For an organization of any size, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is on the list of must-have applications.

There is always a need to acquire data, organize it, and then make business decisions to drive the organization forward.

Most ERP implementations look a lot like this diagram: Human resources, planning, inventory management, reporting, CRM, sales and marketing, finance and accounting, and production. But missing from this is one major part of many organizations: transportation.

To have the greatest planning, sales and production of products and not to consider transportation as part of the same process misses an opportunity to reap the savings of more efficient processes and to provide feedback for further planning.

The business process is not complete until that last mile delivery is made to the customer.

While very large organizations keep focused on transportation codes, in many cases transportation is not considered as part of the main business process. Too often, it is just contracted out to another organization that, for a price, will figure out the best way to move a product to market.

For some organizations, it is just following some basic rules that may have been put into place years ago. Rules like “150 miles away or less – use our own trucks; more than that ship LTL” might seem generally true, but with varying customer orders and varying operational and outside vendor costs, these rules may not give the cost savings expected.

And for other organizations, the rule is to have a human route planner figure out where the customers are located and then fill the trucks with a manual process.

Modern ERP systems all have a way to export data to external applications for processing.

For the simplest interface, Strategic Movements can accept shipment data in any standard (CSV, XLSX, XML or JSON) file format and directly upload it for low cost work to truck assignment using an AI based algorithm.

This algorithm considers factors such as weight and cube limits, as well as specific vehicle attributes like lift gates, and can compare the costs of using a private fleet as compared to solution that includes trucks from outside vendors as well.

For total integration, Strategic Movements offers a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) interface that can be used to gather data from an ERP system and send it over for processing with just the click of a button by the user.

But the data flows do not have to end there.

When coupled with handheld terminals and GPS, actual drive and delivery times can be compared with what was planned to provide a positive feedback loop that will drive better estimates for future trips.

Regardless of which ERP system you are using, do you want cost effective routes built in a short amount of time, and want to benefit from the savings? Visit us at Strategic Movements and see what we can do for you.

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