17 May 2021Comments are off for this post.

Voice-Directed Warehousing: what are the benefits and how does it work?

The race for increasing turnover, customer satisfaction, and efficiency has never been as heated as it is now, with companies vying for any piece of technology that will give them that extra “push” to achieve even higher targets. One of the innovations that has contributed to improving results in all of these aforementioned factors is Voice-Directed Warehousing.

What is Voice-Directed Warehousing? 

Voice-directed warehousing is a technology that employs voice direction in conjunction with voice recognition software to relay commands to workers tasked with a wide range of activities performed in a warehouse or distribution center, including picking, receiving, replenishment and shipping. The technology dates back to the 1990s, but since then it has flourished and innovated in numerous ways, making it the industry standard with the data to prove its effectiveness. 

How does it work?

To put it simply, voice-directed warehousing equips each employee with a small computer, more or less the size of a walkman and a headset with a microphone. Through the headset, commands are relayed to the employee by an operator that gives him/her all of the relevant information regarding the task at hand. 

The operator receives information regarding the orders from the warehouse management system (WMS), or alternatively enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. For example, an employee tasked with picking will be directed to the location of the required product and told how much of the product is required. 

Once the worker arrives at the designated location he/she takes advantage of the attached microphone to “speak” to the software and confirms the location by reciting a checkstring. Depending on the software being used, the employee will then validate the product by informing the voice recognition software of the product's code and of the quantity picked. 

If the employee makes an error while relaying information the software will correct the picker and demand the correct information. Once the task is complete the software will send the employee to the next assignment. 

More advanced software will even further optimize the employees' performance by suggesting more efficient routes around the warehouse. Besides maximizing the performance of the individual worker, the information collected by the software is accessible to managers, who can track results, making the system even more efficient. This information can be used to manage workflow and to mitigate the fallout from problems in real-time, should they arise.

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What are the benefits of Voice-Directed Warehousing?

As a civilization, we are living in unprecedented times, with the drive towards automatization and voice-directed technologies becoming more and more apparent in every single aspect of our lives. All of us have come into contact with some form of voice-directed technology, whether it be talking to our smartphones or using some form of virtual assistant AI technology that has made managing our lives simpler, more effective, and as a result more satisfactory. 

As mentioned before, voice-directed warehousing dates back to the 1990s and since then the technology has advanced in leaps and bounds becoming the most effective method of optimizing workflow in the warehouse environment. Competing technologies such as “pick to light” systems are generally more costly and require the installation of extensive components in the warehouse and also limit operator mobility, as the operator relaying orders must be at all times managing staff through the “pick to light” system. So what does voice-directed warehousing give us?

  • Increased picking accuracy - research has shown that transferring from a paper-based system to a voice-directed system has resulted in an 80 to 90% reduction in errors committed by workers. This is ensured by employees confirming their picks with the software before committing to an order.
  • Increased employee productivity - the use of voice recognition software in warehouses and distribution centers has resulted in employees being burdened with a smaller amount of responsibilities. Before the advent of voice direction, employees had to fill out an inordinate amount of paperwork, carry handheld devices to read information from barcodes, and regularly fetch pick lists. All of these tasks were time-consuming and took away from the most important one which was moving the correct product as efficiently as possible to the next step of the distribution cycle. Voice direction does away with these obstacles and optimizes the workflow.
  • Improved safety - one of the greatest threats to employee safety is a lack of concentration due to the need to “juggle” various tasks at the same time. Voice direction cuts back on the need for dangerous multi-tasking. Try to imagine which one would be safer; a workplace where the employee has to operate a box cutter while simultaneously filling out forms, his thoughts clouded by the need to micromanage numerous steps of the process or an environment where the employees' eyes, arms and mind are concentrated only on one task? The answer of course is the second scenario and experience has shown that adopting voice direction systems allowed warehouses to dramatically minimize the probability of workplace accidents.
  • Reduced training time - adopting voice direction systems has the added benefit of reducing training time for new employees. Instead of grappling with obtuse paperwork and data entry, employees can instead follow instructions delivered in a simple language that is easy to grasp for most anyone. Transport and logistics businesses that have introduced voice directed warehousing have noted that training now only lasts one day, with workers becoming proficient with the system within two weeks. Traditional warehouse management techniques require many days of training and an even longer period before employees can be considered competent.
  • Increased employee satisfaction - a worker that delivers better results, experiences less stress, performs less redundant tasks, and has a safer workplace is by definition a happier employee. Many companies have noted increased worker satisfaction upon the introduction of voice-directed systems. Simplifying situations that in the past were at the root of many workplace problems has also resulted in reduced employee turnover which is beneficial towards growing a work environment that functions more cohesively.
  • Happier customers - the final destination of every supply chain is of course the customer, for whom countless companies are competing. To ensure that the hard-earned dollar of the “average Joe” makes its way to you, ensuring customer satisfaction is of the highest importance. A well-organized supply chain and warehouse are paramount in achieving this goal. Limiting mistakes, workplace accidents, errors in delivery, and streamlining processes ensure that your customer will receive their purchase at a rate that will surely make them want to continue pursuing business with your company.
  • Increased Saving - when taking into consideration all of the above-listed arguments that show the benefits of voice-directed warehousing it becomes obvious that the bottom line of all these advantages are savings. By cutting back on time and money wasted on administration costs and ineffective labor it has been found that an initial ROI is attained after 3 months of employing the system, with productivity increasing anywhere from 10% - 80%.

