Supply Chain Software Solutions [Nine Pillars of Success]

On-demand delivery is one of the fastest-growing industries and is rapidly transforming to the evolving needs of customers across the globe. Now, supply chain management software is rather a necessity for any business in the logistics domain. However, the competitiveness of a highly segmented market in the industry forces supply chain software solutions to find more ways to attract customers and fulfill their goals.

Supply chain software solutions nine pillars of success main

So, for this article, OpenGeeksLab conducted research, asked the development specialists, and analyzed the previous experience to present you with ideas of how you can achieve more with your SCM software. Stay tuned, and let’s find the pillars of ultimate success for on-demand delivery.

The Pillars of Supply Chain Software Solutions

To uncover every secret behind the development of supply chain software solutions, you need to understand how the sausages get made. And, of course, it’s not about fancy restaurant cuisine. It’s about how to get software combined with frictionless UX/UI and matched with your industry and company needs.

Based on personal experience, we concluded that the most important elements of your success are the following:

  1. Align with all audiences
  2. Implementing crucial features
  3. Enhanced customer experience
  4. Eco-friendly solutions
  5. Making agreements with the suppliers
  6. Scalability
  7. Using innovative technologies for security
  8. SCM software automation
  9. Trade regulations

When we get the list out, let’s review each supply chain management software’s success individually. The one thing that’s crucial is to understand that if you miss one of your pillars, supply chain software solutions are still able to reach success. These are only meant to help you get results faster and make them more obvious.

1. Fulfilling The Audience’s Needs

SCM software is vastly used in the delivery industry and, as expected, has a number of various user groups. Each of them will look for different things in the perfect supply chain software solutions, and it’s crucial to satisfy these expectations.

User groups that need and use supply chain management software include the following types of companies:

1. SME carriers. Small and medium enterprises are the most vulnerable group in the domain. They have their own challenges that supply chain management software can help them fix. For example, about 44% of SMEs in the domain face domestic supplier delays, which can be prevented with risk mitigation or predictive analytics software. A lot of small businesses also encounter the fuel waste challenge, which in most cases can be avoided with route planning SCM software.

2. Freight forwarders. According to FinancesOnline, the biggest challenge for the domain is its competitiveness and, as Business Wire states, customer experience. Both of these challenges supply chain software solutions can overcome with different features aimed at the satisfaction of the end-user needs, like enhanced security, improved UX, and feedback gathering system. Aside from this, SCM software can help freight forwarders turn down the costs of transportation by automating manual management processes.

To leverage the competition is the most challenging task for businesses in the logistics industry.

Source: Technavio

3. Transportation companies. With the intense growth of the industry revenue, more and more startups have decided to try themselves in this domain. It leads not only to the competitiveness which we already mentioned but also to the unexpected growth for transportation companies who prove to be unable to endure the heavy load. So, to prevent this with supply chain management software, they can build their digital product on a highly scalable architecture, considering the possible growth.

4. On-demand delivery companies. For on-demand delivery companies, speed is the most challenging factor of success. As last-mile delivery becomes more popular, people are waiting for their goods to be delivered faster and in a more convenient way for them. SCM software can contribute to the implementation of last-mile delivery into the on-demand delivery companies’ processes with automation, route planning, and fuel management features. For food deliveries, people aren’t eager to wait more than 30 minutes, so the fastest route is the best option. And route planning is the best way to achieve it.

What is important to note is that most supply chain software solutions come in three sides; drivers, managers, and customers. And, to generate higher revenue, it’s recommended to monetize client-side applications.

There are several ways to do it right. For example, you can use advertisements in your app like Zomato, generate your profits from delivery charges like Postmates, or incorporate a business model that allows you to raise prices on the most needed items in their peak hours like Uber.

However you choose to do it, remember that it’s impossible to generate a decent profit without a clear understanding of what you want to see in your SCM software. So, let’s figure out what are the most crucial solutions for a logistics business.

