Every day, we make decisions based on historical data. And this is true whether we are buying a car or just a cup of our favorite local coffee. We generally make all of our decisions based upon the things we know that we like, want or need. It all really boils down to historical data collection. Yes, we know that is a grand way of explaining very simplistic daily things, but it is no less true.
However, when we start talking about this big data collection in terms of business, it becomes a much more complex endeavor and a lot more critical. And in the logistics industry, big data is the engine that powers decision making for improving the efficiency of the supply chain.
For those that may not be aware, big data is defined as large sets of information that are compiled, organized, and distributed to decision-makers. The information is collected using robust software solutions, customized data input fields, and advanced technology solutions customized for the individual user.
Regardless of the type of industry, accurate information is the key to reviewing all facets of an operation. Through the use of big data collection, shippers are able to locate and correct existing pain points within the supply chain. Once all pain points have been assessed, many shippers then opt to partner with a 3PL to help them put together an appropriate plan of action to resolve the issues.
In this blog post, we will take a look at the role of data collection in logistics. Furthermore, we will discuss some of the benefits it brings to the table.
Ready to jump in?
How Data Collection Helps Shippers Improve Supply Chain Resiliency
To be blunt, data collection is absolutely vital to reviewing procedures and finding ways to improve upon those areas. And while you can certainly get rather in-depth with it all, there are a few areas that we believe demand the most attention. These areas suffer the most because they are the most common processes, and therefore go overlooked far too often.
Some of these pain points include the following...
When you hire a carrier to move your freight, it’s important to receive the service for which you have paid. That is, a timely delivery!
For many shippers, making sure the carrier delivered their commodities as quoted in the freight rating process is a vital data collection point. It is this information that helps them determine whether a carrier is underperforming. From there, the shipper can compare this to other carrier delivery times and make a decision that benefits them the most.
Freight Damage Reports
Another performance indicator that is picked up in routine data collection is damaged freight.
If a carrier, warehouse, or retailer is constantly reporting damaged freight, it's important for the shipper to have access to all the data in regards to the damages. Accurate information about the time, location, and source of the damage can help a shipper plan appropriate action to prevent it in the future. They can look at what all the damage reports have in common and narrow down the issue.
In some cases, simply making changes to the carrier or shipping process can reduce freight damage. However, without accurate data, it’s hard to tell if these changes would have the desired effect.
Making sure your customers are satisfied with their delivery options is also an important data collection point.
Whether it’s collecting customer surveys, reviewing online comments, or receiving feedback directly, the input of your customers should always be at the top of your data collection process.
A few of the personalized data collection platforms that benefit customer service the most include:
Vendor and Carrier Management
Freight Damage Claims Reporting
Freight Invoice Auditing and Payment Gateways
Customer Data Collection
Carrier Performance Reporting
How Does a 3PL Help with Data Collection?
Today's third-party logistics company looks much different than in years past.
Not too long ago, companies would reach out to a 3PL to simply help them find better shipping rates. At most, they may be tasked with handling just basic shipping procedures and connecting with the right carriers. As the years passed, 3PLs discovered the key to improving the efficiency of their client's supply chain was raw data collection.
A proven and professional 3PL uses advanced technology, including AI, blockchain, and other automated systems in their data collection efforts. These cutting-edge tools allow them to record, collect, and organize big data into easy to understand reports for their clients. They also often set up reporting features based on geographic information, size, and scope of their client’s business. This ensures that the information they are collecting is relevant - and not just more 'stuff' to complicate the review and decision-making process.
More than the tools, a good 3PL also communicates with their clients. They keep the lines of communication open to determine what specific information is important for their business. This is taken into consideration as the 3PL puts their big data collection tools to use. It is this information that they hone in on, extract, review, and aim to fix.
Whether you’re looking for quick, at-a-glance reporting features, or highly-detailed data collection, Redwood Logistics can help. Head over to our contact page and drop us a line today!