The Book on Logistics Software - The definitive guide for business executives

In the foreword to this book,Tiger Wessels, founder and that being a logisticsindustry executive can be achallenging experience.

Not only do executives have to worry about keeping costs down, they have to ensure that efficiency levels are up, staff are achieving the goals set out for them and that the company is making a profit. It’s tough, but it’s manageable and sometimes even fun.

The Book on Logistics Software gives an overview of all the tasks and challenges that business executives are faced with every day. It also throws some humour on the obstacles that software providers face together with industry stakeholders and provides insight into why software is a necessity and how it can aid logistics processes.

The book provides an honest overview of the good, the bad and the really ugly, such as project failures. It sheds some light on the importance that IT plays in business processes and what challenges result owing to the need for information – and the availability, accuracy and the thing most of us are currently faced with: information overload.

To be successful in the logistics industry, passion, drive and focus are non-negotiable. The book stresses the need for ensuring your business comprises individuals that will move the company forward and that it has a technical eco system, which will fit your budget and needs, as well as the right systems and procedures.

The book is divided into 11 chapters and is very readable. The first chapter starts with the logistics IT landscape. The logistics industry is filled with ever-changing variables and demands, constant innovation, tweaking and configuration from logistics executives.

It is crucial for businesses to adapt to change. This does not only apply to new technologies, but to every aspectthat affects the business environment – such as social media trends, the pressure to be environment friendly, ethical dilemmas and regulations. If you compare what businesses are today to what they were 50 years ago, it’s hard to fathom how businesses survived without the technology we have at our disposal today. Businesses no longer have a reason not to adapt to change.

With regard to the logistics industry, change is what drives economic development in this sector. In developing countries such as South Africa, much change is still needed in order to ensure continuous growth. The chapters go through the Build vs Buy process; Why projects succeed or fail; Access to information; How to acquire and retain clients; Staffing needs; Job requirements and fulfillment; Technical ecosystems; Technical directions; How to recover from a disaster and the final chapter of What’s next with Logistics.

The time has come for the next generation of supply chain executors who will enable 3PL providers and shippers to strengthen their partnerships. According to a 2013 3PL study, only 86% of cargo owners view their relationship with their 3PL as successful, as compared to 94% of 3PLs. While this is an increase over previous years and shippers credit the improvement to the 3PLs finding new ways to improve logistics effectiveness, the discrepancy opens up an opportunity for leading 3PLs to further improve their operations by supporting more innovative technology. By moving beyond tactical and into strategic activities, both parties can reap great benefits. In order to drive innovation and cutting edge technology solutions, shippers are willing to gain-share with 3PLs for investments required to achieve greater performance.

A key way for 3PLs to move into the high performance achievement echelon of the industry, is through establishing partnerships that leverage a 4PL model. This 4PL, also known as a Lead Logistics Provider model, will be the catalyst for the evolution to more collaborative and innovative partnerships that will positively impact 3PL and shipper relationships in a significant way.

Global economic conditions are causing shippers to rebalance their supply chains to become more adaptable and flexible due to frequently changing sourcing locations.

Under the 4PL model, the shipper engages a provider to serve as its primary outsourcing liaison. The shipper shares their supply chain goals and challenges with the 4PL – while maintaining an ongoing, strategic dialogue with their partner. The 4PL is responsible for coordinating the activities of all 3PL providers in the shipper’s network and ensuring that each is accomplishing its goals and conforming to the requirements of the shared customer.

The 4PL delivers the shipper with a singular view of the critical aspects of the supply chain, including inventory, orders and shipments. The increased congruency and communication streamlines the outsourcing process and improves the shipper’s view of its relationships with 3PLs, while leveraging the expertise that 3PLs have accrued in the industry. Evidence supports this pattern; ’58% of shippers are reducing or consolidating the number of 3PLs they use.’

It is clear that the logistics market is ready and waiting for the 4PL model. Whereas before the data to support this model was not present and the technology not yet advanced enough, all of the tools are now available to the successful 3PL aspiring to become part of the next generation of the high performing supply chain elite.

The Book on Logistics Software is a definitive guide for business executives with a number of high profile endorsements. Raymond Aaron, New York best-selling author, says, “A compelling and insightful read. This book serves as a good guideline for small and large enterprises on dealing with daily challenges experienced in every industry, but also focuses on how these challenges can be solved in the logistics industry, specifically. Dovetail has taken the years of experience it has gained and worked it into a guide, which will assist the logistics industry for years to come.”

From Karl Tettmann, principal of Creative Marketing Synergy and author of the unique GROWTH technique: “What a wonderful book, sharing the wisdom of the South African Logistics industry.

“Dovetail has proven themselves as the leaders in the software logistics business through innovation. Everything you need to know is in this book, from industry  knowledge to how to implement your next successful logistics project.”

Barry Saxton, independent logistics and supply chain professional and author of ‘Rock the Boat: Why leaders need to make waves to succeed in the era of globalisation’, has this to say, “The book looks at the changing world of supply chain management and logistics, where requirements are changing radically, due to the power of consumerism changing the world to a demand-led market place. With increased complexity and competition, companies need to create a competitive advantage to stay relevant in the market.

This is about segmentation, customised solutions, value added products and services that satisfy the chosen segment of customers. For companies to retain competitiveness they have to be updated and informed – a good start is The Book on Logistics Software.”

Written by: Martie Bothma, Reggie Pillay, Ralf Rolle, Shermandra Singh Publisher: Dovetail Business Solutions ISBN: 978-0-620-60253-2

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