Data analysis has become one of the most important tools for the logistics sector when it comes to customer experiences, the efficiency of operations and new business models. The information gathered is crucial in allowing business to gain an operational advantage and a true edge against competitors and shaping the landscape of the world of logistics.
Big Data is a term that gets thrown around lately when people talk about information and data analysis, and it is an accurate name since it refers to a huge amount of information that must be systematically processed in order to make good use of it. The reason why it has become notorious lately is because today we have finally found a way for software and hardware to come together and process the staggering amount of information and help logistic experts make decisions that will truly impact companies.
Big data and logistics are concepts that go hand-to-hand and with obvious logic. Logistics are meant to handle large amounts of traffic and products that are being built, ship and traded rapidly and therefore there is a lot of information to be gather just as part of operational efficiency. If you add to that the need to collect useful information in order to predict trends in the industry, then you have opportunity and necessity coming together in a perfect marriage. Here in David Kiger’s Blog we have talked about Big Data many times but today we would like to focus on more specific applications and ways that information can be used to exploit data analysis and how information gathering and processing can lead you to improve operations in many areas of the organization, not just the ones we commonly see associated with these strategies.
One of the current trends that is a major concern to logistic organizations is the volume of parcels they have to deal with in their facilities. Predicting the volume of shipments and items that logistics companies have to process during a given time of the day, week, month or the season is something that can greatly help plan according to the needs of the market. Big Data analysis is a way to ease the pressure that may come from not being able to plan accordingly for the ebb and flow of the market and demands of the operation. Data analysis for volume is something that can yield efficiency and truly change the way companies deal with their logistics operations for the better.
Another important area, in which data analysis truly shines, is in finding ways to save resources when it comes to special delivery considerations for products. Let’s take for example material that is highly sensitive to temperature changes or items that are delicate and need special delivery conditions. Items such as those are very important for the supply chain because they drive costs up considerably for the company and also for the customer. Big Data paired with devices that can monitor routes and shipping methods are a great way to test procedures without having to risk products and then analyze how this methodology can be appreciated fully and used in the most efficient manner to ship. Doing that type of research will lead to savings that can be passed down to customers and revolutionize the way things are done for the next generation of transactions to come.
Is it cheaper to utilize existing methods for shipment and piggyback from other companies or should our organization find ways to own the process from beginning to end? What is more cost-effective? The only way to find out the answers to these pressing questions is by being able to process all the data gathered from operations and categorize it while putting it to good use. The truth of the matter is that data scientist uses Big Data analysis to capture parcel data in large amounts in order to make the best decisions over routes, methods, and strategies that can save money and utilize resources in the most efficient way.
New technologies have allowed customers to have a particularly accurate insight about the shipping process of their goods, up the point that they are able to know when they will be delivered exactly and that companies can guarantee delivery up to the hour in some cases. While this is great if you are a customer, it can be quite a nightmare for logistics companies, since ensuring a benefit that customers take for granted can be quite costly, sometimes almost to the point of incurring losses to the organization. With millions of packages being delivered each day, being able to orchestrate timely deliveries is a daunting task, but with the use of Big Data analysis, companies can be able to have more confidence while doing so. Data can ensure companies make the right decisions about routes, delivery methods, packing, and shipping considerations before customers even complete their orders. Things like these are why Big Data makes sense and it’s here to stay.
* Featured Image courtesy of Palo Cech at Pexels.com