25 August 2020

Digital fitness: Is your bulk logistics firm digitally fit?

What does it mean to be ‘digitally fit’? For bulk logistics firms, digital fitness means embracing the technologies that enable them to optimise their services and the ways in which they deliver them. These technologies include the software and hardware that support the planning, optimisation and delivery of bulk logistics operations.

Being digitally fit is no longer just a ‘nice to have’ either. According to PWC, the lack of a digital culture is the biggest challenge for transport and logistics companies right now, especially when there’s so much that digitisation has the power to do for the industry. Digital technology experts have identified transport and logistics as the industry in which data and analytics will be the most impactful over the next few years, over and above the automotive, industrial manufacturing and chemicals sectors, for example. 

Being digitally fit may mean the difference between a bulk logistics operation that continues to grow and increase its market share and one that starts to fall behind its competitors. Let’s look at some of the most significant benefits digital fitness can create for the bulk logistics industry.

Lower operational costs and higher productivity

Embracing digital fitness, and a digital infrastructure that ties together all aspects of bulk logistics operation, not only saves money over time, but also helps a company boost its productivity. Having surveyed over 2,000 industrial companies, PWC found that on average, organisations expect digitisation to reduce operational costs by 3.6 percent per year, while also increasing efficiency by 4.1 percent annually.

For bulk logistics firms, achieving these kinds of benefits is made possible by letting clever digital systems take the strain of otherwise time-consuming and admin-heavy manual tasks, to allow for smarter use of human resources. These tasks include automated job scheduling, sensor-enabled on board stock monitoring and predictive vehicle maintenance, which results in less vehicle downtime, for example.

Better customer relationships

The benefits of being digitally fit often extend beyond an organisation’s own parameters, creating added value and extra efficiency for its customers too. Digital communication platforms, especially those based in cloud computing, can enable a more collaborative way of working between bulk logistics companies and the businesses they serve.

Customer portals are a good example of this. Negating the need to contact a logistics provider for delivery updates, customers can access all the key information they need about their orders and deliveries in real time, in a dedicated digital space. They can track live drops as they happen and look back over previous PODs. The customer receives instant and personalised customer service and the bulk logistics firm wins back precious admin time that could otherwise be spent handling queries.

Data-driven decision making

A digitally fit organisation is one that has measures in place to gain insight from its own data, such as KPI information, operational expenses and job progress. This ability to collect and draw on operational data is something most organisations recognise as important; in fact, PWC’s industrial businesses survey found that over two-thirds of respondents named in-house data analytics technology and skill levels as the single biggest improvement route to boost data analytics capabilities.

The right digital management system can give a bulk logistics firm access to data reporting without the need for expensive investment in data analytics skills. All key information can be visualised simply in clear and impactful dashboard reports, so that fleet managers can glean the data they need at a glance and put it to use to make operational improvements without any number crunching required.

If your bulk logistics operation lacks digital fitness in areas like these, we can help. Talk to our team today about what our software and hardware solutions could help your business achieve.

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