As a fruit distributor across the East Coast, David Arlington from Portland was a busy manager. He was finding it challenging to keep a tab on the different trucks plying across the 2369 miles of US Route 1. He also didn’t have a way to know when the consignment reached the market and when the trucker had started the return route back. All these prompted him to go for a logistics management software in order to get better control on the fleet and the cargo it was delivering. The comprehensive real-time reporting allowed him to optimize route better and set precise expectations. This, in turn, boosted business on the back of an elevated user experience.
Obstacles in Running a Logistics Chain
If you operate the supply chain for a logistics company or own it, large-scale fleet management and keeping track of workers, vehicles, and the consignments bring a few operational challenges:
- a sudden increase in demand from the customer’s end
- unorganized collaboration between drivers and the suppliers
- lack of decent inventory management
- unruly and unmanageable drivers with unprofessional instincts
These are just a few of the many obstacles faced by stakeholders in the supply chain, time and again.
It has been observed that meeting the customer’s demand still remains to be one of the topmost challenges faced by supply chain managers. Cutting transportation costs and improving business processes are the other major challenges that business owners and distributors have to grapple with.
The Evolving Customer Preferences
With the immense involvement of digitization in practically everything that we do, customers are increasingly demanding for complete transparency regarding their products, that is, right from the origins of the raw materials to the deliverance of finished goods to the customer’s doorstep.
To accomplish this crucial objective, you need to have tools that provide you with automation in management. Ruling out the margin of human errors goes a long way toward ensuring utmost customer satisfaction.
Getting your logistics management service automated through a mobile app seems to be a key factor in the success in today’s cut-throat competitive times, as David in the above case study realized. No wonder that the US logistics industry will be worth $15.5 trillion by 2023. This growth will not be possible without the active participation of technology in the form of logistics apps.
Why Logistics Apps?
Logistics management software or logistics mobile apps are preferred by leading businesses all over the world. This rise in adoption is led by the massive global reliance on digitization. Taking your logistics business online would help generate some crucial benefits:
- Improved ability to manage warehouse more efficiently
- Increased accuracy
Here are some phenomenal ways through which you can generate high impact ROI in your logistics business with a mobile app:
- Get real-time visibility of vehicle location with GPS facility
- Efficient fleet management by optimizing routes on which they operate
- Online booking of cargo to streamline vehicle utilization
- Continuous monitoring of the cargo in transit
- Less paperwork in the operations
- Manage drivers’ profile for record-keeping
This seamless management is what is enabling businesses to find lasting solutions to commonly faced logistical issues, thereby contributing to overall ROI. However, to drive these yields it’s important to equip the app with features that add value to the entire supply chain process.
Interested to know what these features are? Then read on and be informed.
- Pre-planned Routes for Drivers
There may be instances where your driver takes a longer route (due to obstructed routes, or maybe their own whim). This may influence the overall delivery time which adds to customer dissatisfaction and fuel costs.
With a solid pre-planned route feature in your logistics management software, you assign routes for the trip to your driver. This feature helps save delivery time, and real-time tracking would enable you to watch over and take required action if the driver digresses without a valid reason.
- Vehicle and Driver Tracker
Imagine how liberating it would be when you don’t have to depend on your drivers receiving your call for you to know their whereabouts. This would not only grant peace of mind but also streamline operations to a great extent.
Getting your vehicle and driver tracked accurately and in real-time gives you the insight necessary to function more efficiently. Installing GPS in your logistics app is more of a mandated feature that you need to look into. It not only helps you track your vehicle but the driver as well, thereby maintaining a strong control over fleet performance.
- Timely Driver Login Info
The most elemental aspect of your logistics service is your driver. Managing your driver’s whereabouts is streamlining it to be far more efficient and effective at the same time.
Keeping a daily log of your driver gives you a top-to-toe overview of how your business’s most elemental unit is functioning, and how you can replace the non-functional units with functional ones.
