Is it possible to save money in logistics?

Saving in logistics operations is not synonymous with finding the cheapest option, savings in logistics and transport operations are not given trying to reduce the unit price. The real savings occur with the correct management of flows and operations and not by reducing the unit price of each operation.

Let’s give examples, imagine that we have an electronic commerce in which we have outsourced both the logistic operations (storage, preparation of orders etc) as well as the transport of delivery of our orders. The usual thing is to try to “adjust” each order preparation operation and each output shipment of our product.

But many times the biggest savings is not in these sections, what good is trying to have the best price for shipping if then we have a poor planning control of our stock and we have thousands and thousands of euros of products standing in the warehouse?

This is just a simple but very real example where the focus of savings is on the visibly more “striking” items, if we have 100 shipments and save € 0.50 each, they are 50 euros in savings. But what do those 50 euros serve us if then we have hundreds and hundreds of euros standing in the warehouse without selling?

Formulas for logistics savings
With the above, I do not want to say that the saving is not also in the control of transport costs but that we should look at other items that can weigh us more our numbers than the simple shipments.

If we have our own warehouse, the first will be as we had already talked in organize our warehouse, use square meters unnecessarily and occupy spaces without any criteria is to increase costs. If we organize our warehouse in a rational and adjusted to our activity and we will be providing a first logistical savings.

Another formula that we have also talked about a long time is to organize the goods in our warehouse in a logical way according to our activity. A bad organization can cause us that the time of preparation of orders increases in percentages over 30% that we supply it with more personnel that means higher logistic cost. Having grouped the products with the logic of our activity provides us with the necessary personnel to prepare the orders.

Another saving formula is about the “peripheral costs” of our activity, such as electricity, water, rentals, insurance, etc. Having insurance with an excessive premium increases the cost for each order we prepare. What is the use of tightening the transport if we then pay that supposed difference multiplied by x in concepts such as insurance?

Those of us who have experience in these adventures of logistics and transport see each other day by day to take action to lower the price of our services. Clients ask us one day yes and another but our job is to make the client see that there are other ways to save money, we all work to offer an excellent service but of course, we like to earn a living.

Are our data protected when we receive an ecommerce purchase?

As it is well said, on the internet if something does not cost you, you are the product . And when we become a product it is our data that interests us. What we do, when, where, with whom, what we buy, what videos we watch or what social networks we use to communicate with our contacts.

Have you ever wondered what happens with your data when you make a purchase in an e-commerce? And what do the transport and logistics companies do with your data?

In the transport sector, a great variety of personal data is handled to carry out a delivery service. If, in addition to handling a great variety of personal data, we add that millions of shipments are handled continuously and daily, one can see that either it adapts correctly to the Data Protection Law (RGPD) or it makes both the clients who contract the service (ecommerce companies for example) as well as the users of them (the final recipient of the package) may see their right to the protection of their personal data violated.

All transport and logistics companies are obliged to adapt their systems and train their staff so that the management of the files that contain this data is in accordance with the law since otherwise they can be sanctioned if they are reported.

How transport companies protect data
We must say that the protection of data is already a very sensitive issue that the vast majority of transport companies have addressed for many years. From personal experience I can say that more than 15 years ago I had to start up data control in my organization, and I was not the only one or the first ….

The most sensitive data handled by a transport company if we refer to customers and their shipments would be the following:

1-Data of the client: Social reason, address, emails, telephone numbers, bank details, etc.

2-Data of the shipments it generates: number of shipments, origins, destinations, etc.

3-Data of the recipients (third parties): names, surnames, addresses, emails, telephones etc.

There is another clear type of data such as those referred to the company’s own staff but if we focus these are the 3 types of data that are handled more commonly in a transport or logistics company.

Usually these data are stored in different “files”, and it is precisely these files that must be protected, since the data protection agency is informed of the type of file it is, its classification (depending on the importance of the data). type of data) , as well as those responsible for the management of those files and the way in which it is protected.

As you can see, it is a system with very specific technical requirements that are usually managed by professionals and with ” secure” access through hosting and passwords.

This is the most sensitive part in terms of data protection, but transport companies take great care that these records they own are used only for the professional activity of transport. As users of electronic commerce we must have the security and guarantee that our data will only be used for the delivery of our packages and not for other purposes.

If we have received a package recently from a transport company and the days send us a message by email or whatsapp making an offer of services, it is clear that either we have signed an authorization for it or the company would be making incorrect and illegal use of our data. Even the responsibility in this case may not end up in the transport company but also in the website or ecommerce where we have purchased since they have the requirement to us as their customers that their employees comply with the data protection law.

Sanctions in case of non-compliance
To show that it is not a minor issue, we should only look at the sanctions that may be imposed in case of non-compliance with the law. There are different regulations but the hardest is the European Regulation that starting from the minor offenses sanctioned with hundreds or thousands of euros can reach up to 20 million euros or even a percentage of the company’s turnover as they have recently sanctioned Google in France 50 million euros for violating the rules of the data protection law.

It is clear that as consumers we must claim our rights and the protection of our personal data must be one of them. We can not get carried away by “the typical” or “everyone does”, we must demand in all areas that our privacy is completely assured.

They are isolated cases like that of the delivery person who used the contact data of the shipments to harass a woman , that is why the transport and logistics companies are adapted to the data protection law as a guarantee of their service.

5 key tools to improve your transport company

The transport sector is experiencing a constant evolution, which in some cases even leads to the emergence of new business models. The companies are checking that they need to renew continuously, benefiting from the technological advances to design a higher value offer for their customers.

