10 Feb 2023
  

Logistics Software Development: Features, Benefits, Trends, and a Lot More!

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Shivani Singh

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Logistics Software Development

There are already many solutions for shipping and logistics software. Why would you create another one for your business? 

It is simple!

Custom-made logistics software development adds customization to meet specific company needs. Your company can benefit from a custom-designed logistics solution. 

This article will discuss how to logistics software development from scratch, the cost, the features that should be included, and many other topics.

What is Logistics Software Development?

Software that automates and manages warehouse and fleet tasks such as order processing, inventory control and freight transportation is known as logistics software. A platform for logistics can improve visibility into workflow processes, increase supply chain efficiency, enhance customer experience, and even lower transportation costs.

Commercial transportation doesn’t simply involve the movement of goods from one place to another. Instead, it consists of the orchestration, execution, tracking, and planning of the physical activity and delivery of goods. This complex process involves worldwide networks of freight forwarders and shippers moving raw materials, parts, and finished goods through global supply chains. 

Managing all moving parts is essential to meet ever-increasing consumer demand for more efficient transportation, accuracy, speed, and flexibility. These systems enable both a physical supply chain and an information supply chain. This allows data movement within the organization as well as among partners.

Companies can coordinate their shipping processes with a transportation management system (TMS). A TMS can automate the following logistics and shipping activities:

  • Optimization of routes
  • Plan
  • Network design
  • Load Building
  • Monitoring
  • Reporting
  • Billing
  • Management of orders
  • Procurement
  • Freight auditing

Logistics software development helps companies increase shipping efficiency, lower transport costs, improve customer service, and achieve real-time visibility into their logistics processes.

Figures from the Logistics Industry

The global TMS market is experiencing rapid growth due to the increasing use of digital technologies such as mobile and the Internet of Things. Because shipping logistics software development includes many emerging technologies and offers significant business value, more companies opt for its introduction.

Research shows that software for logistics management could reduce transportation costs by as much as 5% to 10%. As a result, the global transportation management systems market is expected to reach $30 Billion by 2025.

Overview of the logistics management system structure

The seven R’s are the most popular logistics and transport management concepts.

  • The right product
  • Right quantity
  • Right condition
  • The right place
  • Right time
  • Right customer
  • Right price

Based on these concepts, here is an overview of the logistics software development. Instead of moving into detail, let’s look at the tasks each one is meant to accomplish.

  • Because it is responsible for customer order fulfillment, the Order Management module integrates with other software such as accounting and billing. Modern order processing systems provide a central platform for order placement, inventory picking, sorting, tracking, and consolidation with other orders to ensure cost-effective shipping.
  • Inventory management involves the management of a company’s inventory. This includes tracking, ordering, and selling. It could be raw materials, finished products, or merchandise that a company purchases from a supplier to be resold. The primary purpose of an inventory management system is to avoid excesses or shortages of available products.
  • The warehouse management module combines software solutions that provide visibility into warehouse filling and manage distribution among stock. It also maintains the overall conditions for storing goods.
  • Transportation management solutions address the movement of goods, incoming and outgoing. This module is a critical component of a logistics software development program. It focuses on freight management, route optimization, fuel consumption, safety measures, and route planning.
  • Logistics Analytics uses analytical procedures that optimize and coordinate logistics functions and supply chains. Analytics is essential for smooth, efficient, and cost-effective logistics operations.

Top-Notch Features of Logistic Software

Software for transportation management often has many features. These are the most popular:

  • Carrier management. Your employees can choose service providers according to price, geographical coverage, and type of service.
  • Planning, scheduling, and optimization of routes. You can choose the most efficient way based on traffic data, road speeds, maps, and fuel costs.
  • Shipment planning. You can reduce your spending by scheduling the shipping and efficiently organizing them based on various factors such as inventory availability, type, and timeframe.
  • Track and trace. Users can exchange shipment data instantly between customers, distributors, and carriers using an incredible platform. TMSs can provide GPS tracking and IoT-based tracking options for dispatchers and customers to monitor the cargo delivery process 24/7 via mobile phones or web apps.
  • Analytics and business intelligence. Users can use warehouse data efficiently, enhance dashboard functionality, and create reports in modern formats.
  • Fleet management. This improves processes such as monitoring, optimizing, maintaining, and managing vehicles used for transport.
  • Calculations. Automated calculations for optimal cargo load, inventory, and fuel consumption.
  • Billing. Automate the creation and sending of invoices, attach attachments and notes, and customize invoices.

Why does your company use logistics software development?

Let’s look at logistics software’s key benefits to your business.

  • Process automation

The logistics software solutions will automate all processes within the company. You can manage multiple approaches, such as receiving goods, tracking their receipts, replenishing warehouses, and so on, all from one software. All data will automatically be entered and processed.

  • Cost optimization

Your company can use logistics software development to cut costs. You can find more lucrative offers for your company by using this platform. You can calculate different options and choose the best choice for your company because everything is automated.

