Smaller scale logistics companies now have the ability to capture and share real time data, critical to supply chain visibility — with the availability of logistics software that is tailor-built for the little guys.

For years the industry has seen the tech developments of logistics giants, such as automated fulfillment centers, self-driving delivery vehicles, and large scale supply chain software; however these advances have remained out of reach for the small and medium-sized enterprises, who make up a large percentage of the last-mile industry.

For small and medium-sized (SMB) logistics operators, providing up to date data and tracking can be a mammoth task. Now more than ever, there is an expectation that all touch points within the greater supply chain are able to provide up-to-date transparent data with other providers and end customers; detailing inventory levels, order status and tracking, and more.

For smaller companies who can’t afford tier-one logistics automation, this has been historically captured by hand, requiring hours of manual data entry. However, the emergence of cloud-based software solutions designed specifically for SMBs is bridging this digital divide, and allowing smaller operators to capture and share real-time data with ease.

Not only is this technology providing an opportunity to deliver much needed data flow within the supply chain, it is also providing the opportunity for smaller operators to harness the power of technology to streamline their own internal operations and create scalable practices to grow their businesses.

For many smaller operators taking on these systems, they now have the tools needed to capture data for their own use, to avoid backlogs, increase accuracy, optimize dispatch, reduce admin hours, and plan their business growth.

How is SaaS logistics management software helping SMB logistics operators take their business online?

One software company taking the industry by storm is CartonCloud, providing easy to set up, and affordable subscription based software for warehouse and transport management — designed specifically to empower small and medium sized logistics companies to bring their businesses online and reap the benefits.

CartonCloud Chief Operating Officer Shaun Hagen explains why providing their software specifically for the smaller players in the industry has such a huge impact on wider supply chain visibility across the industry.

“Having access to software that allows seamless data flow from ordering to dispatch is essential to ensure these smaller companies are able to operate alongside the bigger players in the industry,” Mr Hagen said.

“In both Australia and North America, a huge portion of our logistics industry relies on small and medium sized businesses to operate, and giving them the tools they need to simplify data capture, and to share that data easily with their partners makes a massive impact to their growth and profitability.

“A system that allows you to seamlessly integrate digital data capture into your workflows, means you can capture and share accurate data as you go, providing visibility for your team, partners and customers.

“Most importantly for us at CartonCloud, we want it to be easy to use and fit seamlessly into their operations so that it’s not just another thing on their to-do list, it actually automates a huge portion of their day to day workflows and makes their operations not only easier to filfil, but also easier to scale for growth.

“From a global scale, it’s essential that smaller logistics operators are supported and empowered to see business success. We all need them to succeed.”

How out-sourcing management systems is changing the game

The availability of subscription-based, or software as a service (SaaS) applications also removes hefty set-up costs often associated with new system implementation. Subscription software like CartonCloud’s WMS and TMS can be used on the existing desktop computer, tablet, and smartphone that the company already has.

Rather than having to set up and run their own system in-house, with a subscription-based system, you simply log into your account from your existing hardware, and when updates are required the software company takes care of it for you, rolling out new features and updates as you go, as a part of your subscription.

“We’re seeing this technology not only helping SMB companies to take their operations online in the first place, but also to expand the services they are offering with ease,” Mr Hagen said.

“Our system is so simple to use and so easy to implement, it’s allowing businesses to expand what they are doing, at a fraction of the cost they would have traditionally needed to pay. For instance, a transport company who is already providing a bit of stock handling and storage can simply implement the WMS, it integrates directly with their existing system, and they can start optimizing, capturing and charging for the warehouse side of things instantly.

“We’ve made seamless software integrations a huge focus for our product, because we know that’s a major game changer for our customers.

“Not only is our system a fully integrated WMS & TMS, but you can also seamlessly integrate with online ordering platforms, route optimisation software, with ERP systems and more, to ensure you’re connected with your partners software, and have all of the data you need at your fingertips.”

CartonCloud’s cloud-based management software allows businesses to track their inventory through warehousing and distribution channels, and oversee order fulfillment with greater transparency — giving smaller operators the ability to provide supply chain visibility to their customers and partners.

The rapidly-growing logistics management software company has over 380 customers across North America, Australia, and Asia, providing powerful and easy-to-use software to give small-medium businesses the tools they need to meet rising demand, shorter delivery expectations, and to manage the current workforce shortages.