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Mobile Computing - Delivering on Transportation & Logistics Operations Needs.


As customers’ demands constantly evolve, transportation and logistics (T&L) operations are being put under growing pressure to offer more efficient delivery services, while not compromising on customer service. Using the findings from a 2013 research survey conducted among transport and logistics managers around the world, this report explores how a combination of mobile technology implementations for mobile workers, and process re-engineering efforts can elevate operations to the next level. It also highlights how a lack of adoption can hold T&L operations back, preventing them from capitalizing on significant cost-savings. Additionally, this report focuses on customer communications, and demonstrates how implementing mobile technology can improve accuracy and drive improved customer satisfaction.

Key Findings From The Intermec Research Are:

  • T&L managers are seeking to improve operational efficiency and believe reviewing current workflows and technologies (undergoing process re-engineering) is the way to achieve this. These same managers have either experienced, or expect to experience, significant increases in efficiency through re-engineering. Managers recognize that by combining evolved processes with mobile technology implementations, they can gain access to significant cost-savings.
  • There is an awareness that the introduction of automation and mobile technology to pick-up and delivery related tasks can significantly reduce the time mobile workers take on a daily basis, as well as increase accuracy and access to information.
  • Moving forward, mobile data capabilities offer the biggest potential opportunity for T&L operations and the largest possible ROI. This will also enable better two-way communications with customers and which ultimately leads to greater customer satisfaction. Another key trend is the use of automated proactive shipment status updates – which will be increasing dramatically – with the key benefits coming from improved customer service and back office productivity along with an associated reduction in operational costs via eliminating outdated costly and laborious processes.


The research sampled 375 transport and logistics managers at organizations with more than 500 employees within the UK, France, Germany, US, Australia and New Zealand. The research was commissioned by Intermec and carried out by independent research company Vanson Bourne in April 2013.


Key Findings

  • Transport and logistics operations could save an average of over $459,000 per annum as a result of process re-engineering and the implementation of mobile technology across workflows, but a significant proportion of companies may be missing out on these potential savings.
  • Transport and logistics managers have identified operational efficiency as their number one area needing improvement this year, and 44% of operations believe reviewing current workflows and technologies (process re-engineering) is the most effective means of achieving that.
  • Key to improving operations is the deployment of mobile, location-based technology, an area where managers believe savings of more than $282,000 can be achieved in the next twelve months.
  • However, almost a quarter (23%) of the companies have yet to deploy location-based technology, citing a number of barriers including lack of need and cost, which is preventing them from capitalizing on these benefits.
  • Managers see broadband mobile communications such as 4G and LTE as the single biggest future driver of ROI (60%) followed by integrated vehicle telematics (44%) and RFID (38%).

Automating Processes

  • One in three (39%) companies have not initiated re-engineering efforts in the past year, and of these companies, nearly three quarters (72%) have not evaluated their existing processes for at least two years.
  • Those who have not deployed new technologies through process re-engineering remain significant. Of those who have not automated processes, nearly 40% cite a lack of business need and 33% attribute cost as the key reasons for not doing so.
  • Consequently, the survey finds that 60% of organizations still use paper-based systems to complete tasks associated with pick-up and delivery, and 9% have plans to deploy paper in some form in 2013.

Demanding greater accuracy and accessibility

  • When asked to rank the demands received from their customers, 77% of managers claim that accuracy of service is the biggest pressure point.
  • Nearly a quarter (24%) of companies add that improved accessibility of data in back office systems is the area most in need of improvement, followed by an increased amount of detail (23%) and greater accuracy (22%).

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