ERP-systemen voor logistiek

Best 3 ERP systems logistics: find your suitable system

3 July 2024

Looking for an ERP system for your logistics company? Good decision!

In our view An ERP system is indispensable for logistics companies. This type of software integrates all your business processes into one platform. 

No more all kinds of separate programs you have to log into. This leads to fewer errors, more insight and better decisions. 

In this article, we discuss the best ERP systems for the logistics sector and give tips on how to choose the best software for you.

In this article you get an answer on these subjects:

Why an ERP system for logistics?

An ERP package is indispensable within logistics companies. Especially when you have multiple employees and your processes are becoming increasingly complex. 

Your current systems are often fragmented and lack real-time overview. Separate software packages do not offer the same synergy and integration as an ERP system. 

In an industry where speed and accuracy are crucial, an ERP system gives you the efficiency and control you need to stay ahead of your competition.  

The biggest benefits you get

Are you choosing an ERP system? If so, here are the biggest lessons you'll benefit from:

  • All your business processes are in a single software package
  • You get real-time insight into your business operations
  • Fewer mistakes are made
  • You stay ahead of your competition, which does not use an ERP system. 

Are there other software options for logistics companies?

Yes, there are definitely alternatives to an ERP system as far as we are concerned. These are the main alternatives: 

  • Standalone software packages: These systems focus on specific functions such as inventory management, order processing or customer service. They are often cheaper and easy to use, but lack the integration and synergy of an ERP system.
  • Best-of-breed solutions: These are specialized systems for different business processes, such as separate software for finance, HR and logistics. They offer depth of functionality, but integration can be complex and costly.
  • Custom-built software: Custom-built solutions that meet your exact business needs. However, these can be expensive and time-consuming to develop and maintain. Learn everything about custom versus standard software via our page.
  • Cloud-based tools: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions such as Google Workspace or Microsoft 365. They are flexible and scalable, but may lack the specific functionality and integration offered by an ERP system.
  • Excel: For smaller businesses, Excel can be a useful tool for tasks such as inventory management and order processing. It is flexible and easy to use, but quickly becomes clunky and error-prone as your business grows. Excel also does not offer real-time visibility or seamless integration between different business processes.

Key functionalities within ERP software for logistics

Pay extra attention to these three ERP features when looking for an ERP package for your logistics company:  

  • Inventory Management
  • Transportation Management
  • Order Management
  • Reverse Logistics

Inventory Management

Inventory management is vital for logistics companies because it is at the core of their operational efficiency. It enables companies to have the right amount of inventory available at the right time, which directly affects service levels, cost control and customer satisfaction. 

Through accurate inventory management, companies can reduce waste, optimize operational costs and minimize obsolete inventory.

What should you pay attention to when comparing systems? 

When comparing ERP systems in the area of inventory management, logistics companies should pay specific attention to:

  • Real-time inventory tracking: The system should be able to update inventory levels in real time and communicate with other business processes such as purchasing and sales.
  • Predictive inventory management: Forecasting and planning functionalities are important to accurately predict future demand and respond to market changes in a timely manner.
  • Supplier integration: Seamless integration with suppliers for automatic restocking and just-in-time deliveries to minimize inventory costs.

To add: Inventory management is becoming more important because many companies are now using dropshipping and third-party logistics (3PL) services. With dropshipping, businesses sell products without keeping them in stock. Instead, they rely on suppliers to ship items directly to customers.

This means you need an ERP system that can track inventory in realtime and connect smoothly with your suppliers' systems to avoid running out of stock and ensure quick deliveries.

Transportation Management

Transportation management is critical for logistics companies because it determines the efficiency of the delivery process. It directly affects costs, delivery times and customer satisfaction. 

It optimizes routes, reduces empty miles and minimizes delays through efficient planning and tracking of transportation activities.

What should you pay extra attention to?

When evaluating ERP systems in transportation and distribution management, logistics companies should pay attention to:

  • Route optimization: Functionalities for optimizing routes and minimizing transportation costs through efficient planning and route calculation.
  • Real-time tracking: Ability to track transportation movements in real time and keep customers and internal stakeholders up-to-date.
  • Compliance and regulation: Functionalities for regulatory and safety compliance, especially for international shipments.

Does your ERP system of choice include the above? Then chances are you've found a suitable package! 

Order management

Order management affects the efficiency of your sales process. From order intake to delivery and invoicing. It streamlines workflow, improves order fulfillment accuracy and increases customer satisfaction through timely deliveries and transparent communication.

What to look for when comparing systems? 

When comparing ERP systems in order management, logistics companies should pay specific attention to:

  • Order fulfillment: Automation of order processing to minimize errors and reduce turnaround time.
  • Customer communication: Functionalities for customer notifications, order status updates and customer service support to improve customer satisfaction.
  • Integration with finance: Seamless integration with financial systems for accurate billing and payment processing.

Reverse logistics

Reverse logistics is an often overlooked but crucial aspect of logistics management. It involves the process of moving goods from their final destination back to the manufacturer or distributor for returns, repairs, refurbishment, or recycling.

An effective ERP system should provide robust functionalities to handle reverse logistics efficiently, as it can significantly impact customer satisfaction, cost management, and sustainability efforts.

What should you pay attention to when evaluating reverse logistics capabilities in an ERP system?

