The logistics industry thrives on mobility. Everyday, the industry witnesses a mammoth movement of people and packages- in air, sea and surface- from one location to another. For an industry on constant move, mobile devices and apps comes across as a natural choice and has the potential to play an impactful role in ensuring accurate data capture, consistent and real-time information flow and tighter collaboration. This article highlights the benefits of mobile adoption in the logistics industry, have a look at popular mobile solutions in play and understand the overall impact of mobility in logistics.
How iPhone and an app revolutionized D.W.Morgan’s business?
“We always gave customers the information,” says Grant Opperman, President, D.W.Morgan. “But it took a lot of phone calls and a lot of individual effort. And between the time the driver took the signature and the time it was uploaded, there could be a 24-hour delay.”
CEO David Morgan adds “For years, we’d been looking for a mobile device that would allow us to update shipment information, collect signatures, and get GPS tracking on every individual box we deliver. “Ten years ago, it was available, but it cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.” And that was for a non-customizable solution.
Then came iPhone, and an application they created that revolutionized D.W. Morgan’s business.
Mobile Adoption Benefits for the Logistics Industry
mobile app in logistics
Real-time information is valuable.
D.W. Morgan’s 30 drivers carry iPhone loaded with a custom app ‘ChainLinq Mobile’. As they deliver shipments, the drivers record pickups and status updates using the app. On reaching their destination, they collect recipient’s signature on the iPhone. At every point, all status data—including date stamp and a time-stamped GPS locations is uploaded real-time for the customers to view it on the company’s website.
“We move critical inventory for some of the most high-value, complex supply chains in the world,” President Grant Opperman says. “For our customers, the information is as important—or sometimes even more important—than the actual goods inside the boxes.”
Real-time Inventory Status: Mobile can help companies get precise, real-time overview of the return goods inventory helping them save a lot of money, time and manpower. This means optimum utilization of inventory space and lesser time consumption in manual counting of returned goods.
Better decision making: Mobile helps capture and process critical data at the source and its dissemination in real-time thereby helping employees take informed decisions on-the-go. The management has better overview of the business performance and operations aiding tighter control over issues.
Optimum resource management: With real-time information flow, logistic service providers can better manage resource availability usage, accurately monitor employee’s timesheet, update worker job lists, shipment schedules and vehicle routes to accommodate changing scenarios.
Boost employee efficiency: Providing employees with mobile devices, maintaining real-time information flow and giving them constant access to data, can boost employee productivity, reduce manual efforts and help them better manage time.
Location based services: Mobile enables technologies like GPS helps companies accurately track their vehicles and shipments. This information then can be channelled across the ecosystem to help various stakeholders get real-time updates and act to evolving situations.
Improve customer services: The customer expectations are soaring. Today’s customer want precise, on-time delivery with the facility to track his shipment. Mobile apps for customers can help them track their shipments on the go from their device. Moreover, it will also ensure that the customer is available to receive the delivery when his shipment reaches reducing return goods or shipment counts.
Mobile Solutions for Logistics
- Mobile Warehouse Management Solutions: Know your warehouse in and out.
A mobile warehouse management solution will provide complete visibility of your warehouse, identify consignments, package and ship items in a streamlined manner with optimized resource utilization. Supporting scanners ,RFIDs and printers, the app will help you-
Get greater visibility of the warehouse by providing overview of the entire space on your screen.
Conduct batch pick, slot, verify and cycle count effortlessly and accurately.
Prevent errors/inaccuracies in shipment identification and loading by aiding data capturing through scanning or by reading RFID labels.
Helping packaging by allowing your workers to print labels on-the-spot and label consignments.
- Door Delivery Mobile Solutions: Speed-up your door delivery services.
Mobile apps can play a big role in your doorstep pickup and delivery services. A custom app on your worker’s device will help him scan the item at the customer’s doorstep, create a label, input delivery details and movement time and create invoice- all at his doorstep. A door delivery mobile solution can help you-
Reduce time to delivery as the shipment can now be directly transferred to the export facility.
Reduction in warehouse space use.
Boost your customer-services.
- Mobile Asset Tracking Solutions: Know the position of each and every shipment.
Delivering the product on time and in perfect condition is the key to success in your business. A mobile asset tracking solution will help you accurately track your shipments with pin-point precision using advanced geo-positioning and identification technology. A comprehensive and accurate visibility of the entire operations will help you-
Streamline your processes, cut costs and meet service level agreements.
Keep deliveries on schedule and if required act as per the changing scenarios.
Optimally utilize your resources as per needs.
- Mobile Fleet Management Solutions: Get the most from your fleets.
Reduce operational costs and improve resource management by capturing data on your fleets and drivers. A mobile fleet management solution will provide you with details on vehicles and assets within the vehicles, delivery schedules of each vehicle, route planning, deviations, individual driver’s log times and behavior. The solution will help you-
Manage your fleets better.
Improve driver’s efficiency.
Better manage fuel and fleet costs.
Keep track of your delivery schedules.
Identify and retain good drivers.
- Customer Servicing Solutions: Meet the needs of the modern-day customer.
Mobile apps can also used to improve customer services and increase their satisfaction. A custom mobile app for customer servicing will facilitate mobile bookings, shipment tracking and complaint reporting from your customers. A customer service app will help you-
Get online booking for door delivery services.
Enables customers to track movement of shipments.
Get customer feedback on services and address complaints.
Improve customer satisfaction and boost loyalty.
“Supply chain managers are often away from their desks and benefit from mobile solutions, which enable them to track time sensitive shipments and adapt their planning, where necessary. In an age of real time information availability, finger-tip convenience is a must for all supply chain professionals”.
-Michael Young, Global Head of Marketing and Sales, DHL Global Forwarding
Getting mobile right
That mobility can be a critical tool for logistics providers is an undeniable truth. However, experiences from the industry suggests that companies are struggling to realize the true benefits of their mobile initiatives. Most of the mobile initiatives are silos based on piecemeal approach delivering limited benefits to a company. What an enterprise really needs is to adopt a mobile culture and put it at the heart of their ecosystem integrating people, processes and packages. Successful implementation of mobility in your organization would need a comprehensive, end-to-end strategy catering to your workflows, business needs and customer expectations. Building a secure, scalable and reliable mobility infrastructure would not only help logistics companies reduce costs, better manage resources and boost efficiency. But also get shipments on-time and in the perfect condition, earning the trust of customers.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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