The Impact Of Data On Delivery Businesses

Modern businesses have been indelibly shaped by the forward march of technological innovation. Just as the industrial revolution marked a paradigm shift in the structures of business, so too has a much more recent revolution: the digital one.

For one, the rise of interconnectivity through the internet and smart devices has allowed online commerce enterprises to explode in both number and value; the e-commerce sector today represents the largest share of consumer shopping in the UK. This has naturally had knock-on impacts for essential services and B2B enterprises surrounding commerce, as delivery and logistics networks pivot to meet fresh demand from a vital and growing industry.

The revolution in technology has also heralded another crucial shift, with its own paradigmatic impacts on logistics: big data. Big data describes the extremely high volumes of information generated in today’s world, from media to metadata. Data is incredibly useful for analytics and tuning business performance, and can be used in service of equitable growth. So, how exactly can data impact delivery services?

Forecasting Demands

Firstly, data enables delivery businesses to effectively forecast demands from businesses or the wider industry. As real-time delivery volumes ebb and flow, big data analytics enable businesses to extrapolate and plan ahead accordingly.

Planning Smarter Routes

Alongside understanding future demand and delivery volumes with greater precision, telematics, and traffic data from and around a logistics business’ fleet allows the smarter planning of routes. Even for smaller businesses with less infrastructure, such data is powerful; it makes offering services like same-day delivery much more feasible, owing to the tangible boosts in business efficiency.

Managing Performance

Speaking of which, general data-sets generated by drivers, teams and client jobs all allow for a managed approach to improving performance. Performance here can mean a wide variety of things, including customer satisfaction and condition of delivered goods.

By taking and analysing a wide data set, including feedback from both longstanding and new clients, you can build a meaningful image of your business’ performance – and adjust accordingly. Where customer service might be found lacking by questionnaire results, more time, money and training can be diverted to customer service personnel over logistics staff.

Increasing Productivity

A notably absent field from the above undertaking is productivity – something which is absolutely related to business performance, but which should be undertaken as a separate factor altogether. Productivity relates to the performance of individual employees as well as the cohesion of employees and departments.

Telematics and other organisational data derived from delivery routes and employee schedules can render inefficiencies objectively clear, and enable businesses to identify weak links. In the long term, data is also crucial for assigning achievable KPIs to workers, making routes to re-training or re-hiring much clearer.