The processes in freight forwarding and logistics around transports are complex. Companies have to coordinate services in many areas and deal with data from diverse IT systems. In many cases, mobile apps help with process control and create the basis for optimizing quality.
Truck drivers have many tasks in freight forwarding companies: from carefully inspecting vehicles to loading goods, driving through traffic, making deliveries and issuing the delivery receipt. Those who want to perform these services accurately depend on detailed process control. For this reason, many solutions have been developed in information technology to control the operation. These include telematics in commercial vehicles, applications for freight forwarding, systems for logistics and mobile apps for all on-site processes. Depending on the case, they offer different advantages for controlling services. Their greatest benefit is a reliable improvement in quality. Apps for smartphones, in particular, are convincing with their low costs. They capture data directly in the process and digitize workflows in places where only paper was used a few years ago.
What is process control in freight forwarding and logistics all about?
Along the supply chain, many companies and users are involved in logistics services. This makes communication between the individual partners complex. This is especially true in transport logistics, where the profitability of forwarding companies often depends on effective coordination. Mobile solutions make it possible to control even small steps by providing precise instructions. Drivers receive clear instructions from their freight forwarder on what needs to be done and in what order. Modern apps are able to do this via fixed workflows that companies can define themselves for each service area, each recurring task bundle or each individual customer requirement. In this way, they automate process control and enable a new level of quality. The success principle behind this: They integrate the driver into the data exchange - through information on the process as well as continuous status recording. In this way, the software succeeds in training employees while at the same time supporting the exchange of information with other participants in the logistics chain. This is because the applications enable communication in real time, so that the data is directly available via platforms
Process control with mobile apps overcomes company boundaries
It is not only during a single transport that it is important to get the work steps in the right sequence. In the logistics chain, the transport is usually only one step on the way to the customer. The data on its progress is therefore also important for controlling the follow-up processes. If delays occur en route, the processes associated with delivery are postponed. To control the overall process, it is therefore important to generate as much information as possible on the way to the next intermediate step:
- Has the transport started?
- What route will the transport take?
- What are the traffic conditions?
- When does the driver have to take a break?
- How is the weather developing along the route?
- When is the truck expected to arrive?
- How much longer can the driver be behind the wheel?
- If the driver is making more than one delivery: How long will it take to unload?
With this data, the recipient - or even the shipper - can prepare his own procedures associated with the transport. He can select a loading ramp, provide the appropriate personnel for goods receipt or loading, prepare the goods for loading. In this way, not only the transport company and the freight forwarder, but also the logistics of the shipper or recipient benefit from precise process control with mobile apps.
The process decides the control
The design of the processes is crucial for automatic process control. Are they digitally linked? Can data be passed on without media discontinuity? Are there comprehensible specifications for decisions? If these prerequisites are met, the processes can be digitized in small-scale workflows. These use, among other things, all the functions of a smartphone to link a clearly structured process, from the photo or scanner function to the provision of checklists and the determination of the GPS position to the calling of a special app or navigation software. If you analyze your processes precisely, you will discover the potential that arises from digitally linking the individual work steps. Many of the mobile apps make this possible without any programming knowledge.
Process control unlocks potential
The digital linking of workflows improves the efficiency and quality of logistics processes. Decisions become easier for the executing employees, information can be shared more quickly, work steps can be guided and results can be directly logged during execution. This interaction enhances the effect of process control in freight forwarding and logistics and highlights potential for improvement.