Logistics providers are increasingly turning to mobile technologies to provide real-time services to clients and partners, allowing them to play a greater role in the management and execution of the supply chain.
In 2016, there will be around 2 billion smartphones in the world. Generation Z, also known as digital natives, is mobile first and mobile only. Smartphones are with us at every time and everywhere whether it is at the office or at home. “We need to tap into that” says Frédéric Serra, director of business applications at Bolloré Logistics in Paris, France. “Mobile usages are already predominant to computer usages and we want to use this mobility to extend our information network while providing new services.”
Today, people use smartphones as cameras, GPS navigators, organizers and music players, among other things. Thousands of apps are posted every day by individuals and businesses, building communities, connecting with their clients and creating opportunity to transform business itself. In the supply chain industry, allowing any party involved to instantly and easily collaborate and capture reliable data along the movement of goods results in better reactivity and avoids disruption. Greater automation of processes can be achieved through the analysis of large amount of historical data produced by 3PLs, carriers and more generally by the market. “Everything that is digitally contestable shall be contested”.
SDV, for example, has launched an “app” named LINK that can be used on smartphones and tablets. The aim is to put clients and partners at the center of their supply chain and allow, visibility, decision making and immediate action directly from their smartphone. They can track their shipments, visualize their CO2 footprint, receive alerts and confirm pickup and delivery times directly from their mobile devices. In Business to Consumers (B2C), it allows to get closer to the final consumer himself. “Combined with SDV expertise in transportation and logistics, it opens the doors of cross-canal distribution.”
Clients can also use the geolocation services to find their nearest branches and get directions, for example. They access to the latest feature stories on logistics industry, send questions, share information, scan codes and manage their operations in real time from their homes, in the train or on vacation.
Mobile technologies are also used to instantly connect a community of hundreds of logistics subcontractors to SDV information system without having to provide any asset. For trucking companies with no interface capability, the app allows drivers to perform pick up, deliveries and capture client signatures directly from the screen of a smartphone.
“The drivers can also take photos and declare non-compliance that will be securely accessible to the client in an instant including where and when the action took place,” says Serra.
Crucially, clients can use this new mobile technology to approve their bookings and manage details including the type of transport and packaging.
Facilitating the creation of interconnected and collaborative networks of logistics partners and live capture of information through smartphones and tablets leads to more control over execution and new opportunities to interact with it. It produces richer and more accurate data about transportation that can help identifying trends and provide more anticipation rather than reaction.
“Data is transforming the industry”, says Serra. Identifying meaningful insight out of a large amount of information produced by the supply chains of various clients through analytics is the key for resilient and successful logistics provider organizations.
Download the LINK App: Google Play / Apple Store