Transport and logistics companies could save approximately £303,855 per annum as a result of process re-engineering and the implementation of mobile technology across workflows, a new survey shows. But a significant proportion of companies may be missing out on these potential savings.
The Intermec survey reveals that more than one in three (39%) companies have not initiated re-engineering efforts in the past year, and of these companies, nearly three quarters (72%) have not evaluated their existing processes for at least two years.
With customers demanding same-day delivery services, transport and logistics managers have identified operational efficiency as their number one area needing improvement this year, and 44% of companies believe reviewing current workflows and technologies (process re-engineering) is the most effective means of achieving that.
Key to improving operations is the deployment of mobile, location-based technology, an area where managers believe savings of more than £185,000 can be achieved in the next 12 months. However, almost a quarter (23%) of the companies surveyed have yet to deploy location-based technology, citing a number of barriers including lack of need and cost, which is preventing them from capitalising on these benefits.
"Deploying mobile technology for pick-ups and deliveries has long been seen as a way to improve efficiency and reduce costs, and these findings prove that point emphatically. Ignoring process change simply isn't a long term option," said Jeff Sibio, Intermec Industry Director for Transport and Logistics.
- Managers see broadband mobile communications such as 4G and LTE as the single biggest future driver of ROI (60%) followed by integrated vehicle telematics (44%) and RFID (38%).
- But those who have not deployed new technologies through process re-engineering remain significant. Of those who have not automated processes, nearly 40% cite a lack of business need and 33% attribute cost as the key reasons for not doing so.
- Consequently, the survey finds that 60% of organisations still use paper-based systems to complete tasks associated with pick-up and delivery, and 9% have plans to deploy paper in some form in 2013.
Demanding greater accuracy
- When asked to rank the demands received from their customers, 77% of managers claim that accuracy of service is the biggest pressure point.
- Nearly a quarter (24%) of companies add that improved accessibility of data in back office systems is the area most in need of improvement, followed by an increased amount of detail (23%) and greater accuracy (22%).
"We can see from this research that deploying technology is not just a cost-saving initiative, it's increasingly essential to maintain new higher levels of service to keep customers happy," said Sibio. "One additional validation we are receiving is that the end customer is different and many transportation organisations are scrambling to meet the evolving needs of these new decision makers. Many factors need to be considered, but through a thorough process review, companies can quickly find the solution that will elevate their operations to the next level."
About the Survey
The survey sampled 375 transport and logistics managers at organisations of over 500 employees within the UK, France, Germany, USA, Australia and New Zealand. The survey was commissioned by Intermec and carried out by research company Vanson Bourne in April 2013.
 More than three quarters (77%) of organisations across UK, US, Germany, France, Australia and New Zealand say that their customers now demand same-day delivery services, and 92% of companies claim that meeting these expectations is placing significant challenges on their business to adjust.
 38% of companies surveyed cited operational efficiency as the most important area of strategic importance to their business, more than any other single area