How to Optimize T&L Workflows for On-time Delivery
A juggling act requires impeccable timing to keep an optimal number of balls in the air. Drop one, and the act quickly falls apart. Likewise, the transportation industry relies on coordinating many moving parts to deliver products that are imperative for their customers’ success. On–time delivery (OTD) is a key metric that shows how efficient a supply chain is in keeping those parts in motion. Supply chains that optimize their workflows will increase overall productivity, customer satisfaction, and ultimately, see a faster return on investment because fewer “balls will have been dropped.” When optimizing your workflows for OTD, here are four key things to consider:
1. Analyze operational costs
The efficiency of drivers and trucks in an express, parcel or freight fleet are integral to a well-run, revenue-generating operation, and often, profitability can be itemized down to a single driver and vehicle combination. While operations will aim to do everything possible to make the driver’s workflows most efficient, be careful that this does not cannibalize revenue elsewhere. For example, adding one second to a driver’s workflow may be more expensive initially, but it could be more profitable in the long run. For example, when a driver collects data on the route, it can update inventory data in real time, helping to expedite shipping, and decrease an administrative employee’s workflow, who may take 10 times as long to complete the process. Supply chains that dive deeper into the analysis of operational costs will reap the rewards of efficient and profitable on-time delivery.
2. Simplify internal processes
Each supply chain’s routines will vary when it comes to a fleet’s start of day, dispatch, delivery, and end of day processes. An easy way to optimize on-time delivery is to look for opportunities to automate some of the regulatory and operational tasks performed each day. Where is time being taken up with paper documents and can they be removed from operations by implementing more efficient, automated processes? Additionally, warehouses that incorporate real-time information across processes have higher productivity rates. Real-time information can make the customer ordering process instantaneous, allowing your supply chain to spend less time processing orders and more time preparing them for delivery.
3. Make driver data collection as efficient as possible
From dispatch to delivery, data collection is vital to a driver’s workflow. Look for solutions that capture this data faster and with fewer errors than manual processes. Automated methods such as electronic data interchange (EDI) supply a greater level of detail across all workflows, as well as reduce driver interaction at points of pick-up and drop-off. Even without a fully automated track and trace system, supply chains should consider adding mobile computing in place of manual processes to optimize on-time delivery.
4. Keep customers informed
Supply chains that provide consumers with real-time access to shipping information provide a valued benefit that not only enhances the customer experience but fosters loyalty. In addition, tracking every touch of a product through the shipping process helps ensure accuracy and efficiency in getting it to the intended recipient. It also automates proof of delivery which is critical to initiating other downstream processes like billing and payroll.
By simplifying internal processes and implementing mobile computing your supply chain will increase productivity and customer satisfaction. Mobile handheld computers like Honeywell’s Dolphin CT60, provide your team with remote access to business-critical applications that help streamline efficiencies with fewer data errors. In addition, the CT60 is built on Honeywell’s Mobility Edge platform providing a united hardware-and-software interface, and allowing your enterprise IT to deploy faster and with less cost. In mastering the complex juggling act of T&L workflows, you’ll deliver big on value in a competitive marketplace.
Let Miles Data help optimize your workflows for on-time delivery with an assessment of your internal processes. Contact us to schedule a mobility expert to ride along with a route or driver to identify potential improvements in your delivery workflow. From warehouse floor to delivery door, let Miles Data help you optimize your deployment solutions.