Thinking about Digital Fitness is much the same as traditional, physical fitness. You need to practice to get better, and, you must start somewhere. The journey isn’t always going to be easy, but the benefits are obvious – we’re all aware of them.
If you’re a logistics company, getting fitter digitally will bring you a whole host of benefits. Every system and process can be improved via the use of data and analytics. No company will be short of data or processes to analyse. But as we’ve just said, you’ll need to practice to achieve this – so why should you bother?
Here’s the top 5 reasons you should:
1. Operational Efficiencies
Perhaps the most obvious benefit for logistics companies who embrace digital fitness via data and analytics is the operational efficiencies it will grant. Making data-driven decisions is key to the success of many modern organisations, and this is especially pertinent in the logistics industry. So much so that 98% of third party logistics companies, said improved data-driven decision making is essential to their future success.
Every route, fleet vehicle, driver, drop-off point, warehouse and supply chain will have its own data and patterns that can be tracked. Optimising routes can now be done using empirical data, rather than anecdotal evidence. UPS reduced their routes by 20.4 million miles, by analysing their data and deciding to only make right-turns. It also diminished CO2 emissions by 20,000 metric tons.
2. Reduce Costs
In an era of ever-rising costs and ever-decreasing budgets, keeping spend to a minimum is paramount. Continuing with the UPS example above, their route efficiency also saved them 10 million gallons of fuel each year, as well as allowing them to decrease the number of trucks by 1,100 – that’s a huge reduction in one of their primary costs.
The last mile of a delivery is notoriously the most difficult and costly – costing up to 28% of the total delivery. The availability of data, such as that from GPS trackers, and the ability to analyse this in real-time using Business Intelligence (BI), casts a light on a previously murky part of the delivery. The resulting analysis can allow huge drives in efficiency and a reduction in one of the costliest parts of a journey.
3. Increased Understanding
Using data and analytics can improve how you describe, report on, and understand your business and supply chain. Simply having lots of data to be analysed would not qualify as ‘Digital Fitness’ – being able to make a thorough analysis of that data would. Descriptive analytics, via a robust BI tool allows companies to drill-down through their silos of data to extract meaningful insights. Real-time capabilities also have the ability to display alerts when certain parameters are hit and prompt employees to take action. Understanding your company and its supply chain in detail will allow you to prepare better for the future.
4. Futureproof Your Supply Chain
A thorough approach to Digital Fitness via data and analytics will also take into account some predictive analytics. By this we mean using data, mostly historical, to recognise patterns and trends and make predictions for future conditions. For example, more accurate forecasting of future demand patterns, or times of year that are generally busier (Christmas).
Being able to predict, or plan, for the future with greater accuracy allows you to develop far more effective strategies.
5. Take Advantage of Future Technologies
The final reason is one that focusses more on the future of the logistics industry – although it’s absolutely the case that these technologies are in use now. Fully embracing Digital Fitness via data and analytics will position your company in a such a way that will allow it to take full advantage of future technological advancements.
Think Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Drones, Big Data. As we said, these technologies are in use now, but they’re not common place. Those companies already using data and analytics to drive their business are those that will see the greatest benefits from these tech advancements. If you’re a company that has already embraced Digital Fitness, adapting to new technologies becomes far easier, and employees get far more value from them. The effects of Machine Learning and AI on supply chain management will be astronomical - carrying huge competitive advantage.
The logistics industry is a near-perfect example of how data and analytics can transform the way we work. Logistics companies thrive from implementing operational efficiencies and driving down costs – this is the lifeblood of their business. Embracing Digital Fitness with data and analytics has so many benefits to give, not least the 5 we have covered above. Data-driven decisions should be central to how the industry operates.
If you’d like to talk to us about embracing Digital Fitness via data and analytics, get in touch today, or give us a call on 0800 652 4050.