Technological advancements, especially smartphones, have effectively transformed the world around us. They have become an easily accessible source of information and services for individual users as well as businesses. With mobile technology contributing more than ever before, more and more companies are realizing their importance in business operations due to factors like improved consistency, accuracy, time savings, and customer satisfaction.
The United States is one of the largest smartphone markets in the world with over 260 million smartphone users, according to data published by Statista. The smartphone penetration rate in the country has grown consistently over the past ten to fifteen years to more than 80% today. The entire world has witnessed the same growth and its impact on the logistics industry has been significant.
Impact of Smartphones on the Logistics Industry
Smartphones have made it extremely convenient to communicate and collaborate with the team as well as the customers. They encourage seamless business communication without being chained to the office desk. This workplace allows companies to instantly reach employees who work remotely and improves workplace communication and boosts productivity, according to a blog published by Key Software Systems.
Improved Data Flow and Accuracy
Smartphones have replaced traditional paper-based processes and linked virtually everything to the business’ software systems. Earlier, the paperwork order forms and service orders often got lost or ended incomplete, incorrect, and illegible. Using mobile apps and mobile forms has minimized the possibility for human error and enabled the collection of data and automated measuring of relevant metrics.
Precise Location Tracking
Almost every smartphone is equipped with an integrated GPS that allows precise location tracking of every truck and shipment at any moment. It helps in avoiding transportation delays, managing customer expectations, and developing contingency plans when necessary. This level of accuracy and transparency ensures efficient management of the supply chain.
Effective Inventory Management
Logistics is much more than simple transportation and delivery of goods. It is also about effectively managing warehouses. With mobile apps, it is easy to track the quantity and location of goods and check the inventory as all the information is available in a database. Stock levels can also be continually updated in real-time to ensure optimization of inventory and purchasing processes. It cuts down the operational costs and improves efficiency and accuracy with a better workflow.
Smartphones have enabled customers to access real-time information of inventory levels at multiple locations instantaneously and buy products based on pricing, availability, and convenience. These enhanced capabilities provide more services and help deliver a smoother customer experience.
While online searches in travel and logistics are constantly increasing, the proportionate searches on smartphones are increasing as well. They comprised nearly around 43% of all travel-related requests and 23% of logistics-related searches in 2017, according to a report published by McKinsey & Company in 2018. That is why companies are enthusiastically adopting a “mobile-first” mindset and prioritizing quick and easy mobile interactions. More advancement in technology will make the role of smartphones in the logistics industry almost indispensable.