Without the transport and logistics industry, the UK simply couldn’t function normally. It’s thanks to the smooth running of businesses in the sector that people can get to work and school, goods including food are available for us all to buy, and businesses can trade without unnecessary disruption.
However, as is the case with many industries at present, many transport and logistics companies are feeling the financial squeeze. The rising cost of perishables like fuel along with other vital goods, plus an increased demand for pay rises among the workforce, means that profitability is harder to maintain. This means that, perhaps now more than ever, cost control is critical to keeping the bottom line looking healthy.
There is good news on the horizon, though. Given the range of functions involved in successful transport and logistics – inventory management, scheduling, distribution, customer service and much more – there is plenty of scope to find substantial efficiencies.
Challenges on multiple fronts
The current inflationary and cost of living-related challenges are just a small part of the pressures that transport and logistics companies are having to deal with. On top of that, they’re also having to navigate their way through:
- Global supply chain disruption: several global factors have played havoc with the smooth running of supply chains, including the pandemic, economic turbulence and geopolitical conflicts. All of these have served to highlight and exacerbate gaps in operational and financial resilience for businesses in the sector
- Industrial action: this sector is generally highly unionised, and there has been extensive action taken by workers looking for better pay and conditions, including at Royal Mail, Transport for London and on the wider UK rail network
- Sustainability demands: as part of the Government’s drive to reach net zero by 2050, transport and logistics companies are expected to do their part and reduce their carbon footprint. This comes at a time when demand for delivery vehicles is expanding: the World Economic Forum predicts that demand for last-mile delivery will expand by 78% by the end of the decade. Meeting this growing demand without compromising sustainability may require heavy investment in new technologies
- Data management: the amount of data that companies in all sectors have to collect, handle and store is expanding all the time. That data has to be accessible in order to maximise efficiency and productivity, and to generate a new level of insights, but it also has to be secured in ways that are compliant with ever-tightening regulations. Striking this balance can be an expensive endeavour, especially if many records are still in paper form
Optimising logistics costs and efficiency
Given all the challenges listed above, where can costs be better controlled? The truth is that every single part of the supply chain can be a potential candidate for savings and efficiencies, especially when using technology.
For example, smart shipping partners that use automation and artificial intelligence to move shipments faster and more cost-effectively can make a real difference. Internally, better management of planning and inventory can help fine-tune throughput, while analytics tools can help key stakeholders make more informed spending and investment decisions.
It’s also worth considering the role of digitisation, particularly if trying to integrate older paper-based records into a digital system, so that the data can be better utilised. This digitisation process can yield huge benefits, and can save vast amounts of space and resources that were otherwise used for physical archiving, although it can be a substantial undertaking.
How SCC can help?
Partnering with SCC Document Services can give you all-important solutions and support for document digitisation. Our managed service, available on-site or off-site as you require, combines decades of expertise and the latest innovations to help you modernise and keep your data costs under control. We can assist you in addressing the challenges of consolidating your legacy data, implementing proper governance to control access, and leveraging insights from aggregated data effectively. Our services include:
- Scanning and document management: this sector still has to deal with many paper-based documents, such as invoices, customs declarations and shipping manifests. This can all be scanned and digitally archived, so that they form part of a complete business ecosystem within which employees can find the data they need far more quickly. We can support not only this, but also a scan-to-workflow solution that integrates documentation into your logistics systems
- Inbound mail processing: any physical mail that contains important information, such as customs clearance forms and bills of lading, can also be digitised by SCC. Our inbound mail services can scan all mail and send them in digital form to the recipient, so they can instantly access them whenever and wherever they’re working
- Managed print rooms: naturally, you may still need to print many types of documents, but we can support further cost efficiency here through our managed service for print rooms. We can take care of all your print-related operations, management and maintenance, reducing downtime and improving document quality and turnaround times along the way
Despite all the challenges of today and tomorrow, the transport and logistics sector is poised to thrive with the right technologies and partnerships in place to help control costs. SCC Document Services can play a vital part in that process by streamlining your entire approach to paper-based and digital documents. That way, you can get more from your data, meet your sustainability goals, and boost your bottom line whatever the future might bring.
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