Logistics – Digital Data Entry Is The Future
Data entry in the logistics industry is a gargantuan task. It requires teams of manual data entry operators who are taking various sources of information, and inputting them to retrieve customer shipment routes, and so on. Very often customers become frustrated as at busy times the information is not entered quickly enough and they are left waiting. Furthermore, employees get sick, go on holiday, and make mistakes – they are after all only human. When the business gets behind they often have to pay overtime to get resources to shift the backlog which costs even more money. A lot of what the employees are doing is taking information from one source to put it into another source. This can now be a thing of the past for logistics businesses who have seen the light and implemented digital data entry solutions. Once set up there is no manual intervention – the data is automatically taken from the feed and input into the desired location.
What are the advantages?
There will be a cost outlay in terms of implementation of the new system, but usually the cost of the software is ongoing (as a subscription model). Also implementation does not typically cost too much and therefore over a fairly short time frame the investment pays back when taking into account the number of resources that can be relocated.
Better customer service
We alluded to this in the introduction, but your customers are unlikely to be kept waiting for things like quotes. All of the information should move in almost real time and therefore if the customer can access a specific portal, they should be able to request a quote and receive it immediately, rather than wait a number of hours or days for someone to pull together the information and get back to them. The same is true for other types of information the customer might want, such as digital sailing lists and other routes.
Humans make errors – particularly when they are tired or are performing a particularly mundane task. There are usually validation checks once data has been manually entered, however, computers (if programmed correctly) will not make these mistakes. The onward effect of this is that customers are far less likely to receive incorrect information which could cause relationship issues, and even lost custom in the worst cases.
You might be asking yourself why anybody conducts manual data entry when the advantages of digital data entry are so obvious. The reality is that very often it can be hard to move forward when something has been done in the same way for many years – and of course when it comes to staff being redeployed, that can prove particularly emotive. However, the abundant advantages should be considered, and this then frees up employees to work on more interesting tasks than data entry.