Today's fast-paced and highly competitive market is putting pressure on logistics teams to perform. But yesterday’s optimisation practices don’t cut it anymore. By adopting modern methods, logistics teams can put their supply chains on the right path by maximising efficiency, reducing costs and boosting customer satisfaction. Here’s how.
Your logistics data is holding you back
It goes without saying: logistics optimisation is based on data. How would you be able to choose better routes, more efficient modes of transportation, safer packaging methods or more reliable partners, if you don’t actually understand your current performance?
Old-school logistics optimisation means assessing your performance with outdated data. You might follow a literal paper trail, survey carriers, manually download data from data loggers… All this takes time. And by the time your data is collected, you’re looking at an outdated picture. Other times, the data just isn’t there. You are left with knowledge gaps filled with guesswork.
Smart logistics with better data
Better insights are always the future of logistics optimisation. And today, connected technologies based on smart sensors, data processing and cloud communication are making a new type of logistics insight a reality. Instead of delayed snapshots of your operations, the new era of logistics optimisation will benefit from live data, transformed into actionable insights, delivered to your doorstep.
These new insights help teams optimise operations in a far more calibrated way. They can let logistics teams instantly identify and overcome disruptions. They can guide every strategic decision with detailed, data-rich, long-term trends. They can also easily be shared with stakeholders to improve collaboration, transparency and customer satisfaction.
But what does all this mean in practice? To answer that question, let’s take a look at two major areas of logistics improvement: shipments and asset usage.
Logistics tracking for powerful insights
For shipment optimisation, you need better insights about your cargo in transit, such as a stream of data throughout the cargo’s journey. Live location and condition insights means that a team can take instant action if a shipment is delayed or damaged. But they also gain a highly accurate understanding of shipping performance over time: which routes are the most efficient, where bottlenecks start, where damage tends to occur, what time periods impact performance and so forth.
To optimise usage of assets, like equipment or containers, you need better insights too. Here, the best insights help you locate and monitor your assets. Over time, you’ll understand exactly how often your assets are used, what times they are idle and how many assets you really need. With these insights, you’ll quickly be on the road to minimise downtime and maximise circularity.
Connected logistics, based on Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, let logistics teams access better performance insights. With these insights, a team is well-prepared to sharpen their optimisation by driving key performance indicators (KPIs).
Logistics KPIs of the future
Real-time tracking data can be directly used to measure KPIs for order management, supply, distribution and transport management. With real-time cargo tracking, these KPIs might include shipping times, order accuracy, perfect orders, on-time in-full (OTIF) deliveries, lead times and dwell times. Similarly, real-time asset tracking data can reflect performance on KPIs such as capacity utilisation, productivity, trailer utilisation rates, truck turning and beyond.
With a pool of real-time logistics data that combines geopositioning and environmental conditions, your logistics team can follow performance more closely than ever. The great level of detail afforded by real-time tracking can help you prepare for a new era of logistics optimisation that is defined by one word: precision.