software, Transport, Design, Development
13 May 2022
0 min read

The Process of Logistics Software Development

Efficiency in logistics is becoming among its most valued characteristics because of its positive impact on the financial performance of logistics firms and operations and its importance for sustainability. Specifically, the research shows that between 30% and 40% of the average fleet moves towards its destination empty. Such a statistic entails a substantial waste of resources and adverse environmental effects. 

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The use of software applications could resolve this and many other issues, benefiting the company and other parties involved in delivery processes: drivers, carriers, end customers. Building and integrating logistics software becomes a necessity rather than an option. To get a high-quality app, you need to know how to design and implement a solution that is suitable for your business.

The major categories of logistics apps

It is possible to categorize logistics apps based on their fundamental components: inventory management, delivery tracking, vehicle management, etc. Each component may require a separate solution or a specific type of logistics software.

  • Real-time tracking apps. Keeping track of the fleet may serve various purposes, including planning, monitoring, control, efficiency, or optimization. Such a transport management system software offers the real-time location of the vehicles, as well as the possible updates during the specific stages of the process, such as loading and delivery. The software for transport may even navigate the driver via the most efficient route.
  • Vehicle management apps. These apps focus on the state of the fleet by collecting, managing, and storing data and information. The solutions allow viewing maintenance history and receiving alerts in case of the need to take action. The vehicle management cost data provided by logistics software for small businesses supports optimization and enables cost saving.
  • Demand-based solutions. Businesses may experience downtime in their activities, which results in empty vehicles moving between the destination points. The apps focusing on-demand address inefficiencies of the logistics process. Shipping companies and delivery companies may use these apps to address each other’s needs.
  • Inventory management apps. Warehouse management applications are fundamental for the optimization of delivery operations. This category of software apps continues expanding amid their continuous improvement.  The use of barcodes and inventory management elements structures the working process and removes inefficiencies.

The process of logistics app development

Each solution may require specific features that address the needs of a company. However, it is possible to determine development process steps regardless of app type and features.

Step 1: Determining the app category and must-have features

Determining the logistics category narrows down the functionality of the needed solution. Choosing between vehicle management, real-time tracking, and inventory management or combining several categories requires deep knowledge of users and their needs.

Step 2: Finding the right developer

Building your own team, outsourcing the process, or hiring an outside team are the primary alternatives. The choice depends on the available budget, the scale of the solution, and your specific needs. For example, a company with its own development team may decide to develop its own solution, while a firm without one may need to outsource developers.

Step 3: Communicating your needs and app idea

Communicating the needs to the development team sets the direction for the development of the logistics app. It is critical for developers to understand the needs of your solution, its core functionality, and potential limitations.

Step 4: Discovery stage

The discovery stage allows defining specific functions, business logic, customer touchpoints, and other key elements of your app.

Step 5: Minimum Viable product

Creating the minimum viable product (MVP) is a prerequisite for developing a logistics app. Furthermore, it is vital to test the MVP in a practical setting.

Step 6: Scaling and support

The final configuration allows fixing the bugs left in the logistics app and determining the post-production support plan.

Possible pitfalls in designing logistics apps

Aside from the fundamentally poor quality of the developed product, the design process might face several additional shortcomings. The developers might fail to account for user experience, which is as critical in the logistics app as it is in any other app. The apps need to have an intuitive design, which would simplify their use. The app might contain too many features, increasing the app’s complexity, which would result in excess costs associated with its implementation and use.

It is possible to avoid these pitfalls through a systematic approach to the development process and by facilitating communication channels between the development team and the company. TRIARE has significant experience in developing apps for logistics businesses and other industries. A reliable development partner makes a big difference in building a suitable solution.

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Business Developer Specialist at Triare
Ihor Kryzhanivskyi

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