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Global Logistics Software
Tracking the enormous numbers of products, containers, materials, and other items that are either imported or exported in todays truly global economy is a gargantuan task - one that can be nearly unmanageable without the aid of global logistics software. Some companies receive frequent shipments from overseas and/or often ship goods and materials to destinations throughout the world - either way generating huge logistics related operations with budgets to match. Those budgets have been climbing as more and more goods make their way in and out of the U.S. Some companies receive their own inbound and outbound shipments, while others elect to outsource those operations to third parties that specialize in making sure things get where they need to go.
<> Outsourcers use global logistics software to manage their customers inventory and automate inbound and outbound scheduling. Shipments are based on two functions - delivery date and destination. EDI messages are generated to the customers indicating that their shipments have arrived and the customers can make use of a secure website to monitor both shipments and inventory.

A majority of companies indicate that they have shifted their logistics operations to outsourcers, a move that has saved both time and money, while increasing efficiency. Just under half of the companies logistics budgets was expected to be spent on outsourced services by 2005.

The benefits for companies that use such services are numerous. These companies receive advance notices that tell them when a shipment is arriving and the cargo it contains. Volumes and distribution instructions are included. The companies are, alternatively, able to transmit EDI information to hubs and distributors once the materials come off a ship and are loaded onto domestic trailers. The outsourcing company, or logistics provider, monitors inventory levels, which can provide enormous convenience, but also carries some risk. Many companies depend on finely tuned inventory and either too little or too much can be financially damaging.

Not all companies depend on outsourcers for global logistics. Some have their own IT infrastructures and logistics networks. Inventory systems that are available on the market can monitor millions of square feet of warehouse space and dozens of stocking facilities. The addition of radio frequency identification systems (RFID) can streamline the process even further.

Developers are working on integrating logistics data with order-entry systems and enterprise resource planning suites that will interface with dozens of different systems throughout the world. Global logistics software can help keep costs down as a business grows and needs to integrate different systems without adding personnel. Logistics and stocking facilities all over the world can be linked to provide ease of handling and security assurances to companies from Europe and Asia to the U.S.

Many of the worries associated with outsourcing global logistics are allayed by the records of some of the outsourcers. Some outsourcers boast as much as a 98% accuracy rate, which is likely greater than many companies could ever provide on their own. Whether outsourced or provided within a companys own structure, the demands of operating in a global economy demand the assistance of global logistics software to both ease the workload and cut the costs.

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