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Quality Tips for Better Transport Management

Transport Management

Quality Tips for Better Transport Management

With the world becoming more interconnected than ever, the pressure and expectations from the transport industry have increased exponentially. Everyone wants a smooth, safe, and secure journey whether they are moving for their jobs or to meet someone. Moreover, the expectations from the logistics companies have been increased too. 

Transportation management is no more about just moving freight at a lower cost. The technology has advanced and the structure of the supply chain is no more linear. Along with complex structures, many other factors are compelling shippers to improve their services in order to gain a competitive edge in the market. 

Increased demands:

Customers are looking for quick, efficient, and secure deliveries where they are constantly updated about the location of their products too. 

We cannot deny that in the context of supply chain operations,  logistics and transport management are interrelated. Transportation plays a major role right from manufacturing to the final delivery of the product. Better transport management can lead to successful order completion. There can be a different outcome if there is a flaw in the logistics or transport policies. Let us find out the things you can do in order to have a more efficient transport system network. Below, some tips to improve transportation networks are discussed.

Using Technology for Various Transport Operations

Technological advances in the communication and transport industry can help bring sustainability and adaptability in transportation networks. One of the most significant jobs belongs to the transport managers since they can encourage and advertise buying and adapting technologies that support cleaner and greener vehicles and eco-friendly technologies. Potential advantages include:

-Reduced emissions

-Lesser vehicle expenses 

-Less fuel utilization

Go for Automated Solutions

There is no simpler method to smooth out your transport management than to automate the whole process. An automated transportation network can simplify and streamline all operations. With automation, transport managers can constantly keep themselves updated and know:

-If the trucks are operating

-Real-time location of the fleet

-Their destination

ERP Framework:

One of the best approaches to examine and save money on working expenses is to embrace mechanized arrangements like an ERP framework. This product robotizes the whole cycle, guaranteeing each cycle runs rapidly and decisively so any blunders that lead to misfortunes can be limited. Moreover, the framework likewise empowers you to assess salary and costs for a specific period so you will have the option to plan your spending all the more carefully.

Big Data

Constant improvement in viable transportation the executives are currently regularly acknowledged by key transporters on account of the expanded utilization of technology and using air freight framework giving the capacity to obtain informative reports for meaningful business knowledge. This enormous development towards more utilization of the information to gather bits of knowledge made by measures inside innovation is known as “Big Data.” 

How Can Transport Software Help?

The latest transport management software can provide other facilities including:

-Keep a track of journeys 

-Organize delivery trips

-Monitor the usage of fuel per vehicle

-Allocate and track drivers 

-Analyze the collected data

Transit Applications

Develop transit applications to provide real-time information regarding the route and location of the vehicle. This can also help the drivers to adopt the best and the most efficient route and improve the overall services.

Analyze the Overall Performance

Time to time analysis of the performance is necessary. The initial phase in making economical arrangements is to completely investigate and understand everything related to the whole transportation including:

-Costs

-Policies

-Procedures

-Operations and activities

This gives the information to create noteworthy sustainable systems. Fleet managers can begin by exploring existing measurements and observing devices to evaluate the use of vehicles, patterns, and mileage. This will help spot all the pros and cons and new improvement open doors in various business zones.

Using Metrics

It is necessary to monitor the transportation footprint and network. One can do it by using metrics. With huge amounts of data, identification of key operating indicators can help you look for the right information. The management must have the ability to convert the data into useful information.

Identify the Needs and Priorities

The transport business is focussed on the need to satisfy the customer’s needs. A sustainable approach in transport management can lead to more profit and better performance.

To achieve this, the business policies and priorities must be understood thoroughly.  Business needs could incorporate operational data, for example:

-Where vehicles are based and how they are planned,

-Their journey

-Stacking 

-Strategy necessities

Sustainability

The pressure on companies to go for sustainable solutions is increasing. Ecological targets could incorporate carbon decrease, practicing air quality control, and improvement of the eco-management tracking. Sustainable measures can include:

-Driverless fleet

-Cleaner vehicles

-Inclusion of eco-friendly technologies

-E-cargo bikes

Self-Driving Trucks:

The innovation for self-driving trucks is still under the process of development and it needs to defeat certain hindrances, for example, improving driverless programming to make it ready to proficiently work on urban streets with heavy traffic. No one can deny that it’s one of the transportation future trends. Transportation organizations need to plan for upcoming innovation changes inside the business and begin including self-navigating management systems in their trucks that can learn from genuine drivers.

E-Scooters

According to reports, the popularity of scooters has increased and the number of bike users has increased exponentially. This indicates that citizens are also contributing to a greener environment.

