Should Liners Invest in Shipping Software Solutions?

Greater efficiency is the top priority of most shipping companies nowadays. With skyrocketing fuel prices and growing market competition, vessel operators are looking for better ways to cut operational expenses while keeping their revenues up. To make this possible, the shipping industry is constantly moving toward greater technological integration to automate various aspects of a shipping process. For this reason, marine software companies have developed various types of shipping software solutions for port and on-ship activities.

Every year, millions of tons of cargoes are being moved by shipping lines on various vessels including RoRo, container, and multipurpose vessels. Moving these goods involves many parties and complex processes. To accommodate the increasing complexities involved in port and vessel operations, hipping software companies have developed maritime software solutions which have greatly increased efficiencies.

For instance, modern merchant vessels use container tracking software to track actual locations of containers and provide their clients real-time view of the actual progress of a container transport process. Automated updates of container and cargo events can be sent to the relevant parties to provide full visibility to them.

Aside from container tracking software, modern shipping lines are also equipped with software applications that help them maximize revenue from each voyage or port call. Voyage calculation software also known as voyage accounting software allows vessel operators to forecast expenses, and revenue they can generate from each shipment and port call. Using this software, operators can make quick calculations of direct cargo related expenses and indirect expenses like fuel expenses, harbor dues, canal fees, and other costs involved in the process. This enables them to manage their cargo mix and simulate the impact contributions of different cargo mixes, port rotations and vessel speeds. Operators can also make simultaneous calculations of costs using different ships and routes and choose transactions they deem to provide the best commercial value.

Cargo safety is always a top priority when transporting containers. To ensure that this is achieved in every trip, operators need to ensure that their container fleet is properly maintained and repaired. With integrated container repair software carriers have full visibility of container damages. Container repair software allows them to quickly authorize and validate repairs, check warranties, identify improper repairs and locations where the equipment is not properly handled. This will ensure that ‘black sheeps’ amongst repair shops.

Integrated shipping software allows shipping companies to increase the efficiency of their operations both on the shore and off. They are available in platforms which can be integrated into a vessel’s existing system without doing any expensive reprogramming. While some marine software solutions can be expensive, operators can easily make back the difference in cost of their investment. However, operators must choose shipping software companies which provide quality shipping software products and after-sales service so that they can benefit most from their investment.

Marine Operations Made Easy With Integrated Shipping Software Solutions

International shipping presents new challenges every day. With these challenges, ship operators are constantly finding better ways to simplify every aspect of daily operations, improve efficiency, and maximize profit. Good thing, these benefits, which seemed impossible to achieve 20 years ago, are now widely available with the development of integrated shipping software.

Many ship operators and carriers find themselves dealing with high bunker costs, high charter costs, high labor costs, expensive communication between vessels and poor tracking systems. If these issues are not addressed at the right time, shipping operations become prone to encounter high losses. When any of these happens, beside the financial impact the company risks damaging its reputation and eventually loses customers.

Shipping solutions software> enables ship operators and carriers to minimize expenses and gain significant cost benefits by reducing the amount of work involved in moving cargo across international borders. This is done by automating a number of tasks that are labor-intensive and time consuming processes such as redundant data entry, inventory, documentation, invoicing, etc…

Because there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to shipping operations, shipping software companies have developed different kinds of marine software solutions with their specific intended functions. Advanced software applications for shipping such as container management software allow merchants to easily control and manage container activities across multiple vessels. This enables operators to track the status and location of containers to minimize damage or loss.

Two other important kinds of marine solutions software are Voyage estimation software which calculates the length of time it will take for each shipment to reach its destination, and voyage accounting software which can be used run calculations of transaction costs. Using these solutions, operators can rate shop between carriers, compare routes, and identify commercial options with best revenue potential. Vessel operators use these software applications to compute bunker costs, chartering costs, port costs, canal fees, and load/discharge expenses, helping them to avoid expensive routes, evade risky procedures, and ensure that deliveries are always on time.

