Six Benefits of Implementing a Software-Based Logistics Management Program

A logistics management program-also referred to as a transportation management program-is a comprehensive approach to managing every aspect of the logistics process while developing innovative shipping solutions that save time and money wherever possible. A logistics management program is achieved in one of three ways: hiring a team of in house logistics experts, hiring a third party logistics (3PL) provider or implementing third party logistics software.

Hiring a team of experts is usually too costly for small to midsized companies, and hiring the type of 3PL provider that would implement a comprehensive, innovative logistics management program is usually too costly as well. But implementing logistics software allows companies to develop a comprehensive, innovative management program without the aid of paid professionals. Logistics software does the work of a logistics expert, meaning that its users don’t need to possess logistics expertise. Instead, they use a user-friendly interface to choose from among recommended shipping solutions for every area of the shipping process. Below, we list six benefits that shippers experience after implementing logistics software.

Reduction of Expedited Order Costs

Expedited shipments can significantly drive up the cost of shipping if they occur on a regular basis; and without a comprehensive logistics solution, they typically do. Logistics-software allows shippers to reduce expedited shipments through better shipment planning and system directed exceptions handling, which resolves exceptions before they necessitate an expedited shipment.

Increase of Load Consolidation

Upon implementing logistics-software, shippers immediately realize the ability to consolidate parcel shipments into less than truckload (LTL) shipments, as well the ability to consolidate LTL shipments into truckload (TL) shipments, each of which significantly lessens annual shipping costs.

Automation of Carrier and Mode Selection

When companies automate the selection of the best carrier and the best shipping mode, they save money in terms of both saved time and saved manpower, especially considering that logistics software immediately pairs optimal carrier and optimal mode selection.

Identification of Invoice Discrepancies

Searching for discrepancies in invoices on your own can be tedious and time consuming. But logistics software can instantly compare the audit of a freight invoice against the shipping contract, allowing you to never pay for services that weren’t rendered as promised or that were rendered in violation of the shipping contract.

Tracking of Carrier Performance

Tracking a carrier’s performance can help you negotiate better rates. Logistics software provides information on a carrier prior to your forming a contract with them, which can allow you to receive a lower rate if, for example, a carrier’s promised delivery times average a few minutes or more less than the promised times.

Reduction of Product Breakage

Regardless of the cost effectiveness of shipping routes and load arrangements, a company doesn’t profit from an economical shipping process if its products regularly break en route. Logistics software solves this problem by connecting shippers with carriers that offer the right mixing and stacking strategies for a particular type of freight.

Software Engineering Practice

People who create computer software practice the art or craft or discipline that is software engineering. But what is software engineering “practice”? in a generic sense, practice is a collection of concepts, principles, methods, and tools that a software engineer calls upon on a daily basis. Practice allows managers to manage software projects and software engineers to build computer programs. Practice populates a software process model with the necessary technical and management how-to’s to get the job done. Practice transforms a haphazard unfocused approach into something that is more organized, more effective, and more likely to achieve success.

Core principles
The dictionary defines the word principle as “an important underlying law or assumption required in a system of thought” throughout this book we discuss principles at many different levels of abstraction. Some focus on software engineering as a whole, others consider a specific generic framework activity (e.g., customer communication), and still others focus on software engineering actions (e.g., architectural design) or technical tasks (e.g., write a usage scenario). Regardless of their level of focus, principles help us establish a mind set for solid software engineering practice. They are important for that reason.

First principle: the reason it all exists

A software system exists for one reason: to provide value to its users. All decisions should be made with this in mind. Before specifying a system requirement, before nothing a piece of system functionality, before determining the hardware platforms or development processes, ask yourself questions such as: does this add real value to the system? If the answer is no, don’t do it. All other principles support this one.

Why a Career As a Software Engineer is Not Sound

I believe the value (or pay) of a person in the market is defined by the following factors:
1) innate qualities
2) knowledge & experience
3) people skills & network

Innate qualities are born with, including appearance, intelligence, personality, etc. And educational background, academic performance, etc, are closely related with one’s innate qualities. But since it’s almost impossible to improve this aspect, it’s useless to say too much about it.

Knowledge & experience, people skills & network are the two aspects that differentiates people’s value (pay). However, a career in IT excels in neither fields on the long term.

The following are my reasons. Now and then, I will refer to the three factors mentioned above.

1 IT is a fast-changing industry by its nature, so in most domains of technology, knowledge is hard to accumulate steadily. A 20-year software engineer is likely the same as a 10-year software engineer in terms of knowledge (but inferior in terms of energy level).

1.1 Some might argue that a good software accumulates a set of knowledge (such as desgin patterns, algorithms, debugging experience) that survives the fast-changing industry, but the fact is that these account only for a very small portion of knowledge required for real projects.

1.2 Also, some might argue that there are domains of technology that changes slower, such as system-level programming (compiler, OS). This is true, and one might be lucky enough to accumulate a huge amount of expertise. But the risk of such a career is still high. Since one is very deep into one technology, once the technology is out-of-date the penalty is severe. This is the nature of technology, it will be out-of-date sooner than many other things such as people skills & network.

1.3 Well, going deep in one technology is risky, then what about going wide in many technologies as a generalist engineer? But rarely are there any projects need such kind of people instead of experts of each individual domain of technology.

2 In addition to the fast-changing nature of the IT industry, limited personal influence also contributes to the low ceiling of the career. A good engineer cannot directly make other people on the team better software engineers, while a good manager can directly make the whole team, divsion, or even the company succeed. With many other careers such as sales, surgeons, traders, the vital difference is that sales, surgeons, traders play a greater role as an individual, while a software project requires a team of 30 to 3000 people.

2.1 Moreover, sales, surgeons, traders also deal with people, that makes them potential people managers in future, while software engineers deal with technology which hardly leads them to people management roles. In fact, most senior managers in IT are not previous software engineers. The point is that software engineers accumulate little in terms of people skills & network.

3 The IT industry is also infamous for its locations. Since the nature of the career requires little interaction with customers, software engineers often have to work in remote locations with lower rent or undeveloped districts with lower pay. The suburban sci-tech parks in China and the outsourcing trend in the U.S. are respective evidence of such claim.

4 Software engineers are not very much respected. The reason could be comprehensive. I personally believe that it is closely related with the low pay growth.