Like established business owners and managers, leaders of logistics startups have many factors to focus on in daily operations and when planning. This situation has heightened further, though, due to the impacts of COVID-19 over the past few months.
Thankfully, operators can use technology in their businesses to help streamline processes, cut costs, grow sales, and achieve better outcomes this year and beyond. Tech tools are more available and affordable than ever and provide many positive benefits.
Access to Real-Time Data
One of the big pros of incorporating technology is that software tools, GPS devices, and other programs enable even the smallest operators to access and disseminate real-time data affordably. Information about the location of freight, time to delivery, state of packages, and more can be relayed to all necessary parties within the business at once. As such, there’s less waiting for data to be passed around from person to person.
Plus, technology is also there to provide suppliers and end customers with updates about shipments, so they don’t have to keep calling or otherwise contacting logistics providers for information. Consumers can also use software programs to update their address or delivery notes as needed, even after items leave a warehouse and are in transit. This transparency keeps everyone happy, and cuts cost significantly for shippers.
Logistics startups don’t want to deal with health issues, delays, and other problems that arise because of any dangerous goods they transport. They also don’t want to have to pay more for insurance coverage or other related costs. As such, to reduce expenses and keep shipments timely, it’s helpful to utilize tech tools.
There are many options designed to reduce the risk of problems occurring during transit and the possibility of harm coming to drivers or other personnel. When shipping hazardous items, carriers should utilize the latest tools that analyze the condition of dangerous goods in transit and alert staff to leaks or other potential safety risks that need inspection before being moved further.
Your business may like to use RFID tracking “shock watches” that involve remotely scanning packages using an RFID (radio-frequency identification) reader. These readers have visible indicators that show if contents have become unstable or damaged. They are particularly useful, though, because they can scan items and automatically enter information where needed. This might be into the warehouse management system you use or other programs. This, therefore, allows anyone, not just a driver, to spot problems.
Increased Driver Monitoring
Running a logistics startup, you know that one of your most valuable assets is your driver workforce. However, these assets can also be your most costly. Due to technology, you can now keep an eye on your drivers’ behavior to obtain insights. Use software programs integrated into vehicles to learn about factors like the vehicles’ speed. If rules are broken at any stage, and if there is too much speeding up and heavy braking by drivers, which leads to fuel wastage.
Another benefit of using software to track driver conduct is that you can better see how many hours each person is on the road. Use tech tools to alert you to cases when employees are driving more than the legal allowance, and reduce the risk of accidents occurring and drivers and other people getting hurt, not to mention freight and vehicles, too.
Maximization of Capacity
To run an efficient logistics startup and increase profits, you must maximize the capacity of your transportation and allocate drivers in the most effective ways, too. Technology systems can assist with this. For instance, many field service management programs that come with logistics tracking features use machine-learning enabled algorithms to calculate capacity for different containers and vehicles.
This kind of program can also give you suggestions on how to optimize loading and unloading times, in-transit hub needs, and vehicle scheduling, and idle capacity. The software also helps with determining the best driver allocation and movements, and optimal shipping routes (including when changes need to occur in transit due to congestion, accidents, etc.).
Such tools are also helpful at busier times of the year when you need to keep up with demand by bringing on extra vehicles or personnel and plan further in advance. Plus, they can be used to analyze vehicles to determine when maintenance is required, reducing the likelihood of machines breaking down when out on the road. These things all reduce total transit time and costs and keeps customers happier, too.
If you’ve only ever used basic tech tools, it may feel a little daunting to start using more sophisticated products in your new business. However, putting in some time, effort, and money now to incorporate and learn about these kinds of solutions can make a big difference to your startup’s results.