The rapid rise and advancement of technology sent industries far and wide scrambling to innovate and keep up with the latest best practices. If the company didn’t adapt, it was left struggling to stay in business. But now, technology has become entrenched in how companies operate on a normal day-to-day basis, and rather than merely keeping up with the latest trends, many companies are searching for the next big thing to get ahead of the curve. That’s how industry leaders are creating more efficiencies within their work and, ultimately, are driving better profit margins.
Where transportation and logistics companies have the best opportunity for growth is when they apply business intelligence (BI) to the data that they gather from the technology. Reports can be run against the data to see where improvements need to be made. BI is used more and more for accelerating and improving decision-making, optimizing internal business processes, increasing operational efficiency, driving new revenues, and gaining competitive advantages over business rivals.
BI for Final Mile Deliveries
In the last mile of the supply chain – where orders get from warehouses to their destinations – the challenge is to take a broader view by identifying obstacles, generating end-to-end data visibility, and creating objectives that are critical to the whole business, not just to final mile. Key performance indicators (KPIs) tied to overall business goals are at the core of these successful business improvement processes. Understanding one’s business through a BI lens is the “secret sauce” that allows final-mile applications to go beyond the basic applications to uncover deep insights that will have a greater impact on the business as a whole.
Final-mile deliveries – whether to customers or within an organization – can be challenging given requirements, service level agreements, demands and more. Shippers, carriers and customers all have to ensure that the standards of the contract are upheld and criteria met. Not only that, but, all three parties have to follow regulations set forth by OSHA, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and other government organizations. The more regulations there are that have to be met, the longer it takes to check off every box in final-mile deliveries and document it. That’s where solutions can be used to help manage and track all of those requirements.
The technology behind final-mile operations has become vital to how businesses within this sector of the supply chain work. Gone are the days of manually writing out orders, mapping deliveries and pickups, filling out reports by hand and transferring all that information into another online system. Now, solutions enable users to enter all that information into an online system that can track the order from the time it is placed with a broker all the way to when the customer receives a shipment. That data is then easily accessible to everyone who needs to see it. In addition, queries can run against that data that can generate reports that map directly back to the KPIs that are most important to the business.
How Business Intelligence Impacts Business
As solutions have increasingly gained traction and matured in final mile, particularly with the application of BI, companies are realizing the value of automation and how it can impact business improvement. Implementing solutions improves efficiency and accuracy, which cuts down on operational costs and inaccurate billing. With all the information collected along every step of the supply chain, a company can analyze the auto-generated reports to see where it can improve its work processes. At the end of the day, making decisions based on proven analytics and solid data can improve profit margins.
Business intelligence is at the core of making a final-mile solution have a more powerful impact on the business. It can provide the analysis needed to go beyond basic dispatching, routing or scheduling to provide the insights that truly affect business process improvements. If applied correctly, BI can make the final mile more impactful by developing KPIs and meeting goals that have a lasting effect on meaningful business outcomes that map directly to overall business objectives. That’s why while final mile solutions are critical to companies reliant on pick up and deliveries, BI is the “secret sauce” in business improvement that takes final-mile solutions to the next level for business success.