With the increasing market size of the logistics industry in India (currently $160 billion), it is crucial for logistics companies to invest in the right fleet management software that helps businesses to highlight the current gaps in the system and improves the logistics efficiency. A comprehensive fleet management software, helps fleet managers in taking data driven decisions that helps in defining future short and long term objectives. Fleet management solutions take logistics businesses from MIS reports to complete automation which helps in cost cutting & time reduction and helps in increasing on-time deliveries. From route optimization to final bill payment & invoice, fleet management takes charge of your business.
Before getting deep into the technicalities of a right software solution for a logistics business, let’s understand the rudiments.
What is a Fleet Management System?
A fleet management system is a technical software that resolves challenges faced by logistics & supply chain professionals. These software solutions help in automation of end-to-end logistics operations. These technical solutions help businesses to store large amounts of data all at one place that makes it easier to process customer requests, purchase orders, inventory management, supply management and sales & distribution. These software are especially designed to eliminate the manual work that burdens the logistic providers & fleet managers with the abundance of unprocessed data.
What Fleet Management Features are Important?
The right fleet management software is an investment that doubles the revenue. While choosing a perfect fit for a company, it’s important that the module of the software aligns well with your business model. Some of the essential fleet management features includes;
1 Logistics Control Tower
A typical control tower helps fleet managers in monitoring live performance of orders, dispatches, en-route shipments, vendors, exceptions and more. Live control tower provides visibility to fleet managers and they can directly track the en-route vehicles and understand & solve en-route challenges faced by drivers on loading and unloading points and increase on-time deliveries that enhances the customer experience. Control tower lets you take charge of your order management, all at one place. Automation of order management eliminates manual operations work that help your business to take data-driven decisions that helps in reducing dispatch TATs.
Control tower logistics also evaluates your vendor trends & performance that helps in selecting the best vendor for your requirements. Control tower logistics is especially helpful in handling en-route exceptions & disputes. One click lets your stakeholder escalate the issue to the right vendor at the right time. This feature also takes care of your final bill payment & invoice settlement, all at one dashboard.
2 Logistics Orchestration
To help logistics businesses increase their on-line delivery time, transport management software provides visibility in overall supply chain management to streamline load building workflow. Logistics orchestration also eases out vendor management for a fleet business and helps in allocating orders to the right vendor. High-tech solution also helps in intelligent freight sourcing with spot bidding that helps in getting the best-rate from the market and automate procurement management for a fleet business. Logistics orchestration also empowers fleet owners with automate end-to-end dispatch management. Logistics orchestration platform let you manage all your purchase orders from planning to sending real-time en-route shipment notifications to your customers about their consignment to ensure high level of customer satisfaction through a single order management system.
3 Freight Audit & billing
Bill & invoice payment is one of many challenges that is overlooked in the logistics industry. With the use of new-age technology, fleet owners can generate automated invoice & share it with vendors in seconds. Whether fleet owners want to send reminders for payment or want to customize their invoice template, transport management software helps in one & all. Automated bills & invoice helps fleet owners to keep a complete track of their payments & revenue. It helps fleet owners & businesses to understand the flow of their revenue and take data-driven decisions to define their long-term & short-term goals. Digital PoDs also helps in getting approvals in seconds and increase on-time claims & settlements.
What makes a Transport Management Software from better to best
There are many options available in the market that offer similar software modules, but choosing the best software that aligns with your business needs is often a burdensome task. But the right transport management system can take your business to the next level. Here are some of the technicalities that you should take into consideration.
1 Ease of Use & Integration
Transport management software is designed to decrease the amount of time in a specific logistics operation, it means that the software you choose should be easy to integrate with your system and make it easy for you to access a specific data report. Evaluate the technologies used to build a system because if a system is not able to process or store huge amounts of data, then it won’t make sense to invest a hefty amount of investment in such a system. Consider opting for a seamless integration platform with a strong back-end that can help pull & push data into one single console.
A platform that brings values from a fleet owner to a driver is the best investment that you can make for your business. Nothing matches a platform that is self-explanatory and needs less or no training.
2 Data Analytics
A transport management software empowers you with a variety of data sets from order planning to revenue distribution. But how these data metrics are accessible to you in a fleet management software is important. It’s crucial to look for a software solution that displays all the information in a single dashboard and it is easy for you to download & share reports all at one place.
3 Availability of mobile app
Most transport management software is available in desktop version and does not offer mobile accessibility. Mobile apps are especially important for your drivers as they are always on the road. If there is any en-route issue, it will be easier for a driver to escalate the same and assign to the concerned stakeholder, this will further ensure on-time deliveries.
With the change in technology on a time-to-time basis, it’s important to adapt to new-age technology and invest in the right technology software. It’s essential to keep track of changes in the current technology and invest accordingly.