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Find the Best Multi-Carrier Parcel Management Technology

Parcel volumes are surging.  Carrier capacity is tight.  Surcharges have been announced and your transportation spend is about to take a hit.  You know it’s time to find the best multi-carrier parcel management software available, but the number of options and information can be overwhelming.  Where should you start?

Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a list of resources to help you identify your needs, streamline your technology options, and ultimately find the “best fit” multi-carrier parcel management system for your organization.

What is the “Best Fit?”

A multi-carrier parcel management platform that works well for one organization may not work well for another. Carrier networks vary. Fulfillment scenarios differ. Customs and cross-border regulations diverge from one region to the next.  Therefore, for large enterprises tackling complex distribution scenarios and same-day/next-day delivery expectations, there is no “one size fits all” approach to parcel shipping. Instead, your goal is to find the “best fit” multi-carrier parcel management software for your organization.

ebook logistyx quadrant Choosing a TMS for Parcel ShippingTo help kick off your search for this “best fit” technology, you can watch vendor webinars or attend industry conferences (virtually!). You can also read case studies and download white papers. And of course you can talk to multi-carrier parcel management experts about the solutions they recommend.

Here are some of our specific resources to help:

  • The Logistyx QuadrantThis resource helps you assess your current shipping operations and identify both the necessary features and functionality you need in a multi-carrier parcel management system today, as well as critical tools and technology for meeting your longer-term objectives.
  • Checklist: Choose the Right TMS for Parcel Shipping: This checklist defines the essential elements of an effective multi-carrier parcel management system: a large carrier services network, an open platform, multiple integration options, control tower and real-time reporting, cloud architecture, and more. Organizations that seek to implement technology with these features meet their parcel shipping KPIs and optimize their return on investment.
  • Quick Guide: Critical Capabilities of a TMS for Parcel Shipping: This guide provides an overview of “must have” features and functionality in a multi-carrier parcel management system to streamline order fulfillment operations and achieve cost-effective, on-time delivery.
  • How to Select the Right Shipping System for your Business: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3: This series of blog posts outlines what multi-carrier parcel management technology is and why now is the right time to make an investment. The series explains why major manufacturers, retailers, and 3PLs use this technology to scale their parcel shipping operations and power their order fulfillment strategies, and it offers tips for building a business case for a multi-carrier parcel management system within your organization.
  • Multi-Carrier Parcel Management Case Studies: To understand what you need from multi-carrier parcel management technology; it may help to read about real-life use cases. Logistyx’s customer case studies reveal real and relatable ways manufacturers, retailers, and 3PLs use multi-carrier parcel management systems to scale parcel shipping volumes, streamline parcel shipping execution, and optimize transportation spend.
  • Logistyx Research Solutions: These research pages are designed to help you discover the parcel shipping information that’s important to you. They provide useful background and insights upon which you can rely when researching your options, developing an RFP, and evaluating vendors.
  • Analyst Reviews: Industry analysts help businesses identify the best supply chain technology for their needs. Gartner, for example, provides real-time industry intelligence and makes technology recommendations and vendor introductions for their clients. Their research and consulting services can be invaluable in your multi-carrier parcel management system search.

Where does Logistyx fit?

Built for high velocity parcel shippers by industry experts, Logistyx TME is powerful, versatile technology – and the right fit is just as important to us as it is to you. We want to ensure every Logistyx TME customer is set up for success, and so we too look for “best fit.”

Here are some of the criteria we use:

  1. You need an open platform.
    A multi-carrier parcel management system with an open platform will expedite data mapping. This will give you flexibility in integrating with other systems, such as an ERP, WMS, and/or OMS.  You’ll be able to seamlessly exchange data with these business-critical systems without building custom UIs and ultimately, you’ll improve the time to value of your investment and optimize the infrastructure for your business long-term in the cloud, in the data center, and in your tech stack.
  2. (See #1 above). You are interested in integrating your multi-carrier parcel management system with other enterprise technology.
    Logistyx TME can be integrated with your existing supply chain technology stack, amplifying the ROI of your technology assets and optimizing your end-to-end order fulfillment workflows. Logistyx offers both “out-of-the-box” as well as custom integrations, allowing you to build the supply chain ecosystem that meets your needs.
  3. You want more than a platform; you want a partnership.
    Your parcel shipping needs will change over time. Consider what’s transpired in the last six months alone!  Logistyx wants to be a reliable part of your team both today and as you navigate the shipping landscape ahead. We see our client relationships as partnerships, and we are committed to our customers’ long-term success.  We pride ourselves on outstanding customer service and support, and we take the trust our customers have in our teams and in our technology seriously.
  4. You want industry expertise.
    Logistyx is oft-recognized for its innovation and industry leadership. Recent awards include the 2020 SaaS Awardin the category “Best SaaS for Shipping, Inventory or Vehicle Logistics,” the Silver StevieÒ Award in the Company of the Year – Computer Software category, the 2020 FedEx Diamond and Platinum Tier Awards, and the #1 Fulfillment Software Provider to Internet Retailer’s Top 1000 Retailers. We regularly contribute articles and thought leadership via our blog and in industry publications, and we are proud of our leadership team, which is consistently recognized for their talent and expertise.

