The coronavirus pandemic has pummeled the world economy, sparked record unemployment claims, stolen thousands of human lives and disrupted the way people live and work. It has also thrown the logistics industry for a loop, putting unprecedented pressure on essential goods suppliers and halting nonessential businesses in their tracks.
Now, states have loosened lockdowns, businesses have reopened and volume has come back into the market. As people try to create something akin to a new normal, logistics companies are examining how they responded to the crisis and are working to rebuild their revenue streams.
The pandemic exposed inefficiencies in almost every corner of life and business — including logistics. Consequently, many companies are looking to future-proof their shipping processes ahead of the next disruption. Part of that process may include identifying where they reside within Logistyx Technologies’ parcel-shipping matrix, and plotting their course from one shipping segment to another, more fitting segment.
Logistyx has created a matrix to help companies pinpoint where they are in terms of parcel-shipping execution and functionality. The graph uses the company’s market footprint and shipping complexity to identify its shipping technology needs, and it can be useful for companies to know where they stand when choosing a transportation management system or other technological product.
The segments are numbered on a scale of one to four.
- Domestic shipping
- Global expansion
- Business intelligence
- Omnichannel fulfillment
If a company’s level of technological integration is incongruent with its needs, the company will be less prepared to weather a disruption like a pandemic or a natural disaster. This is especially true if a company is underprepared, although having technological systems that are too advanced can also lead to issues due to potential revenue waste.
A disruption doesn’t just highlight where a company’s solutions may be out of step with its needs, though. A major disruption can also prompt companies to expand their offerings and effectively move from one segment to another segment. In fact, Logistyx President Ken Fleming thinks this is exactly what will happen.
“If you’ve got an essential company sitting in segment one, all they care about during a surge is getting shipments out the door faster. They aren’t looking at the other segments, but they should be,” Fleming said. “For companies — both essential and nonessential — that are adapting to provide more services, the coronavirus pandemic may push them from segment one to segment three.”
Moving from simple domestic shipping solutions to true omnichannel fulfillment offers companies new ways to reach customers, more safeguarded processes and higher efficiency. Getting to segment four requires a combination of business intelligence, technological adoption and smart investment strategies.
“You have to spend the time to get access to your data. People don’t know how to get that data. Look at your carrier invoices. If you extract that data, you have a very good starting point,” Fleming said. “Are you aware that you can ship some things faster and cheaper by ground? Why are you shipping by two-day air? You’re wasting this money. You have to be able to honestly assess where you are in order to implement the right technology and utilize it well.”
At the end of the day, Fleming said it is important for companies to evaluate their needs and make technological improvements that will propel them to a new segment while remaining patient with themselves. After all, a company doesn’t jump from segment one to segment four in one move.