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supply chain and logistics

Factors that will Impact Supply Chain and Logistics Industry Transformations in Europe

SUPPLY CHAIN AND LOGISTICSCustomer experience is now one of the key trends that is shaping the supply chain and logistics sector in European countries including the UK, Germany, and Spain. As a result, companies in the industry are on the lookout for innovative supply chain and logistics strategies that could help them deliver a delightful and superior customer experience. But how can logistics companies achieve this without any heavy impact on their operational expenses? Digitization of core supply chain and logistics processes could be the answer to this. Experts at Infiniti reveal some critical factors that will impact and make it imperative for supply chain and logistics companies in Europe to embrace modern technologies.

Our market intelligence solutions have helped 100+ companies enhance their supply chain and logistics capabilities with actionable insights. Request a free proposal to learn how our solutions can help your business.

Highly fragmented market

One of the biggest challenges facing supply chain logistics players in Europe is that most of these companies fail to even cater to 10 percent of the market. Most of these companies are heavily dependent on 3PL providers in the region to meet the gaps in their logistics needs. This eventually creates a fragmented and disjointed delivery ecosystem, making supply chain and logistics services in Europe suffer from poor collaboration and delivery visibility challenges in the supply chain. Leveraging advanced supply chain and logistics tools can help companies in the sector to enhance freight movement and improve visibility into the supply chain.

Frequent purchase behavior

Europeans prefer to buy in small quantities, but more frequently. For instance, Grocery retailers in Western Europe are adapting to the changing consumer demands by heavily investing in convenience stores. To adapt to these changes, it must be ensured that there is an efficient supply chain and logistics plan in place to avoid out of stock situations. To overcome the bottlenecks to meet increasing demand, companies can consider automating core delivery processes including order placement and route planning.

Logistics companies are facing an era of unprecedented change as digitization takes hold and customer expectations evolve. Is your business prepared to adapt? If not, get in touch with an expert to know how we can help you stay updated with the changing supply chain and logistics trends.

Regulatory compliance

The changing regulations in countries across Europe could have a major impact on supply chain and logistics activities. These regulations could have a massive impact on shippers. By leveraging tools that give them greater autonomy and visibility of their fleet’s delivery can help businesses cope with these changes.

Click and collect model

Click and collect is an e-commerce model that has been gaining increasing popularity across Europe. One of the prime reasons for this is the changing preference of consumers to collect packages at their convenience rather than having it delivered to their homes. To reap maximum benefits out of this model, businesses must use a platform that empowers them to improve the transparency of delivery processes.

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reverse logistics

How an Optimal Reverse Logistics Process can help manage increasing apparel returns

reverse logisticsWith the rise of e-commerce in the retail sector, the rate of returns has increased manifold over the past decade. As retailers are now forced to implement customer-friendly returns policies, the high returns handling costs and other challenges of reverse logistics can give retailers a tough time. Reverse logistics often proves to be particularly challenging due to factors including uneven product quality, lack of clarity over disposition options, and erratic inventory management practices. One of the key challenges of reverse logistics here is that it takes almost a dozen steps more to process returns that it does to manage reverse logistics. In this article, experts at Infiniti have curated some key strategies to ensure an optimal reverse logistics process.

How do you choose the best reverse logistics options to suit your business needs? Request a free proposal to know how we can help you identify the gaps in your existing retail logistics and identify ways for profit maximization.

Reverse logistics strategies for retailers

Kiosks for omnichannel returns

The proliferation of omni-channel retail is one of the main reasons why retailers are in the need to enable omni-channel return processes in their business. Top retailers are even going to the extent of opening small kiosks to return goods that have been sold online. The returned products are then sent to a regional processing hub, followed by the retailer’s fulfillment centers, and finally the goods reach third-party logistics companies or liquidators.

Reverse auctions

This is a reverse logistics technique that is used for the secondary sales of the merchandise that has been returned by a customer. In the case of B2B returns, implementing a private auction space for returns liquidation ensures greater visibility and control over processes. It also helps retailers identify and work on performance improvement gaps.

Do you think investing in reverse logistics could hamper your business’s overall profits? Not if you do it the right way. Get in touch with our dedicated team of experts for more insights on how we can help you plan your reverse logistics strategy.

Real-time processing of returned inventory

In the case of returns, the speed of liquidations is the deciding factor for the level of value recovered. When the goods returned are processed in real time, retailers can ensure value maximization from the merchandise returns.