In addition, modern carriers are also using container tracking software which is used to show the exact locations of container. Container tracking software also records transaction details such as exact times certain shipments leave the port, transshipments, and load/discharge activities. Using this software helps ensure visibility and minimize loss of consignments.

To recapitulate, shipping solutions software is the key to success in modern-day shipping. It streamlines complex processes and removes bottlenecks throughout the shipment order cycle. Most shipping software can be integrated into existing platforms and customized to best serve specific purposes.

Nowadays, shipping software can be purchased off-the-shelf at rates so reasonable considering the benefits they offer. One challenge however is finding the right shipping software company or vendors which provide reliable products and support services not judging on price alone. With right choice, vessel operators can easily and quickly make back the difference in cost and enjoy the competitive advantage they get from investing wisely.

Retail Market: Thrust in Software Solutions

Here is a list of various retail management software used in different departments of retail industry to enhance the performance and profitability of stores.

  • ERP Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
  • Point Of Sale (POS) Solutions
  • Inventory Management & Control
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Reports On Performance
  • Customer Solutions
  • Accounting & Financial Management
  • Mobility Solutions
  • Social Networking
  • Business Analytics
  • Affiliate Marketing

Cloud solutions & Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

E-tail and retail companies gets cloud support by leveraging the powerful ERP solutions. Retail operations can be managed online using a centralized database without making investments in infrastructure like server, firewall, licensing, anti-virus, etc. This software is easier to install and provides a number of benefits which include offline storage support (without an internet connection), push notifications, and supports multiple mobile platforms like iOS, Android, etc.

Point of Sale (POS)

POS software solution helps retailers to face some of the difficult challenges of retail market. A right POS software provides better shopping experience, improves productivity and drives sales of customers. Point of sale includes payments, cash management, security control, and employee management.

Inventory Management & Control

Retail business is supported by a robust inventory management and control software offering multiple channel and multiple location support. This software is flexible and can manage orders, billing, pricing, shipping and sales. You also get SMS alerts if a specific order level for each item is reached and also helps you to track the goods in various warehouses or locations.

Supply Chain Management

Supply chain solutions involves shipping products and services much faster, with better quality. The various components of supply chain management solutions are warehouse management, inventory management & control, wireless tracking, and point of sale solutions. Retailers can manage orders and stocks efficiently and can also make the supply channel very effectively.

Reports

Retailers can generate reports and analyze performance of stores, departments, customers, employees, stock, sales and products using the Reports software, which also helps retailers to maximize their efficiency and profits.

CRM Solutions

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software allows retailers to capitalize on customers’ database and their history of transactions across sales channels and meet the challenges in retail market. CRM strategies provides a 360 degree view of customers and makes retail marketing solutions easy. It paves way for long-lasting and enduring customer relationships and is surely a loyalty addition for retailers and support them through some aggressive marketing campaigns and promotions at point of sale.

Accounting & Financial Management

All the accounting and financial needs of stores can be successfully managed, controlled and made easier with Accounting & Financial Management software. This includes bank accounts, inventory, vendor, billing; employees and payroll management which help retail companies to make some quick decision-making.

Web Store

Retailers can integrate eCommerce features to host their existing site adding online shopping, payment gateways, multiple language and currency options which are cost-effective and provides intuitive shopping experience to customers.

Mobility solutions

Retailers can harness the power of mobile technology on POS solutions to service customers anywhere, anytime – on the go. Mobile POS makes customer interactions engaging and they can get up to date product and store information by integrating GPS in smartphones and tablets. This helps retailers to provide high quality customer service, improve efficiency and increase profitability.

Analytics

With Analytics, business data can be transformed into meaningful information and enables retailers to take informed decisions and also gain a competitive edge over their rivals. Analytics software doesn’t need higher investments from retailers. It helps retailers to customize Analytics features thereby increase their sales volume, which will in turn increase their profitability and provide better ROI.

Affiliate Marketing

Retailers can create email marketing campaigns, search-engine optimization and affiliate marketing strategies which will increase revenues, reduce costs and improve ROI in real time basis. Discounts, deals, promotions, coupons, volume pricing and customer-specific discounts will drive sales exponentially and promote customer loyalty.

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