  • Reduce the human factor.

Human factors have a significant impact on the success of a business. Why? It is because people have emotions. They get tired, angry, and feel overwhelmed. As a result, they may become inattentive and make errors in filling out paperwork. Luckily, logistics software development can solve these problems.

  • Data Collection

Software for logistics can store and retrieve data from multiple sources. The system must have unique features and configurations to collect the required data. A logistics platform can be a huge benefit.

  • Customer service improvements

You can invest in logistics software development that opens up new possibilities and offers a unique service to your customers. This software will make it easier for your business to deliver orders and make it more efficient.

  • Lowers your costs

Your company can save money with logistics software development. The system’s accurate calculations will allow you to see what money is being spent on unnecessary items, which sectors can be protected, and where you can get goods at a lower price, among other things.

  • Capacity Management

You can manage and control your logistics capacity using logistics software. For example, you can monitor your transport for delivery and the appropriateness of its use.

  • Optimizer works with documents

Once logistics software is developed, you can enter all documents. This means you will only need to print out a few pieces of paperwork to complete contracts. Instead, everything will be possible with the software. It is also easier to find the documents you need with this software.

New Trends in Logistics Software Management

With the popularity of eCommerce software solutions, logistics software development demand has increased. Logistics is constantly evolving to meet the ever-increasing demands of each industry. These trends will impact logistics and supply chains in 2023. 

  • Warehouse Robotics: Over the past few decades, many innovative logistic robot companies have tried incorporating AI machine learning. Likewise, nearly all website developers are searching for machine learning technologies. Warehouse management software or logistics management software has better sensors and response abilities. 

In addition, the pace of warehouse robotics has picked up in the supply chain. Alibaba, for example, invested $15 billion in automated logistics infrastructure, and Google $500 million in computerized logistics for JD. As a result, the global market for warehouse robots in the supply chain is expected to reach $22.4 billion by 2021.

  • Artificial Intelligence: Logistics companies will use AI for patterns in data analysis and churn insights. It will be an excellent tool for intelligent transportation, route optimization, and demand forecasting. McKinsey reports on how AI-driven logistics optimization can lower costs using real-time forecasts, behavioral coaching, and other tools. As a result, Artificial Intelligence will have a more significant potential to increase the value of logistics and transportation (89%) than any other analytics method.
  • Cloud Computing: Cloud-integrated software allows you to have cloud computing services, including real-time price updates and inventory. It allows for real-time accuracy, 360-degree management, and monitoring of systems and processes. This technology allows you to track your order or product throughout its life. From ordering to shipping, all information is available in one place.
  • Blockchain: Blockchain is also known as distributed ledger tech. It allows parties to securely and permanently record transactions. Blockchain’s shared and secure databases allow for the elimination of intermediaries and third-party verification. They also coordinate transactions within a supply chain.
  • Predictive analytics: The rapid growth in predictive maintenance has been dramatically influenced by the advent of AI and sensor technologies. As a result, leaders in supply chains want to make the most of data to improve predictive maintenance, forecast demand, adjust inventory levels, increase cold chain transportation, and protect the integrity of the supply chain. It is easy for companies to monitor all orders and products by automating logistics. This gives companies the added benefit of managing their work efficiently.

Some Logistics Software Development Ideas that Will Ensure Better Organization Management

  • Shipping Software

Shipping systems offer one or more ways to increase compliance, lower shipping costs, and be a valuable asset during the shipping process. These systems will help your business manage the shipping process, from tracking shipment status to calculating shipping costs.

Software for shipping allows companies to track their shipments. You can also use it to customize delivery preferences and manage postage rates. In addition, the software provides insight into inventory management and working processes, making the shipping process more efficient.

  • Order Management Software

Order management software allows you to enter, process, and fulfill orders starting at the point of purchase and ending with payment and delivery. In addition, this software will enable businesses to access customers, vendor, purchase orders, and other records.

OMS allows you to track the entire lifecycle of your order from its creation to its completion. It records all information and processes, including order entry, inventory management, and fulfillment. As a result, OMS gives visibility to the business and buyers.

It simplifies the ordering process, from booking to delivery, and ensures no errors or misplaced information.

  • Software for Dock Scheduling

Scheduling software is a tool that allows individuals and businesses in all industries to work more efficiently. It will enable them to track and manage their time and create and maintain employee schedules. They can assign workers to shifts and jobs and keep track of everything in real-time.

The dock management software can track the trailers and trucks that enter or leave your yard. In addition, the software provides a platform that allows vendors, transporters, and warehouse managers to work together in one place.

This software makes it easy to manage and handle dock scheduling. In addition, this software brings together all parts of your organization for improved functionality.

  • Supply Chain Management Software

Supply-chain-management software (SCMS) manages supplier relationships, executes supply chain transactions, and controls associated business processes. This software automates product development, sourcing, and production.