Flexible return portions

Just like the purchase process, retailers must aim to make the returns process hassle-free and as easy as possible. This can be achieved by giving customers the opportunity to process their returns through on-demand mail or even collection and drop-off at a store in the convenient location. This kind of flexible return options will help retailers increase their online sales and gain a delighted and loyal customer base.

Liberal returns policy

Although a liberal returns policy is essential, several retailers have already begun reevaluating their returns policy. The recurring new product drops are one of the major reasons why retailers are taking such steps. Many retailers are even cutting short the period of return from 90 days to 35 days. Such strict measures will also reduce the return of used or post-purchase damaged returns.

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supplement market

Top 4 Challenges Faced by Logistics Companies

Today, logistics plays a very crucial role in smoothening trade facilitation and finally the business operations of other companies. There are several factors such as the growing demands of the client, changing needs of consumers, and complicated business models, which pose challenges for logistics companies. This gives rise to a very important question, which is how can a conventionally standard service be personalized according to preferences? This is probably the most ruling challenge that the logistics industry is facing since years. In the attempt to optimize the output, here are top four challenges that the logistics companies face:

4 Challenges Facing Logistics Companies

Slashing down transportation costsContact US

An increase in the prices of fuel leads to an increase in wages, which, in turn, elevates the transportation costs every day. So, the logistics companies will have to come up with a planned and strategic approach to get away with or at least cut down the costs for transportation. For the implementation of such strategies, logistics companies require information is reliable based on current and future orders. Visibility software is a very good option to simplify such challenges. Third party transportation agency which is cost-effective can be a very helpful option for small businesses who are looking to cut transportation costs. This can help small logistics companies to get away with the expenditure on maintaining vehicles for delivery. A small amount paid to the third party can take care of the rest.

According to the market intelligence experts at Infiniti Research, ‘cutting transportation costs’ makes the top of the list as far as challenges for transportation and logistics services providers go.Request Proposal

Improving customer service

For customers, transparency and punctuality in the delivery are the most important things to consider. Using technology and tracking systems, customers can track their parcel status and upload the same on social media platforms. Customers’ expectations have manifolded today and that is why they don’t mind paying a little bit extra for single day delivery. Therefore, to fulfill such expectations, logistics companies will have to come up with something unique and easy to provide the best customer service and retain their loyal customers. 

Managing manpower

Management is a task that is full of responsibilities and it becomes more challenging when it comes to manpower management. The humane approach is one of the most important requirements that should be adopted for managing manpower. When it comes to logistics companies, manpower management becomes even more challenging as the staff and drivers generally stay in different locations and a proper coordination between the two is highly needed for the swift and easy supply of orders. Here comes the role of decentralization of power into play. Logistics companies can appoint logistics managers in major locations and provide the solutions efficiently by time and team scheduleGet More Info

Providing customized services 

Management of logistics is something which cannot be done single-handedly. Rather it has several layers that need to be managed separately. Logistics companies not only have on-time deliveries as their core job deliverable, but they also need to provide customized services, such as packaging and pricing, which takes a lot of time. So, providing a personalized experience to each customer becomes a great challenge. Here flexibility plays a very important role.


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Logistics Services Client Leverages Marketing Strategy Solution to Improve Customer Service

logistics services

LONDON: Infiniti Research, a global market intelligence solutions provider, has announced the completion of their latest marketing strategy solution for a logistics services client. Transportation and logistics is one of the world’s largest industries. The services offered by this industry range from taxis to trucks, airplanes, trains, courier services, ships, warehouses, barges, and logistics. To a large extent logistics industry now includes the use of artificial intelligence and robotics in terms of self-driving cars, trucks, and delivery vehicles. The growth of the global logistics services industry is directly related to the development of international trade flow and the current economic environment.

“Today, customers want full transparency into where their delivery is at all times. Moreover, as customer expectations have increased, and their willingness to pay for fast shipping has decreased. Hence, logistics services companies are leveraging the use of marketing strategy solutions to improve their position in the market. “says an expert at Infiniti Research.

 

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The solution offered helped the logistics services client develop a robust marketing campaign that resonated with the target audience. The solution also helped the client gain insights into ways to position the product in the marketplace and generate a better ROI.

