Logistics is the management of the flow of goods from the point of origin through to the point of consumption according to customer or corporation demand. It incorporates the management of raw materials, the production and storing of goods, transportation to the point of consumption and also after-sales.
With the growth and globalisation of companies, technology is becoming increasingly important as it has totally changed the ways in which businesses operate.
The use of technology helps to manage the flow of goods while optimising costs and it’s become an integral element of managing your fleet’s efficiency – often one of a company’s biggest expenses.
Here are some of the main ways that technology will help to improve your fleet’s efficiency.
A significant amount of cargo theft takes places while goods are being transported, leading to a greater demand for technology to make logistics more secure. By attaching a transmitting device to a vehicle, or the cargo itself, you are able to track and monitor the cargo throughout its journey.
For additional security, any interference with the device sends an immediate signal to those monitoring it.
In a similar vein, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags are used to provide information on goods and their movement throughout the supply chain. The tags can be programmed to capture particular information, including where a product is manufactured, packed and shipped.
Obtaining Your Fleet
A big question for any fleet is whether to rent, buy or lease their vehicles. Many businesses simply stick with their company’s tradition, but it’s worth regularly revisiting the options, based upon the way you pay for your fleet and your tax options. Renting is becoming an increasingly attractive option for many companies looking to cut costs and this option is generally more flexible.
A great way of saving even more is by opting for a four-year lease in place of the more traditional three-year option. With vehicle reliability less of an issue, this move could save you thousands.
Use Fleet Management Software
Fleet management software is a much more effective option than loading your data on to a spreadsheet. Using the software means you can keep track of essential data such as overall running costs, emissions, fuel consumption, duty of care and more.
In addition to demonstrating how efficient your fleet is, you can use your data to improve driving habits, find the optimum route for your journey and ensure your vehicles spend most of their time on the road.
Fleet telematics is a great tool to ensure that companies use their fleet to maximum efficiency. It integrates telecommunication and information processing systems to obtain data on how a vehicle is being used.
The technology is capable of carrying out a ‘nearest vehicle’ search, checking on the live status and use of a particular vehicle, and tracking CO2 emissions.
Telematics can also help to track driver behaviour – a touchy subject, but it can lead to drivers being offered training where necessary, and help determine any bad habits such as sudden braking. And better behaviour on the road, leads to improved fuel efficiency and cost savings.
Possibly a strange choice when we’re on the subject of technology, but improving communication can go a long way to improving fleet efficiency. By installing a system in the driver cab that allows you to give the next job directly to the driver, you are removing the need for the driver to come back to base between jobs to pick up the next job, therefore saving miles and fuel costs.
In addition, two-way communication means the driver can feedback any information about delays or accidents on the road to the fleet manager, who can relay that information to other drivers before it affects them.
For those running a fleet of vehicles today, it’s essential to have that fleet running more efficiently while spending less money, and one of the biggest challenges is how to make changes without them affecting your level of service. By utilising some of the new technologies on the market today, you have the potential to run a fleet of fuel-efficient vehicles while maintaining or even improving your business’ environmental credentials.
To find out more about how Marpak helps UK and European businesses to improve the efficiency of their logistics and fleet, contact us today.