What role does automation play in the logistics business during COVID 19 pandemic?
As the whole world is gripped in pandemic and trying to get the business back on its feet, there is an opportunity to introduce automation in different aspects of the Logistics business.
Automation which is primarily dominant in the IT and the manufacturing sector is not limited & can be implemented in the Logistics business to prove the benefits it can provide.
There are many companies working in this direction to provide better customer experience and also to optimize the productivity of its resources.
Though automation happens in the software and applications used by the business, the outcome is visible even on human resources.
Let’s explore the various aspects of the business to which automation can be applied and understand the benefit we can reap.
1. Automated update of quarantined zones or hotspots is a vital input for drivers.
Not only while planning the delivery route, but also real-time updates would be vital to the driver.
During the COVID 19 pandemic, the driver must be made aware of the quarantine zones, locality, building, or the hotspots. The information from these can be received from the database of the local authorities and the task of updating the information can be automated.
This will ensure real-time data available to the driver. Even if a delivery address is inside a quarantine zone, the driver with that information can ask the customer to come to the border to collect the package.
2. Automated update of blocked roads, open roads, and route optimization is possible with the help of automation.
This will involve extracting information from the database of local government bodies. The task of receiving the information and sending the updated route to the driver can be automated to happen in the background without the involvement of any human operator.
The driver gets updated route and information about roads blocked due to being in quarantine zones. All the information interchange happens in real-time while the driver is already on his way to the destination.
3.Notification of delivery cancellation by the customer. There are instances when the customer might get unavailable on the day of scheduled delivery.
This would lead to waste to the driver’s time and fuel. To prevent this a customer can get an option to reschedule the delivery of the package to another convenient time.
This not only gives the customer to have ease of access but also makes the business more customer-friendly. When the customer reschedules his drop, the details and the new route gets updated to the driver automatically. This increases the driver’s efficiency.
4. Updating reverse pick up on the go.
There are instances when a customer wants to return the package. This is called reverse pickup and can be automated to ensure that a driver does not go to the customer only to pick up one package.
The software accepts the reverse pickup request by assigning a driver who will be on the same route as per the routing done according to the delivery addresses.
This saves time and fuel for the business and the customer gets the faster response for the reverse pickup request.
5. Tracking the health of the employees in the warehouse or the drivers.
The pandemic also brings challenges to human life. The employees and drivers do have a risk of contracting the virus and transmitting it to others.
In addition, the virus could be present inside the warehouse or in the vehicles.
While the company tries to make the work contactless, it is very vital to have medical information about all the people connected with the business. This back-office task can be automated.
6.Managing payroll of the employees.
As companies move to no work no pay policy, calculating salaries and wages would be a tiresome activity if done manually. To ensure smooth execution of salary disbursement, the work hours recording, salary calculation, and payment can be automated to ensure timely and accurate payment.
The data sent to the management in automated reports also prove to be of high importance.
7. Providing the live status of the driver to the customer.
Live to track and updating the customer is a good facility that can be implemented to win customers.
This not only lets the customer monitor the movement of the package but also be prepared to receive it.
If the customer misses the package, it creates more expenditure to attempt another round of dispatch for delivery. This feature is already in use by many food and other packages delivery companies.
8. The automated routing system helps the company by planning the most optimum route for the driver.
The software gathers data about blocked roads, containment zones, open lanes, etc, and creates the route which would be time and fuel saving.
9. Auto-updating the status of drivers to the fleet master.
The fleet master is responsible to monitor the driver’s performance and route adherence. Deviating from the pre-planned and optimized route could cost the company.
In case of any unplanned deviation, the fleet master gets an immediate notification. Also, any last-minute changes to the set route can be notified to the driver by the fleet master.
10.Performing end tasks like gathering customer feedback or managing basic interactions with the customers.
Feedback is a very vital input for the business as it shows how effectively the business is functioning.
Once the delivery is complete, the feedback gathering can be automated to save time and human effort. Also, deducing output in the desired format and with desired categorizations can also be automated.
The basic principle of automation is to have sufficient data and make repetitive tasks free of human intervention. This lets the output become standard, free of human error factor, and removes the dependency from humans.
Though automation has its benefits, it adversely reduces human jobs.
Would you like to know more about the application of automation in your business?
Streamline the product delivery procedure with the delivery management system