You haven’t actually made a sale until you have delivered your goods to your customer. This means delivering it yourself or handing it over to a carrier to deliver it for you. Carriers want you to use their system, but unless you use just one carrier, this means you end up keying your consignments into different systems for different carriers. The carriers give you their system for free because this way you do their data entry for them. It also means you tend to get locked into using them. Far better to use a single multi-carrier system for all of your carriers. This means your staff only need to learn one system and you also have visibility of all of your freight movements and costs in one system. This is great, but you are still doing manual data entry.
Far better to connect your freight system to your shipping system to eliminate the data entry and create consignments directly from your order data. In the eCommerce world, freight systems can connect directly with your webstore and help manage the order fulfillment process and update your webstore with order confirmations and shipping information when done. Freight systems also connect with Cloud inventory management systems like Cin7 through a freely available API connection, and on premises ERP systems (usually via a custom integration).
When you move to the Logistics Cloud Co. Warehouse Management System the freight system connects directly to the WMS in a tight integration to print shipping labels on demand as you pack each order. This is not only more efficient it reduces errors from putting the wrong shipping label on the wrong box; which happens when printing batches of shipping labels and searching your pile of outbound freight to find which label belongs to which box (or mixing up labels and packing slips if you are using your freight system for fulfillment).
But what if you do your own deliveries? One way of handling this is to set yourself up as a generic carrier in your freight system and print shipping labels. The limitation of this is that your customers now expect to get tracking information and you are not a carrier and not set up to do this. The answer to this is to use a transport management system like the carriers do, but until recently this was an expensive and complicated option that was just too hard for businesses with small fleets to bother with. Now there are a growing number of options for small fleet operators to provide carrier like delivery management capabilities with GPS vehicle tracking and parcel tracking all via the magic of an app on your driver’s smartphone.
Helping you select and integrate the right freight and transport systems is another way we help you achieve streamlined logistics management processes in your business.