Digital Transformation for Logistics SMEs
Updated: Jun 4
Digital transformation is extremely important for logistics SMEs. If you're not sure where to get started or want to know why a custom database application is a must, keep reading to find out!
This guide will help you understand what an ERP system is, how it applies to logistics SMEs, and how to get started with your own digital transformation.
Understanding ERP Systems
Before we get started on how to digitally transform your logistics SME, alright let's dive into what an ERP system is.
ERP refers to enterprise resource planning. ERP systems are platforms that allow employees and partners to manage their entire business in one solution. They are the perfect way to measure how your business is operating in real-time since they allow for the integration of various applications.
For instance, your ERP system can tie together sales and marketing databases so that you can pinpoint which marketing campaigns led to the majority of your sales in a given time frame.
These platforms also allow you to generate dashboards that are consistent across various modules, giving your business leaders the ability to make data-driven decisions quickly and effectively.
Logistics SMEs and ERP Systems
Although ERP systems are relevant to a wide variety of businesses and industries, they play a very important role in digital transformation for logistics SMEs.
Think about it: logistics relies heavily on not only capturing data but also managing it in a way that allows you to run your business effectively. ERP systems were created to do just that, so why wouldn't you invest in a platform that would allow you to do all of this in one solution?
Here are just a few of the benefits that you could gain from business process automation, integration, and custom development services:
Take Control of your Inventory
With the right tools, you can take complete control of your inventory and improve the way that you monitor orders, sales, and distribution from a centralized location. An enterprise solution can help you analyze trends and forecast for the future by providing you with real-time data.
Whether you need to identify out of stock inventory, handle an influx of inbound orders, or manage outgoing products, a custom developed application can help you do it.
One of the great things about an ERP system is that it is available from a wide variety of locations. This means that you can connect your suppliers with your purchasing team to improve the speed of reorders and distribution management.
Charts, graphs, and other important analytics can be shared in real-time, so decisions can be made appropriately.
Getting Started with Digital Transformation
You can get started with digital transformation in a few easy steps.
Before you get into any software purchases or start interviewing vendors, take some time to analyze your current systems, processes, and operational structure. Use this analysis to determine what areas of your logistics business could use improvement and what is functioning well.
You may find that there are some aspects of your business that could be corrected without purchasing additional technology, but serious issues like data silos will require an additional investment.
At this stage, you should also set a clear budget and create a list of the features this is a must-have to help you achieve your goals. It can be easy to get distracted by the newest features being advertised by off-the-shelf application providers, but it is necessary to stay grounded in the factors that will dictate your success.
After you have determined your non-negotiables in terms of features, you have to determine if you will choose a custom developed application or a pre-packaged solution. Remember that even though a generic solution may be cheaper in the short term, you don't want to have to purchase a new one every time your business grows or changes.
Another important consideration is how the system will integrate with the existing software solutions that are used in your everyday business processes. Even the best possible application is of no use to you if it does not connect to everything else that you're using to manage your business!
It is also a good idea to interview stakeholders across every relevant department. Although the logistics team is vital, the input you will receive from accounting, sales, and marketing will be just as valuable.
To get started with digital transformation for your business you need to clearly define your goals and create a game plan that you intend to stick to. From here, we recommend working with an expert in custom development applications that can help you get the most out of your digitalization project.
The Benefits of a Custom Solution
Every logistics SME can benefit from digital transformation, business process automation, and integration. However, your business has unique challenges and opportunities, which means having the right technology and processes in place can make the difference between success and failure.
A custom database solution allows you to incorporate all of the features that you need to ensure the success of your digital transformation initiatives. When you partner with Automate Labs, you get access to a team of experts who have proven experience helping logistics SMEs use technology to digitally transform their organizations.
Off-the-shelf applications are created with a broad target audience in mind - the features and tools that these applications include will address general issues. They will not be able to help you take your logistics SME to the next level, though!
We will partner with you every step of the way, starting with analyzing your processes and defining your goals so that you can create digital automation strategies that will allow your business to develop a competitive advantage in the industry.
Since you get to decide which features to include in your custom database app, you only have to pay for what you need. Most pre-packaged solutions are offered out of fixed price, whether you use 1% of the features included or all of them.
Simply put, working with an agency that specializes in custom development services is the best way to work on digital transformation for your business.