Businesses continue to grow more complex, and the freight forwarder industry provides no exception. Direct contact between producers/sellers and consumers/buyers has become largely impossible. Freight forwarders play an integral role in bridging the gap between shipping customers and shipping companies. Most manufacturers lack the robust knowledge and connection to the freight industry that freight forwarders bring to the table. For this reason, logistics ranks as a burgeoning industry.
Freight forwarders face seismic changes as a result of advancements in technology.
Freight forwarder software now allows for greater efficiency and enhanced collaboration between employees and with customers. Because of the enhanced convenience newly developed software extends to customers, expectations for freight forwarder services are rapidly evolving. In fact, cloud-based software is changing the way freight forwarders conduct all aspects of their business, including internal operations, contracting and customer service. The winners in the industry will be those who use cloud computing platforms to enhance their services and streamline operations.
Why Cloud Computing is the Future
The days of desktop computers, corded telephones and 8-to-5 office hours have already melted into the past. Workers today are mobile and work on flex time. Customers are getting used to on-demand service. These changes create opportunities for freight forwarders.
Cloud computing allows freight forwarders to adapt to this new business paradigm. Employees can log onto the network from anywhere in the world, allowing them to do their jobs even when outside the office. They can track shipments from any device, be it a laptop, smartphone or iPad. In fact, those with the right permissions can see the entire transportation network with updated shipment statuses at any time.
Cloud computing freight forwarder software also allows customers to enjoy on-demand service 24/7/365. The software integrates with client networks, giving them the ability to track their shipments at any point, place orders automatically and receive expedited shipping quotes.
Cloud Computing Freight Forwarder Software Provides Segmentation
The success of a cloud computing software system depends in part on the ability to segment access according to groups. For example, the owners and upper management may have permissions to access the entire system. On the other hand, customer service people may have access to just the client accounts they oversee. The accounting department would have access to financial data and transportation managers to shipment tracking.
The Analytics Advantage
In the age of big data, analytics counts. Cloud computing freight forwarder software brings big data analytics to companies of all sizes. Managers can choose between global and granular reports on any aspect of the business. For example, reports on shipping delivery speeds can make clear the cause of any delays. Managers can examine the entire operation or specific parts. In addition, they can compare vendors to make decisions on where to place future shipments.
Management can also use analytics to find ways of trimming expenses. It can pull reports on the spending of different departments, vendor payments and past due invoices, for example. With this information in hand, management can create cost reduction plans that work.
Built in Efficiencies
Freight forwarding was once a labor-intensive business. Employees spent their days rushing to fulfill quote requests from customers, request quotes from vendors, comparison shop, book orders and try to locate shipments. This amount of labor is expensive and inefficient compared to software solutions that can manage all these tasks automatically.
One of the best efficiencies created by freight forwarder software is automated billing. Without the software, employees must engage in time-consuming labor in order to bill customers, process accounts receivables and contact late paying customers. With freight forwarder software, these tasks can be completely automated.
As a result of automation, freight forwarders cut costs and enhance the bottom line. They can also help boost revenue by reassigning employees away from the automated tasks to focus on customer service and business development.
All industries have reached the start of the automation revolution. Freight forwarders are in position to benefit greatly. Freight forwarding has been a labor-intensive industry that survives on tight margins. Because of cloud computing software, freight forwarders have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to overhaul their business models. With so many tasks automated, freight forwarders can focus on revenue-enhancing activities and operate on much thicker margins.
CSA Software offers full-service freight forwarding solutions for Domestic, international, Warehouse, and Accounting operations. Our cloud-based software is the best choice for freight forwarders, air cargo, ocean freight, air freight operations, and more. Call us to learn more about our premier software and request a Free Demo today!