Using Mobile Intelligence to Compete in the Now Economy

Timing is everything. This has never been truer than in today’s consumer-driven, “Gotta-Have-it-Now” marketplace. In turn, transportation networks have become much more multi-dimensional and complex, with expanding geographical footprints and a multitude of shipment options that can compress delivery times from days to hours to near real-time.

For shippers, there is also more competition than ever as niche logistics companies (e.g., drayage, air transport, etc.) are expanding beyond their traditional boundaries to address demand. And, of course, there’s the 800-pound gorilla named Amazon which has not only drastically changed the logistics landscape, but has further commoditized the industry along the way―making it difficult for shippers to differentiate themselves outside of price.

The good news is that the logistics industry is now coming to understand how these challenges can be addressed through the use of more intelligent technology solutions. The eft 2017 Global Logistics Report shows that 27.9 percent of logistics gained most of their business in the last 12 months by innovating to create new business areas—things like leveraging technology to provide new services or expanding service offerings such as adding white-glove treatments. Innovation continues to lead the charge for the next 18 months as even more logistics companies (38.5 percent) look to create new business opportunities through technology.

In order to compete in a global marketplace where speed matters, logistics and supply chain organizations were among the first to see value in the world of connected devices, even before the “Internet of Things” really became a thing. In fact, the global connected logistics market is expected to witness a 33 percent CAGR from 2017 to 2023.

But keep in mind that mobile devices are only as good as the information that’s available to them. Just as industry ERP and TMS platforms have expanded across modes, mobile intelligence with multi-modal capabilities is needed to continue to bring automation and efficiency to organizations to help improve operations and maximize productivity.

The Industry Needs More than Just Another Mobile App

Type your keyword of choice into the Apple App Store and you undoubtedly will get numerous programs in return. We live in a “There’s-an-App-for-That” society where a mobile app exists for just about everything. The logistics industry has its fair share of mobile applications being used in the marketplace. However, most industry mobile apps only apply functionality to a specific segment within the logistics industry. For example, some mobile apps are designed for full truckload carriers yet they aren’t so shipper or 3PL friendly and scalable. Some apps are designed to be shipper friendly, but that means the truckload carriers have to download multiple apps on their smart devices to adhere to the business rules and service level agreements for each of their individual customers.

What the industry doesn’t need: Just another mobile app.

I’ve previously talked about transforming our industry―creating a higher standard of logistics for a higher standard of business by providing companies with smarter technology that can improve operations and reduce costs. To that effect, we see an industry that does need a mobile app that incorporates self-service, data and process management on demand.

Tai Mobile Intelligence enables on-demand self-service for data, business process management and API management for all segments of the logistics industry, creating a one-stop shop for all types of asset carriers (e.g., less-than-truckload, full truckload, cartage, drayage, courier, etc.), 3PLs and shippers. A “self-service API” creates real-time and immediate updates and enhancements to the mobile app for all of its users―on demand. The app also enables end-users to address industry “hot points” such as load and shipment visibility, load and shipment management, trailer management, trailer/truck visibility and capacity management, anytime and from any location.

This single app provides real-time data exchange for all three of these major industry topics: Where is my shipment (visibility); pickup and delivery business requirements (management); where does trailer capacity exist and when is it available (truck and trailer capacity). While the industry doesn’t necessarily have a capacity issue, it does have a capacity visibility issue. With better visibility into trailer capacity and capacity availability, trucks can be better utilized. It’s similar to having X-ray vision into all the trailers driving up and down the roads. Volume can be married to this available capacity in a more effective manner.

Logistics companies should take stock of their current mobile capabilities and arm themselves with real mobile intelligence now, before their competitors jump ahead of them. Intelligent, IT-friendly technology will continue to transform the logistics industry, so organizations must invest in future-proofing now to ensure they have unrivaled visibility and access to data that enable real-time decision-making in today’s 24/7/365 marketplace.

Is your company ready to move in a new mobile direction?