Logistics is an essential part of any company that regularly deals with multi-echelon global supply chains. It requires a high level of competence in managing high volumes of real-time data, fulfilling supply chain management, shipping management, transportation, warehousing, storage, and maintenance tasks.
Thankfully, with an ERP system, you can better manage your logistics when dealing with wholesale trade or distribution. This suite of integrated business applications automates day-to-day operations such as accounting, human resources (HR), and customer relationship management (CRM). It can also improve your company's logistics through inventory and supply chain management.
Here are seven best ways in which ERP software can help accelerate logistics operations:
1. Optimized inventory management
One of the most critical tasks to ensure smooth operations in logistics and transportation is to have complete control over inventory. The inventory management module keeps track of all the information about the items your company makes, buys, stores, or sells. It simplifies product pricing by allowing you to make adjustments based on real-time sales trends or changes in manufacturing costs.
Furthermore, ERP software with traceability tools can use barcodes, serial numbers, lot numbers, or advanced RFID tracking to locate and identify items across a warehouse so you can maintain stock levels as effectively as possible. Real-time data enables immediate notification of out-of-stock products, incoming orders, outgoing orders that require attention, and any delivery issues that occur.
Eventually, having complete information on inventory status allows leaders and managers in the logistics industry to make better and faster decisions at times of dispatching or placing orders.
2. Better distribution management
The distribution side of the logistics company is one of the most critical business aspects because it involves the proper management of the distribution flow and control over the transportation of goods. With the help of ERP software, all distributors, suppliers, shipping partners, and retailers can get detailed information about shipping. Furthermore, they can monitor delivery areas, orders, inventory, payments, etc., to ensure effective distribution management.
For transportation purposes, ERP software can manage the transportation of goods, ensuring customers and suppliers receive their products on time. The system also allows direct communication between drivers and coordinators, sending live traffic updates, customer addresses, and any emergency information, such as transportation issues.
3. Enhanced staff management
Managing staff can be very complicated, especially within a logistics company, where staff can be located in various places across the country or even the world. However, with an ERP system in place, managing staff is easy. With the key performance indication feature installed in the software, leaders can have access to ready-made reports on employee performance that enable them to make better workforce decisions.
Managers and supervisors can also track and manage:
-employee working hours;
-employee information and documents;
-drivers or couriers on the road during transportation;
-salaries, increases, and bonuses;
-sick and paid leave days; and
-cash advance and reimbursement requests, etc.
4. Real-time shipment tracking
Another advantage of using an ERP with transportation and delivery management features is better planning and optimizing shipping routes. For example, you may find a faster method of transporting merchandise that can save you time and money, resulting in a higher ROI over time.
In addition, the real-time tracking feature allows shippers or distributors to have access to the current vehicle location, communicate directly with delivery people, and more. This eventually improves the business’s overall customer support system and enables leaders to develop better business plans.
5. Faster order fulfillment
ERP software can also help logistics businesses fulfill their orders faster by identifying bottlenecks, preventing delays through real-time tracking, and reducing order errors. Additionally, items ordered by buyers can be easily found across multiple warehouses and then processed using a single system. This will greatly help you maintain customer satisfaction.
6. Accurate financial reporting
Financial reporting can provide greater visibility into your logistics operations. The accounting module in an ERP system can track income and expenses in the general ledger to balance accounts payable (AP) with accounts receivable (AR).
Automated reports slice and dice data based on your chosen region, location, profit center, employee, or other key performance indicators (KPIs). This data enables decision-makers along the supply chain to create more nuanced and accurate logistics processes. For example, they can identify the causes of lost profits and then prepare ways to compensate for the problem.
7. Improved data management
Last but not least, ERP software for logistics can manage data without manual errors. It enables you to access and control important and accurate data, including shipping tax, production costs, consignment records, etc. In addition, this system is also competent to apply and process regulatory compliance procedures in logistics. Centralized databases allow businesses to make informed decisions and keep their data more secure in the cloud.
Overall, with so many advanced features and benefits that you gather from integrating an ERP system in your logistics operations domain, you can accelerate your pursuit of maximum profits. The more streamlined your operations, the more profitable your business is. Also, remember that being prone to the delay of an ERP integration can cost you high, considering the increasingly fierce competition in the logistics industry. Therefore, start adopting the automated solution today!