Logistics Planning Software and Freight Shipping

Since the deregulation of the trucking industry in the 1980’s, trucking companies have offered an increasing range of shipping solutions that helps the manufacturer minimize shipping costs; one of which is less than truckload (LTL) shipping. In LTL shipping, companies that ship less than full truckloads of goods can save money by paying a fraction of full load shipping fees. For trucking companies, shipping earnings remain the same. They create a full truckload out of partial load shipments and receive payment from each company. For manufacturers, arriving at the optimal LTL solution usually requires the implementation of logistics planning software, which analyzes the cost of shipping and transportation needs in relation to product destination.

The obvious advantage of LTL shipping is that it allows companies to decrease shipping costs. But the downside is that products often take longer to reach their destination due to the multiple destinations implied by the shared load. In such cases, using logistics planning software to analyze a shipping situation instead of opting for standard LTL is the best way to integrate a solution that brings lower shipping costs while ensuring timely delivery. Whereas as LTL companies specialize in LTL, logistics software specializes in developing solutions that combine each element of the shipping process into a streamlined, cost effective delivery system. A company that requires freight tracking services in addition to simple pick up and delivery would benefit more from using logistics software than relying on the advice of an LTL shipping company.

Most companies that utilize logistics software consistently run a large number of products that are assembled at multiple locations before they arrive at retailers. At first glance, incurring the start up cost and service fees of logistics software might seem contrary to the goal of decreasing operating costs. However, studies show that companies who implement logistics software regularly reduce their shipping costs by ten percent in the first year alone. Exactly how is this savings created? In part, it results form the fact that logistics software eliminates costs associated with other logistical solutions, such as annual software maintenance costs, TMS software costs, 3PL costs, freight margins, gain shares and common rate base licensing costs.

While logistics software is popular among companies whose yearly shipping costs can amount to more than a small company’s annual earnings, it can also offer solutions for smaller companies. For example, a company that simply wants to improve delivery time can use the software to analyze road construction trends and highways traffic patterns. In either case, the software never fails to improve a manufacturer’s finances by making its system of delivery markedly more efficient.

Are We Moving Towards Service-Oriented Software Engineering?

The digitally disrupted and the technology-driven world calls for quicker solutions that don’t compromise on quality. For organisations, software engineering services that come with the requisite agility, proven methodologies, and thoroughness are required for reduced turnaround time and better ROI.

It is time to adopt the service-oriented software engineering services in order to get the best of both worlds i.e. software engineering and cloud computing. You will, in turn, be able to improve quality and time taken to launch the software applications while integrating the database from legacy systems. The incredible combination of services and cloud computing has attracted many large scale businesses and applications due to several advantages: easy development, smooth outline for mission-critical applications, and a cost-effective journey from simple to complex applications. Another concern that large enterprises have is security, which is also taken care of through secure choice of clouds.

While service-oriented software engineering and cloud technology solutions are similar in matters such as resource outsourcing and IT management, they differ in some ways. Service-based software engineering services concentrate wholly on architecture design using service composition and discovery while, cloud computing focuses on the essential delivery of the services, which means the SOA for the two differ.

The architectural dimension for service computing

The architectural model for service computing works for the development and deployment concepts. When you define service, it is individual and independent for a particular software entity and comes with well-defined standards and functions. These individual services are then combined to form a workflow based on the application needs. Software as a Service is when the software is self-contained and platform independent. Instead of the software, you can have the platform as your service, where each service that comes into contact to form the workflow is dependent on the platform.

Organisations deploy their applications using a well-defined SOA which is based on the development and deployment service computing chosen by the organisation. The SLA defines the service and the terms of usage and the service provider, in this case, will need to adhere to these terms.

The benefit of service based software development services would be increased agility, defined processes, and quicker time to market. With cloud technology solutions taking over, it is important to define the service computing standards so that you can maximise the data security, and harness the potential of your data. You can compile the services, search, discover and even test and execute the services individually or as a workflow anytime, thus reducing the whole time to develop, debug and deploy.

Characteristics of services computing

The different characteristics of services computing that you need to be aware of before opting for the same include:
· Loosely coupled: No dependency exists between the different services
· Abstract: The logic stays hidden within the SLA
· Reusable: The components can be reused
· Composable: A single service comprises various other services, which can help developers work together and build a single service workflow with ease.

With such amazing architectural and structural benefits, software engineering services are indeed the future of software engineering in the age of cloud computing.

Amateurs Study Shipping Rates, Professionals Study Logistics

Omar Bradley offered a truism, that amateurs study tactics, armchair generals study strategy, and professionals study logistics. This is just as true in the world of business as it is in the military. Logistics is the art of getting supplies where they’re needed so other functions can happen. In the modern business world, logistics means freight shipping – both internally and externally. In this field, freight rates and carrier rates are the price of doing business.

Freight shipping is one of those expenses that can be minimized, but never totally eliminated. It’s also a manpower time sink, and because of this, more and more companies are outsourcing their freight needs to third party logistics companies. These are outfits that have people who do nothing but look over the assorted rates and package deals offered by the major freight carriers and try to find the best deal possible for their client, with a nice commission on top for them.

All in all, third party logistics management makes sense for organizations that are above a certain size (too small, and they don’t generate enough volume to be worth the trouble of maintaining the account) and below a certain size (at which point the company can have an inside staff that does the same function for less).

Alternatives to third party logistics offers are in house logistics software. Much the same way that travel agencies quickly became redundant with online booking services, logistics software vendors are trying to render the third party logistics company obsolete. Building automatic data scrapers that can do the basic work of comparing logistics rates to different parts of the country or world is fairly straightforward, as is a price search algorithm.

While these systems primarily offer a way to avoid third party logistics fees, they also offer a bit more direct control over your company’s shipping needs, and some managers and executives like that hands on feel. They can also be used to significantly automate a lot of routine functions in the shipping department and the mail room. They can also be used to identify process problems – there’s a saying that every time something was sent out overnight, someone higher up in the chain didn’t do their job correctly, and when you’re looking directly at the costs of expedited shipping, it becomes easier to focus on the process issues that lead to it, than when you’re looking at a third party statement of account.

Ultimately, which one works best is a function of your business’ needs and internal culture; some businesses simply don’t want to bring that job in house. Others need to. Both are viable strategies depending on what your operation’s needs truly are.