Smoothing the bumps in the road for transport and logistics companies
Written by: Mike Willett, Key Account Manager at Panasonic TOUGHBOOK
In 2023 transport and logistics companies are experiencing a heady combination of adapting to ongoing disruption whilst endeavouring to meet evolving consumer demands. While civil action and global supply chain challenges remain front page news, we are starting to see the incredible potential of digital transformation to revolutionise how transport and logistics companies operate. With this is in mind, what are the main trends shaping these two industries as they become even more digitally dependant?
The drive for greater efficiency
Sustained high fuel costs are having the biggest impact on the logistics sector, exacerbating already difficult operating conditions. This is driving the need for greater efficiency across the board and means businesses must seek productivity gains in an attempt to offset high fuel prices and to remain operational.
Investment in mobile solutions that can capture and manage real-time data from workers on the move is a key way to unlock efficiencies and adapt operations to today’s rapidly-changing conditions. The effective collection, analysis, management, and application of this data enables logistics companies to undertake tasks such as route optimisation and planning to better manage fleets and operations.
We work in partnership with logistics organisations to deliver vehicle-mounted, demountable, and handheld rugged mobile computing solutions. This enables logistics managers and workers across the supply chain to be fully digitally connected, wherever they are, whatever conditions they’re working in.
Mobile working – particularly in warehouses and outdoors – presents its own unique challenges, therefore giving the workforce specialised rugged solutions can dramatically boost their efficiency and deliver significant ROI benefits.
Solving the last-mile conundrum
Logistics companies have been trying to solve the costly last-mile conundrum for decades, but the rise of omnichannel customer choices and greater competition means they must become increasingly flexible. Retailers facing recessionary pressures are seeking last-mile innovations that serve customer preferences while keeping costs under control as fuel and personnel costs grow increasingly unpredictable.
Again, real-time actionable information is critical for logistics providers to ensure they know where goods are, what delivery options are available to them, and what costs these might incur. This means that their delivery drivers rely heavily on technology to record every aspect of the delivery, which is where purpose-built mobile computing can connect delivery workers with customers and head offices alike. Demountable laptops are not only valuable on the warehouse floor: logistics companies are empowering their fleet workers with devices that can optimise and track last-mile journeys, with integrated camera-based barcode scanners to securely record deliveries. Wearable mobile devices allow workers across the supply chain to carry out tasks efficiently while keeping their hands free for their daily tasks. By building robust, light-weight tablets with equally long-wearing docks, mounts and accessories, we are passionate about empowering mobile workers across postal and courier services, transportation and logistics organisations to streamline and optimise their day-to-day activities.
Supply chain disruption shows no signs of abating
The ongoing impact to supply chains in the aftermath of Covid and as a result of the conflict in Ukraine continues to create bottlenecks. These business continuity pressures need proactive solutions such as alternative routing and advanced warehousing strategies to minimise the amount of disruption experienced by customers. Companies need greater visibility and control over logistics flows and the ability to share this information with stakeholders in the product journey in real-time to minimise costs and speed deliveries.
According to Gartner’s Dwight Klappich. “Supply chain operations are under pressure to adopt new business models and technologies to excel in an increasingly complex and volatile world. Supply chain leaders must identify where to innovate and invest in new processes and technologies to help their companies remain relevant in their markets.”
However, companies within the global supply chain face a perfect storm of labour shortages, higher velocities, and space constraints which are not expected to subside anytime soon. As a result, companies are searching for solutions that can help them tackle these issues without breaking the bank. By focusing on workflow optimisation, for example, firms can improve productivity even when labour is getting more expensive and difficult to come by.
Using Panasonic rugged handheld devices and scanning solutions, companies can get their permanent and temp workers up to speed and operating quickly. Already accustomed to using these operating systems on their own personal devices, employees can work faster and more confidently with these familiar tablets and laptops.
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