Complete Guide to Integrated Logistics
Originally published on March 10, 2023 by Erhan Musaoglu, Updated on March 10, 2023
If you are looking to increase revenue by streamlining your high-volume ecommerce operations, then adopting an integrated logistics business model is going to be critical to meeting your fulfillment goals.
In direct-to-consumer (DTC) order management, taking an integrated logistics approach means managing warehouse, supply chain, and shipping at a higher level while also being able to automate as many of these processes as possible. This is where Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) solutions come in.
Selecting the right WMS software can be the difference in creating more friction that slows your pipeline down and seeing revenue trend upwards over time as the WMS software becomes an indispensable part of your integrated logistics model.
In this article, we outline the benefits of an integrated logistics system, the critical importance of data integration in logistics, and the challenges of adopting an integrated logistics system. We will also showcase how Logiwa WMS supports fulfillment with an integrated logistics system.
- The Benefits of Integrated Logistics
- The Importance of Data Integration in Logistics
- The Logiwa WMS Approach to Integrated Logistics
- Challenges in Implementing Integrated Logistics
- Integrated Logistics: A Game-Changer for Supply Chain Management
The Benefits of Integrated Logistics
What is integrated logistics and how is it helpful for supply chain management? Well, these are the primary questions at hand as we consider the many benefits of an integrated logistics system.
To begin, any company that is dealing with logistics is overseeing nearly every process within their given business. And throughout a fulfillment network, there are a lot of moving pieces to keep track of. An integrated logistics system simply seeks to consolidate and correlate all of this data with one solution for smoother operations.
This means you are able to drastically increase efficiency because everyone is able to know and understand how every area of your operation is doing, what their role is in current processes, and update, in real-time, how orders and workflows are progressing. It also means having the ability to flag discrepancies and tackle bottlenecks head-on.
To increase efficiency, WMS software offers the benefit of improved communication and keeping all areas of your operation on the same page regarding the status of inbound processes, orders, shipments, and other supply chain needs.
Improved Visibility Throughout the Supply Chain
Just as efficiency is increased, so is visibility throughout the entire supply chain management process. An integrated logistics system means that everyone can have accurate information when making decisions from their individual warehouse or return center.
For example, if your warehouse system knows exactly how many units are currently on hand or will soon be available, then your ecommerce platform can indicate more accurately what is available to potential buyers. Likewise, this integrated logistics solution means that those working with suppliers can keep tabs on how much product needs to be supplied.
An integrated WMS software is critical to the improved visibility of the supply chain from start to finish. This means each area of your fulfillment network can make the best possible decisions based on the dependable information they have access to.
Taking full advantage of an integrated logistics system also presents the opportunity to effectively analyze your costs. This, then, allows the appropriate operators to determine where they might be able to reduce costs within their portion of the supply chain.
A WMS software can track these expenditures and help point out areas where money can be saved, spending can be leveraged appropriately, and, ultimately, how costs can be reduced for the efficiency of the company as a whole.
The Importance of Data Integration in Logistics
Real-Time Data Access
One of the core principles of an integrated logistics system is real-time access to your data. A WMS software solution with a focus on supply chain management should always be able to feature real-time data across all your facilities.
This means that, without needing to slow down supply chains, you and your team can check on a particular product or order and make an informed decision for your part in the supply chain thanks to this real-time access to data.
They say knowledge is power. Being able to see and make a decision, in real-time, with the most accurate data possible, means that every decision made for a department can be the best possible informed decision.
The number of errors that can occur within supply chain management because of a lack of information or outdated information can be stopped in its tracks with WMS software within an integrated logistics system.
The Impact of Data Integration on Supply Chain Performance
Overall, using the power of WMS software within an integrated logistics system increases the performance of your supply chain in a multitude of ways.
Some overlooked ways data integration via WMS software can boost performance include enhanced morale of employees. When there are fewer things to be frustrated about, and when your job feels simpler, then supply chain performance is going to be boosted because of improved productivity.
Even if you already have an integrated logistics system in place, taking a closer look at WMS software with an emphasis on data integration is going to provide so many more improvements to the overall supply chain performance that it is worth considering.
