How to Use Mobility Solutions to Improve the End-to-End Supply Chain

If there’s one thing that’s on every logistics and transportation manager’s wish list, it’s to create an “untethered” experience for themselves, their staff, and their drivers—all of which can work smarter, better, and faster in a mobile environment. With a dizzying array of mobile hardware and software to choose from, logistics professionals strive to make the best possible mobile computing choices—namely, those that will help improve and expedite their end-to-end supply chains and create safe work environments. 

Focused on reducing overall transportation costs, improving route-planning accuracy, and improving management information and reporting, according to a recent survey, these professionals use mobility solutions to:

  • Meet looming government mandates. By 12/18/17 carriers or drivers who are using paper logs must comply with the new electronic logging device (ELD) rule, and by 12/16/19 they must replace the use of grandfathered AOBRDs (automatic onboard recording devices) with ELDs. The rule applies to most carriers and drivers who are required to maintain records of duty status (RODS) data. Using mobility solutions that are supported by device deployment services and fleet-wide vehicle mounting installation services, transportation professionals can not only meet the government mandate, but also create a safer work environment for their drivers while making it easier and faster to comply and accurately track, manage, and share RODS data.
  • Increase driver efficiency while exceeding customer expectations. Mobile solutions are helping drivers determine the best possible route for every shipment, navigate around traffic problems, stay connected to their home bases, and log the distances that they travel. By equipping their fleets with mobile tracking solutions, for example, and then using that data to bill their customers and pay their drivers, companies can expect an 8 percent reduction in cost, due to improved reporting accuracy. “That’s quite significant when you think about the cost of fuel, labor, time and more,” FleetOwner reports. “And when billing and routing is accurate, a company’s bottom line is not the only thing that benefits—these savings are also reflected in the return on investment for their customer base.” Add easy device adaptability made possible by sunlight-readable screens, touchscreen glove or rain-sensing operation technology, and 2-in-1 convertible designs to the equation, and the benefits of mobile technology in transportation and logistics grow exponentially.
  • Break free of their own desks and desktop computers. As the proliferation of e-commerce and omni-channel distribution puts new and unprecedented strains on warehouses and distribution centers (DCs), ruggedized mobile solutions are gaining in popularity. With barcode scanning capabilities, durability, long battery operation, better mobile connectivity and device reliability that results in a lower total cost of ownership (TCO), these solutions are mobilizing the logistics workforce in ways that weren’t even possible just a few years ago. “Mobile logistics is giving people who previously had to be tied to their desks more flexibility to be somewhere else on the warehouse floor,” David Wassenar told TechTarget. “One of the best things I’ve seen is that mobile has allowed the warehouse manager to leave his office. Part of the warehouse manager’s job is exception management, and mobile enables the manager to check the exceptions on his smartphone while he’s moving around the warehouse accomplishing other tasks.”

Moving goods through the supply chain has become a centerpiece of commerce because manufacturers and retailers maintain low inventories and rely on transportation providers to deliver orders on schedule. Concurrently, the costs of maintaining and modernizing truck fleets, drivers, and the technology infrastructure that coordinates the processes puts pressure on profitability. Using mobility to improve real-time operations transparency, decision making, order processing, and customer service, logistics and transportation managers can overcome key challenges within the four walls of the warehouse and across their transportation networks.

Learn more about Panasonic’s transportation and logistics solutions here.