The transport and logistics sector is one of the unsung heroes of British industry: after all, it’s what keeps goods and people moving around the country and beyond, every single day. It’s a major contributor to the UK economy, and its current growth is being fuelled in no small part by the rise of eCommerce: the logistics market is expected to grow at 6.28% per year between 2022 and 2027. That makes it all the more important that it’s able to address some of the key challenges it’s facing within its supply chains, both today and tomorrow. Stronger transport and logistics performance is a win-win for all concerned: customers get the faster, reliable and more sustainable deliveries that they want, while businesses are able to run more efficiently and maximise their profitability. This blog explores those challenges, and how technology can play a leading role in addressing them.
The biggest issues affecting transport and logistics supply chains
Many of the issues that the sector is facing are being felt across all areas of society, but the nature of transport and logistics often means that they’re particularly heavily affected. The first is the current rise in costs, both in terms of energy and fuel, employee wages, fleet maintenance, toll fees, and the resulting effect of inflation. All of these factors make transport supply chains much more expensive to run, meaning businesses face a tricky choice between raising prices or finding efficiencies in order to maintain profitability. At the same time, as a naturally large-scale user of energy, businesses in the sector are feeling the brunt of legislatory and societal pressure to operate more sustainably. Using more renewable energy, reducing energy use and meeting environmental standards and regulations are now critical for every business. On top of these wider issues, many transport and logistics organisations don’t make full use of the data that they generate – or that is available to them – every day. In particular, poor traffic prediction and routing strategies often cause unnecessary delays and disruption across many different stages of the supply chain.
Solving issues through digitisation
Technology can have a transformative effect in mitigating the challenges that transport and logistics businesses face. By taking full advantage of the data, analytics and solutions available, costs can be cut, efficiencies can be found and supply chains can be better aligned with customer demand. Areas where digitisation can have the biggest effect include:
Order processing: quick, reliable processing of digital documents like contracts and invoices means that payments and bills can be validated much faster. The same technology can also be used to improve communication with customers on how their orders are progressing
Warehousing and inventory management: data and systems can add more traceability, transparency and detail to stock and inventory, helping with compliance and enabling more people to get real-time information on item location. Digitising this information can also help keep it accurate and up-to-date Transportation: information within all logistics-related documentation can be validated and classified automatically, including bills of lading, commercial invoices, certificate of origin, and proof of delivery receipts. This can improve customer experiences and ease customs processes
How SCC can help
SCC’s position as an experienced partner with leading transport and logistics businesses, means we can support you with Document Services that can help make vital improvements to your supply chain. For example, our partnership with electronic signature scanning solution Scrive means that the signing of contracts and other vital documents can be digitised, sped up, and come with an easily accessible audit trail. This solution can be integrated into the wider SCC DS document services platform, so that entire document workflows can be overseen from one place, across bills of lading, tariffs, tenders and Government Transport Requests. Additionally, we can also support easy three-way matching to ensure payments are processed smoothly and accurately. Our digital workflow solutions can automate the process end-to-end; coordinating invoices, purchase orders and receiving reports, so that they can be electronically forwarded to the right people at the right time. Our innovation in this area substantially speeds up payment verification, reducing any potential delays that it may cause in transport and logistics supply chains.
A successful transport and logistics operation requires many different people, systems and processes to work together in harmony. How documents and the information within them are handled play a critical role in enabling these smooth supply chains. The technology within document services solutions is therefore key to helping businesses in this sector take full advantage of opportunities in a strong, growing marketplace.
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