Understanding the Need for Freight Management Solutions
Industries that are reliant on freight shipping tasks are often characterised by their competitive environment, with companies from different industries, all looking for ways to enhance their offers.
Whether they are shipping companies, distributors, retailers or suppliers, the ability to rely on uninterrupted shipping channels is an important one for a great many businesses, right through to the end consumer who places a lot of value on timeliness and reliability in logistics.
The face of these businesses has changed over time thanks to transformations in technology, offerings, customer demands and more; and as this has happened, systems for freight management have become more advanced and sophisticated as time has gone on.
The introduction of freight management solutions into these industries has been an important contributor to these transformations, and have allowed businesses of all types to benefit from enhanced efficiency and cost-effectiveness; while those that have stuck to the traditional approaches to freight management have fallen behind somewhat.
If you want to avoid being a part of the latter group, it is a good idea to find out as much as you can about freight and load management systems that enable you to streamline all areas of distribution.
So, let’s take a closer look at what these systems are, what they can do, who uses them on a daily basis, and the advantages and challenges of implementing these solutions.
What is Freight Management Systems?
At their most basic function, freight management solutions are designed with one objective in mind; to help businesses that are concerned with distribution to streamline the tasks of their business through improved logistic efficiency.
This is aimed not only at saving time and efforts spent on these tasks, but also seeks to ensure that the business runs more efficiently, so as to be more cost-effective in the pursuit of greater profit margins.
These systems do this very well by optimising and automating every step of the shipping process, all contributing to a more streamlined operation for supply chains.
As we will explore in more detail in the next section of this article, they do this by facilitating instant orders, by collating all available supply channels, by facilitating real-time tracking of shipments and by eliminating the need to conduct repetitive, mundane tasks in the business.
These are not the only functions of freight management solutions, but they do represent the more important ones.
What Do Freight Management Systems Do?
Let’s take a moment to explore these essential functions in a little more detail.
The power behind an effective freight management solution doesn’t lie in any single one of these important functions but is rather attested to a culmination of them, that when looked at as a sum of their parts, meets all of the administrative and management challenges faced by distributors of all types.
There is also a matter of adaptability that gives these solutions their value. Since no two businesses are carbon copies of each other, the ability for these solutions to adapt to particular business models is an important facet to consider when deciding whether or not to implement them in your business.
Instantly Book Orders in Real-Time
With a load management system that automates all of your distribution processes, you will be able to eliminate the delay between orders being booked and the time is taken to process them.
Because these systems are automated, orders can be processed in real-time. This adds an exceptional level of value to your offerings to your client who will appreciate the reduction of the delay between ordering and receiving goods, and as such, will retain them more effectively.
This has an additional advantage attached to it, in that more streamlined facilitation of orders means that the chance of mistakes being made will be significantly reduced; ensuring that all orders are filled successfully, exactly when they need to be.
Take Advantage of All Distribution Channels
The right freight management solution will allow you to collate and get a better overview of all of your distribution channels at once.
From trucks and vans to ships, planes and trains, managing a system that makes use of various distribution channels at once can present a challenge for those businesses who are currently managing shipments manually.
This, understandably, can have a profoundly negative impact on a distributor’s reach, as, without a reliable management scheme in place, it is often unprofitable to take advantage of a diverse set of distribution channels.
By having a management system that automates the consolidation of these various distribution channels, freighters can engage with them confidently, knowing that they can accurately assess the cost, time consumption and reliability of doing so, with greater ease.
Track Shipments Around the Clock
One of the most impressive advancements that freight management solutions have brought to the logistics and distribution market, brings about an advantage that is felt by agents on all levels of distribution.
From suppliers; route planners; distributors; manufacturers and right through to end-user consumers, giving agents the ability to track distribution at each and every one of its stages offers peace of mind and ensures that distributors are viewed with an enhanced level of trust.
This close and accurate monitoring even helps distributors to further optimise and plan their distribution channels to allow for shorter turnaround times, as well as ‘last-mile’ cost savings on goods being shipped.
Integrate with Existing Systems
For the implementation of a freight management solution that adapts to the needs of distributors, suppliers and consumers alike, you would expect that your existing system of freight management will need to be completely overhauled to suit the processes of the new system.