Driver’s daily log automated through an app reduces the margin for human intervention and tampering. It also gives you information about the hours the driver worked for, trips made, reviews from customers, deliveries made, and the exact time spent in a delivery, etc.
- Notifying Nearest Gas Station and Mechanical Support
It is not always that your driver has an unprofessional reason to be stuck up with a delivery. The reason may sometimes be genuine. And in times like these, your driver needs your help.
Installing features in your logistics app that notifies your drivers of the nearest gas station or mechanical assistance would enable them to reach out for help whenever needed. This will help keep your engine in top shape always.
- Real-time Notifications From Your Merchants
Getting timely notifications from your merchants would serve its informative purpose and not hassle you with overlapping phone calls that just add to the chaos. When you manage your drivers via an app, they can notify you instantly about the delivery status. Once the shipment arrives at the designated location, you will receive an instant notification regarding the delivery.
Not just that, but you also receive a push notification the moment your merchant signs the confirmation of the delivery. Implementing this feature in your app not only makes it better but also extremely efficient.
- Customer Feedback Portal
Having a medium through which your customers can reach out to you helps you better review the functioning of your logistics business. By integrating a customer feedback support software, you will be able to manage all the important data regarding customer satisfaction, surveys, delivery reports and achieved benchmarks, all in one place.
- Customization and Minimalistic
Businesses are dynamic and change with evolving times. Adaptability is the key to any thriving business, as even in this sector, “survival of the fittest” holds water. A static app that doesn’t evolve with shifting customer demands or business needs, is bound to fail.
In order for you to have a logistics app that continues delivering value for a long time, you need to involve a considerable amount of adaptability into its core.
Your app should make the user’s life simpler. For that, it needs to learn from frequently entered information like e-mail addresses and passwords and Credit/Debit card numbers. These are some of the added features that lure people into reaching out for your app whenever they feel the need to, without having to face any inconvenience whatsoever.
- Multilingual Support for Drivers
Drivers hail from various origins and disregarding that could be disrespectful towards them. It is crucial to be in total sync with the drivers so that you get to function in a harmonious tandem with them. To drive this goal, integrating multilingual support is essential.
Out of the many things that may cause issues between you and your most efficient drivers, let language not be one. Multilingual apps allow your drivers to communicate with you more freely, and thereby earn your trust.
- Automatic Allotment of High Priority Task to the Closest Available Driver
There are times when you may have an urgent delivery to make. It may be the sole reason why the merchant has come to you for help, as they believe in your potential to deliver. Letting them down would mean harming your business in unimaginable ways.
By having an automated task assigning feature with your logistics app, you can get your nearest available driver to do the needful. This way, you are adhering to your promise of complete customer satisfaction, and also getting things done speedily and effectively.
To Wrap It Up
These features can ensure that your app delivers what it promises — accuracy and real-time precision. These are the key components of any thriving logistics management solution and are essential in today’s highly digitized, transparent world.
Industries are always on the lookout for logistics businesses that are efficient in whatever they do, as they trust your services with the goods they produce or want to be delivered. That is a responsibility that you as a logistics solutions manager has to take care of, from start to end.
Controlling your business through a power-packed mobile app makes it all the more efficient and streamlined as you get more done in less time. Lack of human intervention also reduces the margin of error thereby delivering only quality service always.
The inclusion of these 9 features in your app can ensure your logistics business performing on all frontiers. With these power-packed functionalities, your own logistics management app can deliver a tangible spurt in operational efficiency and productivity without the high-cost overheads. This, in turn, gives you the opportunity to get an unmatched competitive edge and stay relevant to shifting customer preferences of today’s times.
Nitin Lahoti is the domain expert of Logistics and Transportation. He has 12+ years of experience in Design, Business Development and Startups. His expertise is in Product Ideation, UX/UI design, Startup consulting and mentoring. He prefers business readings and loves traveling.