Arguing the case for automated logistics planning software might seem like a no-brainer when you’re faced with manual planning every day. But the wide range of supply chain technologies now vying for a slice of your company’s budget – and the resource to implement it – means that the business case must be absolutely compelling.

When you approach your boss to discuss buying logistics planning software, you need to demonstrate that you understand his/her business “pain” points, and show how the proposed solution can address these challenges while also meeting wider business goals. Typical pain points for transportation department managers include:

  • Planning takes too long – creating a transportation plan manually is easy if you have 1-2 trucks. But with 10 or more trucks, the task is almost impossible to do manually, especially if you take into account all of the constraints and service levels you must match with available drivers and resources. With logistics planning software, the transport plan can be created much faster, freeing the planners to find other ways of creating transport efficiencies. In many cases, this also allows you to delay your last order cut-off point, providing a better experience for your customers and better utilization of your fleet.
  • The driver shortage – with the shortage of truck drivers across the industry, retaining good drivers is top of every transport operation’s list. Transport managers need to maximize the use of their drivers with well-planned routes that also make sure all the drivers get a full day’s driving made up of feasible routes. With logistics planning software, you can achieve this and make sure you build routes that accommodate Hours of Service and – where possible – routes that can support better work/life balance for your drivers.
  • The need to maximize utilization of expensive assets in the yard – While the number of hours a driver can work is restricted, this is not the case for trucks. Your department has a lot of expensive trucks and trailers that need to be utilized as fully as possible. Logistics planning software can help you plan the best use of your fleet while incorporating regular maintenance requirements, and keeping mileage costs low.
  • Demand for better customer service – shorter lead times, tighter delivery windows, more accurate ETAs and increased visibility when there’s a delay. The demands for better customer service place a lot of pressure on the transport office. Using logistics planning software, you can create optimal routes and schedules with accurate arrival times that make the best use of your fleet. Knowing that your customer doesn’t allow deliveries before 10:00 AM means your driver won’t arrive at this location at 9:00 and have to sit idling in the parking lot for an hour. Good for the customer and good for your fleet operation. Going one step further and integrating vehicle tracking systems with your logistics planning software means you can also provide your customers with services like arrivals boards or ETA updates via email or SMS.
  • Saving money while improving sustainability – Cutting costs is top of everybody’s list. But what about reducing emissions? Keep on top of your game by using “what if” scenarios inherent in most logistics planning software to reduce mileage and CO2 emissions. In fact, you can use your operational software to model all types of scenarios to enable the continuous improvement of your transport operation.
  • Making management reporting easier – Logistics planning software allows you to produce management reports on the fly, or to automate the distribution of reports. For example, you could send a report detailing the percentage of on-time arrivals or delayed arrivals to the customer services team. Any data that you gather in your logistics planning software should be available to export in multiple formats, allowing managers to better understand performance, lower costs and improve efficiency.

Ready to start building that business case? Why not have a look at some of the benefits that our existing Paragon customers are already enjoying, including how quickly they saw a return on investment.

If the next question is how long will it take, how much resource will be required and how much disruption will it cause across the business, have a look at our step-by-step implementation process designed to ensure our customers are up and running as quickly as possible. Or alternatively get in touch to talk through all of these points with one of our team who will be happy to help.

Now, with all that, your manager won’t say no to logistics planning software. Instead he/she will want to know how soon the solution can be installed.

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