Enterprise apps are advancing logistics

After years of working within the enterprise sector on the frontline of app development, it is often misunderstood that digital transformation can only be achieved at a high cost, and having worked with a number of logistics companies, there has been a concern in the industry

Enterprise apps logistics

The opportunities to improve customer service by utilising mobile apps are virtually endless. An app can allow customers to track shipments, arrange updates to deliveries or even live chat with a company representative

The words ‘digital transformation’ sound expensive and disruptive. CEO’s and IT departments hear this and assume they have to change every aspect of their organisational structure overnight, but this isn’t always the case. Many businesses can take huge leaps forward just by focussing on small, fundamental changes.

The UK logistics sector plays a massive part in the British economy, which at current is worth around £55 billion – so it is important that organisations have a grasp on how much the latest technology can impact a business.

Employees are able to work to a higher standard and with more precision due to enterprise applications, which run on lots of mobile and tablet devices, across all operating systems, such as iOS, Android and Windows.

>See also: Building enterprise mobile apps for business the right way

Organisations are moving towards the future of digital transformation – and with the smartphone acting as the greatest technological disruption of the century, everyone needs to get on board.

Monetary reasons are a key driver to why logistics companies should be embracing mobile technology. By digitally transforming their business, companies in this sector would be better placed to satisfy customer demand, streamline internal processes, meet business expectations, stay ahead of global competition and, most importantly, improve that bottom line.

Digital change can be achieved at a relatively low cost, and still have a dramatic impact – an example of which can be seen in a project we undertook for Bridgestone Europe, who are a global manufacturer of tyres and rubber products, and provider of services and vehicle management.

Bridgestone required a means of monitoring tyre pressure more efficiently than the manual procedures that were in place, so we developed a smartphone-based system which monitors pressure readings from Bridgestone’s TPMS sensors using a Bluetooth Transceiver.

Transmitters on the valves of each tyre send data to the Bridgestone Capture Pack (BCP), and then to the smartphone via Bluetooth. The phone displays the number of tyres that are under minimum air pressure, indicating which need to be serviced.

Prior to having this system in place, Bridgestone drivers had to monitor their tyre pressure by inserting a manual pressure gauge into each tyre, which took a huge amount of time and effort.

>See also: Leaping into the cloud to develop enterprise apps

But now, the mobile solution means that Bridgestone is able to ensure more efficiently that its tyres are at the optimal pressure, and that the company is therefore getting the most value out of its fleet.

This is just one of many examples of how mobile technology can improve business and logistics operations. Here are other ways an organisation might benefit from incorporating enterprise applications into their company’s mobile strategy.

Tracking and notifications

For companies in areas such as shipping or transportation, access to accurate tracking facilities and notifications that can be sent automatically at each stage of a journey will enable companies to easily keep track of vehicles and their cargo.

Logistics companies were previously only able to track deliveries each time they arrived at a key destination (depot, port, or at the customer’s location).

Mobile makes it possible to track an individual parcel on a meter-by-meter, second-by-second basis, monitoring the transport processes and not only identifying issues when they arise, but predicting problems before they appear.

Automation of existing paper-based processes

Finally, one of the main benefits that mobile technology introduces is the automation of existing paper-based processes. Nowadays, you can eliminate paper forms by replacing them with instant mobile reports. This will not only save you time, but you can also be sure that your data is safe and collected in one place.

The logistics industry, like most modern business sectors, is continuously transforming and evolving, as business race to meet customer demands and keep up with increasingly sophisticated competition.

>See also: It is time for enterprises to embrace mobility?

The continued growth of e-commerce sees no signs of abating and this is putting pressure on all aspects of the supply chain. With the increasing popularity and ever-expanding functionality of mobile affecting companies worldwide it is essential that organisations recognise how mobile can prove not only beneficial but relevant.

Receipt of data in real-time

Perhaps the greatest advantage of implementing a mobile app is the ability to deliver crucial data in real-time to both business employees and customers. Apps can also record and store valuable data, yielding more responsive business decisions by making it easier to perform accounting, billing and regulatory reporting tasks.

In addition, paper waste is eliminated, manpower is reduced and human error is diminished, which in turn, will improve profitability and enhance your bottom line.

Improve customer service

The opportunities to improve customer service by utilising mobile apps are virtually endless. An app can allow customers to track shipments, arrange updates to deliveries or even live chat with a company representative.

But also indicate if the customer is in the correct location for receipt of delivery, and potentially offer alternatives in real time – improving first time delivery rates.
Sourced by Paul Swaddle, chairman, Pocket App

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