Additional Benefits of The Marketing Strategy Solution

 

  • Devise a marketing mix to differentiate the offerings with that of the competitors within the logistics services space
  • Refine marketing activities and devise an effective marketing strategy to attract new customers
  • To know more, request a free proposal

 


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Market Opportunity Engagement Helps a Freight Management Firm Identify Trends by Analyzing Market Data

freight management

LONDON: Infiniti Research, a global market intelligence solutions provider, has announced the completion of their latest market opportunity engagement for a freight management client. Freight management companies specialize in the moving of cargo or freight from one place to the other. The demand for freight management services is driven by the increase in domestic manufacturing outputs and growth in international trade. Furthermore, automation technologies such as robotics are helping freight management companies save time and effort by reducing the manual work. Also, robotics play a significant role in bridging the gap between customer demands and business needs.

“There is a rising need to adopt advanced technology and implement a strategic approach to freight management. Due to the growing competition in the transportation sector, existing companies should implement innovative technologies and extensively improve the quality of services offered to remain relevant in the marketplace. The key to developing a successful strategy in the freight management sector revolves around offering efficient, flexible, and cost-effective services. Also, future market opportunities in the freight management sector are set to outweigh their challenges, driving significant changes in this sector. “says an expert at Infiniti Research.

 

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The solution offered helped the freight management client to identify potential areas to advertise and market their services. The solution also helped the firm in determining the market trends to evaluate their market saturation and penetration levels.

Additional Benefits of The Market Opportunity Solution

  • Devise a scalable approach to discover new growth opportunities.
  • Understand the entry barriers, new market opportunity, risks, and competition in the transportation industry.
  • Identify the growth opportunities in the global freight management market
  • To know more, request a free proposal

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solar panel manufacturers

Companies Laying the Groundwork for Drone Delivery

Last-mile delivery has always been a burning problem for players in the logistics industry. Added to that, rising consumer expectation hasn’t helped the cause. Consumers demand one-day or same-day shipping which can be logistically impossible or economically unviable. Even major logistics companies only offer few items to be shipped within a day. Furthermore, delivering goods via road poses many uncertainties including the unavailability of drivers and uncertain traffic and road conditions. So how can logistics companies effectively tackle such problems? One area such logistics companies are exploring is the viability of drone delivery. Drone delivery can efficiently solve the everlasting last-mile delivery problem. Additionally, the ability to operate autonomously saves companies personnel costs along with fuel costs. Although such companies are currently bound because of regulatory hurdles,IR_Brochure governments are looking at provisional measures to make drone delivery a reality.

Amazon Prime Air

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed plans for Amazon Prime Air in the year 2013 and completed drone delivery after three years in 2016 by delivering a parcel to Cambridge, England. To implement full-scale delivery, the company plans to use miniature UAVs which will be able to carry loads of less than five pounds and deliver within 30 minutes to locations that are within the 16km radius of an Amazon fulfillment center. The company is planning to roll-out the service on a small-scale depending on country’s regulatory rules. Currently, the most significant challenge facing Amazon Prime Air is its ability to successfully navigate more tricky urban environment to successfully deliver the package. Once they figure out a solution using AI and get regulatory approvals, drone delivery would become a reality.

Domino’s Pizza

Domino’s Pizza is testing the possibility of delivering a pizza by drone. They successfully performed a drone pizza delivery in New Zealand by partnering with drone delivery service startup Flirtey. Such delivery option will allow the food giant to reach more rural customers and improve delivery times in congested environments. Domino’s Group CEO advocated for drone delivery system stating that it doesn’t make economic sense to deliver a two-kilogram order on a two-ton machine. With the advancements in artificial intelligence systems, drone delivery can be the perfect option for delivering food to the consumers quickly and efficiently. Their current drones can deliver pizzas within 10 minutes to any location within a 1.5km radius of a Domino’s Pizza chain.

Ukrainian Postal Service

In 2016, Ukrainian Postal Service teamed up with Flytrex Aviation to begin testing drone delivery service in Ukranian cities. The drone, named Mule, is capable of carrying loads of up to 3kg to a distance of 23km. The drone can travel at a maximum speed of 70km/h, reducing the delivery time to a mere 30 minutes. The logistics company has deployed a unique release mechanism in the drone to avoid parcels being stolen or tampered. The drone uses a battery instead of fuel and saves a lot of cost in terms of maintenance and fleet management.