Fortunately for distributors, particularly those that are discomforted by major changes, these systems can be effectively integrated into existing systems of management with very little change; other than through the functions that they perform.
This is where these solutions get their adaptability from. Software suppliers are able to take a look at the specific needs of a distributor’s business, as well as the mechanisms of their current management system, and can then enact these solutions in such a way as to enhance the current one, instead of replacing it.
Eliminate Repetitive Tasks
Thanks to their core principles of automation in a logistics setting, freight management solutions help to streamline the daily and more mundane tasks faced by distributors each and every day.
This is particularly the case for those essential administrative tasks that, while not being directly related to the process of distribution, are still critical for the day to day functioning of the business.
The right management system can free up extensive numbers of hours for distribution managers, who can then use this time to focus on scaling, improving and running an effective business.
These functions, while forming the most important ones performed by various types of freight management solutions, are by no means an exhaustive account of their functionality. Because of their adaptability, these solutions can offer a lot of flexibility, depending on the needs of the distributor who is using them.
Which Industries Use Freight Management Solutions?
With their basic functions in mind, it is fairly easy to see why so much importance is placed on having the right freight management solution integrated into your management systems if you are, in one way or another, working with the distribution of goods, regardless of the scale of your operations.
Because of this, it might be easy to assume that only logistics companies can benefit from these automation and management systems; however, anyone who is involved in any part of the distribution process can stand to benefit.
Here are some of the industries that these freight management solutions are often applied to:
Logistics & Distribution
As you have no doubt heard enough of in this article, the most central industry to the use of management solutions is the logistics and distribution fields of business, where at any given time, hundreds of parcels are travelling across various routes, using different distribution channels.
Collating and managing this manually can be a complete nightmare, even with the largest, most skilful teams; which is why management solutions are a staple to these two industries.
While eCommerce businesses are not strictly at the heart of distribution, they do rely very heavily on it to ensure that their clients receive orders in good time.
Since they are so reliant on distributors, eCommerce businesses need to be in the know when it comes to how these systems may impact their own processes.
eCommerce businesses should also seek to partner with distributors who use them, to ensure that their services are built on a reliable foundation.
Construction & Manufacturing
You might not automatically associate construction and management with the same processes as distribution, but they are, in many ways, entirely dependant on them for success. The costs of transporting materials, especially over long distances, can be staggering; especially when routes have not been planned properly.
The supply of building resources that arrive on time and intact is also an important consideration, which is where freight management solutions come into play outside of the world of distribution.
The Benefits of the Right Freight Management System
Now that we have a clear understanding of what these systems do, and who they serve; let’s take a bit of a closer look at some of their most evident benefits when used in distribution businesses:
Freight management solutions automate all levels of distribution and management, working far more efficiently than human’s can in this regard.
This amounts to less time doing admin, and even improved times on shipping tasks.
They also optimise the cost of logistics by automating route planning and resource costs for each job. This, in turn, means more productivity, and improved profitability.
Reduce the Cost of Errors
To err is to be human, so we are told from time to time, but when that human error results in a gross loss of profits and time, we tend to be a little less understanding; especially when the problem of human error is a persistent one.
By automating these processes, you can effectively remove human error from the equation, which in turn leads to better efficiency, less money lost on mistakes and an overall more streamlined process.
Software that assists with the management of freighting tasks can also work well to improve communication efforts on all levels; between internal departments, between suppliers and distributors, and even between these two and the eventual consumer.
This is largely thanks to the implementation of tracking systems that allow for real-time reports on when a parcel is dispatched, how long it is expected to take for arrival, and where exactly on the route it is.
This can go even further by facilitating streamlined support services whereby end-users and suppliers can negotiate with distributors to solve unexpected issues, or to arrange special services for dispatches.
Contact Winfreight For Details
Here at Winfreight, we provide specialised freight management solutions that have been adaptably designed to meet the exact needs of your business, your customers and your suppliers.
If you would like to know more about how we can assist your business with streamlining its distribution tasks with an elegant, all-encompassing, digital solution, be sure to get into contact with one of our representatives today, or visit our website for additional details on our offers.