Over the past few years, many mobile applications were introduced to ease the operations of the logistic and supply chain industry. These mobile applications have brought significant transformation in the logistics and supply chain industry.
The use of mobile devices & applications seems a natural choice for the Supply Chain & Logistics industry as this industry is constantly on the move. This industry is marked with the massive movement of millions of people & parcels from one place to another.
With the use of mobile applications, Logistics & Supply Chain has been transformed into a seamless, on-time, effortless, transparent, cost-effective, less labor-intensive process.
Impact of Mobile App Solutions in Logistics & Supply Chain Industry
1. The flow of communication in Supply Chain:
Supply Chain involves a variety of activities. It starts from procurement, then packaging dispatching, shipping & finally delivery. The flow of communication between the various teams handling these activities needs to be quick, clear & continuous. There should be no gap in the communication flow. Any lag or gap in communication can lead to misunderstanding, confusion & dissatisfaction among the various teams & customers.
Today, with the use of the mobile application, each team is instantly updated about the actions of the other teams automatically. This will aid the teams to plan their future course of action systematically. Thus, there are no delays. Suppliers & drivers can communicate easily to schedule the deliveries, monitor the routes, etc. Customers can get real-time updates from the drivers about their status. This will avoid any package getting undelivered or delayed. Thus, the use of a mobile app strengthens Supply Chain communication.
2. Warehouse management:
Warehouse management is one of the vital parts of any Supply Chain & Logistics company. Many mobile applications facilitate companies to remotely manage the warehouse without the need of hiring teams for managing each warehouse. These mobile applications give the companies complete visibility of the various functions that are performed inside a warehouse. Such application helps in close monitoring of inventory received & dispatched, physical verification of inventory & prevention of thefts & other losses of the inventory.
3. Real-time shipment tracking by customers:
With the use of mobile applications, customers are no longer required to chase the company or the respective supplier’s website to know about the status of their shipment. The mobile application asks for the contact details of the customers before placing the order. This information is used for sending notifications to customers. These mobile applications make it possible for the customers to get notifications about each & every action related to the delivery on his mobile screens. This boosts customer confidence & loyalty.
4. Increase business due to increased e-commerce activity:
With the use of mobile applications, the process of Logistics & Supply Chain has become effortless, quick & transparent. Now, the Logistics & Supply Chain companies are in a position to design customized service packages according to the requirement of their customers. The Logistics & Supply Chain companies can cater to most of the customers, whether it is a small e-commerce startup or a global retailer. This has encouraged many companies to start selling their product on an e-commerce platform. These mobile applications have increased the business scope of companies. The impact of using these mobile applications has made the delivery process faster & more transparent. Customers can easily track their orders. Changes brought in by the mobile applications in the Logistics & Supply Chain industry has resulted in more & more e-commerce business activity.
5. Reduce customer service cost:
Use of the mobile applications has impacted the cost of customer service of the companies in the Logistics & Supply Chain industry. With the use of technology-driven applications, the customer receives notifications about the status of the shipment on his mobile screen. So, he is no longer required to call the companies to ask about the status update. This reduces the number of phone calls. So the companies are not required to hire a 24/7 customer service team to answer customer’s queries.
6. Shipment/Asset tracking solution:
For a Logistics & Supply Chain company, every shipment is an asset because its income is related to its successful delivery. So, tracking the movement of the shipments accurately is highly essential for such companies. On-time delivery of the product & in perfect condition is the mantra for the company’s success & customer satisfaction.
7. Fleet Management solutions:
Most of the companies in the Logistics & Supply Chain industry have a wide variety of vehicles in its fleet. Optimum utilization of the fleet will cut costs by reducing the operational costs. With the use of mobile fleet management application, a company has access to the data relating to the vehicles, drivers, schedule of delivery for each vehicle, planning of routes. For example, a fleet management application can help to find the quickest route for the delivery. This will facilitate not only quick delivery but also reduce operational costs. Moreover, it will help in tracking the location of the vehicle so that the company can analyze the efficiency of the driver. Thus, the company can find good drivers & take initiatives to retain them.
8. Optimum Manpower utilization:
The process of delivering a shipment to the customer happens through different places. Such places include cargo terminal of the airport or seaport, custom offices, clearinghouses, state borders. Apart from these, there are many other legal & regulatory checkpoints through which the shipment needs to pass before it can reach the actual customer. At all such places, the Logistics & Supply Chain company needs to deploy manpower to get the work done. With so many employees stationed across different locations, their management gains high importance. The mobile application helps in designing an integrated framework in which the different employees work simultaneously. These mobile applications help the companies to manage their employees, their tasks, keep track of their location. At the same time, these applications also help the company in identifying unwanted employees and expenses so that they can work towards reducing its costs.
9. No paper dependency for reduced data redundancy:
Earlier, the Logistics and Supply Chain company used to have a complex system of creating & maintaining a paper file for each shipment. These files were the basis of the backend operations of the company & its communication with its customers. Whenever any detail related to any past or current shipment was required, a search was to be made through the bunch of files and folders. This used to create a lag in customer service & sometimes impacted the delivery.
By using mobile applications, the companies have converted their paper data into digital data. Now the data related to any shipment can be retrieved as quickly as it is entered. With the use of mobile applications, the data is not lost. Every detail is stored & is available as & when required. So the data redundancy rate is minimized.
10. In-depth data analysis & better decision making:
Earlier the Logistics & Supply Chain companies used to have a large pool of data, but it was not stored & managed properly. It led to data leakage & wastage. These large pools of data related to the customer, shipment details & delivery feedback are now stored & managed systematically with the use of mobile applications. The Logistics & Supply Chain companies use the mobile application to analyze the data. Analysis of the data provides information on the various aspects such as customer’s feedback on delivery, his satisfaction or complaints, etc. This information can be used by Logistics & Supply Chain companies to design customer-centric strategies & policies for the future.
The use of the mobile application by the Logistics & Supply Chain industry is indispensable. Its impact on the company’s long term existence in a highly competitive market cannot be overlooked.
In an industry where a process comprises many interrelated activities, the manpower is stationed across different locations & the packages are constantly on the move, a system that integrates people, packages & all the inter-related activities that need to be implemented. The development & implantation of such a fully integrated system is the impact that the mobile app solutions can have in the Logistics & Supply Chain industry.