How others do it

Countless companies have adopted voice-directed warehousing and have praised the benefits that go along with the technology. Let’s take a look at two examples that showcase the power of this technology.

Parmalat - this Australian company is one of the largest dairy producers in the country. After introducing warehouse management systems (WMS) in conjunction with the Honeywell Vocollect technology, the company's largest warehouse in Lidcombe achieved a 15% increase in productivity.

Dorfman Pacific - this company specializes in selling headwear to clothing retailers. In the past, the company employed traditional paperwork in fulfilling orders. This resulted in slower order fulfillment and lost paperwork. After introducing voice direction, accuracy and speed increased considerably, allowing orders to be fulfilled within 24 hours and increased accuracy has resulted in fewer mistakes, improving in turn customer satisfaction.

It's not "nice to have" anymore

Voice-directing has become the industry standard for managing warehouses and distribution centers; and since its introduction has grown along with the advent of new technologies. The future is looking bright for this field as new technological advancements, such as smart glasses, the internet of things, machine learning, robotics and continuously improving voice recognition software, are going to make voice direction an even more potent tool for streamlining workflow. 

This, in turn, will result in increased profits. As we witness the creation of a new, turbulent economic paradigm, the adoption of the newest technologies dictates competitiveness, flexibility, and adaptability; features that no business hoping to ride out these choppy waters can do without. The multi-modal approach offered by voice direction and the other technologies that cooperate alongside it have the potential to elevate your business's performance and ensure that your business is one of the “ships” that makes it through the stormy night.

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22 March 2021Comments are off for this post.

The importance of fleet telematics systems

A supply chain is only as efficient and responsive as the data that powers it. Luckily, the number of data sources for supply chain management is constantly increasing. And one technology that truly provides an enormous amount of information to transport and logistics companies is telematics. It is then not surprising that supply chain companies are heavily investing in telematics technologies. But what exactly is telematics?

What is telematics?

First coined by French scientists in 1978, telematics is a combination of two words, “telecommunications” and “informatics”. In a broad sense, it is the technology of sending, receiving and storing information using telecommunication devices to control remote objects. However, in this article we will focus on a narrower meaning of telematics, the most commonly associated with the term today - we are going to talk about telematics solutions utilized in commercial fleet vehicles.

The core of the telematics system includes a vehicle tracking device installed in the vehicle, which allows transmitting, receiving and storage of telemetry data. It is connected through the vehicle's own on-board diagnostics (ODBII) or a CAN-BUS port with a SIM card, while the on-board modem can communicate through a wireless network.

Crucial elements of telematics systems

While different telematics systems provide different kinds of features, powered by different technologies, some of them are used in most solutions. Let’s take a look at them:

Engine Control Unit (ECU) - is an electronic control unit that controls a series of actuators on an internal combustion engine to ensure optimal engine performance. It does this by reading values from a multitude of sensors within the engine bay. Some types of data that we can get from ECU includes speed of the vehicle, how the brakes were used, engine’s temperature and oil pressure, as well as distance travelled and diagnostic trouble codes.

