Santa Claus is not coming: From a logistics perspective, it could be worse
Of course Santa will be paying everyone around the world a visit again this year. But does this mean we need him as a logistics expert? Certainly not. Thanks to state-of-the-art data control, road carriers can deliver all kinds of presents and goods to the right place, at the right time for the festivities. Read here about the factors that can optimise your goods flow.
Our image of Santa still mostly draws on his charm in an analogue world with a workshop, sleigh and practically emissions-free reindeer. In terms of logistics, in 2019 the billion-dollar business of Christmas is, of course, increasingly digital.
In the course of the digital revolution, the following factors will bring some drive into the transport business – also for Christmas:
Use the right software to ensure efficiency
There is hardly anything that ruins the festive mood more than delayed and misrouted deliveries. There are comprehensive IT tools to prevent such mistakes. The individual steps are coordinated to improve processes and minimise errors. Thanks to innovative commissioning systems and verification software for goods handling, you can avoid the incorrect assignment of goods – both in your warehouse as well as when loading and unloading trucks. IT tools are also optionally available for the maintenance of the applicable truck. This means your fleet of trucks is permanently ready to go in the busy Christmas period.
- Find out about the range of logistics software available.
- Also consider all upstream and downstream processes for optimisation.
Gain transparency thanks to Track & Trace
A Christmas list is a guide for Santa and his helpers. As the person responsible for the tractor units, trailers and the team of drivers, you don’t need long lists for this. Programmes for the scheduling of people and machines help you to gain transparency. This means, for example, that you don’t double book staff and materials. Consignment tracking should also be mentioned. This pinpoints the goods and transport technology in real time at all times, creating the utmost transparency for all those involved in the delivery chain.
- Plan your dispatching digitally to avoid errors.
- Use Track-&-Trace applications to keep an overview.
Transparency also allows you to demonstrate flexibility. If Santa only ever took one route to deliver the presents, he would be just as lost as a logistics specialist without a plan B or C. In order to be able to react to the breakdown of individual transport carriers and congested transport routes, alternatives are required – and quickly. You can use freight exchanges, software solutions that predict arrival times, and offers which take compliance regulations into account, to find information on quickly finding new options for routes and freight capacities with the aid of IT.
- Keep your thinking flexible when it comes to reacting to the unexpected.
- Anticipate complications using forecasting tools.
Make use of cooperation
The heroic deeds of the hard-working elves to support Santa are legendary. In the transport industry today, teamwork is the basis of successful supply chain management. Use the expertise of all your employees and of every company, and take advantage of the hardware and software available for individual process steps. The willingness to cooperate creates added value which those on their own will struggle to achieve.
- Work in a team with all those involved in the delivery chain.
- Take the path, step by step together, into an environment that is becoming increasingly digital.
Logistics specialists around the world pull out all the stops, particularly for the trade around Christmas, to ensure that the festivities are a success. If, this year, you have not yet been able to enjoy all the advantages of digitalisation in our industry, then don’t worry. There’s always next year! In 2020, you should take the opportunity to upgrade in enough time. Then you can tackle the upcoming festive period (more) relaxed.