Cargo e-bikes can reduce congestion and deliver faster. They are environmentally friendly as they are charged with battery and can be ridden on sidewalks. Amazon and UPS have already started delivering through them.

Don’t Miss Out on the Chances to Improve

A significant improvement can be brought by keeping a track of fuel expenses and its total consumption along with fulfilling all the arrangements and travel demands. Effective management of transportation is impossible without the worker’s awareness and his/her adherence to the company’s strategies. To promote a spirit of cooperation, teamwork, and commitment among the employees, the managers need to have:

-Continuous monitoring

-Improvements in the operation

-Acknowledgment of employee’s good performance

These improvements combined not only prove to be profitable for the companies but can also help them to have a stronger logistics network that can reduce:

-Accidents

-Traffic congestion

-Pollution

Scalable Business Operations

By going for scalable solutions, companies with larger networks can deal with demand and complexity issues. Joining all the separate supply chains can help view everything from a single lens. A centralized system can assist in analyzing the role of each department including customer service, marketing, and sales efficiently.

At the point when all the steps included are run manually and independently, it can become hard for the supervisor to recognize issues, screen progress, and take actions. That is why it is crucial to embrace a centralized structure that joins all the steps.

Appropriate Planning and Preparation

The first step towards effective transport management is to have proper planning. The reason to invest in planning is to achieve maximum output in a shorter amount of time. There are numerous components associated with this, from the acquisition of products and their storage to their final delivery. 

Other important things:

Other things that need to be taken care of are time, transportation, and expenses. Supply chain administrators must have the option to build up an extensive work process to guarantee the efficient running of operations. 

Unexpected Situations:

Though the planning is done to get the best possible results and efficient performance, yet the possibility of uncertain threats must not be overlooked. The best example of an uncertain situation can be taken from the recent pandemic which led to numerous supply chain problems all across the globe.  It is better to be prepared for surprising conditions, including:

-Bad weather

-Shortages 

-Delays 

-Damages to goods, etc.

Training and Guiding Employees

Your employees play an integral role in the growth of your business. No job should be considered trivial or unimportant. All the departments and all the workers including the drivers, delivery guys, warehouse workers must be given proper guidance and training for productive performance. 

Agility

It is the company’s job to improve their abilities and bring agility in the operations. They all must be well aware of the:

-Company’s rules

-Their jobs

-Technologies they are working with

A centralized HRM system can monitor the performance of the workers and help conduct training.

Streamline Your Warehouse Management

Transportation jobs can’t run easily without proper inventory management. The capacity of products and course of action of distribution centers influence the transportation cycle. In this manner, make sure that all things are organized.

Accessibility of Products:

Efficient transportation management takes into consideration the accessibility of materials and customer’s requirements, guaranteeing that those goods are ideally used and distributed. Moreover, the degree of consistency helps the transporter carrying out his job in a better way.  

-Accelerate the picking cycle

-Simplify forklift working

-Use barcode scanners to add more speed and accuracy

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Danielle Gregory is a full-time Writer, Traveler, and Marketing Expert who is Currently Working for QAFILA. Danielle’s writing relates to a range of subjects such as logistics and IoT. Besides writing, she enjoys traveling, Cooking, and Riding

eco-friendly

Are Your Favorite Companies Eco-Friendly? Even They May Not Know.

Corporations around the world love to promote their environmental bona fides, touting their at-times Herculean efforts to minimize their carbon footprint.

But desiring to be environmentally friendly and truly accomplishing that goal are two different things, as illustrated recently by Amazon’s acknowledgment that its carbon footprint grew 15% last year despite efforts to curb its impact on climate change.

As it turns out, the details about many companies’ eco-friendly accomplishments are often enveloped in mystery, in some cases even for the businesses themselves.

“The Amazon situation is just an example of the bigger problem surrounding corporate claims of environmental responsibility,” says Rajat Panwar, Ph.D. (www.rajatpanwar.com), an associate professor of Sustainable Business Management at Appalachian State University.

“Most global corporations now make such claims, but the reality is that half of the carbon emissions since the industrial revolution have happened within the last 30 to 35 years. It seems that corporate environmental disclosures hide more than they reveal.”

Why is it so difficult for many companies to achieve their goals of reducing their carbon emissions or otherwise limit the damage they do to the environment? Panwar says one problem is corporations often outsource much of their work, which not only reduces their control over the environmental impact they have, but also their very knowledge of that impact.

Panwar says one study analyzed reports that 1,300 firms submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission. That study revealed 80 percent of those firms could not even determine the country of origin of their products, much less any information about their carbon footprint.

