Logistics 2022: Digitalizing mobile processes
Efficiency does not tolerate media breaks
Value chains consist of a multitude of interfaces that connect their links. Freight forwarders transport goods for further processing in production and bring finished products to retailers. Between the plant, warehouse and recipient, they connect the business processes of different companies in many areas. From production logistics to the services of logistics companies, their processes require precise control. Digital solutions for mobile processes have been optimizing the use of trucks and employees via a wide variety of end devices for several years.
Along the supply chain, communication and information link the various processes. Which tasks are to be completed when and by whom? In addition to the quality of planning, coordination also determines whether the goals in processes are fulfilled. For each individual order as well as within the networks of the logistics industry. Platforms and systems such as an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) control the distribution of products. The flexibility of the underlying strategy and the quality of the logistic processes are determined by the efficiency of their control. Mobile apps enable monitoring in real time, which allows timely corrections in the event of disruptions. They create transparency, ensure uniformity of processes, and thus lead to time savings that increase productivity and conserve resources.
Guiding mobile processes with apps
Apps digitize mobile processes by capturing, transmitting and documenting data. They eliminate media discontinuities and thus improve data quality. In addition, they specify workflows, guide the employees carrying them out and thus provide the basis for the automation of routine tasks. The apps are connected to central systems through which they provide all process participants with real-time information. In addition, they have the potential to eliminate process control via paper forms. In this way, they also eliminate a particularly error-prone process chain for the transfer of documents and thus establish a value chain that does not require physical information interfaces. Therein lies the key to flexible and scalable networks. The prerequisites for this are seamless automatic data transfer as well as self-induced and audit-proof documentation.
Data from mobile processes accelerate control
Because the end devices seamlessly integrate the capabilities of technology into mobile processes, their flexible use in every new context creates individual added value. The applications can digitize all aspects of logistics processes. These include, among others:
- Recording of driving and rest times as well as waiting times
- Inspection tasks such as departure checks before transport
- Photo documentation, e.g., of load securing and damage
- Registration of loading equipment, and containers
- Data transmission to the fleet management
- Provision, evaluation and filing of all checklists
When carrying out mobile processes, the apps automate the communication and exchange of information between clients, service providers and consignees. By providing data without delay, the apps realize enormous time savings per task for the management of mobile processes.
Automate data collection and documentation
Through the automatic documentation of transactions, mobile apps deploy their full potential especially in the management of loading equipment. Because they transfer the number and type of loading equipment to the central system, they improve data quality and thus reduce administrative costs considerably. By replacing the so-called pallet slips, the apps avoid the risk of losing a proof. In addition, the time-consuming handling of the papers is eliminated, and their documentation is always complete without additional work steps. Within logistics facilities, the apps can also almost completely replace stationary terminals with the use of mobile data entry (MDE) devices. These make mobile processes lean, flexible and scalable.
Digital mobile processes enable efficiency and automation
An important key to further optimization in logistics lies in the digitalization of mobile processes. If they continue to be controlled in analogue form, manual tasks carried out in a decentralized manner will fail to achieve their maximum efficiency. This is because they are associated with an enormous effort for information, communication, documentation, and administration. Used sensibly, apps can take over and simplify all these tasks. Digital mobile processes do not only speed up process control in logistics, but they also connect value chains in a much more resilient way. The logistics industry is only just beginning to tap into these diverse potentials.
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