Freight forwarders must enforce a large number of legal guidelines and be able to prove their compliance beyond doubt. From driving and rest times to load securing and the proper transport of hazardous goods, however, the practical implementation of regulations is primarily the responsibility of the drivers and thus beyond the direct influence of headquarters. Thanks to digitized workflows, mobile apps offer the best way to still maintain control and fulfill one's responsibilities.
Many day-to-day transport and logistics processes are closely linked to complex compliance requirements. Forwarders regularly see themselves confronted with new regulations, obligations and corresponding liability risks. The regulations primarily serve to protect the logistics companies themselves and their employees, as well as the environment and others. However, non-compliance not only increases the risk of accidents, but can also threaten the existence of the company in the event of damage. It is not uncommon for violations to go unnoticed within companies, due in part to the sheer number of regulations in logistics. These concern, for example:
- Qualifications and certifications
- Load securing, especially when handling sensitive goods and hazardous materials
- Drivers' driving and rest times
- Business partner-related duties of care Use of external resources
- Corruption and white-collar crime, anti-competitive agreements
- Client liability (Minimum Wage Act, Undeclared Work Prevention Act)
With mobile IT solutions that enable the digital mapping and control of important process steps, headquarters and drivers are empowered to keep an eye on all risks. It therefore pays to invest in digital process management, especially to successfully manage compliance.
Instructions for mobile employees
Compliance requirements should never be taken for self-evident. Internally, they are usually violated when ignorance or habit come into play. To instruct mobile employees in particular efficiently and safely, mobile IT solutions are used to guide employees through tasks step by step. Workflows can be defined individually. The sequence of steps is fixed and each of them must be confirmed individually. The optimization and standardization of process flows also lead to time savings, which can increase productivity and help conserve resources.
Digital documentation of mobile processes
Part of compliance regulations is also the monitoring and documentation of their implementation. By replacing paper forms with their digital counterparts, potential errors that occur, for example, during storage, transport or the handover of documents or checklists can be eliminated entirely. Process chains that manage without physical interfaces are generally more resistant than analogue solutions. The paperless documentation and central archiving of workflows also makes the implementation of compliance regulations traceable in the long term, even for external parties. What is more, real-time monitoring enables timely intervention in the event of disruptions and the correction of errors. Employers can thus meet their obligations to act directly. Collaboration with business partners also becomes more transparent. A prerequisite for success is seamless automatic data transfer.
Mobile systems ensure legality
The example of rest periods shows why direct instruction and communication with drivers is an important precondition for implementing and monitoring compliance guidelines. The regulations governing daily driving and rest times are complex. The goal is to prevent driver fatigue and thus minimize the risk of accidents, while still guaranteeing efficiency and quality of service. Modern IT supports the proactive planning of breaks as well as the calculation of driving time. To assist drivers, the app reminds them of upcoming stops and, conversely, informs the control center of their compliance. In this way, those responsible can react in real time to deviations that could lead to substantial fines or, in the worst case, accidents.
Resilience and security
By digitizing their compliance management, freight forwarders can protect themselves legally and gain additional competitive advantages by minimizing risks and optimizing processes. The app guides through workflows securely and precisely. In the same course, users confirm each work step including compliance measures. The bilateral data exchange in real time also enables timely intervention in the event of disruptions. Error-prone analogue processes are digitized and physical interfaces eliminated to make supply chains significantly more resilient.