GPS tracking - a satellite-based radionavigation is a major component of a telematics system, providing crucial data such as the location of a vehicle at any given time, as well as its speed and location in reference to geo-fence.

Video cameras - a relatively young addition to telematics systems, video cameras allow us to track drivers actions before, during and after an incident. It can also be helpful in providing information about road conditions, behavior of other vehicles, as well as the status of cargo.

Electronic logging devices - long gone are the days when drivers had to fill in multiple forms to log the time of their work. Today, electronic logging devices take care of it, providing all the required features in an efficient and secure way.

Other sensors - while we already mentioned Engine Control Unit, it’s not the only part of the vehicle that is monitored. The possibilities are limitless - from sensors measuring the state of the in-truck refrigerator to sensors in tires and other wheel-end components. Functioning of every single part of the vehicle can be tracked, with the data acquired helping to improve the processes.

As we already know what telematics is and what are the crucial elements that compose it, it’s time to get to know the reasons why telematics systems are such important factors for transport and logistics companies to succeed. 

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The value of vehicle telematics

While it is important to mention that the benefits of using telematics systems vary between different branches of the transport and logistics industry, some of them are universal and apply to almost all companies. 

Here’s a look at 15 major ways of how telematics systems can benefit supply chain companies:

Increased Resource Utilization - real-time overview of the entire fleet gives the unique opportunity to use the company's assets in the most efficient way possible. By knowing the status of every vehicle, its delay time, estimated time of arrival, as well as road conditions, the company can proactively adjust its actions to reduce waste of resources. 

Higher Service Levels - one of the major benefits gained through telematics systems is the transparency of the entire supply chain. Customers can finally track their orders and multiple sensors inside of the vehicles allow them to even monitor and control the conditions that their goods are being transported in. 

Reduced operating costs - telematics systems help to save money in several different ways. Think about how much money can be saved on fuel by reducing even a few minutes of idling time across the entire fleet. Better resource utilization means that drivers are not wasting their time, reducing operating costs as well.

Monitoring of habits - telematics tracks the behavior of drivers, whether they follow the regulations and company’s promoted practices. The data gathered on drivers’ behavior is an extremely valuable input for further training. It can highlight issues that might’ve been unnoticed otherwise. 

Better Operator Performance - data produced by telematics systems is used to create visual reports and dashboards for operators and dispatchers. This way, with more information on hand, they can be much more helpful to drivers, guiding them on the easiest and fastest routes, the status of the order, situation at the borders etc.

Sustainability - as sustainability has become one of the major goals for transport and logistics companies, telematics systems are the tools that can truly help them go greener. Transport generates 14% of the world’s greenhouse gases, but minor changes using telematics can make a big difference. It can be achieved through lower fuel wastage and distances driven.

Increased safety - constant monitoring of truck components can signal defects and technical issues way before they can become a threat to driver’s safety. Monitoring of drivers undesirable behavior - whether it’s speeding, not wearing seat belts or driving too close to other vehicles - can also be done by telematics systems. Even the sole awareness of being monitored leads to a better behavior on the road.

Bigger picture - while telematics systems prove to be extremely helpful to individual drivers and operators, they also produce incredibly important data for company’s decision-makers, which allows them to allocate resources better and create more realistic strategies.

Increased job satisfaction - electronic logs make drivers’ work much easier, which leads to their increased job satisfaction. It is an especially important factor on markets with labour shortages, where employee retention is crucial.

Integration of different modes of transport - when a telematics system is applied to different types of transport, it can be a great tool to increase intermodality. The data provided by different transport units can be used to align them, making the transfer of orders between different transport modes smooth and efficient.

Proactive maintenance of vehicles - while the regular maintenance is based on recommended checking periods, telematics systems provide information on the real condition of different parts of the vehicle, which can be used to proactively fix issues. 

Enhanced security - telematics systems help to store both company and personal data in a safe way. Mobile technology has rendered paper records obsolete, making acquired data safer. 

Promotion of good practices through gamification - some telematics systems allow drivers to get points or rewards when they apply their company’s guidelines in their way of driving. This element of gamification helps to promote good practices among drivers, which leads to increased safety. 

As we went through major benefits of telematics systems, it’s time for a few real world examples of telematics systems that are proving to be some the best on the market.