2. Implementing Crucial Software Solutions

Combining our working experience and carefully studying our cases, OpenGeeksLab has led internal research and gathered a few crucial solutions that every business should consider adding to the supply chain management software. Some of these ideas were already used in our previous projects and helped our customers achieve more revenue and generate a loyal clientele. Some of them, on the contrary, are brand new, which we learned by networking on our Roadshows in Europe.

Here are the crucial solutions for SCM software that can drastically change its performance, recommended by OpenGeeksLab.

1. Logistics management. Logistics management is capable of automating the business, making the general workflow much more seamless. It’s creating a paperless streamlining of processes that can involve planning, freight invoicing, equipment validation, fleet control, and many more. Generally, the size of the logistics management market as of 2021 is over $9 billion, and it is continuing to grow. It is commonly recognized as a valid investment since over 40% of industry executives want to invest in more flexible and seamless processes.

2. Inventory management systems. Inventory management systems are recognized as the most attractive investment by over 42% of supply chain management executives in the industry. Aside from this, more and more companies have decided to change the inventory volume or suppliers. The inventory management systems are capable of making those processes easier and automated, reducing time and labor spent on warehouse management and planning as well as increasing the general effectiveness of a business.

3. Freight forwarding optimization. It is no secret that the supply chain’s main challenge is transparency. So, a freight forwarding optimization software solution is one way to achieve greater transparency in the supply chain. It is also capable of reducing costs and enhancing business value overall.

4. Exchange of logistics data. Logistics data exchange software can reduce operational and accounting errors, cut costs, and speed up the business’s workflow. Aside from this, these solutions are capable of route optimization, enhancing the efficiency of supply chain management software.

5. Real-time order tracking management. One more to add to the supply chain visibility. Order tracking contributes to a more high-quality user experience, allowing your end-users to see how their goods are delivered and predict the time when they will finally arrive. This solution also enables you to react faster to any issues. Our team has worked previously with an automatic identification system that would also allow us to automate order-to-cash operations and reduce mistakes associated with the process.

6. Advanced supply chain management. Supply chain management software is a golden standard, but to make this solution more advanced, we’d recommend using IoT, cloud computing, and blockchain technologies. Some businesses are rapidly adapting the next-gen technologies like robotics or AI and machine learning. Each of those techs contributes to a different goal; if you’re looking for smoother processes, try IoT, more flexibility comes with cloud solutions, and security is under blockchain-based software’s responsibility.

7. Fleet management tools. Fleet management software has a number of benefits that contribute to the general productivity of SCM software. For instance, it improves fleet visibility, budgeting, and data collection, as well as fuel estimates. It is used by companies all around the world, and it can’t go unnoticed since, according to GMI, it’s market value will reach about $45 billion by 2027.

8. Last-mile delivery system. Last-mile delivery is the loudest trend in the on-demand delivery industry, so it’s vital to follow the market development vector. Last-mile delivery software can contribute to the optimization of route planning, increase transportation transparency, secure each package with a digital proof of delivery, and increase workflow efficiency with all advanced analytics.

9. GPS and navigation systems. Integrate these solutions into your application and make it both transparent and user-friendly. Allow drivers-side applications to use geolocation for improved order management and help them deliver goods faster and safer even when they are out of reach with offline mapping.

10. Traffic management. Traffic management can save you a lot of heartbreak with a traffic count, speed tracking, vehicle management, and real-time data about delays on the road. It’ll allow you to nullify any bottlenecks just in time and your customers to be aware of anything that is happening on the road.

Now, let’s take a look at how exactly these solutions can help your supply chain management software not only stay afloat but leverage the competition and finally bloom. We have a practical case from our experience as a software development company, and we’re all up to sharing our wisdom.

How It Works: Shift

Here’s how we implemented those solutions in Shift.