“My research has found that firms that are more socially and environmentally responsible tend to perform their functions themselves rather than outsource those functions to third-party vendors,” he says.

For companies that truly desire to have a positive impact, Panwar says three issues are critical:

How companies measure emissions makes a difference. Companies’ carbon commitments and pledges should be about absolute emissions, not emissions per unit of revenue or sales, Panwar says. But too often companies link their emission-reduction goals to how much money they are bringing in, at least partially negating what should be the ultimate goals.

Eco-friendliness can’t stop at the corporate door. Carbon commitments should encompass all operations across supply-chains. In the case of companies such as Amazon, the majority of emissions actually happen offsite and can be reduced only through concrete steps taken at the supply chain level. “This is a serious issue because many companies don’t even know who their downstream suppliers are.” Panwar says. “Companies like Amazon can gather applause for their pledges, but the actual impacts are hidden in the supply chains.” Consumers who want a true reckoning of how well a company is reducing emissions need to ask companies to provide those numbers,

Supply networks should not be far-flung. In late June, Amazon announced creation of a $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund to invest in companies that make products and technology that help protect the Earth. But the details of how such a plan will play out are important, Panwar says. A good approach, he says, is to promote local supply networks so that emissions are minimal, visible and monitorable.

“I am glad that we are beginning to see through the discrepancy between corporate pledges and corporate environmental impact,” Panwar says. “When it comes to emissions and especially the effects of a global supply chain, I believe we are entering a new era in which transparency has to be made more transparent.”

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Rajat Panwar, Ph.D. (www.rajatpanwar.com), is an associate professor of Sustainable Business Management at Appalachian State University. He previously was an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia. He also has been an Affiliate Faculty member in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University, and with the Governance, Environment, and Markets program at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. Panwar holds two doctorate degrees, one in Corporate Sustainability from Grenoble École de Management in France, and one in Forestry from Oregon State University.

food supply chain

Reusable Plastics: The Unsung Heroes Of The Food Supply Chain

When you think of plastic, you probably think of piles of landfill products that don’t decompose organically, and as a result, end up languishing in the ground leaching toxic chemicals into the soil.

Modern technology has meant that plastics are more than just the straws you put in your milkshake or the wrapper on your lunchtime snack. Today’s plastics come in all shapes and sizes, including reusable, durable products used across the food supply chain market.

These products make food supply chain management more cost and time-efficient, allowing consumers to enjoy fresh, delicious produce and products quickly, and at a price they can afford.

Growing And Harvesting

In the early stages of food production, agricultural reusable plastic containers are used to grow fruits and vegetables in a safe and sanitary environment. Plastic trays are used to grow seedlings, and these are often watered using reusable plastic irrigation systems. Greenhouse covers, also made from reusable plastic, make growing plants that need climate-controlled housing, such as tomatoes or citrus fruits, safe and hygienic.

When it comes to harvesting product, plastic containers make it easier for farmers to store and transport their crops safely. Cardboard or wooden pallets can be hard to sanitize and are prone to absorbing moisture, while plastic is non-porous and can easily be cleaned after each use.

Processing and Distributing

Processing fresh produce, including fruits, vegetables and other crops, involves sorting them ready to be shipped off for use in various products such as ready meals, sauces and canned goods. Some will be sold whole, but the majority will meet customers in various different forms, so they are sorted and stored in a selection of reusable plastic food handling containers, such as IBCs, prior to being distributed to factories and stores.

Distribution is the part of the supply chain where single-use plastics get involved. The products can be transported on plastic pallets and crates, which are reusable, but they are delivered to customers in single-use packaging. As DeMaso of Lipman Family Farms explains:

“Single-use plastic is hard to get rid of when sending to consumers in the produce industry. We need to make sure food safety and sanitation are on-point, so we’re not trading contaminants. Disposable plastic is a problem, [so] it’s a matter of making sure we are using as little as possible.”

Making the Food Supply Chain More Sustainable

As this article highlights, the main issue the food supply chain faces when it comes to sustainability is its reliance at the end of the process on single-use plastic packaging. Justin Bean, the Business Development and Sales Manager at Reusable Transport Packaging, believes that reusable food packaging is the future, and that food producers should embrace it throughout their supply chain. This approach will help to reduce the food supply chain’s reliance on single-use plastics.

“Farmers still spend a lot of money on single-use corrugated and or single-use plastics for distribution to retailers. Our pay per use or milkman model allows users to cut out single-use packaging waste, save money, and use a better RTP (Reusable Transport Package).”

A move towards reusable plastic packaging throughout the food supply chain will allow the market to reduce its impact on the environment and still keep food fresh and affordable. It’s safe to say that these revolutionary products are the future of the food supply chain.

