Month: September 2019

Replace MS Excel with a logistics ERP solution?

Trust me, we all love to hate Microsoft excel, don’t we? The tool has been of some use for all of us at some point in our careers. Although I have never used Excel to its full potential (Does anybody know its full potential, perhaps not), it has done the job for us most of the time. We have been providing logistics operations management solutions to the industry for close to 25 years now. We have seen the initial apprehension towards using a computer, the Y2K boom, the introduction of financial computation software and then the emergence of a centralized ERP solution. Most of the logistics companies that approach us to want to upgrade from a spreadsheet-based system and replace MS Excel with a logistics ERP solution. It may sound strange in 2019, but is a true fact.

Well as they say everything has a shelf life. Unfortunately, there is a limit where we could use Microsoft excel or such spreadsheet tools for business purposes. It just doesn’t align with your company growth nor does it make the operations easier for your staff.

replace MS Excel

Why do spreadsheets fail?

One of the major failures of Excel or any spreadsheet tool is its inability to reconcile multiple versions and preventing manual errors. There are lots of versions involved and each employee can upload their version and replace the existing one.  The system can’t tell which the correct one is and as a result collaboration becomes jeopardy. Moreover, it is difficult to detect fraud or data manipulations in such cases. Companies find it difficult to manage their budget, logistics operations, future plans and forecasts through such tools. 

logistics ERP

Hence most of them are moving to specialized software. According to a CNBC survey, it is estimated that close to 90% of the spreadsheets used by large companies have errors and almost half has material defects. Yes, excel does have formulas, but is it really user-friendly and moreover accurate? Moreover, it is difficult to manage all the important entities in one sheet. If there are multiple sheets involved, there are chances of important data being missed. The users would be also devoid of any important alert notifications under their logistics operations such as order approval, transit delays, clearance document delays, etc.

The need for an effective Logistics ERP solution

Let’s now see how the scenario effects inside a logistics, transportation and warehousing companies. With a large sum of money at stake, any errors, be it medium or critical is crucial to the logistics and transportation industry. It is a highly competitive market, and any bad feedback means a huge loss to the business and a dent in reputation.

It is high time you replace MS excel for executing your daily logistics operations. You have trucks going multiple routes through many countries. You have complex cargo to handle, have to satisfy your clients, manage your staff, track your inventory, and prepare all reports, well… that’s a lot of work a poor spreadsheet can handle. In one of our earlier blogs, we had talked about how logistics ERP is important in day to day operations of a logistics company. In simple words, if you replace MS Excel with logistics management software, it makes your office life a lot easier and swifter.

Usually in an order quotation and entry, you may want to enter numerous things related to the same. There is a limitation to the number of columns you can manage in an excel sheet. Especially when there are a lot of sub-scenarios attached. Your client wants to transfer a cold-chain item through one of your reefer containers, and then one must consider an additional amount associated with it. Like the fuel needed for the generator, temperature/humidity monitoring systems, etc. All these extra costs cannot be mapped easily if you are using a spreadsheet-like excel. Using a dedicated operational module in ERP, you can easily attach these additional costs to the main order.

Let me explain another scenario, your truck has loaded off at the preset destination and has to do an empty leg return. Suddenly one of your marketing team members finds out a load from a place not far away from the current location of the truck. Now, it would be pretty difficult to coordinate everything in a single sheet, you have to assign an empty leg, intimate the driver to pick up the load, register it in your system and then calculate the costs. The need for a system that provides overall operational control is an absolute necessity here.  

As your company grows, so should your software. There is a limit to what spreadsheets can manage and would not be a good practice if you still use the same to manage your operations.

So if you are a company that want to upgrade from the age-old spreadsheet-based system and replace MS Excel software with a logistics ERP solution, do write to us. You can also check on a few of the advantages like operations control you receive by upgrading to an ERP system.  We can help you manage your logistics operations better.

Logistics cost savings

Go digital. Optimise operations

Logistics costs savings software Mozambique, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Indonesia

With 2 decades of existence in the International markets, Ripples-FMS is the Logistics Management Software solution that offers a measurable ROI for your investments in the digital platforms through effective optimization of your warehouse & back-office operations. With the Ripples-FMS Logistics cost savings calculator, it is already proven that the results are greater than the money invested by our clients.

That’s what it simply means that clients will have a positive Return on Investment (ROI) within a short time after adopting Ripples-FMS to their organization.

Ineffective utilization of transporting vehicles

One of the primary concerns for most of the transporting organizations is a low rate of trips per month for their vehicles. This is due to a lack of route optimization systems and the inability to deploy cargo tracking technology across various locations. Potential logistic companies capable to operate more trips per month are unable to tap the opportunity with old manual processing and legacy logistics software systems. Most of this is due to poor optimization of your resources.