Great examples of telematics systems

Webfleet

Webfleet Solutions, known as TomTom Telematics until October 1st 2019, is one of the world’s leading telematics solution providers, dedicated to fleet management, vehicle telematics and connected car services. Its main Software-as-a-Service solution WEBFLEET is used by businesses of all sizes to improve vehicle performance, save fuel, support drivers and increase overall fleet efficiency.

Webfleet enables its customers to share shipment information across different means of transport via open APIs. In this way, their complete delivery process can be seamlessly traced - in compliance with legal and data protection regulations. 

Fleetboard

Daimler FleetBoard GmbH is one of the leading European-wide suppliers of telematics supported Internet services for trucks, vans and buses. The modular FleetBoard services support logistics companies in the optimal handling of inter-city, distribution and construction site transport and in reducing fleet operating costs.

Dynafleet

Dynafleet is Volvo Trucks’ online fleet management system for improved profitability. Dynafleet helps haulage companies to take full control over their transport operations and vehicle fleet. Through the Dynafleet web application, you can check the current location of your trucks, monitor how much fuel they are consuming, check their driven routes, driver times and much more.

Scania Fleet Management

Scania Fleet Management helps you identify and use the key details needed to increase the productivity of your fleet. The system is already installed in all new Scania trucks. Scania Fleet Management consists of three different service packages: Monitoring, Control and Data Access.

Conclusions

As no one can already imagine the transport and logistics industry without telematics, we can only expect its importance to grow even more. Big amounts of data gathered and analyzed by telematics systems help transport companies to utilize their resources more efficiently, save money, reduce CO2 emissions, increase safety and make drivers work easier.

The advancements in technology allow us to begin measuring more and more things, increasing the amount of data we gather. Soon, only those transport and logistics companies that are able to effectively analyze and use this data will have a future on this incredibly competitive market. 


15 March 2021Comments are off for this post.

AI and Big Data in Logistics and Warehousing

Businesses are growing along with the advancement in technologies, especially AI and Big data; Logistics and Warehouses are one of the aspects of the more significant section of the businesses that are increasingly using these technologies to improve management and development. 

Automating the process has always been one of the highest priorities of businesses but gone are those days of old machines that did not involve such hi-tech support from the software point of view. 

In this post, we will be discussing two of the most exciting and hooked concepts, 

  1. AI and Big Data Playing a Major Role in Logistics
  2. Smart Warehouse - AI in Management 

Artificial Intelligence is often misrepresented or thought of when it comes to emerging technologies; When the term AI pops, people think it is the Tesla or the robotics, but AI is much more than the hardware. The ultimate goal of AI is to improve the outdated technology, cut-off the additional efforts, automate the processes, and make machines capable of doing the job. The best part is people accept such technology in business and test new ways to improve the management and development of the business models, production methods, and whatnot. 

However, does AI have a good hand in logistics? It is a brain-teasing question; it has a significant role to play and let me break down the uses and put the correct information. 

AI and Big Data Playing a Major Role in Logistics

What is logistics? Logistics is the flow of management from the origin till the consumer receives the goods. Managing such a flow is a tedious task, and outdated systems need an upgrade to improve this. 

Big Data in Management

In logistics, businesses have to keep even the smallest data from the head to the toes, and this is done for every product businesses manufacture. 

The R&D department uses this data to analyze how they can improve and bring more profits to the company and the consumer, but handling such huge data is complex, and many businesses still use the manual mode to analyze such huge data, also called the big data. 

A well-designed software allows such data to be handled and analyzed quickly without any upfront cost. Logistics is a careful task, and you do not want to mess the process, or there you are making losses in millions. 

Artificial Intelligence for Product Analysis

When you are a huge business that manufactures several products, how do you analyze which product is well-accepted and consumed by the users that are willing to pay? The traditional method involves the R&D team analyzing the market position and the number of sales that, in the end, leave an approximate estimation.

However, what if there was a software that did the complete analysis with numbers and graphs without having to spend any more money on the product analysis. The machine learning algorithms such as KNN can help the businesses to pick the correct numbers from a chart and number analysis and work on products that are not bringing profits to the company. This algorithmic approach helps the businesses remove the products that no longer interest the user but the units are still manufacturing. We create solutions that can help you analyze the products and predict if they still hold the value that customers are looking for in the current market. They can also collect information from multiple channels and predict the product value before you start the next manufacturing process. 

