When you start a new business, you join in the middle of an endless race.
A race where everyone's trying to provide more value to their customers, reduce business costs, and simplify operations for easier management to stay ahead.
Every business comes with its challenges. But freight forwarding throws at you dynamic freight rates, container availability problems, and thin profit margins to spice things up.
As a small-medium freight forwarder, the industry's competitiveness can make it hard for you to keep up. Bigger players won't go easy on you when you struggle with low sales or high volumes. Which is why you need the gear to take the competition head-on. The right tools unlock your efficiency in many ways. For example, simply replying to an inquiry on the same day makes you better than most forwarders. But how do you do this?
An efficient team dedicated to manually replying to quotes is not a scalable solution. You'll need tools, technology, freight software, and, of course, a team to even handle volumes efficiently.
Challenges faced by small forwarders that don't use technology
The major hurdle in forwarding is managing the several tasks happening simultaneously all around you. Your teams are handling existing shipments, keying in data from one spreadsheet to another, and following up with customers for payments. All this manual work affects your team's ability to ensure quality and timeliness. Changing market conditions make it difficult to quickly respond to customer demands. Without software, nearly all your staff's energy goes into avoiding starting a fire. When you use specialized freight software, repeated tasks like invoice generation, document storage, and payment follow-ups are handled by the system. So your team focuses on attracting new customers and increasing revenue.
An example of growth with freight software
Natchart Shipping Pvt. Ltd. is a freight forwarder that scaled seamlessly by implementing Logi-Sys, an industry-trusted freight forwarding software. From easily managing its multi-modal shipments, the company could scale the business to handle 3X the volumes with little or no additional resources. Natchart found several benefits including a KPIs dashboard, automated invoicing and reporting, tracking and tracing of all shipments, a central database, and more.
How small forwarders can transition to manage operations with freight software
Introducing a change in the daily complex operations can be scary for new forwarders and established players alike. The fears include existing schedules getting affected, return on investment on implementing new software, possible customer inconvenience, etc. Fears can be confronted and overcome with the right channel and technology partner. While it is best to start with scalable software but certain cues can that tell you it is time to implement software are:
problems in coordination
starting a new office or branch
addition of services like warehouse or transport
Tips for selecting an freight forwarding software system that fits small forwarders' specific needs
Asking the right questions to your team and revisiting your short- and long-term company goals must be the first step in evaluating freight forwarding software. This is important as the vendor you discuss with, will present you solutions based on your current and expected volume and expansion plans. Here are a few other tips that will be helpful to shortlist the apt solution.
Cost-benefit analysis: Investment in software is a big decision. Consider that the benefits for your organization are justified for the investment made.
Scalability and Integrations: Software upgrade is not a regular activity considering the time, effort, resources, and impact involved. Ensure the solution you choose is future-ready. It must connect with third parties for data exchange and be scalable to add or remove resources according to demand.
Training and implementation: Understand your vendor's plan and schedule of implementation so your operations are not affected by the training plan. Logi-Sys' training plan allows you to start making your booking with the new system within the first week.
After-sales support and maintenance: Some software companies don't provide support 24*7. This can be tough when you need application support and the vendor's team is not available.
Reviews from customers: Ask for reviews from the vendor's customers to understand their experience after using the software solution. Avoid vendors that lack social proof that can risk your investment.
Implementing a software solution can help small freight forwarders overcome challenges and improve their operations, ultimately leading to a better bottom line and growth opportunities. If you're a new freight forwarder, arrange for a demo of Logi-Sys, to understand how freight forwarding software helps you grow. Like Natchart Shipping, several forwarders like you have benefitted from implementing the solution. So early in your race, take on the established players with confidence and provide your customers with the best experience.