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Reusable Transport Packaging is a re-seller, master distributor, and custom manufacturer of the broadest range of returnable and reusable plastic packaging available today. We carry thousands of products and boast an inventory that is readily available, with national and international coverage.

Sustainability

THINK GREEN: 5 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR SUPPLY CHAIN SUSTAINABILITY

Concern over climate change is increasingly mainstream. In fact, the concern has gone from being hypothetical to being real: 59 percent of consumers say climate change is impacting their local communities, and 31 percent say it affects them personally. Likewise, sustainability is becoming less of a nice-to-have and more of a need-to-have for businesses—and their supply chains.

What is supply-chain sustainability?

As an evolving concept, sustainability is hard to pin down. Broadly speaking, sustainability refers to a framework for decision-making that considers the economic, social and environmental consequences of the decisions in question.

Sustainability provides the context, or guidelines, to make decisions about resource use with a focus on long-term viability rather than just immediate risks, benefits and costs.

Why does supply-chain sustainability matter?

As a concept, “sustainability” has been popping up more often: in ads, product branding and social media. It can be tempting to place sustainability in the buzzword box. But, according to data from GetApp, with 76 percent of Americans shopping for eco-friendly products at least some of the time, it’s not a term businesses should shrug off so readily.

Your customers are beginning to expect transparency around your business’ practices, and supply chains are ripe with opportunity. Every stage of the supply chain—from production to distribution—can be evaluated on the sustainability of its practices.

In addition to taking environmental measures such as examining emissions levels and resource efficiency, businesses can evaluate the ethics of their labor practices and fairness of their economic practices. A GetApp survey found that respondents also think sustainable companies should donate to a social cause (28 percent), follow ethical practices (53 percent) and not test on animals (32 percent).

Make your supply chain more sustainable with these 5 steps

1. Understand the risks and opportunities in your supply chains

Because of the complexity inherent to many supply chains, businesses often don’t have a full understanding of its sustainability impacts. A good first step in closing that gap is mapping your supply chain: listing suppliers, identifying social and environmental risks associated with each one and prioritizing related efforts.

One way to prioritize suppliers is to consider spending, volume of business and geography. Top suppliers can then provide sustainability metrics to further classify them based on environmental performance. This information can later be built into the design and procurement of future projects.

You don’t have to take everything on at once, but focus on the areas that will have the most impact within as short of a time frame as possible. Your suppliers are different: Assess them differently.

2. Set sustainability targets within the procurement process

To evaluate your suppliers and build sustainability into your business’ procurement processes and operations, set sustainability targets. Targets will help you track supplier performance and incorporate these new standards into future contracts.

Communicate these goals to your teams, customers and suppliers to make them a part of the conversation. It’s not only important to make sure all stakeholders understand the importance of sustainability and the goals your business has set; it also matters that they are able to take ownership of these initiatives.

Hyatt Hotels established sustainability goals under their 2020 Vision plan, with the objective of reducing GHG emissions and water and energy usage. In just two years, Hyatt reduced water usage by 18% percent, GHG emissions by 19 percent and energy consumption by 10 percent in the United States.

3. Set a baseline supplier performance

Once you’ve mapped your suppliers and set targets, collecting data from your suppliers will help your business understand where they stand.

One way to do this is to administer a baseline questionnaire or survey that suppliers can use to self-assess their performance on various key areas.

Some businesses have chosen to model their surveys after GRI guidelines and CDP questionnaires. A few industries, including the pharmaceutical industry, have also gone as far as to implement a standard survey so that suppliers don’t have to fill out a different survey for each client.

These surveys can be used to check supplier performance on energy and water usage, waste generation and disposal, and greenhouse gas emissions, among other things.

4. Leverage data to make informed decisions

You’ve mapped your supply chain, set goals and measured supplier performance—congratulations! Just one more thing to consider: Taking these steps probably means you’ll have lots of data on your hands. Managing this data isn’t easy, but it’s essential to making informed decisions.

Making use of your business’ supply chain data can help you spot inefficiencies, automate decision-making and improve customer experience. The more accurate your data, the more efficient you’ll become and the clearer your picture of your business and suppliers will be.

5. Use software to analyze data and automate processes

The key to wrangling your data and squeezing the most value from it may be to use a reliable supply chain management software solution. Not only will the right system gather the data you need, it will also analyze it, derive insights and automate processes.

Not sure where to start? Look for solutions that include at least a few of the following features:

Supplier relationship management: Enables users to plan and manage interactions with suppliers. This centralizes communication, ensuring a consistent message and improving collaboration between several teams. SCM software that has this feature may also help with step No. 3 (setting baseline performance) by gathering relevant survey data and tracking responses.

