail cargo. In order to provide the best delivery solutions, businesses use different logistics automation approaches. However, it should be noted that unless you know the channels or systems to automate, there is very little that you can achieve.
There are several platforms that you can automate in your logistics depending on the services offered. The following are some of the key areas to automate in logistics and, how to effect the change.
Document Management and Invoicing
As a company in the shipping business, you handle tons of documents on a daily basis. These include contacts, contract agreements, and receipts. If these documents are kept as physical paperwork, there are higher chances of damage and loss. In addition, space requirements for the piles that keep coming in could pause as a problem. Going over such documents for reference is quite hard and time consuming. All these could make your work more frustrating and impact inconvenience to customers.
Through appropriate logistics software for document management, you can easily transform the paperwork into digital footprints. In this format, you are able to store huge volumes of data on the cloud for quick reference at any time and from wherever you are. Customers will also find it more efficient if your invoicing processes are automated. Knowing that they are able to place orders and make payments at their convenience is a big perk.
An additional benefit to automating document retrieval is removing human error. By allowing the system to generate, organize, and report data from the shipper to the carrier, the chance for data to become misconstrued or changed are greatly limited.
Shipment and Inventory Tracking
Cargo and equipment loss and damage are always very costly experiences for shipping companies. One of the most effective ways to reduce the occurrence of such incidences is through automation of your systems. Customers are always happier whenever they get text messages or emails assuring them of the progress of their shipments. With the logistics software for business available today, shippers are able to monitor the movement of shipments from the time they are dispatched to delivery.
This software can still be useful in monitoring of shipping equipment in the airspace, road, rail, and sea. There are tracking devices that can be placed on cargo and equipment to provide real time data on locations and environmental conditions during shipping. This can help you avoid losses while also ensuring on-demand delivery.
One of the secrets that many online businesses use today is they are able to easily turn inquiries into clients. You can create a system that automatically analyzes the inquiries made to your company to enable you to narrow down the potential customers whose needs you are able to meet.
In logistics today, there is a 2-3 week turn around to create invoices, send the customer the invoice, and receive payment for the work. Another by product of automating the document retrieval process, is the system can now generate costs for the shipper, validate the carriers expenses and reduce the turnaround time for generating, sending and receiving invoices.