Various mobile applications have been launched in the last few years to facilitate logistics and supply chain industry operations. These mobile applications have brought an instrumental change in the logistics and supply chain market. The inherent use of smartphones and apps looks like a natural choice for the Supply Chain & Logistics industry as they are constantly evolving and on the move. The industry is responsible for the transportation of millions of people and packages around the world. With the help of supply chain app development, the industry has now morphed into a seamless, cost-efficient and effortless process.
Industry leaders have now started understanding the importance of e-commerce on customer retention and satisfaction. Due to COVID-19, more and more businesses are going back from brick and mortar stores to e-commerce stores. Having said that, various big and small companies in the logistics industry would have to embrace supply chain management. Now, why does a supply chain business need a mobile application? What processes can be included in a mobile application? How can a mobile app affect the supply chain industry? In this article, we will find out the answers to the above questions regarding supply chain app development.
How are mobile apps transforming the logistics industry?
One of the primary challenges you might face when dealing with your customers is reducing the time it takes to deliver their goods. Companies are looking at e-commerce for growth; as a business owner, you need to look at technological improvements. It is one of the best ways to stay relevant in your industry. A well designed mobile application seamlessly integrates fleet management solutions to provide real-time tracking of goods and streamline the entire supply chain process. Now, let us look at how mobile applications are changing the logistics industry.
1. Warehouse Management
Delivering goods on time is not the only goal of running a supply chain business. They also have to work on warehouse management. It cannot be neglected as the products are safely stored in these warehouses before being shipped to the final destination. The assignment of allocating storage space for the goods in warehouses and then picking them up again for dispatch is not easy.
Hence, a logistics mobile application that has been built with warehouse inventory management will be profitable for the business. It can enable you to store the product systematically and also keep track of inventory in real-time.
2. Better Efficiency of Data Analysis
With the increasing demand for logistics and supply chain services, you definitely have to process a higher volume of data. The sad part is that most businesses cannot make good use of this data for further analysis and development. Interestingly, around 60 per cent of organizations are not able to use such data strategically.
A supply chain and logistics mobile application help to make informed decisions by capturing auto-generated data. It provides a clear picture of your business performance which you can analyse to make further improvements. Moreover, you can also get the features of an enterprise mobility app in your application to offer more power to your team.
3. Improved Communication
Due to lack of communication or lack or miscommunication, the delivery of packages can be delayed or misplaced. A supply chain mobile application comes with an integration of inventory management systems. It is an enhanced way of maintaining a sustainable supply chain system.
The whole team working on the supply chain can be on the same page with the help of a mobile app. For instance, suppliers can connect with delivery drivers and track location and schedule their next delivery accordingly. The pick-up and drop-off efficiency can be better optimized according to the fleet’s capabilities moving on multiple routes.
4. Ease of Bookings & Payments
Major logistics organizations like BlueDart and DHL have invested in mobile applications. One primary reason for their investment is that they are looking to capitalize on technology to simplify their users to book a parcel delivery. Around the world, most users do not know how to use an application to purchase products or services.
It is possible to enhance end-to-end customer service by offering effective tracking with the help of a supply chain and logistics mobile app. According to recent trends, mobile applications are here to stay, which is true for logistics providers. Customers can easily schedule parcel pick-up, set the date, and pay online through the application itself, which helps them save a lot of time.
5. No Paper Dependency
In the olden days, the supply chain companies used to have a complicated paper system for each shipment. These files were basically the backend of the organization and its communication with the customers. When there was a need to track the detail of any past shipment, it had to be done through a tedious process of manually searching through files and folders. This resulted in slow customer service and often resulted in late deliveries too.
With the help of mobile applications, organizations have started transferring their data in a digital format. Hence, the data related to any past shipment can be retrieved within a few seconds. On top of this, there is less chance of data loss and hence a lesser chance of data redundancy.