Mercedes

Mercedes-Benz recently unveiled the Vision Van, which employs two drones capable of delivering packages of up to five pounds within a radius of six miles. The company partnered with drone startup company Matternet to develop the Vision Van. The Vision Van would enable the company to increase its productivity up to 50% in last-mile delivery service. The mini aircraft has already successfully delivered more than 100 packages within Zurich, Switzerland. The company has invested about $597 million in an effort to speed delivery times for online orders.

Workhorse

Workhorse is an American electric mobility solution provider that developed Horsefly, an autonomous drone delivery system. The device is able to carry a 10-pound package for about 30 minutes flying at a speed of up to 50mph. It can deliver packages at a meager cost of $0.01 per mile in electricity costs. The company claims the drone to work even in rain and snow, but wouldn’t handle high winds particularly well. The company is looking for an ingenious solution to overcome US regulatory rules that demand drones to stay within line-of-sight by mating the technology with its electric delivery trucks.

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Where’s the Logistics Industry Heading in 2018?

The logistics industry is the backbone of industries such as retail, e-commerce, healthcare, and FMCG. Such sectors are highly reliant on the logistics industry to move their products across the world to maintain customer satisfaction. Increasing consumerism is pushing the logistics industry to deliver superior performance and offer services such as overnight shipping. For instance, UPS operates more than 2000 flights a day to more than 200 countries and territories, which enables them to receive a package late at night and deliver it by 8 AM the following morning. Apart from making strategic changes to achieve efficiencies, the logistics industry has embraced a host of new technologies to help them save costs and reduce wastages. So what are the upcoming top logistics industry trends for the year 2018?Get More Info

Top Logistics Industry Trends

Blockchain

The blockchain technology has made numerous headlines currently due to the exploding popularity of theBlockchain Technology in Logistics cryptocurrency Bitcoin. However, the technology has a wide range of applications because of the security and transparency it offers. The ability to record a chain of transactions that cannot be tampered with is especially useful in the logistics industry where the product goes through a sequence of custody handovers and transactions to reach its final destination. In such a case, it becomes vital to know who is responsible for the goods during each handover, which, in turn, enables package tracking as well as accountability. It is one of the most significant logistics industry trends that can potentially save companies billions of dollar when implemented on a mass-market level.

Boosting Business Success With 3PL: All You Need to Know

What happens when you fail to fulfill customer orders within a specified time frame? Obviously, it leads to negative reviews, resentful customers, and broken trust of present and potential buyers. This could end up in a nightmare situation for your business. Therefore, it is essential for smart organizations to have an efficient supply chain and logistics mechanism to prevent transportation and delivery related glitches. But for companies dealing with large volumes of goods, it is a difficult task to keep a close watch on their day-to-day business operations and the logistics aspects simultaneously. Due to dynamic customer demand cycles, businesses are looking beyond two-party logistics and resorting to 3PL, or third-party logistics, to ease the workload. Don’t fret if this is a relatively new term for you. We are here to take you through the basics and also give you a few valuable insights on 3PL to boost business success:
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Who is a third party logistics partner (3PL)?

Earlier, logistics contracts had only two parties – the shipper or the owner of the goods and the shipping carriers that transport these products to their final destinations. Third-party logistics providers rose to prominence after the number of sellers in the market who do not have logistics as their core competency began budding in the market. Note that 3PL providers do not hold the ownership of the products at any point, they are only bound to the transportation contract that they have signed. The main aim of 3PL providers is to ensure that the goods are shipped to the final customers safely without any damage and within the stipulated time period.

When should you depend on 3PL?

One thing you should keep in mind is that third-party logistics should not be your go-to-option as a last resort after upsetting your customers. Consider 3PL for your business at the early stages of the order and production cycle itself. Other than the factor of not having an inbound logistics system, if you are receiving large volumes of orders than your capacity per day or if you do not have the adequate storage facilities for these orders, then you shouldn’t have a second thought on partnering with a 3PL provider. But what you need to be wary of here is the different pricing rates of 3PL providers, as this will help you make a comparison and select the one that is most feasible and profitable for your business.

Some advantages of resorting to 3PL

For those companies where logistics is not one of their core competencies, the best thing to do to boost business success is to leave the job to the pros – renowned 3PL providers in the market. By doing this, businesses can not only focus on their key functions but at the same time also ensure that they do not have to take the headache of any logistics related risks and bottlenecks. Also, expanding business operations internationally is not an easy task for companies, especially considering the large number of shipment and cross-country regulations. However, reputed 3PL providers have their presence in the international markets and are also equipped with the necessary international trade licenses. Therefore, it becomes easier for companies to ship their goods abroad with the help of 3PL logistics. An additional benefit of hiring third party logistics providers is that companies can avoid the additional warehousing and storage cost of goods as they are taken care of by the logistics providers.


