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Technology in Logistics

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Modern society is incredibly fast paced. People demand speed in their lives, as time is very precious. Fast cars, fast Internet connection, fast computers and fast phones are just some of the things that people are constantly striving for. Similarly to this, with the prominence of online shopping, increasingly, people want their goods delivered the same day that they place their order. In fact, a study of over 350 large transport and logistics organizations commissioned by Intermec showed that 77% of organizations have customers that demand same-day delivery. Many companies struggle to cope with these demands and are searching for ways to increase productivity and reduce costs. One of these methods is the introduction of mobile solutions.

To scope the extent of the problem that same-day delivery poses to these companies, a staggering 92% of the surveyed organizations said that they struggled to cope with the demands of delivery. When dealing with the large scale of orders that some of these logistical organizations have to, it becomes a nightmare attempting to coordinate and ship out the vast number of orders. Add on to this the fact that 38% of U.S companies believe that their operational efficiency is the most important aspect of their strategy, and suddenly it becomes increasingly important to maximize productivity and reduce costs in the warehouse. In this scenario, it becomes imperative to implement technology and a rigid system in these warehouses in order to cut down the time taken for picking and delivery of items. The managers surveyed know that technology is important, with studies showing that picking and delivery time can be reduced by around 30% each with the introduction of new technology in the warehouse.

Picking time can be greatly enhanced to aid in same day delivery through getting goods out the door a lot faster than they otherwise would be. Over half the managers surveyed believe that the use of mobile communication devices will aid in the reduction of picking time. Over the long haul this will not only improve customer satisfaction through the ability to make same-day delivery times, but also cut costs through the hours saved. Mobility Devices from companies like Intermec, Honeywell, Motorola and Datalogic can be vital in meeting delivery deadlines through the cutting down of manual effort required to pick. Another tool that managers identified as able to cut down time and thus provide maximum return on their investment is the use of RFID. The use of RFID allows the real-time tracking of inventory and means managers will always know where their assets can be found. Other technology such as vehicle telematics and voice picking can further improve efficiency in the warehouse and return maximum profits whilst keeping time and costs at a minimum

Technology can further be used to benefit the delivery process. Through investing in GPS technology, it is believed that in the year 2014, companies will save over a quarter of a million dollars. The use of GPS aids in making deliveries far more accurately as well as cutting down on time required for each delivery. It is not only GPS that can aid in the proficiency of a delivery, but also the inclusion of a handheld computer. The use of a handheld computer removes the need for a pen and paper approach, meaning that any payments can be made through an added credit card scanner and any signatures can further be made on the computer itself. This prevents the hassle of fumbling with incorrect cash and can save precious minutes as well as improve customer satisfaction. For large organisations with their own fleet of vehicles, more advanced applications and platforms in Telematic for Fleet Management can enable them to monitor and report on driver and vehicle behavior and efficiency.

The numbers do not lie; mobile technology implemented in a warehouse adds up to substantial savings over the long run. Savings are not only made in the warehouse itself through improved accuracy and efficiency of picks, but also on the road in the deliveries through the use of GPS technology and mobile computers. Such improvements can aid companies to meet delivery deadlines particularly stressful same-day deliveries and are a wise long-term investment.

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Guest Tuesday, 23 December 2014
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