Technology drives commerce. Whether it’s in the cars we drive, the products we purchase, or the computers we use for work and entertainment, our culture has become dependent on technology to simplify and streamline our lives. Those navigating the logistics space understand that technology can vastly improve their core services – which is what cloud-based freight management solutions offer. While it’s understood that cloud accessible platforms offer a plethora of benefits, there are some who question if it’s the right technology for their applications.
In the information below, we’ll shed some light on cloud-based freight management systems, how they work, and what type of supply chain businesses can benefit from this new technology.
You may have heard people talking about ‘the cloud’ with computer technology in recent years. Essentially, the cloud is a storage platform that permits users to host, store, and access data from any computer or device via an internet connection. The cloud is internet-based, however, it’s not a floating platform. It’s actually a physical location, backed by several, redundant servers. When you have a cloud-based system, all files are uploaded through the platform, are incredibly secure, and again – can be accessed by any device.
So, you might be asking – how can a freight management system that historically is installed on a computer be a cloud-based system? Well, this is where technology comes into place. Today’s modern “cloud” has evolved from a simple storage location to the host for robust FMS or CRM platforms. If you operate any supply chain business that relies on efficient receiving and shipping of freight, freight management software can provide you with multiple benefits including:
• Improved and reliable shipping times, lower shipping costs, and more secure shipping that delivers product in good condition based on accurate data tracking.
• Better inventory control, more reporting functions that provide insights into customer demand and lead time, which allows you to maintain leaner stock levels while meeting customer expectations.
• Saving time and improved efficiency. Having the ability to depend on a software solution that provides you with the resources you need to expedite the flow inbound and outbound freight improves your ability to manage the business proactively – as opposed to reactionary.
Now that we’ve clarified what the cloud and an FMS is, imagine combining the flexibility of each to create a robust, complete, and simple to navigate platform. A cloud-based FMS offers multiple supply chain partners several benefits including:
• Complete remote access: Most FMS systems are downloaded or installed to a physical computer which limits the use and access to that individual system. The cloud-based system is accessible anytime and from any location. This flexibility puts the power of your FMS in your office, from home, or in some instances, remotely – with accessibility from mobile devices. This type of flexibility permits you to access your vital supply chain functions at any time.
• Reduced technical issues: Say goodbye to your in-house IT person. The cloud is incredibly reliable. The people who create FMS systems that are cloud-based are the best IT experts on the planet and design these systems to operate with significant improvements in reliability. In fact, it’s estimated that a cloud-based FMS is 99.5% operational at all times. The few times they are down are due to planned software upgrades, which consumers can schedule on their own time.
• Improved Security: If your computer network is hacked, critical files including financial records, personal information and more can be stolen by hackers. This issue is eliminated with the cloud. A cloud-based FMS is exceptionally secure, being protected by multiple secure socket layer (SSL) security platforms.
• A Competitive Advantage: Arguably the best attribute of a cloud-based solution is the fact it gives any organization a completive advantage over their competition. Plus, they are scalable – meaning you can improve or increase services as your business grows.
Simply put – everyone who operates in the supply chain can benefit from cloud-based transportation or freight management system. If you operate a company that uses freight management or transportation management solutions, consider upgrading your systems to a cloud-based system. An experience 3PL can help you pick the right software solution, and even customize one for your brand, and unique needs.