Any logistics business reaches the moment when they realize that in order to grow faster they need to upgrade their tech stack. The need to optimize supply chain operations, improve warehouse performance, reduce operational expenses and improve customer relations calls for extra measures. Developing a logistics app to improve transport and logistics operations is a reasonable decision for companies that aim to grow.
The Importance of Mobile Applications in Logistics Business
One can’t deny the importance of logistics apps for transport and logistics operations. Companies need to have control over a number of tasks in order to not only fulfill orders on time, but also optimize all accompanying expenses. As the majority of operations are mobile, companies cannot do without a logistics mobile app to track deliveries and inventory in real-time as drivers and warehouse workers can’t always carry around a laptop or other massive device. To do their work and update statuses they need a light and easy-to-use delivery app.
How Mobile Apps Improve Logistics Enterprise
The logistics industry is vast and complicated. Owing to mobile development for logistics, companies can solve lots of issues related to managing fleets and system maintenance, optimizing warehouses, routes, documentation, etc. with the help of apps for logistics. From eliminating tons of paperwork to more tangible results like delivery time and cost reductions - allowing the optimisation of the whole cycle of logistics operations.
With the complex nature of logistics business consisting of multiple elements and involving numerous personnel on the move, driving a vehicle or managing warehouse operations, it’s crucial for performance to have mobile apps where employees can update a shipment or inventory status in a blink.
Today, logistics development provides for a mobile version of the solutions (fleet management, warehousing, CRM, etc.) impeccably available both for Android and iOS. A mobile app is usually a part of an admin web-based app that manages the whole system. In the next paragraphs we will tell you about the most common logistics solutions.
To record, manage, and store all vehicles’ records here and now companies need a fleet management mobile app. The more vehicles a company has in a fleet, the more acute is the need for mobile development.
Most fleet management systems include GPS tracking to track vehicles, fuel management to estimate and keep records of fuel consumption, and driver safety management to monitor the condition of vehicles and drivers operating them. For driver safety companies would often include telematics within their mobile logistics solution as it provides real-time video reporting on drivers and activities in the passenger compartment.
Reporting is a vital part of mobile development for logistics, as once the delivery is completed, managers need to report back to customers and top management on the delivery results. With the reporting as a part of the delivery app, companies have all data clearly visualized in custom reports, whether it's maintenance reports, fuel consumption, mileage summaries, or driver violations. No need to underline that it saves managers hours of work and eliminates the risk of human error.
Logistics business goes further beyond solely delivering orders of large volumes. A huge area of work is about warehouse management and asset tracking, which calls for a separate logistics app development.
Warehouse management apps ensure prompt and precise details checking and efficient delivery management. It helps warehouses of any size to manage inventory, optimize order picking and packing processes, help to navigate around a warehouse, manage shipment, handle returned inventory, organize and monitor employees' performance, collect data and have ready-made reports on warehouse operations.
Logistics operations include a number of communication touch-points and further data management. Thus, as with any other business, companies need a reliable, modern CRM dedicated to managing logistics customer relations.
Today's CRMs automate a great deal of workflow and pursue several goals for the business. Besides tracking the whole process from signing a customer to closing the deal, CRMs provide instant reporting, storing and filtering all customer documents and contracts, orders status, etc. With a customer portal you can enable your clients to check relevant documentation, track and update cargo instantly. This saves time both for your customers and you. With tailored logistics CRMs customers promptly update shipment status without the need to call a middleman. As well, employers can be quickly informed through the notification system. All put together, it increases operations efficiency and improves customer relations.
When logistics app development assures to automate operational workflow, documentation management is one of the must-have parts leading to a much easier process of handing documents. It dramatically reduces the volume of paperwork and makes it easier to store and sort out needed files. All customer data, contracts & invoices, purchase orders, delivery receipts, etc., in one place.
No more printing, sending separate invoices and waiting to get a signed document back. You can generate and sign a document in a matter of seconds with apps for logistics.
Drivers are a crucial element in the whole transport operations, and it’s a business responsibility to ensure that drivers are equipped with all the necessary tools to carry out their job absolute best. Ensuring driver safety is the top priority.
