Survey: Mobile IT tech could cut product pick-up, delivery times by close to one-third

Process automation could improve efficiency by 13 percent, respondents estimate

The deployment of advanced mobile IT technology could cut product pick-up and delivery times by close to a third, according to a survey of 375 transport and logistics managers in six countries conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Intermec.

These technologies include process automation, GPS, mobile broadband communications, vehicle telematics, and radio-frequency identification. Respondents judged that by adopting these technologies, the time taken for each pick-up and delivery could be reduced by 2.68 and 2.41 minutes, respectively.

Process automation includes eliminating any paper-based processes, such as bar-coding, digital signatures, and optical character recognition technology, explained Jeff Sibio, Intermec industry marketing director for transport and logistics.

A full 60 percent of respondents believe that broadband mobile communications will have the most promising return on investment for their company, followed by integrated vehicle telematics and RFID.

"We asked the respondents what they see as the most promising of the technologies for their future processes. We found that mobile broadband by far was the top choice," Sibio said. "The respondents see that as a barrier elimination technology," he added.

The companies surveyed currently receive an average of 6,677 calls per day from customers asking for order status updates. By providing automated shipment updates using location-based and mobile technologies, these same companies believe they could eliminate 24 percent of these calls. This equates to 1,602 calls per working day.

Improved efficiency could also help with customer engagement, which is a top priority of the firms surveyed, noted Sibio. "They realize that this is going to drive business opportunity, having satisfied customers," he added.

Overall, the respondents said that process re-engineering can improve efficiency levels by over 13 percent, yet more than one-third of companies have failed to complete a process re-engineering effort in the last year. Of these, nearly three-quarters have not evaluated their existing processes for at least two years.

"When consider the fast flowing technology environment we live in today and the changing demands of the customer, I was surprised by those percentages," Sibio commented.

For more:
- check out the Vanson Bourne/Intermec survey results

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