The Logiwa WMS Approach to Integrated Logistics
Key Features of Logiwa WMS Software
Logiwa WMS prides itself on being a premiere digital warehouse management solution with a focus on integrated logistics. Some of our key features include:
- Cloud-based software for seamless operations and easy integrations
- Increased visibility with embedded reporting and analytics tools
- Real-time data acquisition so you are always working with updated, accurate data
- Scalability based on warehouse management and supply chain needs
How Logiwa WMS Supports Integrated Logistics
Logiwa WMS supports your integrated logistics system by providing easy access to data needed for the procurement of products, assembling orders, materials, etc.
If you are working with 3PL warehouses, then our integrated logistics solution allows for simple distribution to make sure everything ends up where it needs to in the supply chain while updating all relevant data in real-time. This includes order routing functions, which ensure orders are fulfilled at the locations closest to the consumer that ordered them.
Of course, when it comes to fulfillment, any good WMS software should allow for an integrated approach to fulfillment, but Logiwa WMS shines by paying special attention to all inbound and outbound supply chain processes in real-time. That way, you no longer have to worry about running out of inventory or duplicating a shipment to the same consumer because two warehouses filled the order.
Lastly, Logiwa WMS can help streamline the shipping process and even process returns efficiently so no customer ever gets lost in the shuffle. Even if it does, the Logiwa WMS customer service is legendary with response times as low as 7 minutes.
You never have to worry about implementing an integrated logistics system on your own with Logiwa WMS at your side.
Something that is important to remember is that integrated logistics systems are never “complete.” They are constantly growing and changing as your business is developing and evolving.
When you have Logiwa WMS customer service at your side, along with the integrated logistics solutions our WMS software can offer, you can guarantee you will be ready to scale, adjust, and adapt without any unnecessary friction.
Challenges in Implementing Integrated Logistics
Implementing an integrated logistics system isn’t as simple as an overnight task. There are a lot of data inputs and moving pieces to integrate together before a system can function at 100% capacity.
There is always the challenge of making sure that all data sources in the supply chain are accurate from the start and implemented appropriately. But this provides a single, unified view of your data to improve your ability to make informed decisions and have accurate, real-time information.
Change is always going to be difficult. Adopting an integrated logistics system can be a cultural change because it requires an entirely new approach to thinking about the supply chain and your daily operations.
If you have created a culture of double-checking and following up on data within the supply chain to verify the accuracy, then there will be a necessary shift to ensure communication still occurs without being redundant.
To implement an integrated logistics system appropriately, there will need to be a company-wide cultural shift in how departments communicate, interact, and retrieve data within the supply chain.
Resistance to Change
Whenever there is a change in a company, whether at the cultural level or just switching to a new tool, software, or equipment, there is going to be pushback. Even the best changes don’t happen without some grumbling among departments.
Before and during the implementation of an integrated logistics system, anticipate and stay ahead of these resistances. Address concerns before they arise if possible. Be willing to listen and be prepared to offer a suitable reason for the shift to an integrated logistics approach or cloud-based WMS software.
The Logiwa WMS Solution for Overcoming Integrated Logistics Challenges
While there can be some challenges when adopting an integrated logistics system, Logiwa WMS has created solutions to overcome many of these valid challenges.
Logiwa WMS makes the implementation of data integration as easy as possible. By being able to get set up in as little as 4-6 weeks, we minimize the amount of time available for data to become outdated or inaccurate. With our customer service team working to get your company integrated as quickly as possible, we make sure you aren’t doing it all alone.
We also provide over 200 integrations, with more being worked on and implemented, which means that your tools, software, and programs can likely integrate directly with Logiwa WMS from the start. Your team can rest assured that we are going to make the switch to Logiwa WMS as painless as possible.
Integrated Logistics: A Game-Changer for Supply Chain Management
Integrated logistics changes the game for companies who are looking at scaling their revenue and organizing their entire supply chain. Hopefully, we have confidently given an answer to what exactly is integrated logistics and what you need to consider when implementing an integrated logistics system.
Selecting a WMS software is one of the most critical pieces of adopting an integrated logistics system because that is where the real data integration happens which makes it all possible. While there are some great WMS software solutions out there, not all of them are going to make for easy implementation of an integrated logistics system.
Logiwa WMS is committed to supporting integrated logistics because we believe it is not just the future of supply chain and logistics, but the now of supply chain and logistics.
If you are seriously considering integrated logistics for your company, then we would love to have you Book A Demo with one of our warehouse management experts. They can walk you through how your company can benefit from and implement an integrated logistics system and how Logiwa WMS can help you get there smoothly in as little as 4-6 weeks.