  1. Return Management: Ensure the ERP system has comprehensive return management features. This includes processing returns efficiently, tracking returned items, and managing the authorization process for returns.
  2. Repair and Refurbishment Tracking: The system should be able to track items that are returned for repairs or refurbishment. This involves managing repair workflows, tracking repair status, and integrating with inventory systems to update stock levels accurately.
  3. Cost Tracking: Reverse logistics can be costly. The ERP system should provide detailed cost tracking for all reverse logistics activities, helping you identify cost-saving opportunities and ensure accurate financial reporting.

Does your ERP system of choice include the above functionalities? If so, you are well-equipped to handle reverse logistics effectively, enhancing your overall logistics operations.

Best ERP systems for companies within logistics

To find the most suitable ERP systems for logistics companies, we went through our ERP comparison tool. 

This way we give you insight into how the different ERP packages score on the, for logistics companies, most important functionalities. 

We specifically looked at the following types of logistics companies: 

  • Transport companies
  • Parcel delivery companies
  • Logistics companies with a focus on warehousing.

Best ERP system for Transport companies: Odoo Enterprise

In our tool, we pretended to be a carrier. As business activities, we checked transport by air, land, rail, water and pipelines.

In addition, we filled in that we want to automate Supply Chain related issues with the software.

Let's see which ERP system comes out best for carriers.  It's: Nalios Vlaanderen & Netherlands, with ERP Odoo Enterprise: 

*Every situation and company is different. Hence, we advise you to go through our comparison tool yourself! 

Suitable ERP system for package and mail delivery companies: Odoo Enterprise

The ERP package Odoo Enterpise emerged as the winner for package delivery companies.

We filled out our comparison tool as a package delivery company would (see screenshot below)

According to our tool, once again Odoo Enterprise with partner Nalios Flanders & Netherlands is the most suitable. The matching score is a whopping 91%:

Suitable ERP package for logistics companies with focus on warehousing

Microsoft Business Central is the winner in this category. Savaco is the implementation partner for this system. 

Want more information on Microsoft Business Central? And on implementation partner Savaco? Use this link to check their website!

How to choose a suitable logistics ERP solution

Here are three tips to help you select a good ERP package. Good luck! 

Tip 1: Choose an ERP implementation partner with knowledge of the logistics sector

Look for an ERP implementation partner who is familiar with the logistics sector. This ensures that you can come to them with specific questions and challenges relevant to your industry. 

Do you work with large inventories and face problems during this process? Then it's nice to have an ERP partner with sector-specific knowledge. Your partner understands your challenges and can offer more specific solutions regarding your sector-specific challenges. 

Tip 2: Ask for references from similar logistics companies

Ask for references from other companies in the logistics industry. Companies in the same industry often use similar ERP systems, so they can give you valuable insights about the strengths and weaknesses of their ERP package. 

These references are extra useful because they assess the ERP system's performance within the context of logistics processes, giving you a better idea of how the system will perform in your organization.

Tip 3: Choose a future-proof ERP system

Our most important tip: choose an ERP system that is future-ready. In the logistics industry, it is crucial to think ahead and choose a system that not only meets your current needs, but is also ready for future growth and changes.

Logistics companies often face challenges such as fluctuations in inventory management, expansion into new markets and the need to work with multiple currencies. Consider where your business will be in 5-10 years. Are you looking to expand internationally? Then make sure your ERP system supports multiple currencies and countries.

In addition, flexibility is essential. See if your license can adapt to the size of your company. If your workforce goes from 10 to 5 employees, it's helpful if your license can be scaled down. This avoids unnecessary costs and makes your business more agile. Keep these factors in mind during your selection process to ensure your ERP system grows with you.

Our conclusion on ERP systems for logistics

An ERP system is essential for logistics companies because it integrates all business processes into a single platform. This leads to fewer errors, better insight and faster decision-making. 

Whether you are a carrier, package delivery company or a logistics company with a focus on warehousing goods. In all cases, an appropriate ERP system ensures more efficient operations. 

In doing so, always choose an implementation partner with sector-specific knowledge, ask for references from comparable companies and choose a future-proof system. In doing so, look 5 to 10 years ahead. 

These steps will help you select the right ERP solution that grows with your company.

Want to find the best ERP solution for your logistics company? Then fill out our ERP selection tool now!

Peter de Bruin
CEO & Sr. Software Specialist
With over 15 years of dedicated experience in the enterprise software industry, I have seen firsthand how crucial it is for an organization to find the right software system for success. In this rapidly changing marketplace, a fair playing field is not always a given. My mission is to create a fair match between companies and vendors, putting the importance of appropriate and effective software first. Our independent selection tool is designed to fulfill this mission, with the goal of creating a future where everyone can effortlessly find the perfect software package, with a smile. Let's strive for that effortless future together.
More about me ➔

Choosing a CRM: options and tips [+ objective comparison tool]

Continue reading →
Livits x SMIO CRM voor verenigingen

The 4 best CRM systems for associations [+ tips]

Continue reading →
ABC E Business X SMIO ERP implementatie

ERP implementation in 3 steps [+ tips & cost-saving advice]

Continue reading →

Geinteresseerd om samen te werken of heb je een vraag?

Ready to get started?

We therefore offer independent and honest advice. In doing so, we bring balance to the market so that you can confidently select the optimal software solution, knowing that your success is our top priority.