date17 November 2023

The role of technology in delivering logistics success for SMBs  

Why supply chains matter

Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are the backbone of the economy. You are the specialised suppliers, niche product manufacturers, or service providers, injecting innovation, flexibility, and a personalised service into the market. These are qualities that often harder for larger companies to offer. Your ability to understand and adapt to your customer’s needs, coupled with your innovative approach, positions you uniquely in the industry.  

However, creating excellent products or services is only half the battle. The reality is, no matter how good your product or service is, the success of your business hinges on your ability to deliver it to your customers swiftly and efficiently. In today's fast-paced world, delivery speed and efficiency are non-negotiable. Failing to meet these standards can lead to dissatisfied customers, giving your competitors an opportunity to swoop in.  

Sustaining Success

Inefficient delivery systems can eat into your profitability, diluting the hard work and quality you put into your offerings. Sustaining success is not only about what you produce but also about how you deliver it to your customers.  

For SMBs the choice of logistics strategy, selection of partners, and the technology they adopt play a vital role in their success. As an SMB you need to be smart with your approach to logistics as it can provide you with a unique differentiator and competitive edge. However, for many SMB businesses, managing logistics can be challenging due to limited resources compared to larger competitors.  

Recent global events have exposed how vulnerable the global supply chain is and made heroes of the people who keep products moving, despite the challenges and constant changes they face. It has revealed the importance for all companies, regardless of size, of having an effective logistics strategy.  

Gaining the competitive edge

As an SMB, you are probably constantly looking for ways to improve your logistics and are regularly seeing multiple different IT systems on the market. There are several possible solutions available that can improve the logistics function of a business. Here are some of the most commonly used IT systems that assist with logistics optimisation:  

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems: A software platform that combines various business functions such as finance, inventory management, procurement, and more into a single, unified system for managing and coordinating logistics activities.  

Transportation Management Systems (TMS): Designed to help plan, execute, and optimise the transportation and distribution of goods. They offer route optimisation, shipment planning and execution, and real-time tracking capabilities.  

Warehouse Management Systems (WMS): Optimises warehouse operations by managing inventory, order picking, packing, and shipping. It helps reduce errors, improve space utilisation, and enhance overall warehouse efficiency.  

Inventory Management Systems: Provide real-time visibility into inventory levels, helping businesses to maintain optimal stock levels and avoid overstocking and understocking. It is crucial for managing inventory, improving order fulfilment and ensuring effective management of stock.  

Fleet Management Systems: For businesses with their own delivery fleets, a Fleet Management System helps with managing, tracking, and maintaining vehicles. It optimises vehicle routes for greater efficiency, manages maintenance schedules and ensure compliance with regulation.  

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI): These systems enable the electronic exchange of business documents such as purchase orders, invoices, and shipping notifications between different trading partners, streamlining the order-to-cash process and reducing manual errors.  

Selecting the right IT systems for your business should be based on your unique requirements, size, and budget. While many of these solutions offer considerable value, they often come with a substantial cost. Integrating these systems promises enhanced efficiency, but it's important to weigh the financial implications. Will the added complexity be manageable for your business, or is it overly complex? Do you truly need all the advanced features, considering the associated costs? Fortunately, there's an alternative approach to consider.  

One size can fit all

TouchStar’s PODStar is a comprehensive system that boasts features commonly found in state-of-the-art Transport Management Systems but without the associated price tag. At its core, PODStar offers capabilities such as:  

  • Job Planning & Scheduling: Streamlines workflow by efficiently organising and prioritising delivery tasks, ensuring timely and coordinated dispatch.  
  • Route Mapping: Enhances delivery efficiency and reduces fuel costs by calculating the most optimal routes for drivers.  
  • Real-time Driver & Vehicle Tracking: Provides up-to-the-minute location data, enhancing operational transparency and enabling quick response to any on-road issues.  
  • Timely Vehicle Service Alerts: Proactively maintains fleet health and minimises downtime through regular, automated reminders for vehicle servicing and maintenance.  
  • Vehicle Inspection Modules: Ensures regulatory compliance and vehicle safety by facilitating regular vehicle inspections.  
  • Holistic Driver Administration Suite (including timesheets, expenses, holiday tracking, etc.): Simplifies management of driver-related tasks and records, improving administrative efficiency and driver satisfaction.  

TouchStar has been working with SMBs for many years and we understand that flexibility is key. We always start by conducting a thorough analysis of your  overall system requirements to ensure our solution is always the right fit for your business needs.  

Improving service quality

A robust logistics solution can turn the tide in an SMB’s favour, delivering many benefits.  

Cost Savings

One of the most immediate benefits of a logistics strategy is cost reduction. By optimising routes, consolidating shipments, and managing inventory effectively, you can significantly lower expenses. These savings can be passed on to your customers or reinvested in the business to fuel growth and innovation.    

Enhanced Customer Experience

Today’s business to business customer has high expectations, particularly in last mile delivery. They demand quick and reliable delivery options, alongside transparent communications. If you can meet these expectations through a reliable logistics framework you are more likely to retain customers and attract new ones through positive word-of-mouth.  

Scalability and Flexibility

As an SMB, if you are expanding, then you will  need a logistics strategy that grows with you. Scalability ensures that an increase in demand doesn't overwhelm existing processes, leading to potential service failures. Having a robust logistics strategy provides the flexibility to adapt to market changes, such as unexpected disruptions or seasonal fluctuations.  

Competitive Differentiation

In a crowded and competitive market, you already beat the big guys in your field with your superior product, but you can also beat them by offering superior logistics services. This might include faster delivery options, real-time tracking, or hassle-free returns. This level of differentiation is critical in attracting customers and establishing your business as a reliable provider in the marketplace.  


More than ever, businesses are being judged by their environmental impact. A logistics strategy that emphasises sustainability can reduce waste and emissions. It also enhances your brand image as an environmentally conscious business, which is increasingly important to your consumers and partners in the supply chain.  

Pave your path to success

In today’s competitive market, SMBs must grasp every possible advantage. The right delivery management solution can be a powerful driver for business efficiency, productivity and customer satisfaction. By prioritising logistics, your business can keep up with larger competitors and pave your own road to success.  

SMBs that are ready to propel their business forward can begin by evaluating their current logistics operations and identifying areas for improvement. A journey of a thousand miles needs to be planned and managed effectively, but it also begins with a single step - take the first step and contact TouchStar PODStar. Our team of experts deliver exceptional support to our customers based on decades of experience. Speak with the team and we will help you take your business where it needs to go.