Evolving operations for the new world

9th September 2021

Evolving operations for the new world

COVID-19 disrupted already-strained economies within the African continent; a continent already challenged by slow economic growth, low consumer confidence and growing global competition creating further strain. This disruption affected value chains, halting trade in non-essential products, straining logistics and even technology infrastructure. The novel coronavirus has indeed left a deep and lasting impact, specifically on retailers and logistics management across the continent. But many companies rallied under the strain, and corrected course towards digitally enabled systems.

Now that retailers have serried into a new and digitised normal, demand for ease of access on the part of consumers is rising. People want their products to come to them, and want more choices in terms of delivery and availability. As a result, retailers are changing the way they approach stock movement. For example, on the back of the "60 Minutes" delivery offering, Checkers Hyper are launching an "on line only'' model. This will allow the group to consolidate certain goods in city warehouses and continue to tweak availability based on purchase data. It is a ground-breaking move that shows how valuable digital transformation can be.

Digital Transformation for better efficiency

During this time, BCX has witnessed an increasing shift towards digital transformation, replacing outdated technologies with more efficient and cost-effective digital technologies across various sectors. The lo T team, in particular, has found growing interest from businesses wishing to streamline their logistics from Fleet Tracking Devices to systems that monitor the position and condition of ships, aircraft, trucks and delivery vehicles in real time.

Although tracking technologies from fleets to individual products are nothing new, the real value that has emerged is in the growing data capabilities of fit-for-purpose systems and dashboards. For example, the information that is reported back in real-time may include temperature deviations and transit times of refrigerators to preserve cold chains. Tracking can also include navigational devices, helping drivers to reach their destinations, planning the optimal route for multiple deliveries, saving time and fuel.

Although tracking technologies from fleets to individual products are nothing new, the real value that has emerged is in the growing data capabilities of fit-for-purpose systems and dashboards. For example, the information that is reported back in real-time may include temperature deviations and transit times of refrigerators to preserve cold chains. Tracking can also include navigational devices, helping drivers to reach their destinations, planning the optimal route for multiple deliveries, saving time and fuel.

The value of data analytics within logistics

As a business leader in today's market, there's no doubt that most companies are managing Big Data on some level. The real question is whether the data is being used to leverage new customers and optimise business prospects for the future. With numerous information streams coming through your systems, from online orders, on-site deliveries, or third-party buyers, you need to use and understand the data that you have on-hand to benefit your business.

Analysing all the data collected within your business can help you optimise every department and improve relationships with your vendors. Over a period of time, identified trends may help companies make essential, geographically based product and merchandising decisions.

When there is a holistic view of all the data, it becomes easier to identify which products and services are more popular in certain areas, or among certain demographics of customers. By basing logistics and availability on that data, customers can access products and services with greater ease and speed.

At BCX, we provide a variety of standard and bespoke Cloud-based dashboard solutions that are based on the information streams that will most benefit decision-making. By identifying the data that requires real-time decision-mak­ing, businesses are also enabled to switch up their services and product availability as needed. This level of continuous improvement through micro and macro-data analytics has the potential to change how quickly businesses can answer the call of their customers.

This model will soon be a norm, and businesses that don't apply this process on some level will almost certainly be left behind.

Streamline decision making

When your data streams and dashboards have been built around your unique business movements and requirements, you can access a variety of datasets that help you to make data-informed business decisions. For example, having a clear view on gee-located product requirements over the course of a year can highlight seasonal changes and assist with future planning, minimising unnecessary spending.

Analysing expenses

An integrated system can also help businesses automate certain decisions based on spend. If, for example, a certain regular delivery run is under-stocked, the system can alert decision-makers, saving time and money. Unified systems can be configured to provide a "birds-eye view'' of a multitude of processes and movements in real time. Where before, the information had to be translated in the form of multiple spreadsheets and line-graphs, a good dashboard-based system can make comparisons, flag overspend and send notifications.

Automate and optimise relationships with vendors and customers

By moving to a data-based model, resources can be assigned accurately, and issues can be flagged before they become a problem. By including vendors and cus­tomers in standard movement updates, businesses can maintain multiple conversations and updates that are accurate and time-based. Delivery management pro­grammes can automatically confirm inventories at the touch of a button and notify all stakeholders.

At BCX, our strength is to identify the unique needs of spe­cific logistics companies, build, adapt and integrate their systems (including legacy platforms] to provide

user-friendly and efficient processes. With the use of emerging lo T technologies, integrated, dashboard-based data programmes and multi-channel reporting, the logis­tics sector can begin to exceed even its pre-Covid KPl's.

Tel: +2711 266 5000

www.bcx.co.za