“ERP is first an attitude; second, a process, and only third, a set of tools.” – Alexis Leon
Managing logistics is considered the fundamental support of any organization’s supply chain processes. With technology and trends moving at a fast pace, it is essential that organizations stay abreast of the latest happenings and align their business objectives. When we talk about logistics it includes storing, managing and monitoring inventory, warehouse and transportation activities. What is required is comprehensive Logistics IT services that can keep a perfect check on the multifaceted activities. For e.g., mobile apps have brought a paradigm shift in the logistics industry. And if we take a step further, the most ideal solution that can perfectly fit in all major processes of the organization, integrates them seamlessly assures RoI is Custom ERP software solution.
What Are The Challenges, Faced By Logistics Industry?
Before we plunge into understanding ERP solutions for this industry, it would be ideal to perceive what challenges are faced by this industry and what all pointers should be kept in mind while choosing an ideal and comprehensive logistics software solution. This would be a perfect base to understand how ERP solutions help in overcoming these.
- Inadequate integration of networks, IT, transportation, warehousing and distribution services
- Abiding by trade rules and regulations uniformly across the geographical spread
- Availability of resources well-trained in their tasks and proper training process
- Limited geographical exposure to reach out to more clients
- Handling warehousing infrastructure, including roads, airports and seaports
- Manual business processes and data management getting time and cost consuming
- Unable to get detailed data analytics and reporting
- Delayed release cycles and hence decline in sales and revenue
- Lack of communication between departments
- Want of continuous feedback and monitoring
This is where there was a continuous need for a Logistics ERP system to automate these processes by updating and integrating the business information and thereby reducing the effort. Though the comparison between custom ERP and off-the-shelf ERP has been an ongoing debate since long, they both have their own individual pre-requisites and characteristics that apply organization wise.
“An ERP system cannot be installed without the capability of an organization to change.” – Travis Anderegg
Why Is End-to-End Custom Fleet ERP A Great Solution For Logistics Domain?
An ERP solution is a unified base that collaborates between various software modules, incorporating major processes of the organization. ERP systems are multimodal in nature and hence are considered highly maintainable for future developments in logistics management. It can offer great value to the organization which is seeking a smooth and unified operation of functions within departments, be it within one geography or spread out. This surely offers the logistics industry unit a step ahead of the rest.
But, there is one point to be careful about:
When you look at the implementation of Mobile ERP Solution in the supply chain industry, it does require a specialized set of processes/ policies/strategies to be in place beforehand, so that the entire process gets smooth and fruitful. There have been umpteen cases where there is the utter failure in the implementation owing to lack of prior strategic moves. Key strategic facts prior to implementing a Mobile ERP solution need to be studied and ascertained for a successful run.
With enterprise mobility solutions proving to be a sure shot success factor and many successful ERP implementations, the supply chain and logistics industry has been benefiting in multiple ways, as below:
Enhanced Supply Chain Management
Certain activities involved in the logistics industry seem impossible now with manual processes. Implementation of an ERP solution ensures a comprehensive visibility across the entire spread of infrastructure. The basic advantage is that the organization can then manage and monitor activities going on in different facets and by different stakeholders. This is sure to ease communication and synchronization between departments to a large extent. Right from the inception of order till the actual delivery to customers, there is effective and timely tracking of processes with proper risk assessment.
Timely And Organized Operations
Previously, supply chain and logistics organizations have faced many hurdles – late deliveries, production schedules going haywire, defects in logistic calculations, lack of coordination between distribution channels and so on. Naturally this causes a direct impact on the business productivity and profitability. And this has a direct effect on long standing customer relationships and creating new ones too. A single stop solution to have these in place is the implementation of a custom ERP software solution that has over the years, proved its supremacy.
Synchronization Between Stakeholders
Attempting effectively to cross all hurdles between stakeholders, an ERP system offers higher control over them in terms of monitoring and disciplinary management. Effective transfer of information is done with utmost security from one department to another with the right information at the right time. Execution of processes is smooth and almost error free, with almost near real-time information available.
Expenditure Within Budget
Yes, there is a cost factor involved in the start – when the solution is being implemented, but that is well compensated later in different ways. As and when the ERP solution is leveraged to the finest by the organization, there are various areas where cost effectiveness is sharply observed. Be it inventory management, raw material storage, production handling, customer needs and relationships – the solution helps in decreasing unnecessary expenditure and increasing maximum RoI.
