For decades, the logistics and supply chain industry has been paramount in adapting technology to simplify its operations.
A pizza reaching you before 30 minutes, or getting same-day delivery of your favorite product didn’t happen overnight.
Supply chain or logistics has been an industry that has consistently molded to the ever-increasing demands of the customers. And as modern the tech used by the customers got, the industry had to rapidly adapt. The mobile transformation has driven the fourth industrial revolution and brought forth the idea that all processes are interconnected and use high-tech to optimize the customer experience. But modernizing an industry that’s been around for so long isn’t easy, especially when the industry employs millions of people worldwide.
The concept of ‘the more the merrier’ can generally be dreadful to enterprise operations, especially in an industry like logistics where the workforce is highly distributed and doesn’t necessarily have access to modern technology or the means to use them with caution. While enterprise mobility can do a great deal to ensure that all processes are streamlined and optimized with the right combination of modern devices (often custom-made) and appropriate apps, it can also be detrimental to the data security and privacy of the enterprise, which is one of the key deal-breakers for customers globally. Not to mention the added costs spent on procuring these devices, internet, maintenance and IT staffing. This is why, the smaller or mid-size businesses in the logistics industry shy away from digital transformation in general, of course at the expense of losing it to a bigger player in the market.
Device endpoint management: a game-changer
A device endpoint management solution (an easy-to-procure one at that) could be pivotal in taming down the risks involved in the digitalization of the supply chain and logistics industry. An endpoint management solution not only brings ‘a method to the madness’ that mobile transformation can bring about but also helps in modernizing the logistics and supply chain industry in a true sense. Here’s how:
Custom device management for custom needs
The ‘one size fits all’ notion simply cannot cut it for an industry like logistics where there is diversity among the employees and the way they operate. From knowledge workers, specialized floor workers, truck drivers and other frontline workers – the staff has diverse needs and expectations from the mobile technology they use. This is why we can see a huge market opened up by the OEMs for the same. Endpoint management can help provision, manage and maintain this fragmentation in the device inventory without having to look for multiple solutions for different device make and models.
For logistics, fret tracking is always of extreme importance. Furthermore, the increased expectations of the customers and the faster timelines for delivery push enterprises to invest in advance tracking of the devices via GPS and geofencing. Endpoint management can eliminate the need to invest separately in tracking software and also increase the device (and in turn employee) visibility over and above location. Endpoint management can help in gaining visibility of device usage, performance and stats, including but not limited to battery, data and storage usage as well as compliance and security breaches if any.
Handheld kiosk lockdown
With endpoint management, any handheld device can be turned to work as a kiosk or a dedicated device that runs only a few approved applications or websites. These kiosk devices can help frontline staff maintain focus on work, and cut out on distractions caused by non-work apps and browsing. Also, with an endpoint management-driven kiosk, security risks are kept at bay – since the enterprise, IT has control over everything- from the networks these devices connect to, to files that run on these devices or emails that are accessed.
Remote assistance and preventive maintenance
A major cash burner for an industry that is as geographically distributed as logistics is breakdowns and device failures. Not only bringing the operations to a standstill which can cause frustrated customers and applicable penalties, but the business implications of device or software performance issues can also add to the cost to bring the device back to the service centers for repairs. With endpoint management software, troubleshooting can happen remotely and with regular, automated predictive care for security, performance and compliance, such instances can be minimized.
Frontline workers need to be part of the digital transformation in order to enhance customer service and fine-tune the business operations for the logistics and supply chain industry. Empowering business owners to take control of their distributed endpoint while also ensuring that device and data security are at the forefront is a responsibility that endpoint management can take over, which is why it seems like the most feasible solution for logistics businesses in years to come.
About the Author
Sriram Kakarala is Vice President of Products, ProMobi Technologies. Mr. Sriram Kakarala is the Vice President of Products at ProMobi Technologies. He carries an immense experience of more than 17 years in developing mobile applications. As an engineer at heart, he has expertise in developing ingenious products from scratch. He is one of the innovative minds behind Scalefusion, an effortless mobile device and endpoint management solution for organizations.
Featured image: ©ZinetroN