Managing Inventory using AI and Big Data

The head task in a manufacturing business is controlling the Inventory. If the products are produced more than what is required, it will ultimately be a loss if that product is no longer working, and on the other hand, if the number of products is less, the company would not be able to fulfill the user needs. 

Managing Inventory using the traditional method is outdated and time-consuming. The best way to reduce the time and improve efficiency is by using a dedicated inventory management software that analyses the product manufacturing quantity by using the previous data. Suppose you have the data for the past five years in numbers; AI can use these numbers and predict the manufacturing quantity for the current period. 

Besides, handling such data in a computer database is not an easy job, and the physical servers are a no good option as they consume a lot of resources and need heavy maintenance. Using the techniques of Big data and utilizing cloud storage can help you minimize the efforts you add in handling the inventory data. 

AI helping substitute the workforce in Logistics

Robotics are a great option to replace the maximum efforts humans put in handling the manufacturing processes. They can improve the efficiency and the speed in sorting the products, moving them from one environment to another, track the Inventory and other manufacturing. 

Besides, it minimizes the risk of life that workers face while the robots can do the same job much faster and safer. 

Most of the companies in the world, from the manufacturing of mobile phones to the assembling of cars, use AI in their units, and they are working great on the speed and efficiency metrics. 

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Big Data managing various types of data

Companies track every data that the manufacturing units produce in the whole process. This data is not the same at each development stage and analyzing such different data is a task.

The data collected is both structured and unstructured; consider it as a data lake. To separate this data and then take out a piece of meaningful information requires advanced technologies such as Big data. The first step in this process is to collect all the data and then separate them according to their type. Doing this process traditionally is time-consuming and is prone to errors on a larger scale. 

However, Big data has proved to help with the process by using Apache Hadoop's software medium. Such software is scaling for improvement, and Big data management is now becoming more effective and efficient in logistics and warehousing. 

AI and Big Data in improving Customer Experience

When a customer orders through an online service, they expect a few things such as 

  • On-time delivery 
  • Quality
  • Ease in returning the products or canceling them

AI and Big Data can help in this process by extracting the particular user data from the data lake and then using it to perform the following operations. Now, we already know the data is unstructured, and in this scenario, only AI can boost the process of locating the user information and then track the order to address the customer needs. 

Big data also helps in segregating the order type based on different metrics such as location, product ID, stock, and more. AI and Big Data can boost this process to bring more valuable customer experiences by taking customer feedback and then analyzing the performance more visually using the charts and the numbers. The best part about the Big data is, it eases the data handling and operating process. Our customized AI software helps in managing and providing a great customer experience that users are looking for. 

AI in logistics reduce the error

Humans are prone to errors, we make mistakes quite often, but sometimes, it may directly or indirectly affect the manufacturing industry or lead to a risk. Artificial intelligence takes the correct measurements and performs the right job as it is programmed to do so. Besides, Machine learning algorithms that are a part of AI help predict the performance of the tools, units, and the manual force used in the whole manufacturing process. We can create AI software that can help you manage the logistics process and predict the improvements for minimal errors. 

Best Examples

Let’s take a look at few examples of companies successfully using AI in warehousing and logistics:

Amazon, the world's most valuable brand, uses AI technology and robots in its warehouses to increase efficiency, create platforms for the warehouse and online store and anticipate and prevent issues in the customer journey.

Lineage Logistics, a company focusing on keeping food cold for stores and restaurants, uses AI to analyze the path of its orders. The AI algorithms can anticipate when orders will arrive and leave a warehouse, so that employees can put the pallets in the right position. Items that will stay at the warehouse longer are put further in the back, and items that move more quickly and won’t stay in the warehouse as long as placed towards the front. Since implementing smart placement through AI, Lineage has increased its efficiency by 20%.

Online retailer Zappos, which specializes in clothes and shoes, uses KIVA Systems in its center in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, to create a fully automated warehouse that helps them maintain free shipping, a 365-day return policy, and a full-time call center.

British online supermarket Ocado uses highly automated warehouses with robots that unpack inventory, plan and stack shelves, and move goods around the warehouses.

