Tackling Black Friday and the Christmas season

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As Black Friday and the Christmas period draw closer, logistics managers and operations directors are turning to Mobile Resource Management (MRM) technology to prepare for one of the busiest periods of the year.

The time just before the rush can be particularly challenging as you need to plan for a significant spike in activity, but can’t action anything until the orders start come flowing in. MRM assists in this planning by creating a ‘one world’ view of the organisation.

For example, mobile workforce schedules can be even trickier than usual to manage, especially with the Christmas season coming up. Managers constantly battle to ensure that the hours are allocated as efficiently as possible, made even more challenging as workers take time off for Christmas. Unplanned overtime can eat into margins, and it is important not to have a tired and demotivated workforce. MRM platforms are able to monitor performance, analysing when workers start their shifts, the number of stops which they have made and what time their deliveries are completed, helping to know if they are where they should be at all times – this can be synced with HR to help show full visibility and promote compliance.

Once you’ve assigned mobile workers to jobs, you want them to complete them as soon as possible. Every year, we hear horror stories of traffic jams and enormous queues of trucks and vans snaking for miles outside distribution centres. MRM provides managers with live analytics, which can allow them to plan out the best routes and select the workers who are best placed to complete the task, in near real-time. The technology can then track the asset’s location once it is out in the field, and even re-route at a moment’s notice if road conditions change suddenly. 

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Long queues outside distribution centres can also lead to delays for anxious customers waiting for their parcels to arrive. For logistics managers and operations directors, it is vital to first look at their Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to establish what is expected, and then plan accordingly in advance with the distribution centres to plot out the best timings for goods collections. MRM can help map out the details with a Scenario Planning tool, which simulates various “what if” situations to establish the costs of each and select the optimum given the various insights into all the resources of the mobile workforce.

For businesses that wish to stay ahead of the competition, there’s really no time to lose to adopt in adopting the latest tech available. MRM platforms enable everyone in the organisation to have all the information right at their fingertips, updated in near real-time. This helps them keep on top of their logistics during one of the most busy and stressful periods of the year.

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