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total quality management

Best Practices in Logistics Management: The Right Way Forward

Global sourcing is one of the key factors that mark the modern business landscape. With the logistics and transportation industry’s skyrocketing growth in the recent years, it has become much easier for companies to import and export raw materials and finished products around the globe. Furthermore, companies can now resort to efficient and shorter supply chain cycles and also source the cheapest materials from different parts of the world quickly, thereby reducing the overall costs. However, the swelling logistics requirements call for an efficient logistics management system to keep a close watch on the execution of processes as per standards and within the estimated budget and time limits. Why is logistics management essential for your business? With the help of this technique, you can control the flow and storage of goods to meet customer requirements and aIR_Brochurevoid surplus stock and losses efficiently. Here are some of the best practices in logistics management to enhance your business:

Determining the optimum logistics management model

It is imperative for companies to determine the portion of logistics and supply chain that they would undertake in-house and what amount they would outsource. Doing this would help them determine, which model is most profitable for the business and incorporate the same into their operations. In most cases, outsourcing would be beneficial for multi-divisional or large companies as they can focus on their core functions by assigning secondary tasks to third parties.

Build strategic relationships

Several companies are adopting strategies to build a good rapport with the logistics service providers to streamline their customs clearance process, simplify negotiation and bidding process, and avoid delays for proper document compliance. Building good strategic relations with the parties concerned in logistics will benefit companies in the long run as it would help simplify their supply chain and logistics management process.

Optimize Intelligent Routing and Consolidation

One of the critical steps in logistics management is to identify and evaluate the most optimum quantity and shortest supply chain cycles that will eventually help companies to save big in the long run. Companies must eliminate unnecessary processes in the supply chain and identify methods to maximize the utilization of containers to ensure optimum use of resources at a reduced cost.

Continuous Evaluation of The Logistics Network Design

Earlier, evaluation of factors such as physical distribution networks, capacity requirements, lane structures, etc. used to be a less frequent process for businesses. But today, with new logistics management and supply chain strategies evolving each day, companies have to be on their toes and keep constant tabs on their existing logistics network and processes involved. This will help them stay updated about the glitches in the current operations and adopt new trends accordingly.

 

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Mobile Robots Revamping Material Handling: 3 FAQ’s You Must Know

material handling

 

How Are Mobile Robots Making Place for Themselves in Modern Manufacturing, Warehousing and Logistics?

Mobile robots were preceded by what is known as automated guided vehicles (AGV), which was quite similar to a fixed conveyor. AGVs are guided on the floor with the help of magnetic tape or painted lines. However, mobile robots unlike the AGVs’ are not confined to marked isles for manufacturing and material handling in the warehouse. Therefore, they are highly sensitive to dynamic changes in the work environment such as the movement of people or vehicles for material handling throughout the work floor. The additional benefits of employing these robots for material handling include improving traceability and safety of workers, especially the ones required to work around fork trucks. This can ensure that the human workforce is more productive at their workstations, while mobile robots facilitate flexible and safe material handling.

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Is E-Commerce Affecting the Demand for Logistics Automation?

The answer is Yes. With the growth of the e-commerce market, customers expect a wide variety of products to be delivered to them at the least possible time. In fact, most of the customers today end up making purchase decisions based on the estimated time of delivery of their products; therefore, it has become imperative for companies to hold larger volumes of products, fill labor gaps efficiently, and ensure timely delivery of products. This is the main reason why automation is essential for companies in material handling to make the logistics speedy and efficient. Automation can also help companies to fill labor gaps and ensure that processes are not hindered due to the same.

material handling

What Is the Future of Mobile Robots in Material Handling?

Today, mobile robots are being paired with grippers and arms which allows them to perform human-like functions in the warehouse or the factory-floor. The challenging part is to ensure precision in the task such as picking up, loading, and unloading the materials. In the years to come, these things are expected to be perfected, and hopefully you will be able to see life-size robots and humans work hand in hand when it comes to material handling. Various developers in the field of technology are also looking at developing mobile robots that can work with the internet of things, which would make it easier to give commands and manage the mobile robots.

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