Supply Chain Management software applications offer real-time analytics systems that monitor the flow of products through the supply chain network.

It also covers a vast area that includes both manufacturing and services industries. This comprises sourcing and materials management, operations planning and distribution, logistics, retail, demand forecasting, and order fulfillment

  • Distribution and Warehousing Solutions

Warehouse management software (WMS) helps manage and control a warehouse’s day-to-day operations. For example, WMS software helps to guide inventory receipt and putaway, optimize picking and shipping orders and advise on replenishment.

This software helps users track inventory and supplies in a warehouse or distribution center. A WMS makes it easier to pick, receive, and place products faster and more accurately.

For safer handling, the inventory tracking system incorporates barcoding and scanning. Receipt and put away work involves marking and recording details about products to help keep track. Reporting the status of the warehouse using the software will assist in managing inventory in the warehouse.

How to develop logistics software: Step-by-Step

Let’s look at the critical stages of creating logistics tracking system software..

Step 1: Start logistics software development by creating a strategy. Define the steps required to develop software. Be clear and concise, without unnecessary details. Also, ensure that the budget is vital for your project.

Setting aside money for each stage in logistics software development is a good idea. Finally, decide on your goals. Your team and you should be clear about the desired result for your company.

Step 2: After that, you need to connect a team of logistics software developers. Several resources can help you find the right contractor: LinkedIn, freelancing websites, and friends’ experiences. Our team at Techugo, the best logistics software development company, can help you as well. Considering the work experience, portfolio, past project results, and soft/complex abilities of our team members, our team can be a perfect match for your project. 

Step 3: The next step is the most basic. You should do the following:

  • Understand your queries and solve problems
  • Find weaknesses in business processes
  • Understand why you’re losing money
  • Identify the places that will be most problematic in four years.
  • Understand the critical business processes and business strategies of your company;
  • Find out what the roles and functions of responsible specialists are.
  • Fix the document flow problem
  • Study the market and its competitors.

This is best done by inviting business analysts to study your company’s operations in practice.

Step 4: Next, you can move on to UX design. UX design is essential for every product. Our team often tells our partners these five steps to a successful UX design.

  • Learn about your users. Understanding your users is the first step. If you know your users’ goals, needs, and desires, you can create an effective design for them.
  • Define scenarios. Next, use your research to determine what you (or your users) want. Your client will love your journey map.
  • Form an idea. Start brainstorming. To visually communicate the problem, create a storyboard.
  • Make a prototype. The best way to bring your idea to fruition is to prototype it. First, make a mockup of the interface and all the essential components. Then ask as many people as possible to re-read the script.
  • It is essential to test it. UX design requires testing. Testing doesn’t need to be difficult or time-consuming. You can repeat the steps as necessary. Based on the testing results, you should rethink your idea. UX design is an iterative process. You will need to repeat some steps until you achieve your desired outcome.

Step 5: The UI design is designed to make the user’s experience pleasant. Therefore, UI design refers to all elements the user interacts with and sees.

Take, for example:

  • buttons;
  • Text fields
  • checkboxes;
  • sliders;
  • Search bars
  • tags;
  • Icons.

Step 6: Each step in creating a product was broken into several steps.

  • Technical documentation for product

This stage gathers all information relevant to the client to create a product that fulfills their expectations. The team should complete this stage. It will then be used to create technical stacks.

The team should define the functionality requirements (requirements for access to the admin panel) and user roles (super administrator and admin). The team should finalize the scope and estimate.

  • Development

To create components, developers use documentation and architecture. Based on their knowledge, the team members are assigned their tasks.

Front-end developers ensures the app development of the client side. Back-end developers are responsible for API and database development. The DevOps group manages the CI/CD process.

  • Try it!

QA engineers manually test components developed and all code delivered.

  • Integration and deployment

After regression testing and development by the QA team, production deployment, and integration were initiated. Beta testing is done on the product’s test version. The team collects user feedback, addresses issues, and makes enhancements.

  • Maintenance

The development team takes care of any issues or improvements after a product has been deployed in the production environment.

Step 7: It is important to write copy. Before the product can move to the launching stage, all text, contract templates, and onboarding of employees must be completed.

Step 8: Integration is the last step. Firm personnel must understand the functions of each component of logistics software to get the best out of it. Your software should be linked to all services.

Final thoughts!

It isn’t easy to choose the right transportation management system. We hope this article will shed some light on logistics software development. These are the main points to consider when selecting transportation management software.

Consider your business priorities and needs when deciding between cloud-based or on-premises TMS. With its low monthly cost and a high degree of control, an on-premises TMS is attractive. Businesses prefer a cloud-based TMS because of its flexibility, pay-per-use model, and innovative solutions. If the issue you are trying to solve with TMS software is directly related to your core business offerings, ensure to get in touch and build a custom solution. 

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