Cloud computing has begun its influence on the freight forwarder industry. While once freight forwarders relied on telephones, paperwork and contract hard copies, they are now evolving into the digital space, which makes 24/7 communication and visibility a hallmark of the industry.
The migration to the cloud has many benefits. It enhances customer service by providing freight visibility that integrates with client systems.
It also makes freight forwarders internal processes more efficient, resulting in higher profit margins.
Shifting to a cloud-based system provides a myriad of business improvements, including these top 5 benefits of cloud software for freight forwarders.
Dependence on on-site networks ties employees to their desks, limiting customer service to certain periods or requiring overtime. With cloud-based software, freight forwarders can access the system remotely, allowing for real time service of clients and immediate notification of emergencies, such as lost or delayed shipments. Employees can fix such problems from anywhere in the world, eliminating frustrating delays.
Remote access also increases the opportunity for colleague collaboration. This allows teams to work together remotely, a huge boon at any time but especially during the COVID-19 “work from home” era. Because of remote access, there is no need for important projects or new freight orders to suffer delay.
An obvious concern about any software program is the possibility of unauthorized access to private data. Cloud-based freight forwarder software solves that problem through permissions. These permissions segment access to certain data fields according to a person’s qualifications.
For example, a top-level executive might have access to the entire system, whereas an accounting representative may have access to the data necessary for his or her job. Customers would have a different set of permissions, where they can access their own customer data.
Real-Time Freight Tracking
Cloud-based freight forwarder software provides a display that makes real time freight tracking possible. Transportation managers can access the display and view where every piece of freight they manage is located. This allows for superior customer service and more efficient transportation network management.
Cloud-based freight forwarder software allows managers to track truck shipments, including LTL, air freight, ocean and rail, all in real time. Should a plane be delayed by a mechanical issue or unsafe weather conditions, transportation managers can see the impact on the transportation network right away. They can then determine the best way to route the freight to minimize delays.
Analytics for Financial Success
When freight forwarders deploy cloud software, they are rewarded with automated data collection that provides the material they need for the data analytics that drive financial success in today’s information age. Because of access segmentation, there is no worry about unauthorized personnel accessing private data.
Analytics opportunities range from the analysis of individual customers to a pool of like customers to the entire customer base. Managers can analyze accounts and look for ways to increase revenue or profitability. For instance, by identifying under-served accounts and making attempts to increase business from those entities. In another instance, managers could seek information on profitability per account and analyze it to look for ways to enhance profitability per shipment on various accounts.
Management can also check in on how the overall transportation network is functioning through various performance metrics. For example, they can run reports showing on-time delivery rates, carrier scorecards, carrier metrics and late delivery reports. Based on this information, they can judge where the company has been successful and what areas of the network need improvement.
Freight forwarders are not computer savants. Most would rather avoid spending man-hours fighting technical problems. When freight forwarders use self-implemented systems, they often spend time with technical issues that diminish their business operations.
Cloud computing software eliminates this problem because the network can be housed offsite at the software vendors location. The hosting company handles the construction, maintenance and repair of all hardware. In addition, it provides security for the network. With hacker attacks becoming a cost of doing business, having the hosting company handle security provides a huge advantage. It has professional security staff who are up to date on the latest hacker techniques.
Cloud computing has taken over as the software option of choice because it offers many advancements above earlier technology. Remote access, real-time tracking, compatibility with client information systems and built-in security allow it to enhance business operations, both on the customer service and back office sides. Freight forwarders position themselves to provide enhanced service at a lower cost by employing freight forwarder software.
CSA Software offers full-service freight forwarding solutions for Domestic, International, Warehouse, and Accounting operations. We have been providing complete freight management software solutions that run every aspect of a freight business utilizing the latest in Microsoft technologies for over 35 years. Call us to learn more about our premier software and request a Free Demo today!