Logistics is a set of organizational and management processes aimed at streamlining the movement of goods and services from supplier to consumer. In simple words, the main purpose of logistics is to find the most optimal and cost-effective ways of delivering products to the end consumer.
Logistics became an independent economic area in 1980 and has rapidly grown with every passing year. And nowadays, no medium or large enterprise can operate without the services of a logistics manager or a third-party logistic company.
This rapid progress in logistics requires specialists to work with huge volumes of data: databases of transport shipments for different regions and even countries, databases of suppliers, customers, etc. That is why automatic data collection and optimization are becoming increasingly important in modern logistics.
In order to understand the importance of data collection and its impact on the efficiency of logistics, it is essential to grasp it from the inside. Let’s first focus on the main types of logistics and their applications:
Effective logistics is well-coordinated procurement and transportation of goods and materials. The entire logistics process is separated into several stages and follows a certain cycle. Depending on the nature of the company’s business, this cycle may vary, but typically it contains four main stages:
Let’s talk more in-depth about each step to determine the volume of data processed by the logistician and the importance of data collection automatization.
It’s essential to keep in mind that logisticians work to fulfill the needs of customers first and foremost. All logistics processes have to be carried out in such a way that the customer is satisfied.
Proper storage of goods, on-time delivery and courteous couriers, well-tuned operators, and a willingness to solve customer problems — all of this makes for a positive customer experience.
Well-organized logistics greatly influence the customer’s opinion of the company. To keep the customer satisfied, services need to be constantly improved. To maximize results, it is necessary to improve logistics systems by optimizing the movement of goods and information. Any deficiencies here should be resolved through a strategic audit and system redesign.
Forecasting is a crucial step in the logistics cycle. Clear planning and in-depth analysis insure you against unfavorable actions and decisions.
At the forecasting stage, it is necessary to determine what goods are worth procuring and in what quantity, what is currently in demand among customers, which ways are easiest to deliver goods, etc.
For accurate and profitable forecasts, it is necessary to collect large amounts of data and analyze them quickly. For such complex operations, a logistics company needs to have the latest software and hardware.
During the receiving and storage phase, the logistics company receives the goods, checks them for defects, and selects the proper storage standards.
After receiving the goods, the logistics company determines which warehouse to send them to. For example, perishables and medicines need to be stored in temperature-controlled warehouses.
At the warehouse, the goods are labeled, entered into the database, and prepared for unloading and redistribution or sale.
Transportation and delivery is the final stage of the logistics cycle, except for returns, but it is often included here as well. Transportation is arranged in accordance with the commercial contract and can be requested by the seller as well as by the purchaser.
At this stage, it is important to optimize the load of the carrier so that all goods are delivered on time to every recipient, regardless of the location. It is also important to follow the packing and delivery regulations depending on the category of goods.
So how can data collection automatization help you? In fact, automation software can solve various issues at each stage of the logistics cycle. There is a large variety of software that, for example, only automates the work of the warehouse or optimizes the collection of information about orders and customers. There is also multi-component software that solves issues at every stage of the cycle. Before introducing such technology into your business, you should first decide what issues you need to solve.
Here are the most common areas in logistics where you can use automation software:
Logistics software for data collection and optimization can solve many of your problems. IT companies specializing in logistics development are well aware of this industry and develop software to solve the most pressing logistics issues.
The main purpose of logistics is optimization. But the industry is growing, there are more and more goods and routes, and a person is no longer able to cope with the rising amount of information. Data collection automatization saves time and money, which is the key point in logistics.