Integrated Logistics Insights

Supply Chain Consulting Vs. Software: Do You Need Both?

Businesses with optimal supply chains are set up to achieve success. With a 15 percent decrease in supply chain costs, fewer than 50 percent of inventory holdings and cash-to-cash cycles that are a minimum of three times faster—as a 2014 PwC survey notes—these companies have a competitive advantage in achieving sustainable growth.

While the value of optimizing the supply chain is clear, what might not be as apparent is how to obtain these results. Is the right software enough to streamline operations or do you need supply chain consulting services as well to meet your goals?

The best way to answer this question is by analyzing the benefits of software and supply chain consulting.

The Value of Transportation Management Software

Anyone who ships freight understands the headaches that come with manual processes. There’s the time it takes to go back and forth with different carriers, file through invoices and fight discrepancies, as well as the greater possibility for inaccuracies.

The right transportation management software helps eliminate these challenges through automation. This approach saves your organization, while also avoiding overpayments that can affect your bottom line. In fact, according to Inbound Logistics, proper freight accounting via a TMS solution can take a shipper from paying $11 per invoice to only 5-10 percent of that total.

Another benefit that transportation management software brings to the table is real-time business intelligence. The ability to monitor trends, seasonal spikes and areas for improvement helps companies better understand where their freight spending is concentrated and how to plan business strategies for the future.

The Value of Supply Chain Consulting

There are some supply chain challenges that internal teams may not be able to resolve. Working with a 3PL provider delivers the benefits of expertise in the field, as well as a fresh, objective perspective on the issue.

Outside of these more apparent issues, supply chain consulting helps businesses identify underlying factors that can contribute to higher costs. For instance, companies can boost their profits by up to 95 percent with just a 5 percent increase in customer retention. A 3PL provider can leverage a knowledge of industry best practices and market trends to improve your organization’s customer service and fuel growth.

This same supply chain expertise can be valuable in other situations as well. Logistics planners can help you analyze the value of different carriers based on your needs, as well as deliver continuous recommendations on how to navigate business changes like distribution expansion.

The combination of software and supply chain consulting is a powerful one. To learn how these elements can fuel sustainable success, download a free copy of our ebook, How to Reduce Freight Shipping Costs & Boost Your Business.

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