Read in this article:01. What is a Custom CRM System for Logistics?02. Advantages of Custom CRM System for Logistics03. What features should have a custom CRM system for logistics?04. Custom CRM System for Logistics Development Process05. Conclusions
What is a Custom CRM System for Logistics?
CRM System for Logistics is an essential tool if you want to improve your sales, monitor performance to collect contacts and stay in touch with your customers. Logistics is a complex business consisting of various stages: communication, coordination, budget approval, shipment formation, cargo tracking process. Therefore, CRM in logistics has many important tasks. When developing customized CRM systems for logistics, keep in mind that they must be adapted to different tasks and sizes of business.
Companies should choose a CRM designed specifically for their specific tasks because off-the-shelf CRM solutions will cost a pretty decent amount of money, while providing many features, half of which the business will not need at all. Using a CRM system, a transportation company will be able to solve a variety of logistical problems that include shipping, storage, and communication between customers and suppliers.
Advantages of Custom CRM System for Logistics
The CRM system allows the manager to track the movement of transport in real time, which is necessary for a clear understanding of its location, schedule control, delivery time tracking and, if necessary, correction of data. If necessary, it is possible to change the route and build new routes. Management of routes reduces the probability of errors, loss of cargo, reduces the cost of delivery services and increases the speed of work.
Requisition and transport management
The CRM system allows operational management of requests and shipments, managers can easily manage requests, track their current status, edit if necessary, add new data at any time. All shipments are tracked at every stage, from paperwork to delivery to the final destination and receipt of return paperwork.
Unified database of customers and carriers
All customers are collected into a single database, each manager has access to their customer database, roles, and carriers are assigned to the system. Therefore, it becomes easier to choose the right logistics order executors, and quick access to the client base makes it possible to improve the speed and quality of service.
Reliability and security
With the right custom development, the reliability of the CRM-system for logistics will be at a high level, which is undoubtedly significant, given the need to store and process key data: transactions, reports, databases and much other information. In the process of creating a CRM-system for a transportation company, it should be considered that the data must be protected from external interference.
Flexibility and scalability
A custom CRM system is a flexible and reliable tool; it provides the functionality to change the settings of a specific process. Unlike a regular system, with a custom solution, you don't have to modify the software when changes occur in your company's operations. As a result of analytics and real case evaluation, it's easy to assess employee efficiency, calculate profitable routes, scale your company and multiply profits by times.
With a custom CRM system, managers don't have to waste time searching for the right route, fuel consumption and calculate costs, all important information are always at their fingertips. Thanks to the user-friendly interface, CRM users can freely create reports, communicate with each other and with customers right in the system.
Only necessary functions and affordable price
When you create a customized CRM, only the features your employees need are developed. The company pays once for the creation of the system, and there is always the possibility of improving or changing it. A CRM system will be created for the workflow established in your particular transport company, so the employees will not take much time and effort to study the tool.
The efficiency of an individual solution implementation will be higher than that of a general product. You will be able to store all the necessary logistics data in a single system, which will reduce the probability of their loss. The efficiency of query processing will increase, employees will be able to quickly find out what the customer's requirements are, what goods they are sending, what type of transport they are interested in, and what agreements need to be followed.
What features should have a custom CRM system for logistics?
Transportation planning functionality
Filters to select the most appropriate truck shipping, handling and destination points, size and cost calculations, consolidation of customer requests into a single shipment based on cargo parameters to speed up fulfillment and reduce overhead costs.
This is necessary to protect the transportation business from errors and data leakage, as well as to give the routing and transportation processes a clear structure, where a specific employee will be responsible for a specific task.
The ability to create a route grid based on multiple orders and the number of intermediate points, the rapid adjustment of the route and travel time in case of delays and contingencies.
Interactive maps are used for continuous monitoring of the location and route of transport using the GPS. Real-time cargo tracking without purchasing additional equipment, connection to GPS trackers of the fleet.
Functionality that informs specialists where the cargo is, the ability to automatically schedule transport and couriers, plan the schedule of sending orders, set tasks and inform customers in a timely manner about the delivery.
Custom CRM System for Logistics Development Process
1. Discovery Phase
Foremost, it is necessary to get complete information on the project idea and goals, define tasks, modules used, business goals, the need to connect modules, and determine the technology stack. It is essential that your technology stack has compatibility with the software already supplied in the company, and that there are no problems at the software level. It is necessary to understand what the system should be able to do, what the customer's preferences are in terms of appearance and functionality, and use this information as a foundation for the future product. During the analysis, you should also identify business issues and ways to solve them, make a list of priorities and write requirements in the TOR. Moreover, to increase confidence and guarantee data security, it is recommended to conclude an agreement on the non-proliferation of confidential information.
2. UX/UI Design
After discussing the details of developing a customized CRM system for logistics, your design team takes over. The task of your designers is to develop a simple and understandable for the employees of your company system, the interface should be intuitive and simple to quickly interact with its elements and perform actions. It is necessary to think over the arrangement of components, workspace, buttons, panels and other interface elements, and the system should be equally easy to use both on a desktop and a smartphone. Designers need to develop the logic of the system and the basic steps of the user, lay the navigation. Next, you have to design layouts, choose the location of buttons and fields with content, prepare different visual components and user interface. When the prototype design is ready, it should be shown to the customer, and if necessary, corrected, in accordance with the wishes, and then approve the final design.
Your team of programmers must select a technology stack to develop and create a product for your business. All the functionality discussed in the project is developed. Functionality for effective data management should be developed: contact information, purchase history, interaction history, sales funnel, integration analytics dashboard, and reports. Your programmers should develop all the functionality described in the development plan, and then move on to the testing process.
4. Quality Control
To ensure the quality of a CRM-system, to eliminate the various bugs, vulnerabilities and errors, you need to do manual and automated testing. Be sure to test the system on different devices and platforms. Ideally, if your testers start working during development rather than immediately after, then bugs will be corrected presently and will not accumulate until the release.
At this stage, the CRM system is deployed, and the product is released. Your team has successfully developed the system, tested it, made sure it has the necessary functionality for the logistics company and is ready for use. However, this is not the end of the work, you must provide maintenance of the system, keep it up to date, fix all possible bugs, crashes, and answer any questions from the customer regarding the performance and functionality.
6. Maintenance and Support
Even after the release of the CRM system, it is necessary to continue to work with customers, in terms of technical support and providing updates. You need to collect feedback on how the company's employees work with the new system, find out how to improve the interface and functionality, and, if necessary, redesign the application.
CRM-system serves to automate the interaction of various objects of the logistics industry: warehouses, terminals and transport companies. CRM-systems for logistics are more effective if they are custom-made and adapted to the needs of the company. The system accumulates information about the target audience, helps better understand customer needs and set up targeted advertising campaigns based on accurate data.