According to a recent survey conducted by Intermec (NYSE: IN), transport and logistics companies around the world believe that arming their mobile workforce with new technology could cut both their pick-up times by 30% and delivery times by 29%, savings which could be crucial in boosting operational efficiency levels and meeting customer demands.
These are the principal findings of a survey by Intermec, which surveyed managers of transport and logistics firms in six countries around the world during April 2013. “Investing the time to review current processes may seem a daunting task, but the benefits on offer show this is more than worthwhile.” said Jeff Sibio, Intermec Industry Marketing Director for Transport and Logistics.
The study finds that 42% of UK organisations view operational efficiency as the area of most strategic importance for their business. More than three quarters (77%) of organisations across UK, US, Germany, France, Australia and New Zealand say their customers now demand same-day delivery services, and 92% of companies claim that meeting these expectations is placing significant challenges on their business to adjust.
Most feel that customer demand can best be made through automating key processes in the pick-up and delivery areas, and adopting new technology for drivers such as GPS, mobile and broadband communications. Companies anticipate that by adopting these technologies, the time taken for each pick-up and delivery can be cut by 2.68 and 2.41 minutes respectively, providing a significant boost to the efficiency of the mobile worker.
Automate to innovate
- The survey respondents believe broadband mobile communications (60%), integrated vehicle telematics (44%) and RFID (38%) offer the most promising return on investment to their organisation.
- The efficiency gains from new technology could extend to back office staff as well. Across European respondents, for example, companies report that they are receiving 418 calls per day from customers asking for order status updates.
- By providing proactive shipment updates, a process enabled by location-based and mobile technologies, these same companies believe they could eliminate 20% of these calls immediately.
- This equates to 84 calls per working day, a time saving that could then be used to better serve a wider range of customers.
The need to re-engineer
- 44% of companies feel that process re-engineering is the most effective means of improving operational efficiency levels.
- Overall, transport and logistics managers feel that a process re-engineering effort can improve efficiency levels by over 13%.
- Yet despite this, over a third (39%) have failed to complete a process re-engineering effort in the last year.
- Of these, nearly three quarters (72%) have not evaluated their existing processes for at least two years.
“Customer expectations in the industry are growing ever higher, putting increasing pressure on mobile workers to meet tighter deadlines,” said Sibio, “Our survey shows that the use of technology not only reduces call and pick up times for workers, it also offers customers the chance to make fewer calls”.
 Data shows that each pick-up can be cut by an average of 2.68 minutes, and each delivery reduced by 2.41 minutes on average. This equates to a 29% per cent saving on each delivery, and a 30% saving on each pick up.