Big data has arrived within the supply chain and is revolutionizing how goods are manufactured and delivered to consumers. The highly influential 2020 Third Party Logistics study, which surveys the state of logistics outsourcing, found that 86% of logistics providers think big data will become a core competency of their supply chain processes.
While the practice of data collection has plenty of value unto itself, companies need to use analytics platforms to make sense of all that raw information. A logistics analytics platform can help companies create better processes and directly influence their bottom line. Here are three benefits of using a logistics analytics platform would for your dataa.
Logistics optimization is something that every manufacturer can use more of. One key area that big data analytics can optimize is route planning. Shippers and carriers face a ton of hurdles when planning their routes. Often, the shortest route isn’t the most efficient, especially when it spans multiple border crossings or mountainous terrain.
Thanks to different jurisdictions having different regulations, paperwork delays and customs inspections can delay shipments. In addition to bureaucracy, shippers also need to contend with changing weather patterns. And an optimal summer route might not be desirable in winter due to adverse weather conditions. Apps like Paragon can help a great deal in this regard.
Carriers have to account for the condition of their goods as well when planning optimal shipping routes. Goods shipped in the cold chain require those conditions to be maintained throughout. The lack of cold chain technology at locations along the route can result in wastage.
Logistics analytics can help companies plan their shipping routes better and take multiple variables into account. For example, the state of a carrier’s fleet is an important variable that needs accounting for, along with everything else mentioned. An analytics platform can identify usage trends and correlate these to upcoming shipments to help fleet managers plan deliveries.
Analytics can also help ease the bottleneck that is last-mile delivery. All too often, the last mile is a blind spot, since delivery firms face constant challenges in these environments. From drivers being unable to park their vehicles close to delivery addresses to recipients being unavailable, ensuring efficient handoffs is almost impossible to depend on.
Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones with GPS signals and IoT devices, packages can be tracked minutely within the last mile. Aside from providing customers with valuable information, delivery firms can unearth bottlenecks and identify the best performers within their fleet.
The ability to provide real-time status updates to customers isn’t important just within the last mile. It’s also essential when manufacturers ship large quantities of condition-sensitive goods such as medicines or precision electronics.
Devices such as data loggers and sensors capture data related to shipment conditions. Companies need powerful analytics platforms to spot trends in the condition of their goods. For example, a route deemed optimal might be leading to an abnormal amount of condition-related exceptions.
When analyzing this situation, companies need to determine whether these exceptions occur due to route-related nuances or delivery partner performance. The condition in which their goods left the warehouse also needs to be taken into account when arriving at a conclusion. Using Logmore, companies can sync shipment condition data logs with the cloud using everyday smartphones. The service’s web app offers visibility into quality assurance, while its API allows enterprises to build their own ERP integrations.
Product waste is a massive problem within supply chains. Research conducted by Boston Consulting Group indicates that 1.6 billion tons of food worth $1.2 trillion are wasted every year. That’s equal to one-third of global food production wasted every year.
Analytics plays a major role in eliminating this waste. Companies can study trends in their deliveries and create alert thresholds that can identify the potential of a product going to waste earlier. Thanks to the hyperconnected nature of the supply chain, delivery firms can alert drivers about the condition of their goods and have them take mitigating action immediately.
The result is goods shipped to consumers in optimal condition with a clear audit trail indicating how the product was stored and shipped right from the warehouse to store shelves. Using analytics to create delivery chains is essential, thanks to customers demanding increased sustainability in the products they use.
Efficiency of a Logistics Analytics Platform
One of the biggest problems supply chain firms face is determining the point and cause of product waste. For example, product waste might be detected during the bulk shipping portion of the supply chain but was it shipping conditions that caused damage, or was the product stored at the warehouse incorrectly, to begin with?
Identifying points of failure boosts the overall efficiency of the supply chain. It also has significant cost repercussions for everyone involved. The insurance premiums the party at fault pays will rise significantly and can impact their bottom line. Margins are thin, and costs are rising, in the supply chain business, so analytics can help companies avoid unnecessary costs.
Companies can thus use analytics to identify their best-performing vendors. For their part, vendors can reduce the amount of fuel they use and utilize their delivery fleets more efficiently.
As supply chain systems connect to a greater degree, automation backed by analytics can help companies reduce their costs even more. For example, Amazon uses robots to retrieve items from warehouse shelves and has begun trialing bulk deliveries in driverless trucks.
Companies need the backing of analytics-driven processes if they wish to create a seamless, automated supply chain.
Optimal Logistics Backed by Analytics
Analytics are everywhere these days, and the logistics industry is no exception. Thanks to advances in technology, a logistics analytics platform can help companies boost efficiency and build even better processes moving forward.