Shift is an on-demand delivery service created by our team to help our customer automate their business workflow. The main idea behind the software’s facade is to help people move easily and effortlessly, so customer experience was one of the most important aspects during the development process.

Our team created a three-side app, one for drivers, managers, and customers. We integrated additional security measures like two-factor authorization, ensured the software could build a route by itself with only pickup/dropoff location, and integrated real-time tracking into the application.

Overall, we made Shift as transparent as it could be, and now it resulted in our client’s high rating on the market. They attract new customers with all the benefits they’re able to achieve due to the simplicity and seamlessness of the application. Now, Shift is aiming to enroll in the US market, has over 15,000 orders monthly, and scales across the globe.

All this would not be possible without a high-quality user experience, so let’s talk about it next!

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3. Enhanced Customer Experience

UI/UX is as important for supply chain management software as it is for anything digital, but the industry has its rules, and anyone who enrolls in the market has to obey them. First and foremost, don’t copy Uber. There are plenty of companies who tried to do it and never reached anything because a highly competitive market needs something special and unique.

Let’s take a look at other pretty good examples of logistics software that proved to be no less successful by being unique.

Other logistics software solutions with unique UI.

Source: Business of Apps, CBInsights

DoorDash

DoorDash is one of the most popular applications in the US, it has three main user segments such as customers, merchants, and dashers. In May 2021, the DoorDash app was downloaded 2 million times, it works across 4,000+ cities in the US, Canada, and Australia.

As an incredible example of a successful on-demand delivery application, DoorDash has a unique and user-friendly design recognized by its many users. However, they are not copying UberEats, adding new features like the ability to see the addresses of restaurants and have an in-app chat.

GrubHub

GrubHub is one of the most popular on-demand delivery platforms with a unique UI|UX design as well. It has a simple log-in and sign-up process, which makes it easier to join and stay in the application. The application has a filter search for the user’s favorite restaurants, though, unlike Uber, it doesn’t provide users with a list of favorites.

As with most on-demand logistics software, GrubHub allows for real-time tracking. The charm of such an application is created by small details like placing buttons on the right or making them an eye-catching red color.

Glovo

Glovo is a Spain-based European on-demand delivery service. It has an eye-catching menu with circular icons that users can play with, swapping and replacing them. Glovo also has a real-time tracking system and allows users to contact the live-support chat inside of the app.

Catching design and simplicity of the application secured its place in Europe, and with each year, Glovo gained more customers and more cities to function in. The unique green and yellow color palette makes the application seem energizing and slow, soft animation helps build a positive experience from using it.

But there is more to how you can improve your logistics software to achieve a greater level of positive customer experience. Here are some tips on how to make your solution eye-catching!

Tips To Enhance Customer Experience

Based on our practical experience, we have some tips for you on how to give your customers more reasons to use your supply chain management software not only with an attractive UI.

  • Transparent communication, online tracking, and precise deadlines.
  • Create optimized routes for your deliveries.
  • Add a rating system and gather feedback.
  • Make your application secure. Add two-factor authorization and maybe tokenize the transactions.
  • Ensure high-level customer support, add in-app chats and calls.
  • Implement personalization features, allow users to make a list of favorites.
  • Use subscription models as monetization, or find other ways to monetize.
  • Allow users to calculate their prices with an in-app calculator.

We’ve used those tips in our supply chain management software development cases before. For example, Shift, which we’ve mentioned above, automatically creates the best routes and allows users to track their deliveries, and Lezzoo, the other one of our supply chain software projects, has a custom price bidding system. Now, we’re trying to work on more projects and implement eco-friendly solutions to help both the Earth and business effectiveness.

4. Eco-Friendly Solutions

Green logistics is basically the best way for companies to help the environment at the moment. Reducing waste can not only help the Earth but contribute to your business reputation and quite literally change the world. The waste and greenhouse gas emissions can drive the world to the bottom line, but if you choose to go zero-waste and adopt sustainable packaging, you might as well reduce the costs you spend.

