Selecting Freight Forwarding ERP Technology Post COVID 19

Amit Maheshwari, Softlink Global CEO
Amit Maheshwari, Softlink Global CEO

COVID-19 has disrupted the way we operate our businesses, and the scenario for logistics and freight companies is no exception. Being in a highly competitive industry during a global pandemic, it is vital that you improve your forwarder business, including remote work echo system.


To speed up your business processes in today’s remote work reality requires a proper assessment of business needs while selecting the right enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology. Undoubtedly, implementing an ERP system involves massive investments of money, resources, and time. What logistics and freight operators must understand is that the right ERP system can help the company streamline the workflow, optimize cost, and ensure seamless collaboration. Conversely, a wrong choice can lead to lost productivity and money as well as delays.


When selecting an ERP software, you first need to analyze if the system can automatically manage every aspect of freight forwarding operation like consolidation, import, and export, transshipment, forwarding, etc. for air freight, ocean freight, and customs activities from anywhere. Further, freight forwarders should also consider if the ERP software is scalable and flexible enough to comprehend the future requirements of the organization.


Second, you need to ensure the system provides a remote workflow mechanism that enables the integration of all departments. The ERP software should enable homebound workers to effortlessly collaborate with internal teams as well as external partners to preserve productivity and security protocols.


Third, the system should allow all documents and data generated at every juncture of operation to be stored in the cloud. A single database within the ERP system allows the flow of data across departments and locations to prevent unnecessary delays and interruptions while accessing data from anywhere. Freight forwarders can track shipment-wise profitability, outstanding payments, and performances within an ERP system to make informed decisions based on accurate, real-time data.


Fourth, before implementing an ERP system, consider if the software provides enhanced reporting and document management tools for the freight forwarding business to work remotely. An efficient system allows you to store, manage, and track electronic reports like quotations, invoice details, job-wise profitability, and generate customer details, shippers details, etc., in a central repository.


Finally, the ERP should allow collaboration; it should allow stakeholders to retrieve documents with proper authorization levels to be sent directly from the system to partners globally.


Depending on business needs, freight forwarders should re-evaluate their work process in light of this crisis before implementing an ERP system. A well-evaluated ERP software will be more commendatory to manage operational impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic since today’s operating anomalies will soon become tomorrow’s norms.