Where do you fit?

If you have questions or would like to schedule a demo of Logistyx TME, contact a Logistyx expert today. We’re looking forward to helping you analyze your needs and determine which multi-carrier parcel management system is the best fit for you.

Cloud Multi-Carrier Parcel Management Systems Give Shippers Digital Agility

For supply chains to successfully weather (pun intended!) unexpected events, they require digital agility.

In a BCG study of more than 200 companies, digitally agile businesses achieved 1.8x higher earnings growth than digital laggards—and more than double the growth in total enterprise value.  BCG also found that digitally agile companies are best situated to realize a “resiliency dividend,” by leveraging technology and digital capabilities to steer their business in real (or near-real) time to strengthen their position in the midst of a crisis.

But what does it mean to have digital agility?  And how can your organization get there?

ebook logistyx quadrant Choosing a TMS for Parcel ShippingAccording to Peter Fretty, technology Editor at IndustryWeek, digitally agile businesses use automation to reduce cost and errors, while improving productivity and raising revenue.  And when it comes to supply chains, and in particular to parcel shipping, businesses can find this agility in multi-carrier parcel management technology to rate shop across multiple carriers, improve real-time delivery visibility, monitor KPIs in real time, and ultimately position themselves to successfully weather (pun intended again!) the unexpected.  Below are three features a best-of-breed multi-carrier parcel management system should have in order to help companies improve the digital agility of their supply chains:

The Latest Cloud Technology

Best-of-breed multi-carrier parcel management systems leverage state-of-the-art cloud technology.  Cloud multi-carrier parcel management systems allow businesses to seamlessly connect people, processes, and third parties to their parcel shipping operations in real time, regardless of location and with minimal upfront costs and IT investment. All users can execute, track, and analyze parcel shipping processes in a single solution – improving reaction time, collaboration, and decision-making accuracy when the unexpected occurs. ​Furthermore, using a cloud multi-carrier parcel management system enables businesses to realize a return on investment quickly — without the hit of an initial investment and with the benefit of accelerated implementation and integration processes.

Control Tower

Companies that leverage digital technology have end-to-end supply chain visibility and are able to anticipate disruptions and take preemptive action to maintain KPIs.  For example, multi-carrier parcel management systems with a Control Tower provide real-time information on delivery events and estimated arrival time of shipments.  The system will send early warning signs when there are parcel delivery issues or “exception events,” providing customer service teams with the necessary agility to proactively trouble-shoot the exception event and communicate delivery updates to the customer.  Consider too that tracking delivery exception events enables businesses to capture accurate carrier performance data – improving carrier service measurement and giving them more maneuverability in carrier contract negotiations.


Business Intelligence

Digitally agile companies have the ability to easily collect and organize their data to inform decision-making when unexpected events occur. Often, they’ll leverage best-of-breed multi-carrier parcel management systems with Business Intelligence tools to quickly address issues and improve their shipping operations.  This may come in the form of identifying and adjusting improperly invoiced items relating to contractual rates, accessories, guaranteed service rebates, claims management, address correction validations or even manifested but not shipped transactions, or it may come in the form of modeling and comparing selected carrier services against actual carrier performance to find routing alternatives with lower cost implications and/or faster delivery times.  Regardless of how a business leverages Business Intelligence, however, what’s important to take away is that the net result of each endeavor can be significant from an agility perspective. As stated by our V.P. of Business Intelligence, Mike Eisner, in Logistics Viewpoints, “When businesses connect the data… and then apply Business Intelligence, complex decisions and tasks get simpler.”

Prepare for Anything

Achieving digital agility is critical for companies to navigate unpredictable environments. Leveraging a cloud multi-carrier parcel management system with a Control Tower and Business Intelligence like Logistyx TME ensures businesses are prepared for anything.

Learn more about the benefits of Logistyx TME.

 

 

4 Reasons Why It’s the Right Time to Invest in a Cloud Multi-Carrier Parcel Management System

Investing in new technology might seem unreasonable given today’s climate, but companies with a growth mindset are actually moving forward with new technology implementations, and in particular with cloud multi-carrier parcel management systems, to ensure that when the economy rebounds, they have the competitive edge.  Rather than plan for a return to “normal,” these businesses are instead using this time to redefine “normal” and prepare their supply chains to compete and win in a new landscape, with sustained increases in e-commerce and omnichannel distribution occurring across most industries.

Here are four reasons why a cloud multi-carrier parcel management system will be instrumental in this “new normal:”

1. Cloud Multi-Carrier Parcel Management Systems Digitize the Supply Chain

One way to prepare supply chains for the new normal is to digitize supply chain management and move the supply chain technology stack to the cloud.  This will improve the speed, accuracy, and flexibility of the supply chain by building a single source of truth, and a digitized supply chain improves a company’s ability to anticipate risk, improve transparency and coordination across the supply chain, and manage the issues that arise from increasing complexity.  Retailers with cloud multi-carrier parcel management systems have had the necessary visibility and flexibility to move inventory and use stores as distribution centers during the COVID-19 outbreak.  In flexing these omnichannel fulfillment muscles, they’ve been ahead of the game.  Others are learning from their example and positioning themselves accordingly to prepare for the next disruption.