Equipped with GPS tracking a driver management app can foresee and warn drivers about risks on the highway. It will notify drivers whether it's time for a daily inspection check and mark this information for a report. The information about any incidents is available both for drivers and managers to be immediately informed about any troubles along the way. In this way, managers are up-to-date with the state of drivers and shipment, and could follow up on the situation.
Further, along the way mobile logistics gather data on routes, fuel consumption and incidents, presenting it into a deployed report for managers to debrief and further improve fleets’ operations.
How to Approach Mobile App Development for Logistics Business
When a company is about to select software for their business processes, they have 2 options: pay month by month for packaged software subscription, or develop their own custom solution.
Packaged software, also known as SaaS (Software-as-a-service) is hosted by a company, the provider of the service. Clients access it online through the website, desktop or mobile app. In the case of packaged software, the vendor holds responsibility for hosting the service, maintaining databases, upgrading the code, adding new features, etc.
Custom logistics app software is bought (ordered to be developed) by a company and installed on their own servers, either on-premise or to the cloud. Unlike packaged software you can’t start with a custom solution straight away, but it is better-off in perspective. Custom logistics software can be easily customized for your business needs. It is much faster to release new features and a business, as the only owner, has full control over the data with the help of logistic app development.
Further, we will give you a short overview of the pros & cons of both options.
- Rapid start. Packaged software is quick to set up since it has already been developed.
- Easily trustable as the software product was tested and tried by other businesses.
- Customer support. Some packaged software comes with reliable, sometimes 24/7, technical support.
- Security concerns. A business never owns the software, and subsequent changes in the provider company may as well affect their clients’ businesses.
- Slow on implementing custom features. Despite the fact that SaaS solutions claim to have all important features, there are always extra requests that customers come with — custom features that businesses lack for the solution to be perfect. For SaaS companies, as they are, it is not profitable to implement every requested feature.
- Not cost-effective in the long run due to recurrent fees. Packaged software may sound cheaper, but if you calculate how much you will spend in the longer run, you will likely change your mind.
- Tailored for your business needs. As a business specifies all requirements during the business analysis stage, they get exactly what they order. Besides, they can also select technology, coding language and UI design.
- A business is the sole owner of the software. Once the software is developed, you obtain a lifetime usage license for it, which means an extra level of data security.
- More opportunity for business growth. The flexibility in using the platform and releasing new features will not limit you in your business operations. Also, it is cheaper in the long run.
- It takes time to develop. You can’t start using software the moment after you’ve looked through the company’s website. Development takes time, but it is worth it.
- Larger initial investment needed, but more profitable forward-looking.
- Migration from previous solutions may pose several challenges. If you are not a completely new company, you must have used some other technology before. Starting with a new platform would require you to transfer the existing data. However, with current technologies and support it is an issue of a few extra hours.
Development Cycle of Logistics Mobile App
Logistics app development consists of several consistent steps that ensure projects’ high-quality deliverables.
The first step of a development cycle is always a business analysis that will turn ideas and requirements into an actionable plan with prototypes, wireframes and mock-ups. Design and development come next. You already know what your product will look like, and you cazn monitor its development. Once developed, every feature and even the slightest detail pass through QA engineers for verification that the platform is well-functioning. Depending on a company, you are provided with training, support and maintenance of existing solutions. You can read more about how we approach custom software development at Wezom.
Logistics Enterprise Mobile App Development Costs
Different transportation apps require different features. As a rule, the more complex the feature, the more time it takes, and the higher the costs will be. Features, technology stack, UI development and customization requirements are one of the main factors defining the final price. The individual approach of a development team also plays a role. Once we know more about your business plan, we can give you a rough estimate relatively fast.
Do you have a “guess” price in mind? Remember it for now, so you can later compare the estimation with your expectation.
For a better understanding of an average price, tell us what you are looking for, and we will come back with an estimate. We might need to ask you several extra questions, but this shouldn't take longer than 15 minutes. If you are curious, here is how we can help your logistics business.