Home' MHD Supply Chain Solutions : MHD Jul-Aug 2016 Contents Our own logistics clients' feedback and
research have shown that business measures
time savings in seconds because improvements
in a task - one that is done over and over by
multiple workers - can ultimately save hundreds,
if not thousands, of hours.
Given the of cyber-crimes, the solution
for logistics and supply chain companies is
to combine a high-level security app with
workflow screens that can be adapted to the
specific industry and process requirements of
Immediately, an organisation can cut time-
wasting re-keying of information, while having
protected two-way connectivity with staff and
management in a safe environment.
A secure, encrypted app enables the
protected use of smartphones at all levels within
a business, with appropriate staff access set by
management -- from executive managers through
operations, fleet tracking, accounts/finance,
inventory management, distribution, warehouse
security, IT and loading dock management.
Secure smartphone workflow
screens enable faster processes
Workflow screens can be specifically designed
to suit a company's needs, ranging from job
orders, secure tracking of truck fleets, confirma-
tions of pending shipment arrivals to payment
confirmation, staff options for work shifts and
delivery and distribution monitoring.
The smartphone app can also be integrated
with telematics capabilities so that when a
vehicle arrives at a loading dock the warehouse
manager is automatically sent an SMS or
message to notify them that the vehicle has
arrived at the correct location.
Because messages are two-way, rather
than simply pushing messages out to the end
client or consumer, the app is able to alert, for
example, a courier company if the customer will
not be able to sign for a package or advise of a
better time to deliver.
Secure messaging can be used to check if a
workforce is safe in the event of a warehouse or
transport incident. These messages can go to all
staff members or just those in relevant areas of
In certain logistics and materials handling
operations the volumes and timings of deliveries
can be affected by external circumstances,
such as oversupplies of fresh food requiring
Delays in plane or boat arrivals may require
flexibility of shifts and staff availabilities.
Workflow shift forms can be generated to offer
an interactive list of sub-contractors/drivers who
can respond to call-outs to manage the overload.
Registered sub-contractors can then be
activated via SMS based on predetermined
preferences matched to their location, vehicle
size and shift type.
Available candidates can respond with the
tap of a button, and get reminder emails or texts
before their shifts begin.
We also looked closely at work processes that
have historically involved a number of steps.
We found it's possible to either eliminate or
reduce the time of those steps by enabling staff
to replace manual aspects with smart workflow
forms on their phones.
Operational time savings can be achieved
in a variety of different ways within a materials
handling company's day-to-day management of
the supply and demand of products.
Warehouse managers could request via the
phone app common parts and supplies using
a pre-set form -- no more typing in complicated
codes or long requests.
The app also allows workers to report slow-
moving or low inventory at the touch of a button.
The workflow forms can also be used to
trigger reordering when stock falls below specific
levels to reduce the need for large inventories.
One of the recurring and costly frustrations
for many logistics companies is failed delivery
attempts. These can be reduced by using the
app to enable customers to stop, confirm or
change delivery times and locations, thereby
eliminating multiple delivery trips.
The secure app system can also play a
critical role in assisting debt recovery and cash
flow management, as it allows the company
to send automatic payment reminders and
confirmations as well as the tracking and
With automated payment notifications such as
customer and supplier bills, workflow forms can
be developed for payments received and sent,
overdue payments and overall payroll systems.
Legal and business
Finally, while the day-to-day - and in some
cases, minute-by-minute - time savings will
translate to enormous dollar savings and a
healthier bottom line, there are other savings to
be made at the highest management levels.
Compliance can be the bane of many
business managements, who must work to
ensure that all of the appropriate business
transactions, legal requirements and accounting
processes are thoroughly captured.
With tougher data retention and archival
laws it can also be costly. But the cost of not
complying can be even higher.
Equipped with data archival and data retrieval
capabilities, a compliant app can provide full
visibility and control to the organisation and
capture acknowledgement of sent, delivered
and read messages.
This enables real-time reporting and for the
data that is captured to be fully auditable for
Horden Wiltshire is CEO of Soprano Design,
a provider of in-enterprise mobile messaging.
For more information visit www.sopranodesign.
MHD SUPPLY CHAIN SOLUTIONS --- JULY / AUGUST 2016 67
SUPPLY CHAIN 67
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