Freight forwarders deal with a lot of stress and challenges on a daily basis, and managing this career can be too much for many to handle. Fortunately, freight forwarding software has changed the landscape of transportation sectors. With technology becoming increasingly powerful and fully autonomous of handling orders, automating tedious labor processes and providing informative analytics, the chance to increase revenue and profit has never been easier.
The real question is, what do you need to know to discover which freight forwarder software is capable of helping out your company? The software industry comes with tons of offers suited for all needs, whether it be a packaged solution to a fully customized system suited for your specifications.
To ensure you select the appropriate shipping software for your business, let’s go over some factors you should consider. Here’s what you should look for when choosing a freight forwarder.
It’s quite common in this day and age for most software companies offer a free trial of their software. The free trial can last from seven to thirty days at a time, so signing up for one to test it out is ideal. Take the advantage of signing up for the few software systems that have caught your eye and test their functionality and ease of integration to your currently existing infrastructure. If it doesn’t suit your needs, then discard it and move on, you won’t have to worry about being charged with any sort of fee since it’s free!
Packaged or customizable
Just like any other software, freight forwarding software can either come in packaged software or customized. While both of these may seem similar to each other, in reality, they both offer something different from one another. Let’s go over the difference between the two.
Packaged software, or as they are sometimes known as software packages are commercial programs that are sold to the general public for a specific price. Package software is built by computer programmers. It’s made up of a compilation of programs that are combined in order to provide the public with various sets of tools to the same group. These software packages cannot be modified or changed in any way, even if you need to.
Customized software is when a specific program is made with an advanced specification for a goal in a company. These tend to cost much more than packaged software because custom software is developed for specific reasons. Unlike software packages, these are capable of being customized or changed if there is a need because the software was specifically custom made.
Why does this matter?
When you search for that perfect software that meets all of your needs, you’ll be discovering tons of options available to you. Some of these will be prepackaged software, that while they work well, may not be suited for your needs, or only have some functions you need, but are missing other components you require. Each prepackaged software will have its pros and cons and really comes down to the type of features you’re looking for and the price tag. If none of these prepackaged software meets your needs, then the option for a customizable one is available, although you will be paying a hefty sum. Just keep in mind that the price for custom made software can vary depending on the specifications you request for.
Personally, I’d advocate for a freight forwarder software that is completely customizable. This customization will allow you to have some flexibility, which gives you the chance to make any changes according to your business needs without any hassle.
Considering starting your search by looking at what freight forwarding software other professionals in the industry are utilizing and assess whether it managed to help them with their needs. A freight forward software that has previously proven that it’s capable of handling the changing demands of freight forwarding should be considered. Your freight forwarder software should allow you to build multiple tiers and divisions and help you connect with a logistic network without needing you to input codes that will require you to reach out for customer support. Furthermore, make sure that the system does not create any avoidable delays, which can raise your operating costs.
If you’re planning to continue expanding your company that means you’ll want a software that is capable of growing alongside your business. As the business continues to grow, it’s useful to have analytics, workflows, and other features that can keep up with your growth strategy. The software should allow you to make any necessary changes to the settings in the software to accommodate this ongoing expansion, and even add some new features such to further facilitate this growing business.
Great freight forwarder software needs to be user-friendly. The software should allow anyone to easily pick it up and use it from the get-go. Your entire employee team will be the one using this software, so they should be able to handle daily operations without needing to go through any lengthy training. Another thing to keep in mind is your customers, they’ll also be using software to conduct business with you as well, so make sure they are capable of using it easily as well, if not you’ll be missing out tons of opportunities for new revenue. Most software companies will have a resource link that is capable of teaching new users for success, so check to see if the vendor has such an option.
Every business needs its software to come with invoice functionality. Plenty of software vendors will provide a customizable invoice and email invoice. They are also capable of storing previous invoices and provide a storage place for historical invoices. These functions usually synch up with accounting software in most cases. Your financial team should be able to use these features to mark paid invoices, generate receipts and track any unpaid invoices. Invoice capabilities will improve efficiency, leading to positive customer service experience and positive margins.
It doesn’t matter how amazing the freight forwarder software you decide on is, there’s still a small chance that you’ll experience a software issue. Make sure the software you’ve decided on has good customer service for its users. You should be capable of getting support at any time of the day whenever you’re dealing with an unfortunate technical problem to get your work back on track. The support staff should be capable of speaking to you clearly, and eager to work with you if you have any questions that need to be answered.
The most effective freight forwarder software should be capable of offering your customers to have their own dedicated web portal. When a customer has to conduct multiple transactions, they should have access to a variety of portals. Giving your customers the power to track the position of their shipment will save you tons of time and money as you will not be hassled by various forms of communication to provide information endlessly.
Capable of accessing the software remotely
The days of always having someone in the office to keep the network running are coming to an end. Most companies these days don’t require their employees to stay overnight in the office to make sure the systems are running smoothly. Thanks to the growth of cloud technology, employees will be capable of logging into the software at any location, and this can lead to an increase in productivity.
Remote access will allow you to offer some of the best customer services around. Employees won’t need to race to the office to fix problems, and can instead do it in whatever location they are in. Remote access will lead to cutting down on delays in responding to unforeseen consequences. The internal collaboration will also lead to an increase in productivity, so employees will work more efficiently to finish any deadlines.
Make quoting easy
Quoting is part of the experience when you are involved in the freight forwarding industry. A good chunk of the time, quotes may not seem to work as you’d like them to, but stopping completely will lead to less business from coming in. Fortunately, freight forwarder software is capable of helping out in this situation or at least should be capable of helping you. Make sure the software you pick is capable of streamlining the quoting process, so you can generate the quotes you need to attract new business without having to overwork your employees and dish out more cash on quoting than you sometimes receive in return.
Getting your hands on a software that allows you to easily make quotes is a simple process that requires you to review the technical functionalities and assess how they connect with your business operations. Plenty of these systems will also come equipped with email templates for quote requests and one-click shipment generation. Prospective customers will appreciate the quick response and possible follow through with making an order.
Freight forwarding can be one of the most demanding and competitive industries. Being able to properly analyze the profits of each order and operations as a whole can make a huge difference between a profitable and growing enterprise and a company on the tip of falling over the edge. Freight Forwarder software is capable of providing tools that manage the complete picture and narrow down on specific aspects of the business.
These analytical tools can range from basic to advanced. Even the most basic function should be capable of coming equipped with analytical tools that help track your profits from shipments and at the overall company level. The more advanced options should come with tools that assist with managing shipping expenses. These can include estimation of shipping costs that are factored into quotes and costs that can be included in invoices.
These are just a couple of things you should be aware of when deciding on your freight forwarding software. If you are still having difficulty searching for software to integrate with your business, search through what other companies may have used and what the results were. Customer reviews will also give you a good idea of how the software performs and what you should expect if you purchase one of them. If you’re looking for one that will impress you, why not schedule a quick demo with us?