Digital Pickup & Delivery: Is It Right for Your Business?
Bottlenecks can — and do — happen all along supply chains, but two of the biggest headaches are pickup and delivery processes. Old-school logistics could be slowing down your business and ruining lives (or at least adding frustration). Digitization can remove the paper trail and streamline your operations. Here are the pros and cons of digital pickup and delivery so you can decide if it’s time to rip the bandaid off to treat the real issues once and for all.
Old-School Ways vs. Digital Logistics
Different companies — even within the same supply chain — typically have their own systems to handle operations. Unfortunately, they are often disjointed and don’t cover all needs end-to-end. If software is used at all, it’s old and process-specific with no way to organize jumbled data across applications and systems. It’s a mess even the most veteran managers can’t clean up on their own. Then there are the companies who are still using paper to track everything.
Honestly, considering the inability to standardize digitalization across logistics, it’s no wonder that many organizations still make do with handwritten documentation. Though there is some comfort in knowing that the process works — some of the time. But have hope, there is a new cool kid on the block.
Some cloud-based logistics software has integrations and features that can help with delivery and pickup challenges. “What challenges?” you ask? Oh, we’re glad you inquired:
Historic Pickup & Delivery Challenges
Lack of Visibility & Tracking
Handwritten BOLs That Delay the Process
Paperwork is a manual process that makes anyone having to deal with it wish they could set the whole paper trail on fire. For example, writing out a Bill of Lading (BOL) by hand that must be updated and delivered down the supply chain eats up everyone’s time. Handwritten BOLs can cause a mountain of mistakes which makes the idea of meeting deadlines laughable.
Increased Dwell Times
An old-school process for delivery is when drivers — and their hauls — have to sit around and wait until the paperwork is processed. In fact, an article by MIT CTL suggests that one of the primary reasons for the ongoing driver shortage is that, “Surprising amounts of time are spent waiting to be loaded and unloaded by shippers and consignees.” This equates to less paid driving hours per day — in many cases, Uber drivers get better pay without the hassle (ouch).
Drivers waiting around for paperwork takes up space in your yard and increases dwell times to the point where fees you charge can’t solve yard revenue loss any better than throwing water on a gas fire (don’t do it).
General Congestion and Bottlenecks
It’s no secret that supply chains have become increasingly snarled as inland hubs experience delays and a lack of capacity. Without a streamlined pickup and delivery method, a tiny problem snowballs into a congestion nightmare.
Digitization is hard, not because it isn’t wanted, but because the current systems out there are so different both in their capabilities and the way they handle data. It’s almost impossible to digitize BOLs, the pick up process, and the delivery process because these old legacy and slapped-on systems aren’t designed to work together. The struggle is real.
Also, driver app fatigue occurs when drivers are expected to use multiple applications for different parts of the process. In some cases, mismanaged and under-developed applications and systems are so backward they are nearly as bad as traditional paper trails.
Get best practices for reducing dwell time
What Is Digital Delivery & Pickup in Logistics?
Simply put, a seamless digital delivery and pickup model uses interconnected applications in place of paper. These applications are accessed through a central platform to provide maximum visibility and efficiency.
Increased Yard Reputation and Revenue
Increased Accuracy and Flexibility
Digitized documentation means fewer mistakes and less time spent correcting errors. You’ll also have the ability to make changes and communicate directly with associated parties whether that be the driver, carrier, or third-party interest. When you make a last-minute change, everyone can see it instantly, allowing for accurate flexibility for all.
Increased Visibility and Tracking
Schedule a FREE yard audit with Vector
Reduced Labor Costs
Automated pickup and delivery processing saves time. This translates to reduced manual labor costs and can directly address labor shortages so that your employees can do what they need to do — and not have to work overtime just to get things done.
Improvement in the Driver & Carrier Experience
Like everyone else, drivers want to make money. Many of them don’t get paid for sitting around and waiting for processing. Digitization results in less waiting around for drivers and reduced clerical backlogs for the yard. These morale-boosting benefits can improve the yard’s reputation and encourage shipping carriers to pick you over the competition.
No Paper Hassle and Storage
With digitized documents including BOLs that can be scanned and accessed online, you won’t need a backroom full of papers that the intern refuses to organize.
Digital Pickup and Delivery: Yes, You Need It
The benefits speak for themselves. A digital pickup and delivery solution can revolutionize your business and bring you light-years ahead.
To explore the possibilities, contact us.