Solve Logistics Challenges With Telematics and Lean Principles


Logistics challenges are being amplified throughout the supply chain due to shortages, cost increases, and changing customer demands. What’s more, customers now expect goods in their hands at extraordinary speeds. This means logistics and supply chain companies need to be as efficient as ever if they have any hope to achieve success and thrive in today’s market.

Telematics solutions and lean implementations are excellent answers to many of the challenges because of the operational efficiency boost they can provide.

Smart technologies, empowered by IoT, are revolutionizing logistics through data. Without interrupting an operation, these technologies collect vast amounts of information, which can be used to improve processes, create new opportunities, and solve problems, sometimes even before they arise, with the help of predictive analytics. Many of the new challenges that are appearing, shortages included, can be dealt with accordingly and faster with the right insights. Telematics solutions and smart logistics powered by IoT deliver precisely those insights.

Here’s a quick look at how the technologies add value to the industry and how they can help you solve many, if not all, of the logistics challenges you face.

Start by Improving Connectivity

Connectivity is paramount to a truly efficient operation. In a lean operation, processes are continually assessed and refined to reduce waste, improve efficiency, and maintain or boost output. With more traditional strategies, you spend a lot less time perfecting the operation and focusing on input and output instead. Comparatively, it also means, in today’s landscape, you need a lot more visibility, which can be achieved with intelligent logistics technologies.

Improving connectivity synchronizes all the various processes, systems, and hardware and enables the collection, processing, and delivery of real-time data. Everything from material handling to manufacturing and fleet utilization can be tracked and better understood with improved connectivity. The knowledge gained from digital technologies adds an immeasurable amount of value.

Just consider real-time GPS data from a geographically distributed fleet. At any time, operators can see where their vehicles are, what’s going on, and what kind of conditions they’re experiencing. This allows the calculation of delivery times, delays, and more.

Lower Operational Costs

Poor planning can cause lower efficiency and higher costs, especially when sourcing supplies, goods, and other necessities in this market. But it stretches far beyond basics and into operational procedures, as well. For example, proper planning can mean avoiding exorbitant costs when dealing with hardware and vehicle maintenance.

Most maintenance solutions are reactive, in that technicians service a piece of equipment after an event has happened, such as a breakdown. Smart technologies and telematics solutions enable predictive maintenance thanks to real-time data reporting. The information coming in helps keep the equipment and vehicles running at optimal performance levels.

When deployed as modern fleet management technologies to monitor a fleet’s status, the solutions can vastly improve efficiency and lower costs. They generate streamlined maintenance systems, improve operator behaviors by promoting safer driving techniques, enable better route planning, and lead to fuel and maintenance savings.

While this is an excellent example of improving fleet handling in logistics, the technology can be applied to nearly every facet of the industry to generate similar results. In effect, it can solve one of the greatest challenges in the industry today: ever-increasing operational costs.

Enhanced Control(s)

When you’re talking about shoring up efficiencies inside warehouses and company-owned facilities, there’s a lot more to work with compared to out in the field. For instance, once a vehicle leaves the warehouse carrying goods or supplies, most of that control is lost. You can plan routes, choose fuel stops, and select various destinations beforehand. But during the trip itself, traffic, weather, and other unforeseen events may appear. All these issues have a direct impact on performance as well and can slow down logistics teams.

Telematics solutions inject a lot more control into the operation at every phase of the supply chain journey. The technology can be used to build realistic simulations to better understand a route or pinpoint events that may occur along the route, and identify better ways to deal with the various problems. The technology can also be used to plan routes better, avoid traffic congestion, find cheaper fueling depots, or even avoid shifting weather patterns.

In this way, administrators, fleet managers, and supply chain operators gain much more control over aspects of the operation they wouldn’t normally have.

Automation Is Possible

All of that data flowing in and out of the operation and connected to processing solutions – like machine learning or AI technologies – leads to more accurate insights. While the insights can increase understanding, awareness, and preparedness, they can also enable advanced automation. Whether it’s automated hardware on the factory floor or self-driving vehicles, the data allows smart systems to remain aware and react accordingly.

Such a thing wouldn’t be possible without the right data and without handling the data appropriately. Real-time data coming in, in its raw form, isn’t always usable or actionable. This highlights another of the major logistics challenges, which involves processing the incoming information and converting it into a usable format. This is generally automated in its own way with the help of machine learning and advanced analytics technologies.

The Telematics Solutions Revolutionizing Logistics

Most logistics challenges that companies and operators face today have to do with rising costs, operational inefficiencies, and general unpreparedness – all things that can be mitigated with the help of modern data. Creating a successfully lean operation naturally leads to waste reduction and decreases consumption, costs, and inefficiencies. But it’s not an easy thing to do, and it requires a lot of nuanced support, which is precisely what telematics solutions and smart technologies can provide through real-time data.

By improving connectivity, deploying smart technologies, and synchronizing the entire operation from source to delivery, many logistics challenges can be solved or mitigated and lean principles can be better adhered to. The benefits include lower operational costs, increased control – even outside company-owned facilities – and the opportunity to adopt advanced automation.

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