Freight forwarding businesses have faced tremendous challenges and pressure in the past, from trade wars to IMO 2020; increased container costs, and margin squeeze. In the digital age, it is impossible for businesses to not make huge investments in technology. This can be a great expense for companies. But did you know that there is a way for freight forwarders to save time and money, and still deliver a great customer experience? Forwarding Management Software as a Service (SaaS) will help meet your company’s needs and goals in the most efficient way possible. Unfamiliar with the details of SaaS? Don’t worry, this article will answer everything you need to know about the software including:
- What is SaaS?
- What Can SaaS Do for my Freight Forwarding Company?
- SaaS VS Legacy Onsite Software
- Benefits of SaaS
What is SaaS?
Software as a service (SaaS) is a cloud-based service in which a third-party provider hosts an application and makes it available to customers over the internet. This allows you to access an application through the internet instead of downloading software on your desktop PC or business network to run and update. SaaS can also be referred to as web-based software, on-demand software, or hosted software. SaaS is one of three main categories of cloud computing, alongside infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS).
Freight forwarding businesses give customers network-based access to a single copy of an application that was created specifically for SaaS distribution. The application’s source code is the same for all customers and automatically updates when new features or functionalities are added. There are SaaS applications for fundamental business technologies, such as email, sales management, customer relationship management (CRM), financial management, human resource management (HRM), billing and collaboration. Companies that use SaaS include BigCommerce, Google Apps, Salesforce, and Dropbox.
Users do not need to download and store software directly on an individual computer. The software can provide the best carrier rates, schedule pick-ups, and deliveries, and even track all moving freight in near real-time. Instead of using multiple systems to monitor each of these areas, a Freight Management System condenses it all into one centralized platform. SaaS is easy to use, full of useful features and keeps everything in one location.
What Can SaaS Do for my Freight Forwarding Company?
So, why should you choose SaaS? It is essential for freight forwarding businesses to combine logistics experience, human resources, and knowledge to ensure smooth coordination between carriers and shippers.
Many businesses use legacy freight software which requires installation, regular maintenance, and updates from either an admin or a team. This is not only painfully time consuming but involves a huge amount of both human and financial resources. Companies may invest a lot of time and money into this part of the business which may result in multiple errors, such as human error or potential update failures. This system is dependent on employees correctly and efficiently using the software, otherwise, the business will fail.
In the digital age, more businesses have switched legacy systems to web-based solutions or ‘the cloud’. This allows access to “software, data storage, and processing power” available over the internet. Instead of installing software onto individual computers, the software is now available through a browser via the internet. This type of software is called software as a service, or SaaS. For freight forwarders, using the SaaS helps keep ahead of the competition and provide a great customer experience.
No more installing, maintaining, or upgrading from the IT department
Legacy software requires information technology (IT) departments or IT consultants to install, maintain, and upgrade. With SaaS or web-based software, you simply log on a device with internet access and you are good to go!
No more updates on security, storage, and performance
Most SaaS employ the most up-to-date technology for security, data storage, and performance optimization. So, you and your team can constantly enjoy the benefits the latest technology brings, and you are freed from technology to focus on business.
Save time and money
SaaS is a subscription-based service with various pricing options. Any updates, large or small, can be performed on a regular basis without additional charge. The SaaS provider offers training, tech support, and customization so you can get the most out of just little investment.
SaaS v.s. Freight Management Software
Freight Management Software is very common in the workplace today despite the potential drawbacks for businesses. The following table compares the main differences between the two.
|Legacy Logistics Software||SaaS|
|Huge upfront investment||Little upfront investment|
|Time-consuming installation and costly maintenance||Instant deployment and zero maintenance|
|Accessible only on individual computers||Access anywhere with an internet|
|Need infrastructure, data encryption, to backup mechanisms to ensure data security||Cloud providers, such as AWS, ensure the most secure and reliable cloud database|
|Need more investment on server and installation as the business grows||Easily scalable base on your business growth need|
|Limited EDI and API enabled integration||Full EDI and API enabled integration|
Benefits of SaaS
Now we have learned the main differences between legacy logistics software and SaaS we will look into the many advantages that SaaS can provide for your company.
SaaS is very affordable which makes the product more available to a wider range of businesses. There is no upfront cost and customers can pay for the service using a ‘pay as you go’ monthly plan. This allows businesses to budget and plan their finances better, have lower upfront costs, and businesses can cancel the payment at any time to prevent recurring costs.
Automatic Upgrades and Updates
SaaS software updates itself without the need to overburden a company’s team of IT experts. Customers can simply rely on their SaaS provider to perform updates and patch management.
SaaS applications can be accessed simply through an internet browser, so it doesn’t matter which Operating System is used to access it. Whether the user is trying to run the application on Windows, Mac, or Linux machines (or even smartphones running Android or iOS), the application still remains accessible. This makes SaaS applications incredibly versatile. SaaS applications are designed to be mobile-friendly so that they can be used on the go.
SaaS allows businesses to supply a software service to the majority of the market, instead of just a limited and targeted market segment. This means that pricing can be cheaper and more accessible to businesses of every size. This allows access to services not normally available for the general public, allowing expansion and improved business services, productivity, and more opportunities.
Saving and Storage
One of the biggest disadvantages of using hardware is the need to invest in reliable backups such as online cloud storage or other disaster recovery plans to mitigate any serious hardware crash that might otherwise cause significant loss of data. However, with SaaS, data is routinely saved. Furthermore, employees can switch between devices without losing work or data, simply by logging into a single account, regardless of which device is being used.
Data and Analytics
Captured data can be provided for analytics use because everything is run through a centralized platform. Businesses using SaaS software usually have access to reporting, intelligence tools, and visualizations that can provide valuable insights into business operations, allowing for careful business planning and efficiency.
Let SaaS empowers your freight forwarding business
SaaS can help your freight forwarding business be more efficient and agile which will pay off greatly in the long run. Overall, SaaS can aid in the interests of both suppliers and users. While some companies might prefer to set up their own cloud management services and control their own data, SaaS offers unrivaled opportunities that can help them develop, expand, and provide more value to both staff and customers.
Chat with our expert today to learn more about how your freight forwarding business can benefit from freight management SaaS. (Or simply start live chat with us! Click the icon at the bottom right corner)