In recent years, freight forwarders have started to adopt cloud-based solutions mainly due to the need for innovative solutions in supply chains. In addition, opting for this technological model for companies facilitates access to information, taking into account the immediacy of the real-time data delivery system.
In this article, we have covered the importance of emerging cloud-based logistics solutions for freight forwarders and its benefits into their logistics business.
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Jump ahead to:-
- What Is Cloud Computing?
- Implementing Cloud Solutions
- Top Challenges Faced By Logistics Companies
- Cloud Computing & SaaS
- Saas In Freight Dispatch Monitoring
What is Cloud Computing?
It is the massive storage of data, information, and web services processed through a server connected to the internet. With this type of service, software solutions can be purchased and installed internally or transferred to an external provider that stores them on their servers.
Cloud computing provides a fast, flexible and accessible model for companies of any size that dare to opt for specialized services, providing efficient solutions to the requirements of each firm, with immediate and in-depth response time. Big companies like Microsoft, Google, or Amazon are already providing the infrastructure required for these services, specifically considering the needs of the logistics industry.
Companies that use the cloud computing model can currently count on the benefits of a group of IT specialists who provide excellent services for each company’s business, becoming great experts when delivering specific solutions.
Cloud services for freight forwarders(eg. Freightify)offer access to a flexible and configurable selection on demand of what each company is willing to pay for the service it requires, with orders management, billing, event, and process monitoring solutions.
Another benefit of having a cloud computing system in logistics is that providers will not have to invest in the infrastructure of a specific IT staff for their company, nor will they have to be concerned about the correct implementation and maintenance of improvements which would imply a significant capital investment.
Cloud computing came to delegate IT responsibilities to a "cloud logistics operator,” who manages the different tasks of the systems, leaving companies free of this work and allowing them to focus their efforts on the business.
Implementing Solutions With The Cloud
Currently, freight forwarders see the need to modernize their supply chain systems to make them more dynamic and thus face the growing demand of consumers in the face of increasingly competitive market conditions.
Advances and major changes at the industrial level have motivated manufacturers to seek new alternatives to better plan and deploy their management technology, so having technological services that provide speed to logistics processes is a fundamental factor for modernizing companies and making a difference within the field.
Top challenges logistics companies face
Transportation costs and process improvement are the two main challenges logistics companies face in 2021, according to the survey conducted by Intellias.
The benefits that a cloud model can provide to companies are many; however, there are still providers who do not dare to take the initial step, raising questions such as not being completely clear about the specific aspects of this technology, which medium and long term can generate severe costs in your business.
However, to implement solutions in the retail industry, one of the most used services in purchasing processes is cloud computing, occupying the second place of importance behind adopting CRM under the SaaS model (Software as a Service).
Cloud computing and SaaS: inclusive and non-exclusive services
One of the biggest problems for logistics executives when deciding whether to implement a service in the cloud for their processes is identifying the characteristics of its different components, applications, and associated services.
The SaaS (Software as a Service) model is one of the components directly related to “in the cloud” processes. In this type of software, consumers can access Internet applications hosted in the cloud, having a wide range of tasks at their disposal.
Users can count on the services through any Internet-enabled device. This software model allows companies to serve with the maintenance, support, and operation that the client will use when the service is contracted.
The benefits of having a SaaS service are that companies can use the applications for various needs, including accounting and billing, sales tracking, planning, performance monitoring, and communications, including webmail and instant messaging.
Therefore, the SaaS service is one of the three categories within cloud computing. It translates as how the service is paid in the cloud, making it an inclusive complement when acquiring technology services online.
These are the three categories of cloud services:
- SaaS applications have been designed for end-users, with information delivered in real-time over the Internet.
- PaaS (Platform as a Service) is the set of tools and services designed to make the coding and implementation of these applications quickly and efficiently.
- IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) is the hardware and software that manages everything from servers, storage, and networks to companies' operating systems.
In other words, the difference between SaaS and cloud computing is that the latter is aimed at software developers, application providers, savvy computer users, and corporate IT departments, not for people who use computer applications, in this case, the Service Software (SaaS).
The rapid growth of SaaS services will soon become a common goal within each organization. Therefore, buyers and users of this technology must understand why and when it is appropriate to use it.
SaaS in the monitoring of freight dispatches
The management systems used by freight forwarders are presented as multimodal and intelligent software solutions capable of processing all activities air, sea, land, and customs with the maximum levels of efficiency and profitability. From quotes up to invoices, the entire shipping cycle can be optimized in a single system, generating an intelligent workflow based on best practices.
Why is it important to have a SaaS service in logistics operations? Because the level of service of a distribution operation is directly related to the operation’s expense and efficiency, it is the logistics management’s responsibility to find the balance point between management costs and the appropriate level of service.
Last-mile delivery services are a small part of most supply chains. However, it is the only instance in which the client has direct contact with the company, generating brand visibility. For the same reason, it is essential to have a tracking service capable of reporting each dispatch process in real-time.
Many consumers have indicated that excellent service in dispatch deliveries is critical when making new purchasing decisions. Approximately 33% of consumers have stated that they would switch to another brand if they have a bad or negative experience in delivery processes.
Plenty of dedicated cloud-based freight forwarding solutions (SaaS) allow freight forwarders to answer forms, track cargo, optimize routes and notifications via email and SMS to customers minutes before executing a delivery. It is even possible to take photographs and digital signatures when making the delivery operation. These steps provide a notable decrease in the levels of uncertainty in the processes.
In companies, cost reduction becomes increasingly complex, but increasing the value of the product through an improvement in the quality of the service is much more profitable and more difficult to imitate for the competition, adding a fundamental brand value and making it much more attractive to your customers.