Couriers who transport such items as medical specimens face special challenges. Organizations such as clinical laboratories, blood banks, biomedical services, hospitals, pharmaceutical services, and tissue banks depend upon couriers to transport medical specimens safely and track time critical delivery. Because of today’s mobile technology, clients can track individual packages in real time and validate deliveries, especially critical in life or death scenarios.
For companies offering time critical services, the ability to access information and packages quickly can result in time and labor savings and improve customer satisfaction. For some clients, efficient time critical service is truly a matter of life and death.
In addition to changes in devices used by drivers, highly sophisticated warehouse management solutions can have a tremendous impact on the business, allowing for reduced warehouse space due to increased efficiency, less labor, carrier freight savings and improved overall service.
The benefits of using current technology for your courier business:
- Delivery confirmation signatures can be captured, stored, transmitted and reported electronically.
- Using handheld devices saves time and reduces labor costs
- Electronic information can be stored in formats that can be readily searched and reported, saving on labor and clerical costs.
- Using software and handheld devices increases accuracy, reducing the incidence of costly, time consuming errors.
- Employing technological solutions allows for real time tracking of information.
- Use of electronic data makes information easy to reconcile, track and implement in producing reports
- Removing the paper trail reduces paper waste, saving trees and other resources.
- Use of warehouse management system software enables a business to organize, schedule and monitor critical warehouse functions, increasing efficiency in order to save time and money.
- Using transportation management system software enables the business to streamline transportation routes, collect, organize and monitor data on drivers, deliveries and transportation resources. The streamlined business can reduce energy costs and other expenses.
Overall, the correct use of today’s technology can help to reduce errors, save time and money and develop more efficient, consistent business practices. These streamlined operations often are more productive and profitable. In addition, having access to accurate real time data and information provides the opportunity to communicate clearly with customers, potentially increasing the level of service, support and customer satisfaction.
Technology currently available for your courier business
- Barcode scanners create business efficiency by recording information about packages, enabling them to be tracked throughout the warehouse and delivery processes. This ability to track packages is essential to meeting expectations and regulations.
- Warehouse management software solutions help to organize the storage, retrieval and processing of packages and inventory, as well as to produce useful, critical reports and provide visibility for customers and employees.
- Transportation management software solutions produce effective information tracking of drivers, deliveries, routes and other critical information.
- Radio frequency (RF) facilitates the use of handheld devices in warehouses, allowing for the transmission of information from point to point, reducing labor expense.
- Handheld computers capture signatures electronically, allowing the data to be transmitted, stored, tracked and reported for a variety of functional uses.
- Global positioning systems (GPS) technology is essential in tracking packages, deliveries and drivers throughout the logistics and delivery processes.
How to find effective technology solutions for your business
- Contact a company that has experience in dealing with companies in the courier industry and is a member in good standing of courier associations, such as MCAA and ECA as well as FMA and other state courier associations.
- Look for a single source supplier of technology. Ideally, your business should be able to contact one company from which to purchase handheld devices which are already configured. This company should be available for consultation, service and support and be knowledgeable about selecting hardware to meet the specific challenges faced by your business and its users.
- Seek a company that has experience in dealing with warehouses, third party logistics providers, transportation professionals, and supply chain/logistics providers. This experience is essential in helping you to locate solutions that will benefit your business while applying best practices to minimize inefficiency and waste.
- Contact hardware manufacturers such as Motorola, Honeywell and AT&T for recommendations and company references.
- Find a company that comes highly recommended by other businesses in the courier industry. Information can be found by searching user groups and forum on LinkedIn, the professional social media network.
How a Warehouse Management System (WMS) Can Benefit Your Business
- Improved customer service: through the enhanced ability to provide accurate, timely information and facilitate more efficient package storage, processing and delivery, the warehouse management team can better communicate with customers and meet customer needs and delivery expectations.
- Speed of inventory management and control: using RF scanning in combination with a wms allows for improved productivity, streamlined operations and a potential reduction in equipment requirements. Real time tracking ability and the ease of task management allows for tasks to be changed smoothly, making changes in priority relatively fluid.
- Increased visibility: using a wms system can produce the ability to locate inventory and packages quickly and give vital information needed to make business and operational decisions.
- Maximized space utilization: by continually managing the location of packages and inventory meticulously, a warehouse management system ensures that warehouse space is used as efficiently as possible, often reducing the need for additional space or off-site storage.
- Reduced labor cost and dependence upon warehouse personnel: by optimizing productivity through streamlined operations, labor costs and errors are reduced.
The days of using extensive warehouse labor to store, process and locate packages in warehouses are now past. Supply chain efficiency is now a business necessity, demanding that technology provide solutions to complex logistic and operational challenges streamline processes and operations and increase both efficiency and productivity. As consumers have become familiar with the advantages of technology through their ready adoption of sophisticated mobile phones, handheld devices and games, they expect technology to be used in businesses and depend upon it for real time information and service. Courier businesses which utilize technology benefit from reduced expenses are able to satisfy customer expectations and build stronger, more profitable businesses.