Transportation and logistics providers continue to face challenges with labor and skills shortages and managing costs. A recent study published by McKinsey that surveyed 250 logistics leaders in transportation and warehousing found that the companies were not only turning to digital technologies to address these challenges but were increasing investments in advanced logistics solutions to address digitalization beyond traditional transportation management and warehouse management solutions.
“Together, the survey findings suggest that if a company isn’t reimagining the way it works in conjunction with technology—all while building newer breakthrough capabilities—achieving the expected ROI from technology commitments may become harder than ever.”McKinsey
Advanced digitalization initiatives for logistics operations span the gamut from robotics and fully automated picking, drones and delivery vehicles, to digital twins, to real-time tracking and route optimizations. And as broad as the digital initiatives are, so are the differences in their readiness for actual wide-scale adoption across the industry. Many of these technologies are in the early stages of development, but there are some important new digital solutions currently available that can transform critical logistics operations in areas such as fleet management and warehouse and distribution center operations.
Reimagining frontline operations looms large in the possibilities for transportation and logistics providers. The survey highlights the top concerns for the companies as Labor Management, Productivity and Cost Management. All critical challenges that are directly affected by the frontline workforce skills gaps and labor shortages. Fortunately for logistics providers, frontline digital technologies are readily available, easy to adopt and very cost-effective. Solutions like ROO.AI can deliver swift time to impact with little investment in time or resources from the logistics provider.
Apply Digital to Top Logistics Concerns
In an industry that is still highly dependent on a frontline workforce, digital tools can make a tremendous impact in the key areas highlighted in the McKinsey survey. Labor Management challenges due to shortages and skills gaps can be improved by providing workers with digital tools for easier access to orientation, training and safety guidelines to accelerate onboarding. In addition, 60% of workers from an eduMe survey reported that they were unhappy with the technologies they used at work, and one-third of frontline workers in a Microsoft study felt they did not have the right digital tools to do their jobs effectively. Digital frontline tools can not only improve onboarding but can also help attract and retain skilled workers.
Increasing productivity on the frontline is often dependent on upskilling workers and ensuring that they can move quickly through standardized fleet and warehouse operation processes. Frontline digital solutions like ROO.AI improve efficiency by replacing paper for instruction and data collection. ROO.AI customers see reductions in process times by up to 70% due to the visual guidance and automation of data collection.
Aside from improving productivity, which is a direct input to managing costs, digitalizing frontline operations with ROO.AI drives greater accountability for quality, which can reduce rework and mistakes that cause delays and add to overall costs. In addition, ROO.AI customers leverage their digital frontline platforms for risk mitigation, capturing digital proof for all shipments and logistics activities, providing easily accessible audit trails to address any customer claims.
As the McKinsey study points out, digital logistics is being overwhelmingly endorsed across the industry. However, it is equally important that companies combine that momentum with reimagining their operations. Across the board, frontline workers play a critical role in logistics operations, and the digitalization of the processes they drive is one of the areas where easily available, readily implementable digital solutions exist today.