Ever thought about it? What exactly is logistics, what does it entail and what role does logistics software play in logistics? Is it a luxury or a necessity?
Logistics software comes down to the thing which has enabled the global integration and distribution that we are so easily used to today. Globalisation has changed things- big time! And without information technology (IT) none of it would be possible. Logistics software comes down to IT- IT configured, developed and specialised specifically for logistics operations.
Why so Specialised?
Simply because logistics can be complicated. Have you ever tried to transport a product from South Africa to Kenya? Or even better, have you ever tried to transport a really big mining machine from South Africa to Kenya.
While the physical transportation of a product or service itself is complicated enough, there are hundreds of other things to consider, such as the legislation of the countries you are transporting to and from, customs regulations, language barriers, the availability of transport infrastructure to actually receive the product or service and get it to its destination, the availability of skills to allow for maintenance or operation of the goods or service, the packaging of the product or service which will allow for it to safely reach its destination without any damage.
Think that’s all? It’s not. As logistics infrastructure is expensive to maintain and many rules and regulations are needed to ensure that logistics operations are streamlined, fair and contribute to economic development, transport providers have to ensure they comply with all of those rules and regulations.
How does Logistics Software Help?
Quite simply, the best way to get a product or service from point A to point B- from one country to another or from one continent to another, is to ensure that you can actually see whether it is going where you want it to within the specified time-frame. Therefore, logistics software gives you visibility over logistics processes. It assists you in tracking and tracing your products and services.
Further, the reason why logistics software is specialised and should be configured is that it comprises all of the legislation, challenges and opportunities unique to each transport or logistics company. Logistics software can notify you whether a parcel or shipment complies with regulations and can give you and overall view of your operations as it automatically displays data regarding all operations via dashboards that can be accessed by all stakeholders.
So is logistics software a luxury? No. Its a necessity- just as IT is a necessity for communication, logistics software and business management software is a necessity for the successful distribution and operation of logistics processes.