Asset management: Tracking assets and delivering maintenance in a timely manner will help you ensure your business’ operations run smoothly but also keep you ahead of their depreciation curve and running on minimal energy.

Shipment tracking: Tracking shipments will keep you in the know but can also allow you to benchmark carrier performance. Timeliness encourages resource efficiency, but the logistics side of your supply chain has more potential: Think route optimization and fuel efficiency, among others

Reporting and analytics: This feature is essential to leverage your data. A solution that processes data, identifies trends and triggers alerts will reduce manual processes and improve information accuracy.

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Victoria Wilson is a specialist analyst with GetApp, an online resource for software buyers to compare products side-by-side with free interactive tools, detailed product data and user reviews. Founded in 2010, the Barcelona, Spain-based Gartner company also serves as an online lead generation channel for SaaS.

climate change

Businesses Must Adjust To Climate Change; 5 Ways Toward Sustainability

As climate change causes worldwide concern and prompts calls for governmental action, consumers are putting the onus on businesses to step up their sustainability standards and practices.

A Nielsen survey, for example, showed that 81 percent of global consumers feel companies should help improve the environment. And with governments across the globe struggling to reach an international consensus on climate change, close observers of business and the environment, along with a high number of CEOs, agree: Private industry should take the lead in driving sustainability.

“Some forward-looking companies are seeing it’s an issue they can no longer ignore, morally and economically, and that you can go green and succeed in business,” says Hitendra Chaturvedi (www.hitendrachaturvedi.com), a professor at the Supply Chain Department of W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and expert on global supply chain sustainability and strategy.

“Business strategies must include sustainability in their core beliefs and practices. Part of the problem is that they are missing the simple, sensible ways that can drive sustainability and bring a return on investment at the same time.”

Chaturvedi suggests the following ways businesses can exercise sustainability practices to help fight climate change and connect with consumers:

Find the facts. “When a package gets delivered to you by an online commerce company, most people see the packaging as mainly contributing to the pollution, but that is not the case,” Chaturvedi says. “The packaging contributes less than 5%, but the main culprit is the returned/defective item which accounts for close to 50% of the pollution because it is not properly disposed of. I call it sensible sustainability. Identify and focus on low-hanging fruits.”

Seek education. “Finding the facts brings an important issue – education of consumers,” Chaturvedi says. “I see too many data points floating around that are put forth to create hysteria and are flat-out wrong, causing well-intentioned people to be waylaid in unproductive directions. Too many times this causes even a well-wisher of the environment to lose interest. We need a proper way to educate consumers about what is real and what is fake news.”

Implement business model changes. “Look at your business model holistically,” Chaturvedi says. “I propose a 5R model that simply, sensibly, and holistically integrates forward and reverses supply chain within any organization to ensure reduction in waste – and without sacrificing profits or competitiveness.”

Embrace technology. “It will lead to quick solutions to many vexing sustainability problems,” Chaturvedi says. “For example, advancement in technology has given us economically viable micro-factories to processing plastic waste, something that was not possible a few years ago. Now we can package it into a business model and scale it. Technologies like blockchain and dendrites will have far-reaching effects on sustainability as they will drive tracking and accountability.”

Find sensible solutions. “Sustainability needs sensible solutions, not a panacea, not motherhood and apple pie solutions,” Chaturvedi says. “We need solutions that are practical and profitable. We see many solutions that promise to solve the world’s pollution problem but are either one-off, or do not make money or both. We need businesses to step in and partner with scientists, universities, and government so a practical/viable perspective can be applied to sustainability solutions. A business will bring that perspective along with what can scale and what can not.”

“Businesses can see significant benefits, both economically and socially, from incorporating sustainable practices,” Chaturvedi says. “Some of the steps you incorporate can seem small at first, but day by day those efforts will produce great results.”

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Hitendra Chaturvedi spent over 30 years in progressive technology leadership positions with Microsoft, Newgistics, E&Y e-Business and A.T. Kearney. Chaturvedi also built a $100 million software company in India, GreenDust, where he implemented proprietary reverse logistics software at Amazon, Flipkart (Walmart), Samsung, Panasonic and Whirlpool. A computer engineer with a master’s degree from Louisiana State University and an MBA from Southern Methodist University, Chaturvedi has been widely covered in the media and is a subject matter expert on global supply chain strategy, sustainability in supply chain, reverse logistics, ecommerce, artificial intelligence and machine learning. Now a professor at Arizona State University, Chaturvedi has been a visiting professor at Southern Methodist University, University of Texas-Dallas, Penn State and Purdue.