How business intelligence can help logistics companies during the festive
Festive season has just kickstarted in India and we are already seeing a surge in the number of online shoppers everyday. This shift in the shopping behaviour has prompted even the traditional stores to provide online sites and apps to tap into the ecommerce bloom. As buyers throng online platforms to shop, it has become imperative for logistics companies to scale and support this rush. Logistic companies are adopting business intelligence and analytics to streamline their operations and meet seasonal spikes efficiently. Let us look at how business intelligence is enabling logistics companies to become more efficient and profitable.
Demand Forecasting and Inventory Planning: Festive sales usually have a lot of variance in demand and supply. This is where BI helps logistics managers forecast demand for festivals or any other seasonality. With business intelligence platforms, logistics companies evaluate historical data and take stock of several vital variables essential to planning for the future.
These forecasts help these companies to plan their inventory efficiently and avoid cost of sitting stock. Further, these forecasts help logistic companies to ramp up their infrastructure and plan workforce in advance to handle the surge in demand throughout the peak sale season.
Transport: When a logistic company combines smaller consignments and sends them either via road, rail or air, etc., up-to-date information on the exact location of goods/items is indispensable. This point-to-point information helps them track the shipments at each stage and provide faster services, especially during festive months. With BI integrated into their systems, logistic companies accurately track every detail across their transport network. Moreover, having access to critical metrics also helps them improve service, reduce costs and boost profitability. Further, companies can also evaluate daily revenue per kilometer, running costs of vehicles, loss due to an emergency, and subsequently, make informed decisions on planning the next consignment.
Route Management: Business intelligence helps logistic companies to find the best routes so that the delivery of goods is done efficiently. Route management using location intelligence helps logistics managers determine traffic movement, the best route for delivery, and hidden location points. Even staff deployment to the nearest delivery center is done quickly. Moreover, logistics companies can also have access to live weather updates that can help them schedule the movement of the consignments and suggest alternative routes. Finally, route management using BI also significantly allows companies to reduce their costs.
Fleet Maintenance: Compared to other times, meeting customer expectations and delivery requirements becomes critical during the festival months. This is when predictive analysis using BI helps logistic companies keep their fleet management and maintenance on track as it provides real-time insights on the health of vehicles. Having fleet data in sync with maintenance schedules helps logistic managers analyze breakdowns and anomalies (if any) and take actions in advance. These can help in improving fleet performance and reducing downtime while keeping the shipment on track.
To sum it up
Business intelligence indeed has the potential to revolutionize logistics and transportation in the years to come. It will empower players operating in the logistics space to identify correlations between multiple factors across their logistic chain. Moreover, with online shopping trends growing significantly, it becomes imperative for logistic companies to use BI and improve their on-time delivery game predominantly.
The author is Founder Architect & Vice President Engineering, Intellicus Technologies