6. Better Staff Management
Staff management is a major headache for any logistics company, and it is the same with any company. With the supply chain management app, you can manage their tasks, expenses, and labour costs better. This improves your team’s efficiency, and you can save a lot of unwanted time and costs in this process.
Supply Chain & Logistics App Development Trends in 2021:
Logistics and Supply chain companies are developing innovative solutions to respond to constantly changing logistics trends in 2021. Here are the top 5 budding trends in the supply chain & logistics industry you need to know.
In this age, involving your team through interactive and productivity enhancers like gamification is ideal for improving worker efficiency and productivity. Gamification provides workers stimulating skills practice with real-time feedback that inspires and guides them to enhanced performance. It makes work like a video game challenge that the employees can interact with to understand and level up. Moreover, gamification can be included in real warehouse processes and tools to track employees’ accuracy, speed and progress over a period of time. Gamification can also reward employees with motivation like virtual badges, feedback, automated messages of encouragement and more.
2. Last-Mile Delivery
It is estimated that by 2030, more than 60 per cent of the world’s population will be residing in cities. This number is further expected to increase to 70 per cent by 2050. Along with increasing e-commerce needs, broadening urbanization means that a major transportation and logistics trend will be last-mile delivery. Interestingly, last-mile delivery costs make up for more than half of companies’ total logistics costs.
Traffic congestion in cities caused by the rise in last-mile delivery in logistics is an environmental concern that businesses must deal with. Moreover, businesses will start using drones to automate business processes in 2021. Also, temperature-controlled lockers provide customers flexibility by minimizing delays and costs linked with returned deliveries because of unavailability. The last mile delivery concept is a great idea for perishables like food and certain medicine.
3. Reverse Logistics
Along with the rise in e-commerce, businesses need to adopt a good reverse logistics system in 2021. Reverse logistics includes all the value-added activities that businesses offer after the point of sale. It includes post-sale services like returns, refurbishment, repairs, reselling and recycling etc.
At the moment, sellers are competing to survive in the e-commerce market by providing fast and effortless return services. Around 30 per cent of e-commerce orders are being returned compared to 8 per cent of retail store orders. This is where reverse logistics management can make or break an e-commerce business.
4. Digital Training
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, there were concerns for disruption in the supply chain because of new demands in the e-commerce industry. To cope up with the rising demand, Amazon hired 175,000 temporary workers at the start of the pandemic and has hired more than 2,800 new employees per day since July 2020.
To handle that, Amazon incorporated digital training methods to enable seamless employee onboarding throughout 2020. As more millennials enter the industry, they carry their technological habits along with them. Hence, digital training is the perfect answer for a new-age blue-collar workforce.
5. Social Sustainability
Apart from environmental sustainability, social sustainability will be a major trend for supply chain and logistics trends in 2021. Due to high workforce turnover and changes in the labour market, supply chain management companies have started focusing on warehouse workers. In essence, social sustainability is all about empowering workers and providing them with skills and learning opportunities to succeed in their roles. Hence, they are less likely to quit or be redundant. Hiring and training new employees are expensive; social sustainability is a great tool to reduce labour costs and enhance workforce productivity in 2021.
Enhancing supply chain efficiency is a constant and repetitive process that must be measured, reviewed and evolved to stay competitive. Various supply chain performance metrics assist you with this, but the most popular is the Perfect Order Index. Though it was initially used in the retail industry, it is a great tool to measure strong performance areas in e-commerce too. Moreover, to succeed in your business, you will need to enhance customer experience and do better than your competitors in every department. That is possible with the help of a mobile application. An advanced mobile application will be a good platform to reach more customers. Apart from that, you will be able to save time and money too by automating various tasks. Let us know about your favourite trend in the comments below.
Rajiv Patil is the founder & Managing Director of Nimblechapps, an innovative web development company. He takes a keen interest in topics related to mobile app development, web development, mobile game development etc and often like to express his thoughts through informative blogs.