2. Cloud Expands Transportation Networks

Another way to prepare supply chains for the “new normal” is to expand the transportation network.  In the early stages of a business’s growth, a single-carrier system may make sense because order volume isn’t high enough to warrant using more than one carrier service, but when online sales increase and customers are looking for personalized delivery (BOPIS, parcel lockers, etc.) shippers have no choice but to onboard new carrier services to meet customer expectations while keeping costs palatable.

ebook logistyx quadrant Choosing a TMS for Parcel ShippingA cloud multi-carrier parcel management system enables shippers to leverage multiple carrier services, effectively “rate shopping” among the carriers in its transportation network to identify the most cost-effective service for every parcel, accounting for factors such as origin, destination, lead time, business rules, and more, ensuring every shipment is in compliance with each carrier’s labeling and communication standards, as well as with any applicable trade regulations.

In addition, cloud multi-carrier shipping software enables shippers to easily use “zone skipping” (also known as “hub induction” or “direct injection”) to improve customer service and decrease transportation costs. Zone skipping occurs when multiple customers’ orders are consolidated for the first leg of the delivery journey and then inserted into a parcel carrier network for the last-mile delivery. This is especially beneficial for cross-border shipping because it significantly simplifies end-to-end logistics and decreases customs clearance costs.  The approach also provides greater flexibility since shippers can select local carriers in different countries and regions that have optimal delivery networks for serving their customers.

3. Cloud Multi-Carrier Parcel Management Systems Optimize Transportation Network Strategies

Conditioned by ecommerce behemoths, customers now have high expectations for order fulfillment. They demand more than just easy product selection and ultra-fast or same-day delivery; they also want flexibility in both delivery location and delivery time, and real-time updates throughout their order’s journey. And just because there’s a global pandemic doesn’t mean these customer expectations have changed. On the contrary, many people are becoming more and more used to rapid delivery and “Amazon-like” customer experiences since being quarantined at home.

Unfortunately for many shippers, these expectations push resources to the breaking point, making it more difficult to think strategically about smart ways to limit shipping costs. However, those who understand what’s at stake with order fulfillment and commit to reducing costs, providing optimal service, and streamlining the customer experience, often turn to cloud multi-carrier parcel management systems to make gains happen quickly.

The right cloud multi-carrier parcel management system will include Business Intelligence that enables shippers to take a data-driven approach to optimize their transportation network strategy to efficiently ship goods worldwide at the lowest possible cost while meeting or exceeding customer expectations.  Business Intelligence will provide detailed insight into current costs, including total shipping costs, shipping costs down to the SKU level, costs by carrier, carrier service levels, on-time delivery percentages, accessorial fees, and more.  These analytics can then be used to identify opportunities to save money, improve customer service, or both.

For example, it may be standard operating procedure to book the least expensive carrier on a lane. However, it’s possible the least expensive carrier is also late 40% of the time. While anecdotal evidence might not be enough to build a case for switching to a slightly more expensive carrier, hard data can. With data, it’s easy to build a case for pivoting to a carrier with better on-time delivery percentages to improve the customer experience and win repeat business.

4. Cloud Systems Improve the Customer Experience

A state-of-the-art cloud-multi-carrier parcel management system will include a Control Tower, giving shippers a heightened level of visibility into an order’s journey from its point of origin to its point of destination, so shippers can monitor carrier performance and respond rapidly to any issue or disruption. The system will send early warning signs when there are parcel delivery issues or “exception events,” empowering customer service teams to proactively trouble-shoot the exception event and communicate delivery updates to the customer in real time. For example, perhaps the product can be sent from a different distribution center to arrive on time. Or perhaps the customer is willing to retrieve the product from a nearby store or locker.

A cloud multi-carrier parcel management system even makes it possible for organizations to provide customers with the ability to track and trace shipments on their own (not the carrier’s) website – reducing inbound calls about shipment status to customer service and increasing the customers’ browsing behavior while on the website, which (fingers crossed!) could lead to additional purchases.

Consider too that tracking delivery exception events enables shippers to capture accurate carrier performance data – improving carrier service measurement and better informing carrier contract negotiations.

The Freedom to Be Nimble

Cloud multi-carrier parcel management systems improve order fulfillment efficiency, giving shippers the freedom to be nimbler, to offer customers more flexibility, and to surpass competitors by:

  • Providing fast, flexible delivery services, increased transparency, and proactive responses to individual needs
  • Identifying and quickly onboarding new carriers to better leverage last-mile services and expand into international markets
  • Tracking compliance and on-time delivery rates with an eye toward correcting problems
  • Uncovering savings opportunities with Business Intelligence

Seeking more information about why now is the right time to implement a cloud multi-carrier parcel management system, despite today’s economic climate? Watch this webinar with Ken Fleming, President of Logistyx: The New Definition of Multi-Carrier Parcel Shipping.