For many IT and logistics managers, synchronizing internal and external logistics processes is but a dream. Many never make the leap because the challenges seem too daunting and the costs too prohibitive: A lot of IT resources are tied up pooling the requirements of all the various departments and service providers, introducing an end-to-end data and process structure, and implementing internal decision-making processes for internal or external data management.
But the opportunities and competitive advantages of a well-functioning IT-based collaboration with transport service providers – cost savings, greater data transparency, higher customer satisfaction – should not be easily dismissed. Even small steps such as linking individual parcel services to your in-house IT or automating manual processes can pay off.
AEB’s white paper helps you grapple with these issues, offering an overview of the various methods for IT-based collaboration with transport service providers:
- Use the carriers’ software
- Link carriers and parcel services to your ERP system or logistics software one by one
- Fully integrate your connections through platforms that use a single interface to link you to multiple transport service providers
Understanding the greatest challenges and how to approach them can help you shortlist viable solutions. The following aspects should not be underestimated:
- Complexity of aligning with partners
- Diversity of label, EDI, and loading list formats
- Specialized hardware requirements
- Questions about cross-border collaboration
A handy checklist offers highly specific tips: When does it pay to integrate transport partners? The checklist helps give you an initial overview.
We wrap up with six useful tips for IT-based collaboration with carriers and parcel services.