No matter what your business, a small cafe, or a big industry, logistics is always one of the most primary considerations. If you are a product based company, then logistics is one of those critical factors that can make or break your consumer satisfaction levels.
There are other industries like shipping, trucking, and movers who are solely based on transportation. Logistics is essentially the backbone of any economy.
There was a time when logistics was not a defined industry. Each company that needed to ship products would own and operate their own services. In today’s world of rising demands, it is close to impossible to run such a network.
This is where dedicated logistics helps the network. However, if your business needs its own shipping service, this department functions as an entity of its own.
New Wave Of Logistics
Logistics today is not just about owning and running trucks or ships. A good company has to be technically sound and equipped with top-of-the-line fleet management services.
These software and apps help to enhance the already existing network. They enable companies to keep track of their whole fleet from a single point.
These tracking features are not just restricted to position tracking but also keep an account of miles spent on the road, shifts of the drivers, the fuel consumption, service predictions, and much more. They are wholesome applications that act as a one-stop-shop to keep all parameters in check.
For a company that depends heavily on transportation, any small discrepancies could lead to a domino effect of errors. This is the reason why risk analysis and management need to be given the utmost importance. A little snag on any of the nodes in the supply chain will not just affect one ongoing task but derail the whole company at large.
How To Foresee Risks
The first step to predict is to have a dedicated team that works on tracking the workflow of the company and ensures all operations are running smoothly. Having a single department or point of contact for risk assessment and management is very important. This team must have access to all the day-to-day operations and should also be the single recipient for internal complaints.
The second factor is to study the existing management system and understand what points in the network see a high chance of failure. Assign priority points and seek help from the head of each department to understand the causes of frequent failure. Identifying existing holes is the best way to foresee further damage.
The last step is to employ technologies and automation; to help understand present-day usage and make predictions for the future. For example, if we are using a management system to keep track of miles run by a truck, we can also automate them to trigger a warning. These warnings can be for oil changes, certification renewals, general service, or any other parameters that could put the fleet at risk.
How to Build A Safety Program
To help build a safer and risk-free environment for your business, you must keep a check on the internal factors rather than external. Factors like the condition of roads, weather change, and natural disasters are not in your hand. But this does not mean you cannot be prepared for them.
The use of hardware to enhance the driving conditions is hands-down, the most critical parameter. Using dash cameras for trucks alone will reduce the on-road risk by twenty percent.
These cameras are placed to record the moment of the truck and the health of the driver. Some sophisticated cameras also give a warning if they sense fatigue in the driver.
Other technologies are used to assist with harsh driving conditions. Like a blind spot or a reversing camera helps drivers gauge movements better.
Some of these systems can be linked to the electronics of the trucks — that take their own precautionary action when it senses a problem. Other benefits include Hours Of Service Compliance checks, substance or alcohol abuse checks, and engine failure warnings.
Apart from hardware, there are also software upgrades that can help create a safer system. These are applications that can keep a log of all the movements of transportation and record every minute detail.
Like we mentioned before, the more information we have about the machines, and it’s usage, the better we can prepare. Pre-schedule all the moments and routes ahead of time as possible. This gives time to run safety checks and service compliance.
The last factor is at the human level; human error is one factor that no application can cure. To avoid any such mistakes, keep the workforce free of stress and burdens.
Have dedicated departments and break work into small fragments. Let one person or team oversee the operations and keep the ship afloat. Take complaints and grievances of the staff at face value at all times.
It is important to note that the end goal is customer satisfaction. If your logistics are at risk, the final product will never reach the consumer, and this could shunt the whole system.
Apart from the complaints of the staff, even those from the consumer must be considered seriously. Many problem points could be apparent just from the reviews of a customer.
Predicting risk is half the battle. If you are able to see patterns and flaws ahead of time, it could save your organization a ton of money and time. Information from research and application will be your gospel.
The lesser hands this data changes, the faster the process of risk calculation. Once you have a plan in mind, remember that every plan-A must also have a plan-B. Run as many scenarios and cover as much ground to make your system bulletproof and foolproof.
The risk today is one entity that can hamper workflow, but it is also straightforward enough to predict and manage. In this age of technology, we have artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cognitive algorithms.
All of these systems understand and calculate risk better than a human could. And not automating risk management could be a massive setback for any organization that relies heavily on transportation.