Freight forwarding Industry is undergoing a quick and radical transformation in the recent times. The
dynamics of the way in which Freight forwarders have operated in the last decade is completely
different to the way in which they are operating today. There have been a wide range of aspects that
have influenced this change and have transformed Freight forwarding businesses over the last 4-5 years.
From being a mere logistics supplier a decade back, to trying to be the “One- Stop-Shop provider”
Freight forwarders have reengineered the Industry. Now Freight forwarders focus on having the ability
to offer new, value-added services such as warranty processing, returns management and light
manufacturing to their customers. In addition to this offering services such as customs and insurance
brokerage, trade and transportation management have also emerged as the differentiators in the
industry and opportunities to capitalize on cross-segment Businesses.
One of the biggest challenges that Freight forwarders face is data management. Ability to Streamline the
multifarious nature of this business and aligning them in the most productive and profitable way, while
managing the huge amount of Customer and Freight data can go a long way in defining success and
failure for Freight forwarders. To stay ahead of competitor and to grow successfully, the choice of right
ERP systems is the ultimate solution for freight forwarders. This will directly lead in streamlining the
logistics and freight forwarding operations. This results in effective and efficient management of freight
forwarding processes and that will proprietorially increase profitability and accuracy.
Here are a few aspects that businesses need to consider when they plan to choose the right ERP solution
to assist them in their needs.
- A Secure standalone Centralized database: Information handling and security is one of the
most important aspects of any business. In Freight forwarding any leakage of information, or
even loss of information could simply end up causing unnecessary delays or even Shipment loss
in some cases. There cannot be any compromise in user data or any package information. The
choice of right ERP system would be incomplete without analyzing the user security features
that are incorporated in the system. A secure and centralized database multi-branch access can
avoid any disconnected data pool causing unnecessary delay and disruption would be an ideal
approach to solve majority of concerns. This approach can protect from data duplication and
help in easy data monitoring. Centralized database should be capable of enabling the ERP
solution to read, edit (modify) and write data to and fro from each of the branch offices. This
would go a long way in helping the business to track shipment-wise payment, profitability,
outstanding details and performances.
Availability across Mobile and Web Based Platforms:
Businesses today need a strong mix of
classical and modern day approach to be successful. Modern day businesses offer challenges
that needs to be answered regardless of whether you are in office or are on the go. An ERP and
CRM solution for Freight management which is built without detailing to these challenges is
good for nothing. Choosing an ERP solution that enables you to operate and access data on the
go, from mobile devices and which supports interoperability between Mobile and Web Based
platforms is one of the key aspects of Freight forwarding Business.
Quick Access to information Generation of Reports and data archives:
Data archiving, information reporting and data storage are the most crucial elements in freight forwarding
business. Generating and archiving reports, including shipping-related MIS reports, purchase
order, balance sheets, packing lists and multiple invoices quickly without errors can go a long
way in defining success to your business as a freight forwarder. Having an ERP solution that
gives you quick access to information can make it very easy and simpler to take quick decisions
and get insights on trends in the business.
Connecting the Disconnected Pools of Business:
Freight forwarders usually deal with a lot of
information that is dependent on each other but are disconnected. Freight management,
documentation, container tracking, customs brokerage, compliance services and shipment
tracking are all crucial aspects that have to be bridged together to succeed as an organization. A
single platform which connects all these pools and integrates them to a single solution can
deliver maximum profits and in the same time be comfortable. This can make the operations
more accurate, efficient, and cost effective and will provide all the users with real-time visibility
of in-bound/out-bound shipment and their corresponding receivables.
Real time tracking and management:
In this fast paced world, Information on the go is the most
crucial aspect of any business. This can help make quick decisions and stay ahead of the game.
Customers and employees need real-time access to information, especially when they are on
the move. Businesses need to embrace mobile ERP for the reports, dashboards and to conduct
key business processes.
Ability to deal with multiple branches and currencies:
Freight forwarders deal with shipments
across various countries and continents. This can cause disconnected pools of data, multiple
dependencies, confusions and difficulty in converting data causing unnecessary delay, disruption
and data duplication. Choosing the right ERP solution that can accommodate all these
differences and disconnects and still provide optimum performance is one of the key aspects to
success in logistics Industry.
To succeed in Freight forwarding Industry a service provider needs to have a controlling presence in key
growth markets and the flexibility to respond swiftly and innovatively to customers’ evolving needs.
Incorporating ERP and IT process driven services into businesses and evolving quickly in accordance to
the growing needs can help the businesses survive, succeed and evolve to grow in this fast paced
Industry dynamics. Choose your service partners carefully and succeed.