Because the logistics industry involves storing, transporting, and delivering goods of all sizes, safety concerns linger at every step. Warehouse personnel have to work with heavy machinery and equipment, moving pallets all over the facility. Delivery drivers need to pack goods to help ensure their safe delivery, and they have to maintain road safety.
In order to save time and money, some managers may be tempted to cut corners in different parts of the process, like putting off routine vehicle maintenance. Unsafe management actions put workers’ health at risk and open your business up to potential lawsuits or expensive workers’ compensation claims. As the logistics industry continues to evolve, safety must remain a top concern. Here are some specific ways in which safety drives current and future logistics industry trends.
We live in a world of instant gratification, and today’s customers and businesses expect deliverables quickly. To meet this need, many logistics companies have turned to omnichannel fulfillment — the ability to fulfill orders in multiple ways.
Logistics industry professionals using omnichannel fulfillment can choose whichever distribution method results in the fastest delivery. You may operate a physical retail location and a fulfillment center and have a relationship with manufacturers. When a customer places an order, you would take stock of your inventory along with the customer’s location and choose to fill the order from the store, the manufacturer, or your warehouse.
Omnichannel fulfillment is likely to expand across the logistics industry as companies try to keep pace with orders. When you are trying to fill orders quickly from multiple locations, it’s important to focus on safety, establishing regulations across channels to ensure your employees exercise caution at all times.
Guidance on how people should move throughout the warehouse and store heavy items can go a long way toward minimizing work-related safety issues. Set guidelines on vehicle maintenance, driving expectations, and other factors impacting delivery driver safety.
Like other sectors, the logistics industry thrives on data. Collecting and analyzing customer data can help you tailor your customer service and client relationships. But as more people become concerned over their online privacy, rules and restrictions involving customer data continue to evolve. Your company should prioritize compliance and data management.
Some of the benefits of big data in the logistics industry include improved operational efficiency and route optimization, among others. You can use customer data to optimize your operation in order to make more deliveries faster. Data management standards vary, but here are some ways you can ensure compliance.
Protect Personal Data
When you’re working with people’s personal data, store and manage it safely. Secure your network so that personal information is less vulnerable to cyberattacks. Create a system for managing data requests to help ensure that you have a record of who asked for customers’ data and whether or not they received it.
Use Data Only for Its Intended Purpose
Don’t buy or sell client lists or use your clients’ personal data for anything other than order fulfillment. Collect only the information you need to schedule and complete deliveries. If you’re working with highly sensitive data, see whether there are any limitations on how long you can store it. If needed, destroy it when you’re done with the job.
Don’t Contact Customers Without Their Permission
You still need to market your services to potential customers. One of the more prominent logistics industry trends is to distribute marketing content through multiple channels. You may be tempted to add someone’s email address to your list as soon as they do business with you, but this puts you at risk of violating privacy regulations. Add people to your list only once you have obtained their written permission.
COVID-19 Supply Chain Management
The logistics industry was changed by COVID-19. Pandemic-related lockdowns led consumers to order more goods online, taxing the logistics industry, which was also feeling the weight of the lockdowns. Parts of the supply chain were disrupted as different countries enacted various restrictions on how people could live and work.
The logistics industry was forced to adapt its supply chains to discover new methods of shipping, processing, and going about business as usual. COVID-19 brought new safety protocols to the industry, including the use of personal protective equipment for warehouse personnel, and forced shipping companies to adapt airplanes to hold additional cargo.
While many industries are seeing a return to normal, logistics companies are still dealing with supply chain disruptions and restrictions on imports and exports. Customers are still experiencing delays related to manufacturing and repairs for complex products, including cars and electronics.
Logistics industry trends include adapting new technology, such as AI-powered robots at fulfillment centers and other automated methods of distributing goods and services to people. These innovations can help ease worker shortages and keep warehouse personnel from spreading COVID-19 throughout the workplace.
Your company will likely continue to adapt to the changing conditions as the world emerges from the pandemic. It’s important to focus on safety, keeping workers from getting one another sick during surges of infections. You should also consider safety when implementing new technologies and switching your transportation methods for goods and services.
Each change results in its own safety challenges, so it’s important to have a professional on hand who understands how to identify and mitigate your concerns.
The Importance of Safety in Logistics Industry Trends
As the logistics industry evolves to improve its efficiency and fulfill customers’ orders faster, safety challenges remain at every part of the process. From inventory storage and management to delivery, your workers want to know that you’re keeping them safe from on-the-job hazards. Your customers want to know that you are keeping their personal data safe. And new safety challenges will continue to pop up as you pivot to handle the impact of COVID-19 on your business.
But you don’t have to evaluate your company without help. YellowBird logistics consultants are experienced in a wide variety of safety challenges. We can help you get connected with the right safety professional to assess risks across your business, offering recommendations to help make your workplace safer for all.
Contact us today to find out how we can give you and your employees peace of mind.