The world of logistics involves detailed coordination of a complex operation involving many people, facilities and supplies. Because of its many facets, one can easily be overwhelmed with inventory details, transactions, and the law of supply and demand. This is the primary reason why good data management is salient for smoother operation and for flawless execution. But first, let’s understand what Data Management is.
Data Management Explained
Data management is the process of ingesting, storing, organizing and maintaining the data created and collected by an organization. Effective data management is important especially for businesses that would need to run applications and extract data so they can provide analytical information to help make sound business decisions. Data management is also crucial for strategic planning for almost all corporate executives, business managers, and other end users.
Now that we have a piece of fundamental knowledge of data management, let us take a look at the nature of freight business.
All about Freight Business
Freight Business, in general, refers to all the processes that cover preparing, shipping, storing and receiving freight. In a more specific sense, freight management is the service provided by freight forwarders or third-party logistics companies. It suggests matching loads to freight carriers, route planning, and the optimization of the transportation process.
Importance of Freight Business
In all corporations, whether big or small, the fact is that cargo management can be complex. Given the fact that freight shipping involves numerous processes like the different arrival points in ports and the possible transportation delays, attention to detail and focus on every single aspect to every single cargo is of utmost importance. Corporations nowadays realize that this is no easy feat and thus prefer to outsource it to other external companies who are considered experts in this field.
How Freight Business Work
Freight forwarding and freight brokerage are two (2) terms important in understanding how the freight business works. Freight forwarders are companies that specialize in arranging storage and shipping of merchandise on behalf of their customers. They physically take charge of merchandise and usually ship under their own bills of landing and provide preparation of shipping and export documents. Consolidation, transportation, and insurance of the freight are the main responsibility of the forwarder. In addition, they also have the responsibility to book cargo space and negotiate rates for transport. The main difference between forwarders and brokers is that freight brokers never take possession of items being shipped. By contrast, the forwarder takes possession of the items being shipped, arranges smaller shipments, and negotiates for the transportation of the consolidated shipments.
Freight Business and Data Management combined
Clearly, Freight business is an extremely complex process that requires efficient data management. The experts at firstlogic.com use tried-and-true solutions such as Firstlogic Data Quality (DQ) and SAP Data Services (DS) to integrate, transform, and improve enterprise data used freight businesses. Listed below are the benefits of good data management to the freight business:
Quick Last Mile
The last mile is crucial for anyone involved in the freight business. It is described as notoriously inefficient where studies say that it would cost up to 28% of the overall delivery cost of the package. The inefficiencies can be attributed to:
- Parking areas can be far from the target destination. In addition, some delivery men would have to take many flights of stairs or wait for elevators;
- Some customers are not home, thus, items cannot be delivered on time;
- Delivery personnel would have to take extra care to ensure the quality of the items purchased. In addition, because they are the face of the brand, they also have to carry themselves in a professional manner.
Since parcels can be tracked through sensors and other similar means, these types of data carry valuable information both to the sender and receiver of the items since the whereabouts of the parcels is more visible to the stakeholders involved.
Because there is sufficient data on the logistics process, freight businesses can forecast what the best route to transfer cargo is. Optimized routes may include:
- Fuel cost changes;
- Highway detours;
- Weather conditions
The quality of goods and services is especially true for perishable items, which is a constant challenge for freight businesses. They have to ensure that perishable items are fresh. With data management injected in the freight business, corporations can forecast the most optimized routes for faster delivery of perishable products and deliver quality goods.
In the past, freight business can be a very manual process (just think of those inventories and line items!). With technology, every single product and transaction can be taken accounted for with much ease for faster and more quality execution.
It is apparent that data management is an important aspect for freight businesses to reduce inefficiencies, provide transparency, optimize deliveries, protect perishable goods, and automate the supply chain.