A Supply Chain Management Business Overview – With And Without Custom Fleet ERP Comparison
|Parameters||Without ERP||With ERP|
|Collaboration||Less and haphazard communication||Effective and real-time communication between stakeholders|
|Order Management||Risk of losing on new orders and missing out on repeat ones||Least chance of missing out on new orders or getting repeat orders|
|Inventory Management||Chances of heavy wastage of inventory||Best fitted inventory model along with minimal keeping cost|
|Production Scheduling||Random and unproductive production management||Properly planned and effective production schedules|
|Customer Delivery||Late and mismanaged deliveries to customers||On-time and accurate delivery schedules gaining customer satisfaction|
|Operational Processes||Non-compliant and mishandled operations||Standardized and well-thought of processes|
|Report Generation||Long hours to generate needed reports||Instant, real-time reports with detailed insights with full security|
|Customer Satisfaction||Owing to all above, customers become dissatisfied||With a proper ERP in place, customers are happy and loyal|
Logistics ERP System And Cloud Computing – A Technological Blend
After all, everything is moving onto the cloud. It is the latest tech mantra today and for years to come. The fun lies in watching how the ERP systems work finest along with cloud computing. The cloud has helped enterprises achieve an edge over the others by streamlining their supply chain operations right from beginning till the finish.
Cloud based ERP solutions are competent to integrate all facets of the business, manage relevant stakeholders, their information flow and necessary to-and-fro of detailed analysis that flows within. It also manages the third-party information integration with ease, showcasing umpteen benefits to fall for.
Advantages of leveraging the potential of the cloud for the shipping and logistics industry
- With the cloud coming into action, business owners need less assistance from the IT resources. This leads to less burden onto spending more on the IT sector. Enterprises can focus on their core working areas and get necessary information from within the ERP itself.
- In case of appending more servers or infrastructure, it is easy to do it with cloud-based systems. Just a few instructions to be followed and it is done. Especially in the supply chain and logistics industry, it is easy to manage the supply and demand cycle which often shows vulnerability.
- Accurate information tracking and report generation is quick with cloud computing. Logistics and supply chain management can be effectively done with the apt data in hand.
- With processes in place and the cloud making things easy for all stakeholders, there is bound to be increased quality output and secure business execution.
- Increased productivity and business processes are witnessed because of all above advantages. overall, cloud application development has carved a niche for itself in the domain of logistics and supply chain management.
“The highest probability of successful implementations of ERP software is when there is only a minimal need to change business processes and ERP software.” – Daniel E. O’Leary
Logistics IT Services And DevOps – Bringing Out The Best In Each Other
Organizations have been leveraging continuous delivery and continuous integration by implementing DevOps as a service. This has been the latest jargon in the tech world that has managed to bring out the best of association in the logistics and supply chain industry.
DevOps consulting services have been utilizing the finest of deployment, monitoring and configuration management tools for a variety of services like continuous integration, continuous delivery, testing, customization of infrastructure and more.
Benefits Of Implementing DevOps While Building Custom ERP Fleet
- Creating your own DevOps team with least expenses
- Secure infrastructure for seamless implementation
- Leveraging the potential of technologies with expert resources
- Garner necessary services and backup/disaster recovery mechanism
- Practical solutions to complex issues
- Swifter product delivery
- Increased user satisfaction & agility
- Diligent production schedules and lesser breakdowns
- Improved competency, employee satisfaction levels
Logistics & shipping remains one of the most critical industries in the world today touching almost every global operation. Large scale and mid-scale Logistics IT Services & Solutions have been implemented by leading Shipping & Logistics companies globally. The three most important segments of service are Carriers – Rail, Road & Air Fleet, Logistics & Warehouse and Transport & Tourism.
With Shipping & Logistics becoming one of the most in-demand domains in today’s time, there are numerous organizations that come across, with a multitude of requirements, each having its own set of individualistic needs. Each supply chain and its logistics will have its own requisite demands which need to be fulfilled. Mobile ERP solutions are indispensable ingredient in the world of modern business. The need for a Custom ERP Software Solution is quite evident in each such organization but the extent to which it is needed and implemented will depend upon each individual case.