Here are five ideas of how it can happen:

1. Route planning automation. A 100% greener choice since it’ll make the routes shorter, but it will also make them more cost-effective for you.

2. Sustainable delivery options. Generally, it will pump up your business reputation and attract more customers.

3. Use bikes for local delivery when it’s possible. Not only is this a greener option, but you will cut costs on fuel!

4. Forget about paperwork. Once again, a greener option that will make your business more streamlined. Adopt digital proof of delivery and digital signatures and go paperless.

5. Deliver goods in groups. If a number of orders are going on the same route for quite some time, don’t use numerous vehicles for them, use one and deliver them together.

Global green supply chain software market growth with each year.

Source: AbsoluteMarketsInsights

The global green logistics market constantly grows, and headliners of the industry have already adopted it in their workflow. For example, SeaRoutes, RigiTech, and NomadPower are one of the top green logistics solutions in the world.

5. Agreements With The Suppliers

Supply chain management software that works with suppliers always starts small. There is close to no probability that a big supplier would agree to connect with a small startup at the very beginning of its development. So, no matter how big your ambition is, even DoorDash wasn’t DoorDash in the beginning (by the way, we’ll talk about it below!).

So, here are some tips for you to help your supply chain software connect with merchants.

  • Don’t hope that big companies will want you at once. Start small. Start working with suppliers that are also startups but as loyal and perspective as you are. It’ll save you a lot of nerve and will actually be efficient at the beginning.
  • Create a network. Communicate with people who are present in the domain but are not your direct competitors. Try to get to know executives from larger companies and take some advice.
  • Be demanding but responsible. If you’re planning to work with suppliers or merchants, create a list of requirements for them and responsibilities for yourself. They are as much interested in their own success as you are, so give them no less than you expect them to give you.

The help of just one software development vendor won’t be enough in this case. So, you should consider working with local agencies that can help you figure out all the legal issues and connect you with merchants.

However, what a software development vendor will be good for is the scalability that your supply management software will certainly need later on.

6. Scalability

The logistics domain is not only competitive but rapidly growing. So, despite the need to start small, you should be ready for an upcoming evolution that will bring up the need to scale. It happens to almost every decent startup in the domain that researches the market, satisfies the customer’s needs, and climbs this ladder steadily.

The supply chain management software industry grows fast, and scalability is a must for every startup and business in the domain.

Source: FinancesOnline

As was stated above, even the most popular in the US DoorDash was a startup created by students back in 2013. Time flies fast, and now its popularity is high enough to mention the company here, and you’ll imagine its logo as soon as someone pronounces its name.

But think of what would happen to them if they didn’t scale fast enough. Would we hear their name and remember how their logo looked if they weren’t capable of adapting?

The answer is no. If you aren’t putting scalability into the supply chain management software’s architecture, you won’t be able to seize what you need in the long run. OpenGeeksLab has a perfect example of how to do it right.

Our SCM software solution Lezzoo is one of those products we helped with architecture. We created a solution that allowed our customers to respond to any errors fast enough so that users won’t go unsatisfied, and, of course, the primary focus was to create a scalable solution.

It paid off fast enough. Now, Lezzoo has over 300,000 active users and 4000+ partners. Because scalability is what gives your SCM software solution a real competitive advantage.

For scalability, cloud-based supply chain management software can also be a great solution. And it can help your transportation management software to leverage the competition as well as innovative technologies we’ll talk about next.

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7. Innovative Technologies For Security

First, let’s uncover how innovative technologies can help you enhance your supply management software’s safety. This is one of the main pain points of any supply chain software, so here’s how you can secure your solution for good.

