There is no doubt that documentation plays a major part in the management of a logistics company. There are different types of documents that you need to keep in order - as this helps you remain in compliance while also ensuring information can be easily retrieved. The more traditional method of using physical paper as a storage and filing system is quickly becoming outdated. These systems often result in an error or missing documentation, which can lead to serious damage to the company.
A move to a digitized system for document management, storage, and sharing can provide a more efficient workflow in the office. This type of strategy also allows documents to be accessed from remote locations. Several options are available for cloud based document management, with some even integrating with existing platforms used by the logistics company.
The Current Competitive Issue Faced By Logistics Companies
Many companies in the logistics industry are currently facing increased competition, particularly due to recent movements from the major player in the e-retail industry, Amazon. Just recently, reports started submerging about Amazon silently building up a shopping system that will soon take on the likes of UPS. In another report, it is stated that Amazon has officially listed a range of transportation services in a recent annual filing. Amazon officially listed itself as a provider of transportation services. This means smaller logistics companies no longer only compete with the likes of UPS and FedEx but are now also one of the world's biggest companies.
What sets many of these companies at the front line is not only their size but the organizations and management systems that were implemented. These companies already take advantage of the latest digital technologies to provide a more efficient service to their customers. Logistic companies that are not utilizing similar technologies are thus falling behind. Some even claim that only those logistic businesses that implement digital technologies as part of their management strategy will remain relevant in the near future.
The Role Of Cloud Document Management In A Logistics Company
When looking at internal operations, it is easy to note just how important of a role documents play in any type of logistics company. Documents help you keep track of contracts with customers, ensure you are able to have proof of invoices and help you manage your fleet more effectively. Traditional pen and paper document management methods are prone to error. One person may misread another individual's handwriting, for example. This can lead to human error, which can result in serious problems within the business. It also becomes more difficult to find specific documents when needed, as there are often thousands of files and documents to scan through. Another issue that comes into play here is the fact that paper-based documents can get damaged or lost - and this can be costly in some situations.
This is also where cloud document management comes into play. Cloud technology has revolutionized how we work with documentation, as well as general files. The technology gives you an opportunity to store documents in a cloud-based environment, making them easily accessible to all individuals who have appropriate authorization. Since these systems are based on the cloud, there's no need to worry about only being able to access the document from a single computer. Some cloud document management systems even allow you to open up documentation on a smartphone, making it perfect for checking up on some data when you are traveling.
5 Steps To Move Your Company To A Cloud Based Document Management System
It is clear that a cloud based management system for the documentation used in a logistics company now plays an important role in several elements - including accessibility and security. When you turn to a cloud document storage system, there are no worries about lost documentation should your hardware be damaged. There are no papers that can be damaged and no files to be lost. While this is convenient, moving from a more traditional operation to cloud based technology can be quite a process.
We are going to look at five essential steps you need to take to ensure you can effectively move to one of these systems.
Step 1: Moving To A Digital Space
Preparation is a key step to take when you are looking to move toward a cloud environment to store and manage documentation. If you have already been using a digital system to set up invoices and other documents, then this process may be easier. In cases where you have been relying on an old pen and paper method, the process will be a bit more time-consuming.
Start by taking a closer look at the documents you currently have. If all of the documents are stored on a computer, then you can likely move on to the next part. It may be a good idea to arrange the documents appropriately before you move on. Consider preparing a few folders - with each related to specific types of documents.
Step 2: Choosing The Right Cloud Platform
After following some initial steps to prepare for the process, it is important to spend some time choosing the platform that will be most efficient for your logistics company. There are quite a few options to consider, but you do need to take the requirements of your company into account. If you already use trucking company software or a supply chain application, then you might want to look for a cloud based document platform that can integrate with these. This will significantly streamline the process - allowing you to easily associate documents with specific clients or drivers.
One useful tip is to look for document management software made specifically with the logistics industry in mind. DocuWare is a good example, as it allows for several integrations. Documents can also be linked to each other - which can be useful when linking multiple invoices to an initial document that profiles a client. There are more options to look at, of course. FolderIt also offers an advanced yet easy-to-use cloud document service. Document Logistix was developed with specific features that are required by a logistics company.
Step 3: Uploading Existing Documents
When you decide to switch to cloud technology to store and manage documents, you will likely already have a batch of documentation from before. After choosing a platform and setting up an account, it is important to upload the existing documents in the business. This way, you'll be able to go back and easily find information stored on older documents - without having to browse through a filing cabinet. For digital documents, a simple upload is sufficient. If you have paper documents, consider scanning them with a high-quality document scanner.
Step 4: Focusing On Organization
One of the key elements of cloud software is organization. These platforms will at least give you an opportunity to set up multiple folders. Some will also allow you to set up tags on each document, which makes the process of searching for specific documents much easier later on. Carefully consider what the best organizational structure would be for your documents, and be sure to move every existing document into an appropriate folder before moving on.
Step 5: Access And Security
Finally, you need to focus on providing only authorized individuals with access to the system. Documents that are specific to certain individuals, such as a driver, can be made available to them without giving the person access to other documentation. Any documents that contain confidential information should be protected. You’ll find that most of these platforms allow you to secure specific documents or folders with a password. This can be a useful way to prevent unauthorized access, even when someone gains access to the system itself. Any passwords used should be secure - avoid using your birth date or anniversary date. These are commonly used passwords that are easier to crack.
With Amazon now playing as a competitor in the logistics industry, smaller companies need to take action to give themselves a competitive advantage. Turning to digital systems can greatly enhance both efficiency and productivity of internal processes. Due to the large number of documents processed within a logistics company, this is an important factor to consider when going online. A cloud based document management system can greatly streamline the process of working with documentation while also reducing the costs of paper and ink for printing.
If you find yourself unsure how to approach a move to cloud based management systems for your documents, then we are here to help guide you. Integratz is experienced in all fields related to managing logistics in a digital environment. We can help you develop a winning strategy for your business - with a focus on making your internal operations efficient while also boosting productivity in the office and on the road. Start by scheduling an appointment to find out what we can do for your company.