Certain logistics processes are time-consuming and repetitive, making them ideal candidates for outsourcing. Examples are order processing, invoice processing, supply planning and demand forecasting. Even when automation is available, many businesses still depend on people to enter data manually into forms, which can lead to errors and duplication at many points in the supply chain.
Logistics outsourcing and the use of third party logistics processing solutions can automate manual data entry procedures and other labor-intensive activities. For example, transport, freight or warehouse management systems (FMS/WMS) have automation features that reduce time spent on manual data entry, speed up automatic retrieval of information and provide real-time notification and updates during various stages of the logistics process.
Logistics automation and integration solutions have many benefits. Software can be used to process information in real-time to adjust production and reduce waste. Applications can also integrate existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software with external logistics and trade portals for seamless exchange of information between parties.
Another benefit of logistics process outsourcing is the reduction in errors. Manual data entry errors can be costly and cause businesses to pay higher freight rates, duty and taxes. Errors can delay the processing of cargo permits, leading to stalled deliveries and unsatisfied customers. Third party software can save and re-use information as well as automatically store details about commodities via your ERP system, preventing the entry of wrong information. Customs processing software can validate forms before submission, ensuring first-time approval and faster cargo release.
Logistics processing solutions allow businesses to regain control over logistics processing management, risks and costs. Staffing solutions like virtual assistance can help managers and business owners with daily operations, allowing them to focus on core activities. Meanwhile, IT solutions like FMS, WMS and specialized logistics software are flexible in terms of accommodating business rules and ensuring that you pay only for the features you need, while at the same time requiring all users to follow best practices that lead to better cost and processes efficiency.