Logistics can be described as a complex operation that includes the process of flow and management of a product between the point of origin and the point of consumption. It is crucial to meet both the requirements and needs of the customer and the cooperation. There are a lot of grey areas when it comes to making logistics work effectively and quickly and there are a lot of theories and plans out there to make this entire process work even more effectively.
I have done some in-depth research and came up with a few key points on how I think logistics can be improved by implementing the usage and advantages of technology.
Even though the logistics industry has already been through quite a few automation phases already, complications keep rising and need adequate solutions.
Theory plays an important role when it comes to approaching logistics. Up until very recently, logistic companies had one goal and that was to minimize transportation costs for customers. The game of logistics has changed quite a lot in a very short period of time. Companies soon came to the harsh realization that there is so much more to logistics than just transportation or shipment costs. Effective logistics lies in the management thereof.
As all business owners already know, if you lower the cost in one area, it usually goes up in another area. Logistics management starts even before the goods or raw materials are prepared for shipping or transport. Logistics management has to redesign their practices in order to stay competitive. Below are five key points on how technology can be added and implemented into the logistics business sector to make it more effective, sufficient, practical and profitable.
- Replace manual labour with technology to speed up the entire process.
One of the major problems that keeps making an appearance in the logistics industry, is the replacement of manual labour with technology. Due to the lack of opportunities for individuals to obtain training and education in the Tertiary Education sector, I can only predict that technology will entirely replace manual labour or it will be divided between manual and technological labour in the future. When it comes to logistics, time is extremely precious and goods have to be made, shipped and received by customers in record time. Logistics is always a run against time and I don’t think that we should fully be opposed to introducing more technology, whether that is in the form of machinery or software in the workplace.
- Mobile applications for transit.
Mobile applications can be used to simplify and improve the routes that shippers, truckers or any other form of transport take in order to deliver goods to the consumer in time. Timing is everything when it comes to logistics. These apps can help logistic companies to take the shortest possible route, while missing traffic by using shortcuts to reach the consumer faster.
Mobile applications can also be used for clearer communication between fellow logistic companies and co-workers. Drivers can also use apps to plan their routes more accordingly to avoid empty mileage and deliver as many products as possible by making use of the shortest route. By making use of apps, decreases the chances of a driver being in an accident and poses less of a threat to the environment.
- Mobile applications for tracking and management.
When it comes to logistics, fragmentation and inconsistency poses to be a real threat in this industry. Mobile applications can be used to track the whereabouts of the shipment once it leaves the warehouse. This will help store managers and consumers to plan accordingly as to when they can expect their shipment. Mobile apps or software solutions that links the information between multiple parties together, can make it easier, more affordable and less time consuming for all the parties that are involved.
- Working environment.
There is not much that one can do in order to keep the workplace sufficient yet making it an enjoyable and awarding environment. Technology has the power to change a workplace from a dull, unmotivating and routinely process into a fun filled environment through means of inviting employees to take part in fun and engaging workplace games.
Amazon recently came up with the brilliant idea to encourage employees to take part in a game that is similar to Tetris. The game was developed to guide warehouse workers through tasks. Employees were rewarded with points and badges for completing tasks.
Games such as the one that Amazon created and implemented can be used to create a fun, encouraging and effective workplace and staff. Technology can be used to change workplace environments and help with the productivity of employees.
- The customer always comes first.
Customers are the driving force in the logistics sector. Without them, the entire operation is pointless. When dealing with a large number of clientele on a daily basis, it is easy to lose personal touch with various clientele.
Not only do customers set the standards when it comes to the demand and quality of products but they also provide objectives for creative yet functional solutions.
In logistics, customers would like to have options when it comes to purchasing products. They want to have the choice to purchase from the comfort of their computer or personally walk into an outlet and select the items themselves.
Technology applications such as tracking software, which gives customers the security of being able to track the whereabouts of their order, does not only give the company a reputation as being secure and reliable but it will also place customers at ease, resulting in them returning to make use of your service/s again in the future.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to ways of keeping customers happy. It is the implementation of such ideas that poses as a real challenge to companies who operate in the logistics sector.
An effective and efficient logistics system is a much needed element in any business in order to operate efficiently and profitably. The main aim of such a system is to meet the requirements of customers such as providing a timely response, good quality products and services.
Due to the growing competition of businesses worldwide, companies are now more focused than ever to meet the requirements mentioned above. The key is to always stay ahead of your competitors when it comes to the world of business.
My advice to any growing business, would be to continue to do research. Don’t be afraid to try out new methods such as various technological devices and software. The world is changing into a digitized platform at an alarming rate so rather stay on top of everything than fall behind and never be able to catch up. It is a “dog eat dog” world out there. Do whatever it takes in order to be successful and to reach the top.