Enterprise resource planning software (ERP) combines various applications that facilitate the flow of information within an organization, making it a powerful tool for logistics. This software lets fleet operators manage business functions like product distribution and staff maintenance, and provides companies with valuable data at every stage of the supply chain.
Here are three ways benefits of logistics and transportation ERP
1. It Optimizes Inventory Control
With ERP, transportation companies manage inventories on a personalized dashboard, letting them view orders, sales, and deliveries from one centralized location. This allows for better decision-making: companies can make predictions about future orders based on previous sales trends. ERP also expedites distribution times.
ERP programs come with real-time data analytics that provide companies with valuable business intelligence. Brands use these programs to identify out-of-stock inventory, handle inbound orders from suppliers, and execute outbound orders for customers. This can be accomplished on a desktop or a smartphone. (Mobile ERP has become increasingly popular in recent years).
Software vendors help fleet companies integrate ERP software into their day-to-day operations, even if they have never used a program like this in the past
2. It Improves Distribution
ERP lets freight operators improve their distribution management flow, from product fulfillment to transportation. These programs gather datasets from multiple sources — in-house records, the internet, social media, etc. — and display information through maps, charts, and graphs. Users of ERP refer to this data in order to improve the physical handling and delivery of goods from their distribution center and ensure customers and clients receive their orders on time. Many ERP tools foster communication between suppliers, distributors, and retailers, and allow carriers to send live information to drivers, such as traffic reports and customer addresses.
ERP can save freight companies cash, too. Research shows that accurate, real-time data about a company’s business processes reduces operational and administrative costs by 23 percent and 22 percent respectively. Companies who crave even more accurate insights about their distribution methods can customize ERP programs. Ninety-three percent of ERP users have personalized their software to meet the needs of their business
3. It Manages Staff
ERP is a useful resource for staff maintenance. Freight operators manage employee hours and rest breaks through the software, and collect information about staff performance. Cloud-based ERP provides companies with an additional layer of security. This type of software backs up staff data — payroll, contracts, attendance records, etc. — so users can access information after a power failure, a natural disaster, or a security breach. Cloud ERP also encrypts data to prevent hackers from accessing sensitive information.
The transportation and logistics business has high staff attrition compared to other industries, with an annualized departure rate of 97 percent in the third quarter of 2014, according to the American Trucking Association. ERP benefits companies who want to maintain a steady stream of staff, distribute contracts, and schedule hours — regardless of turnover. Freight operators can also manage absences and find replacement staff quickly.
Enterprise resource planning has become a must-have tool for carriers who want to streamline inventory control, improve distribution processes, and manage staff more effectively.