Business & customer growth

As per a recent survey, 60% of logistics companies find it very difficult to communicate real-time information such as inventory location, truck status, shipment status, delivery time, etc for their customers and maintain strong business relationships.

Many logistics companies in the Africa region lack proper customer relations management tools and logistics platform solutions that offer higher customer independence to access online information, This is going to become a key strategy to logistics business and customer growth in a post Covid19 era. Cross border documentation works are reduced considerably after implementing Ripples-FMS.

Realtime information for logistics cost savings

Effective and real-time info is key to strategic decision making for logistics operators and their clients. Most freight forwarding providers lack the right digital tools for business analysis, customer self-service, operations control, etc.

Management reports are crucial to reduce operating expenses and unleash potential revenues in the business.

Ineffective purchase management, control & Theft

Ineffectiveness & revenue leakage in the following areas:

  • Misused consumption of vehicle spare parts
  • Theft of tires and spare parts 
  • Theft of cargo during the journey
  • Poor fuel management
  • Issue of wrong invoices

Empty running of trucks & truck delays

Each empty km run by the truck is an expense for the transporter. Most often trucks need to run empty kilometers as logistic companies are lacking with proper info on goods pending to be transported from its branches to various locations. As per research, truck delays at various points (border clearance, workshops offloading, route optimization, documentation, etc.) result in a loss of US$ 240 per day. As a result, it is difficult to get a return on investment.

Lack of alerts, driver assessment & rating

Alerts w.r.t truck license expiry, export permits expiry, vehicle service due, driver license expiry are most often absent in legacy manual and old software systems. Absence of driver performance rating systems to identify problematic and under-performing drivers are often absent which increases average driver expense per month. Optimization of logistics operations will help streamline processes and to improve customer experience.

Ripples-FMS being a standardized freight forwarding software comes with world-class product quality, robust architecture, and fail-safe technology. The solution is completely built from a customer-oriented perspective addressing the pain points of parcel operators, fleet owners, and giant cargo movers. 

Ripples-FMS  logistics platform for cost savings

 

  • Ripples-FMS features a centralized online inquiry system, efficient tracking of consignments from any branch office, tracking of underutilized trucks and route planner facility that helps to increase the rate of trips per truck and avoid running of empty kilometers during round trips.
  • Online customer portal and two way SMS engine for customer interactions helps to communicate real-time info and results in more customer transparency.
  • Management information system with dashboards, Branch wise revenue and expense analysis, stock analysis, traffic analysis, booking, and dispatch analysis backed by more than 200+ management reports help for real-time strategic information and decision making.
  • Centralized inventory monitoring module alerts misused consumption of spare parts and do accurate cost allocation and fuel issue to the fleet. Wrong invoices and malpractices in trip expense billing that forms a standard 1 % loss of total revenue in the industry are no more concern through Ripples-FMS billing and expense template configurations.
  • Ripples-FMS alerts users on important truck and driver license expiry to avoid unnecessary fines during trips. It monitors annual maintenance contracts, tracks breakdown, repair history, and thus ensures optimum asset utilization. Driver ranking and behavior tracking system in Ripples FMS ranks driver based on previous trips.
  • Ripples-FMS facilitates enhanced document management that helps users to scan, index, store, retrieve and print important border and port documents, dispatch documents that reduce delays at various process points.
  • Warehouse Inventory tracking, monitoring solutions to eliminate cargo theft during the journey, theft of tires, environment monitoring solutions to track temperature and humidity for perishable goods, tracking of spillage of hazardous chemicals, and so on.

Ripples-FMS Logistics cost savings & Return on Investment Calculator

The Ripples-FMS ROI benefits cover a wide breadth of parameters within the transportation and logistics management process. Our basic ROI calculations for logistic companies demonstrates that there is certainly a huge amount of money that can be saved through a software-enabled process and work-flow automation. 

A sample benefit & cost savings ROI chart for transport logistic companies

ProblemScenario post Ripples-FMS implementationCost savings
Empty km run by trucksX % of the average empty km per month has been reduced.9999.99
Increased spare parts consumptionX % of Avg Spares Issued per month has been reduced9999.00
………..……………….xxxxx

Calculating return on investment can help you understand what’s working and not working in your business and bring significant changes. Like the above, Ripples FMS is equipped with researched calculations that can demonstrate the savings based on 10 + industry parameters once the Ripples FMS software is adopted. 

Contact our experts to know more about Ripples FMS Logistics Management Software and understand your potential logistics cost savings through our well researched and proven implementation models.