Logistics is one big element of every business. Do it right, and your brand grows rapidly. Do it wrong, and you have angry customers ringing your office soon enough. Too many brands focus their efforts on admin management and not on driving growth. However, for the few that use fleet management technology to one-up their rivals by becoming more efficient, they win the game. But how do you use technology?
For starters, think about the areas you’d like to focus on. You want to get your goods delivered faster to your consumers, and most customers demand same-day deliveries. You also want to make sure communications with your suppliers go smooth, and you provide consumers with different shipping options.
Taking these factors into consideration, here are five ways you can deliver goods faster using technology.
1. Use Fleet Management Software
A lot could happen when you’re not looking, and it’s not possible to manually check up on your drivers all the time. Fleet management software syncs with various vehicles and gives real-time feedback on their location and stats.
Things like Geofence alerts, theft detection, real-time route tracking and making sure the driver is obeying road laws are updated to business owners instantly. When you install software like these, you can reduce costs from accidents by up to £200K, and that’s not a small number.
Fleet management suites help you save money on vehicle insurance. You can get reports delivered to you hourly, weekly or at any other desired frequency of your choice.
Tracking receipts for refuelling and getting customer feedback at the time of delivery are two other advantages. When your customers are happy with the delivery times, they’ll be more likely to return to your brand and order online again.
2. Improved Communications And Vehicle Monitoring
Improving communications is a big step towards ensuring everything is going as planned. Nowadays, GPS fleet tracking on vehicles integrate with in-cab dashcams to give business owners the complete picture.
Real-time video monitoring thanks to computer vision sensors and AI, makes keeping an eye on your drivers easy. You can also reduce the downtime or idle time of vehicles through real-time fleet tracking.
It takes the guesswork out of managing your drivers since you become aware of their fueling habits and how efficiently they’re utilising vehicles. If they try to modify or remove parts, the tracking software will instantly send alerts and notify owners of any tampering that takes place.
3. Helps Improve Delivery Workflow And Efficiency
One of the biggest perks in using technology these days is that they bundle all the features you need for faster deliveries. Sometimes merely tracking the location of the vehicle isn’t enough and you want more. Even the situations you don’t expect during deliveries, you have to be prepared for them.
For example, you wouldn’t want your perishable goods to get spoiled while travelling and need live temperature monitoring for your vehicles. Plus, you want the software to be scalable and enterprise-grade so that it grows with your fleet’s size and adapts to increasing performance.
Samsara is a brand that tailors software and vehicle hardware to these requirements very well. The technology they offer is hosted on the cloud and combines modern, intuitive designs in the hardware for optimal functionality. You can take a look at their offerings, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
4. Analyse Consumer Data And Network Traffic
You may do everything right on your end, but it’s crucial you get feedback from your customers.
Are you delivering your goods on time?
Are there any issues your suppliers have run into in past deliveries?
Are your customers happy with their estimated shipping and delivery timelines?
Analysing both fleet and consumer data will give you answers to these questions and more. When you study fleet data, notice patterns in traffic for different routes and optimise your delivery routes based on suggestions received, you will be making your deliveries more efficient. It’s a two-way feedback loop, and you have to get used to it. Technology won’t fix all your problems, and you need human feedback to make the most of it.
5. Integrate AI Technology And Smart Automation
We did mention analysing consumer and fleet data management in our previous point. That said, it’s not always possible to do everything by yourself. This is where integrating AI technology into your workflow will speed things up.
Deep learning neural networks are fantastic at collecting weather and traffic data, along with providing real-time vehicle diagnostics. Even for your installed dashcams, AI technology can coach your drivers into safe driving practices and guide them towards making faster deliveries.
Besides this, AI technology can also collect customer feedback and improve delivery workflows and processes. Anticipating congestion in routes, reducing the distance travelled, and mapping out routes to avoid delivery delays are what online retailers look for.
The world of ecommerce shopping has changed, and retailers are looking for faster deliveries now more than ever because of increasing demand. It’s no longer enough to create high-quality products but also deliver them on time.
Networking technology has changed the logistics landscape, and we’re now able to connect to anyone from anywhere thanks to IoT. Paying a little extra for smart technologies to boost delivery times is no longer an option but a logical choice these days.
The holy grail of using technology for logistics would be completely automating customer deliveries and service. If a package is about to reach the doorstep and the customer is not at home, technology should be able to send them alerts and automatically reschedule the time and day for delivery.
Unmanned drones may be an option for that in the future, but since that’s a bit away, we’re sticking with automating data collection using vehicle tracking software for now. When you have a workflow in place for managing your fleet and deliveries, you will be undoubtedly making a lot of progress. That’s just how it works, and supply chain logistics is often the most neglected area in businesses that result in the most revenue when taken care of.