Software as a service (SaaS) provides businesses with cloud-based software applications that are accessible in a centralized location on the Internet. With the applications accessible from any location on computing devices, users can easily perform tasks and use data from anywhere and at any time.
So, what does this mean for the logistics industry?
SaaS allows for 3PLs and other companies to stay connected to their operations around the world. Supply chains create large amounts of data from manufacturers, partner carriers, fulfillment centers, and warehousing and distribution centers. If each location uses software applications that do not connect to each other due to disparate legacy technology, this data sits unused. A decentralized network forces companies to manually send data to other businesses, departments, and locations. This process often does not allow users to receive data in real-time making it harder for companies to adapt and execute their logistical strategies.
Using SaaS in logistics allows all companies in the supply chain to access the information through the same centralized network. They often receive the data in real-time, so more cost-effective logistical planning can take place. However, each manufacturer, supplier, distributor, and warehousing operation is not required to spend large amounts of money to upgrade and maintain internal technology and network systems. Since the SaaS logistics software is web-based and hosted by a third-party provider, logistical companies can access the software applications they need at any time without having to buy data centers or more IT personnel.
As technology advances, logistical companies are gathering more data from a range of sources. However, identifying the most important information to use in operations can be difficult and could slow production if a company must redirect all its manpower into analyzing every data point.
Obtaining the right software and data partners to gather the appropriate data at the right time allows for better analysis and reporting that can be used throughout the supply chain. Many logistical companies are turning to cloud-based SaaS to help them integrate systems, so all the data is in one location. Then, companies can have an easier time parsing the information for their specific processes.
When used in logistics, supply chain management SaaS allows fleet carriers and 3PLs to obtain real-time data regarding routes, shipment movement, and deliveries. They use the data to track carrier movements and log transportation and fuel costs. Then, they use this data to modify routes and eliminate bottlenecks that could slow operations or raise costs.
Benefits of SaaS
Logistics providers can experience many benefits when using SaaS. With SaaS, data is accessible from any computing device that connects to the Internet. Logistical companies can use the applications when inspecting warehouses, hiring new suppliers, or tracking fleets on the go. Companies can perform route planning on demand and can respond faster to issues to minimize shipment delays.
Another benefit for logistics companies lies with the SaaS itself. By working with a third-party hosting provider, the company does not have to constantly invest in the latest technology and upgrades. Top SaaS providers ensure their networks are running at full capacity around the clock and can make any tech upgrades on their end, providing logistics companies with extra cost savings. Plus, a company can purchase the packages they need based on their current operations and easily deploy the SaaS throughout the enterprise.
WSI Logistics Solutions
Using SaaS for supply chain tasks can help speed up operations. Logistical companies can gain a competitive edge while keeping costs low for their customers. Here at WSI, we are proud to have a robust IT department and we utilize a wide range of technologies for each of our provided services. Technologies we use include, but are not limited to:
- Warehousing and distribution systems
- Inventory management solutions
- Transportation management solutions
- Order Management software
- B2B Collaboration / EDI Integration
Each of these technologies, and our user-friendly customer portal, allow us to provide a more innovative supply chain for our customers that is tailored to the size and complexity of their operations. For more information about our logistical solutions, contact WSI today.