Detailed location technology can have a significant impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of supply chains. Here are four ways in which the technology can prove critical to business operations.
Streamlined delivery. Logistics and supply-chain professionals need to move goods from distribution hubs to customers on time and at the lowest cost. Last-mile delivery not only makes up a huge chunk of the total delivery cost, but also fundamentally affects customer loyalty. The goal is to enhance customer satisfaction, while boosting driver performance and saving money and resources.
Location technology enables logistics managers to accurately calculate delivery points, generate detailed routes, and optimize deployment of fleets based on unique customer requirements.
Empowered drivers. Accurate, reliable location intelligence allows drivers to avoid traffic and streamline deliveries. The technology provides precise map data, turn-by-turn navigation, and the ability to alter plans on the fly.
Driver retention is a significant challenge across the transportation and supply-chain management market, so it’s critical to keep drivers satisfied and productive. Operators want to retain their best drivers by providing appropriate incentives, but also by maximizing their performance with the right tools and support. Planning and navigation applications, powered by accurate and comprehensive location data, are critical for driver satisfaction and productivity.
Lower operational costs, with efficient planning and routing to create optimized tour plans. Location intelligence enables fleet operators to leverage detailed routing attributes and other location-centric data, such as historic traffic, real-time traffic, fuel costs and road tolls, to plan optimal delivery routes with accurate travel times and ETAs. Features such as isoline routing, geofencing and driver behavior analytics enable operators to drive with increased efficiency and productivity.
All of these features combine to provide managers with the insights needed to efficiently manage fleet assets, and optimize the use and productivity of drivers.
Improved visibility. The end-to-end, extended-enterprise supply chain spans everything from the sourcing of raw materials to original equipment manufacturer to customer delivery, each stage having an internal and external vantage point. Optimizing this entire process is a top priority for many companies, and requires accurate, real-time location technology.
Externally, supply-chain visibility means managing the risk of receiving materials to ensure optimal output to delivery systems, as well as tracking of trucks and fleets during delivery of finished goods to the customer. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Logistics 4.0 take advantage of smart containers, trailers, vehicles, pallets and transportation systems, to create an entirely networked supply stream which offers visibility to route, transport and other critical logistical tasks.
Whether you’re an OEM or supplier, managing smart production facilities with the help of location intelligence can deliver critical value. Location tracking of key product and production assets ensures the manufacturing facility can operate more efficiently, and optimally deliver to the next stage in the supply chain.
Enhanced location technology can help supply-chain managers to save money and time, as well as provide a better experience both for customers and operations. For the customer, improved delivery times and fuller transparency allow for a smoother and more positive transaction. For the enterprise, the supply chain from end to end benefits from better risk management and tour-plan optimization. What’s more, managers who integrate location technology can help to retain high-performing employees, lower operational costs, and enhance customer satisfaction. While each supply chain is unique, all operations can benefit in some manner from enhanced location technology insights.
Mike Buckley is Head of Transportation and Logistics at Here Technologies.