We all know the modern world is changing quickly, with new technological innovations being introduced seemingly every day. The logistics industry has been affected too. To stay up to date with ever-changing and growing customer expectations and remain competitive, carriers should always be seeking out innovations in shipping.
The Wall Street Journal discussed how a leading international carrier, UPS, is using an analog control panel and a system of pulleys and conveyor belts that used to be top-of-the-line . . . thirty years ago. To upgrade their system to be in line with today’s needs, UPS has announced it will be investing $20 billion over the next 3 years on critical infrastructure. Similarly, Home Depot recently announced their 5-year plan to invest $1.2 billion in supply chain improvements.
With rising shipping costs, innovation in shipping is one area in which companies can identify and mitigate inefficiencies and added costs. Here are some tips from Intelligent Audit on how to create that innovation.
A lot of companies can benefit from re-examining and improving their overall shipping processes. Organizations can often increase efficiency from the transportation of products to excess manpower and inventory mismanagement.
Some examples of areas that can often be improved:
- Companies often unnecessarily move products around in and between warehouses
- Inefficiently using man-power can create significant inefficiencies
- High waiting times for packing or shipping
Organizational structures in logistics and supply chains can have a difficult time keeping up with innovations.
A good first step is to assess the current status of the organizational structure using a team made up of people from multiple departments like logistics and supply chain, finance, and operations to identify areas to streamline. Working with an outside consulting firm can also help this process.
Technology, good business intelligence, and analytics are extremely important in shipping.
Use technology solutions like a NextGen TMS to give you increased insight, and business intelligence. Technology can help you interpret your data so you can use it for effective business decisions.
Most shippers need a new strategy for optimizing warehouse locations to keep up with the demand from e-commerce on their supply chains. Warehouses should reduce cost per package and time spent by customers waiting for their packages to arrive. Plan, build, and optimize your warehouses and the rest of your shipping network to strengthen your competitive advantage.
Ship smarter by utilizing data from within your own organization and industry as well as across all industries. A centralized dashboard that collects data across industries allows shippers to understand where they can best find cost-savings and optimize their operations.