And you, how are you working on improving your company? In this article we show you five tools that can help you improve your transport company.

1. Visualization and data analysis tool
As you know, professional activities related to transport and logistics generate a large amount of data of all kinds. Therefore you must have a powerful program with which you can easily organize this data and obtain the information that really brings you at all times to make decisions based on the analysis of the data in the shortest time possible.

These tools automate the calculation tasks and generate custom dashboards or control panels based on key indicators – the indicators you need – and which provide you with quick, intuitive and graphic information.

Notice that the data visualization tool you choose is flexible enough to be able to tailor the reports to your needs. Otherwise, it will give you a lot of data, but they may not be of value to you.

2. Mobility tools
Thanks to new technologies, a series of tools have appeared with which you can know in real time a series of data and information on each of the vehicles that make up your fleet.

The GPS technology lets you know at all times where you will find each of your vehicles. You can detect faults in the engine and even know the driving style of your employees, ensuring that they do so responsibly and meeting established schedules.

This functionality is already common in fleet management platforms , which will make information a way to increase the efficiency of your transport operations.

3.Tools to optimize transport routes
An optimal planning of the transport routes is essential to make the process more efficient and avoid unnecessary expenses. The benefits involve saving fuel and avoiding the wear and tear of vehicles to a greater satisfaction of your customers, since your carriers will deliver in less time.

In turn, this will mean that you can cover more services at the same time. In this way, the design of intelligent routes focuses on automating tasks and avoiding incidents.

4.Tools to save fuel
Investing in a tool that helps you to save fuel not only supposes a competitive advantage for a company that performs the same service at a lower cost, but at the same time it will be beneficial for the environment.

You will make your business more ecological and consistent with the problems our planet faces, and that’s what customers love. With fuel saving tools you will ensure that your drivers do not use inefficient driving techniques , such as prolonged stops with the engine running, braking or accelerating abruptly etc.

In summary, you can get them to drive in a much more efficient and ecological way.

5. Tools to improve pricing methods
If your company starts to grow, you will see that it will be increasingly difficult to know the exact costs and indirect costs . It will not be enough to simply know the direct costs, but you must establish an efficient tariff system that is viable according to your actual expenses.

There are different tools that will help you control costs in detail when making decisions about the price of your products.

All these tools have a common feature. They take advantage of the democratization of technological advances to improve efficiency in transport and the value proposition of companies in this sector.

The cost-benefit of using them seems already unquestionable, since companies that do not invest in this sense will become obsolete in a few years and will not be able to face their competition.

How will logistics 4.0 be?

Logistics is one of the sectors with the highest growth and consolidation in recent years. In the same way it is one of the sectors that major changes and transformations has been introduced, changes that will continue and we will see in the future, especially in the hand of technological applications.

Other challenges such as environmental impact or working conditions will be equally important and we will see how the sector faces them. In such a changing society where the transformations are made in questions of minutes or days, logistic cycles are increasingly shorter and with faster and faster operations.

We just have to look at the operations of electronic commerce that were made in 2009 and those that are made today 10 years later. The cycles of order, preparation and delivery of ecommerce purchases are increasingly shorter, today it is considered “standardized” that in 24 physical hours from the completion of the order is already in our hands delivered at home.

This means that if we analyze the sector and look to the future to see or anticipate the possible evolution of logistics we can see many opportunities that we try to analyze:

Technology as a driver of change
The arrival of technology has already generated many and varied changes in logistics through the transformation of operations. The introduction of barcode readers, goods positioning robots or SGA (control and logistics management programs) is the ABC in any logistics warehouse but this is only the beginning.

Possibly the most important aspect is the total connectivity in the logistics chain. By means of technology it will be possible to reduce errors and efficiency gaps, and with a correct information management, the logistics operator will be able to improve its procedures by reducing its production costs.

Another important aspect besides the connectivity will be the analysis of the generated data or what is commonly known as big data . Through the analysis of the data, logistics companies will be able to predict possible workflows by adapting the structures and allocating the right and necessary resources to be able to guarantee these operations but in an optimized way.

And to close the circle of connectivity, the future of the connection between client and logistics operator will be even greater than at present, producing a flow of information in real time vital for the good maintenance of the client’s business. Stock controls updated to the minute will be the usual tonic.

The customer as “center” of Logistics 4.0
The second important point for the logistics of the future besides technological advances will be to adapt chameleonically to the needs of the client. The customer will become the center of logistics and operations will only be the means to achieve adaptation to those needs.

The online channel grows in a brutal way, the immediacy that we previously recorded will be like a sword in the neck of logistics. The immediacy will be synonymous with satisfaction along with the personalization of the service and therefore the logistics sector will have to keep evolving in order to give a good response.

But not only immediacy will signal the day to day of logistics operations, other new demands appear in the future such as reverse logistics in a country like Spain which is the second country at EU level with a greater number of shipments returned with a figure close to 6%. Managing returns will be another fundamental role in which logistics must adapt its structures.

Not all the changes and improvements will be only those related to aspects such as technology, robots, connectivity or Big Data will be nothing without the proper management of the human team. The great change and transformation of the Logistica 4.0 will not only be technological but it will be human.

The incorporation of more technical profiles and the good training of the human teams are the key to logistics 4.0, we will not do anything having the best technology if we do not know how to use it, nor do we know how to direct this flow to the client. My recommendation is to form a good human team to form a good logistic partner.