  • Tokenization and decentralization. Since every data input in blockchain can’t be changed after it’s in the decentralized system, it makes the transactions more secure and can help users protect their private information. However, for you to access this information, some of the supply chain management software solutions have to stay centralized.
  • Two-factor authorization. It can help your users protect their personal data. Since you’re working closely with payment and finances, it’s extremely important for your users to feel protected. It can provide you with up to 100% protection from automated cyber-attacks. This is why about 150 million Google users use two-factor authorization.
  • Digital signature. It can help you have access to the available users’ information after they use a digital signature in a decentralized platform. Also, this way of maintaining security can mitigate the risks for your business by creating a digital proof of delivery.

Now, innovative technologies can be used for supply chain management software solutions security, but they can also contribute to its automation. This is what we will talk about next.

8. Supply Chain Management Software Automation

Supply management software automation with innovative tech can change a lot of things both for your user and yourself as a business executive. There are a number of solutions that you can use aiming for enhancing the effectiveness of your supply chain optimization software and actually achieve results. Here is a list of some of them that are the most popular on the market nowadays.

  • Artificial Intelligence. It can help your supply management software face fewer risks and use predictive analytics to form a better understanding of market trends. As a result, you won’t have a lot of unneeded items in stock and will be able to raise the profits.
  • Machine Learning. Machine learning can help you build routes according to the changing environment as well as coordinate warehouse management more efficiently. 
  • Automated Tracking. Autonomous tracking technology can decrease fuel usage, reduce carbon footprint, and increase safety on the road. 
  • Augmented Reality. Augmented reality is vastly used to help teach your personnel to adapt to various situations on the road and can help your employees determine the number of items with AR scanners.
  • IoT-driven Solutions. It is the essence of automation since it allows a continuous check on the driver and the route without putting too much effort. It also can automate a notification process which serves the automation well, too.

Other than that, automation with innovative technologies can reduce the bottlenecks in pipelines that make your business slower and frustrate your customers.

How Automation Helps Your Business

Your supply management software can benefit from the removal of error-prone tasks that are usually done manually. For example, with IoT, there will be no need for manual notification processes, and AI will free your hands from endless market research. It will also help your team to adapt to the workflow faster and learn all you need them to know in no time.

As a supply chain software vendor, we often encounter the need for automation in our customers. Conducting from personal experience, automation helps in almost every case, reducing manual mistakes and streamlining the work processes.

9. Global Trade Regulations

Nearly every country in the world has special regulations for items shipped from abroad. The World Trading Organization (WTO) is a doctrine that regulates global trade, so before you step on the road of logistics, you should get to know it more.

There are five basic principles regulated by the WTO. If your supply chain planning software solution is aimed at delivering the goods to a different country from where you’re based, you should at least be familiar with them. Here they are:

  1. Nondiscrimination. Every member of the WTO must apply the same regulations for every other member.
  2. Reciprocity. The changes in trade policy for each member’s export and import are mutual.
  3. Binding and enforceable commitments. Each member of WTO can change its commitments after negotiating with other trading partners.
  4. Transparency. Each WTO member must publish its trade regulations.
  5. Safety values. Under certain circumstances, governments of each WTO member can restrict trade for noneconomic objectives.

There are more global trade regulations that you should know about, but it would be better for you to conduct additional research concerning the country you’re planning to scale to.

Whatever you do, your supply management software solution’s success is determined only by your commitment and willingness to be prepared for any circumstances along the way. It’s not only important for supply management software as a digital product but for your business strategy and effectiveness. Scalability, automation, and research; all of this contribute to how your business will do in the long run.

And, of course, if you have any questions left, you’re welcome to contact us!

***

Our company has a simple and agile process of supply chain management software development which allows us to use a business-oriented approach and be flexible. According to how we’re used to doing it, the process follows simple steps of consulting, development, testing, release, and maintenance. Each of the steps includes a consultation with a customer and market research which allows us to grow our expertise in the matter.

If you’re looking for anything more than what we’re talking about in this article, go on and scroll through our blog for answers. And remember that you can fill out our form and speak with us anytime.

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