In the ancestry of the logistics mobile app, sits the mobile warehouse device. The predecessor of the smartphone app, a ruggedised mobile device, facilitates a productive workforce whereby nobody is tethered to a specific area. These ergonomic machines enable heightened accuracy and efficiency, linking wirelessly to computers and printers.
With the birth of smartphone technology came the natural sequel to this device in the guise of the supply chain app. No longer just for warehouse use, apps can be integrated into every stage of the supply chain, from drivers to consumers.
It is this multi-functionality, a communication platform not only between members of an organisation but also between a business and customer, which has attracted companies to recruit app software developers.
Notoriously, the logistics industry has been considered relatively slow when adapting to digitalisation. However, with plenty of Millennials now employed in the industry, perception is changing with regards to new technologies.
How are mobile apps transformative to the field?
- Perhaps the biggest advantage of mobile apps in logistics is the ability to supply information in real-time, to both business employees and the customer. In this way, the status of consignments can be accurately tracked and notifications can be sent automatically at each stage of transportation.
- Naturally, this enables individual employees to be tracked with the GPS enabled technology built into the app. Managers will always have direct contact with their drivers.
- Accurate PODs can be generated. Signatures can be collected and sent instantaneously back to managers as proof of delivery.
- Apps can also be used to capture valuable data. Information can be stored and analysis can allow for more responsive business decisions.
- Traffic management is a huge benefit. GPS technology can allow for real-time road updates and information can be sent to the driver to specify the best route to take. This saves both time and money, possibly securing future work with a client.
- Aesthetically, a business may appear more stable. Customers may feel assured by the sophistication of app assisted deliveries.
- They can be used to arrange bookings quickly without speaking to a phone operator. This enhances efficiency, especially for customers arranging simple home deliveries.
- The customer service element of any company is vital. With the addition of an app, customers can track their shipments, find out about potentially pushed or premature ETAs, or even live chat with a company representative.
- Businesses may also use the interface to communicate the latest offers with their customers; in a sense, this creates an exclusive club whereby app users can get the best deal.
The demand for app assisted logistics is increasing, with more and more companies developing software to meet it. Do you have experience using a logistics-specific app? Join the discussion in the comments below or on Twitter using #logisticsapps!
- Rapidsoft Technologies
- Common Time
- Inbound Logistics