Logistics Benefits from Global Sea-Change.
Tools That Can Help
Experts believe there has been a corresponding shift in attitudes, despite lingering concerns about e-commerce security and fraud amongst some consumers. The expectation is that consumer online shopping, and business use of e-commerce, will remain high once the crisis has passed. The situation has created a new normal.
Immediate Challenges & Concerns
The number of items purchased in a single transaction has increased by nearly 50% – and online retailers are exacerbating the situation by offering free shipping for purchases over +/- $75.
Concurrently, there has been a rise in the online purchase of heavier items, often without consideration of the higher shipping costs. Heavier freight is also associated with equipment and PPE being used in the fight against the coronavirus.
The average consumer still demands short delivery windows and this is resulting in declining service quality in some parts of the country.
Some 3PL companies have resorted to using gypsy drivers to keep up. Many are unbonded and lack training. The trucks used are often rental vans, and communication becomes reliant on the drivers’ cell phones and any mobile device provided by the transportation company.
The lack of dedicated, trained drivers creates a potential risk for all stakeholders – risks
that go well beyond on-time concerns.
Questions this Creates:
- How can you ensure uninterrupted supply chain operations during the pandemic, without creating undue risk for staff and customers/
- How do you provide proof of delivery without signatures?
- How can you ensure that carriers and drivers are following CDC guidelines?
- If drivers need to enter people’s homes, how can carriers ensure that drivers wear masks and other personal protective equipment?
Cameras are one option for ensuring compliance. We can help you with those, and provide you with other ideas, too.
- Frequently changing travel regulations and closings require logistics companies have easy ways to adjust routings. There are new technology tools available to help with this, but when everyone in your network does not have access to them, how can you remain efficient? Please contact us to learn how.
Long Term Challenges & Concerns
Many warehouses and logistics firms have legacy systems in place that cannot keep up with current demands.
In some areas, warehouses and logistics services have not gone digital. Drivers still rely on delivery sheets printed at the beginning of the shift, and phone calls/text messages are used to update directions/orders mid-shift.
Systems and processes updates are needed in most situations, but integrating digital transformation into current operations raises concerns for many logistics managers.
- How can you ensure that all communication is captured now that some types of calls/orders are being forwarded to people’s homes?
- How do you automate documentation throughout the supply chain?
- What kinds of security measures can be used to protect packages and their contents from vandalism, accidental damage, and theft at all stages of picking, packing, transportation and delivery? (Please ask us about cameras, sensors and other tools.)
- How else can you use security cameras and other technology to improve the overall efficiency of operations?
- Companies using logistics firms and external warehouses want simple processes, visibility at every step along the way, and accountability. Bi-directional portals are being introduced, but this requires more robust networks and greater security measures.
We’re often asked: What are the best options for our situation and network?
- Logistics companies need software that enables them to tie into clients’ Collaborative Forecasting, Planning, and Replenishment (CFPR) systems easily and securely – and to get real-time updates every step along the way. Again, what are the most effective tools to use?
- How can you use Ai to identify problem drivers and transportation, predict customer buying patterns, identify estimate order lead times, and identify new KPIs?
Don’t Let Security Issues Derail You
The overarching concern is that systems can get hacked, causing massive disruptions and millions of dollars in lost productivity, downtime, and potential fines.
Please contact us to learn about the wide array of security and cybersecurity options available.