Smart Warehouses 

When we speak about smart, how can we miss the automation processes and interconnected technologies? Smart warehouses are the Zenith of automation that improves warehouse and inventory management. The interconnected technologies work together to reduce the error, increase productivity and efficiency, and minimize the human effort. 

Nevertheless, how does AI and Big Data fuel Smart Warehouses?

Smart Warehouses create an automated environment where goods are received, identified, sorted, organized, and pulled for shipment automatically with minimal human efforts. The result? Cost is saved, the risk of human life is reduced, productivity and efficiency at a peak, and the whole process is automatic. 

Smart Warehouses have three significant characteristics:

  • Agility
  • Scalability
  • Data Visibility

Agility

If you are a manufacturing company, you must be knowing how complex it is to manage an inventory and the interconnected systems. Smart warehouses help in creating a more efficient environment. Besides, there are a few solutions that help connect and automate different systems and improve the efficiency of the work. Your Smarthouse system should be able to understand the human needs and minimize them as the automation improves. 

Scalability

Humans can do limited operations on a per-day basis that restricts the speed of the whole process. AI components such as Robotics and Automation machines can improve the speed and work more efficiently, fastening the whole process and upbringing the business. 

Data Visibility

Warehouse data are not structured; when you analyze the data, you can find anomalies and confusion. This is because the data is not correctly collected and stored; the whole process is unprogrammed that can mess the whole process. However, using Big data, you can extract the need of the hour data without having to run through several files manually and then plotting a graph. Hadoop systems are extensively being used in manufacturing industries to facilitate the big data process and make the data visible when required. 

Smart Warehouse Elements 

Smart warehouses have many interconnected technologies that work along to complete the task. Let me break down a few for you. 

AI Robots

Robots are efficient in most of the warehouse working. They can help to relocate the products to other positions, and they can sort the products based on weight, category, and locations. Besides, the best usage is fastpacking of products that saves time and is an efficient method to improve productivity. 

Security and IoT

Warehouses have a lot of expensive items that can be stolen or tampered with. Traditional guards can be bribed to breach the security, but the modern-day RFID security systems that are made of IoT can solve this problem. You can use RFID cards to only allow an authorized person to enter the warehouse or use RFID to allow only authorized personnel to use certain machines and features of the Smart Warehouse. 

The IoT systems can also be used to improve smaller neglected conditions of work. They can be used to measure the machines' temperature or the working environment or used to show relevant information about the products received from the WMS. 

Warehouse Management System

When you have a smart warehouse, you also need to have efficient software that works along. The Warehouse Management System (WMS) allows you to keep track of how efficient your warehouse's day-to-day operations are and if you can improve on anything specific.

Our digital solutions help create such customizable software for smart warehouses and use the AI algorithms to improve the workflow of these processes. The AI algorithms will help you predict the areas where you can improve the automation or human processes. Additionally, the AI programs are self-learnable, and you can rely on them to analyze the stocks, returned items, and check for productivity on its own. 

Final Words

AI and Big data have a huge space in the Logistics and Smart Warehouses that improve productivity and efficiency in managing the whole process. The right time to invest in such technologies is right now, and we can create the customized software for you based on your needs. AI can help you predict the improvement sections and also do the right product analysis while the Big data tackles the data lake issue and gives you a more uniform and structured data that is meaningful. 


15 March 2021Comments are off for this post.

On the home stretch – how to make Last Mile Delivery more efficient 

Every stage in the supply chain has its challenges, but the last one, where the ordered product goes directly to the customers, is particularly crucial. It's that moment that is critical to the overall user experience and influences whether or not consumers will return. Fast, efficient and hassle-free delivery is essential today to stay competitive. And that's exactly what Last Mile Delivery is all about.

What exactly is Last Mile Delivery?

Last Mile Delivery (LMD) is the end stage in the supply chain when a parcel arrives at its final destination, usually an address or collection point chosen by the customer. In fact, this is the only moment when the customer has direct contact with the whole logistic process - from the moment the order is placed, the customer becomes an observer and participant of the delivery, seeing its successive elements and... getting impatient if the parcel is delivered later than expected.

It's no wonder then that the world's biggest transport companies are investing huge amounts of time, money and resources into making LMD as efficient as possible - with eCommerce exploding in popularity, instant, seamless delivery is no longer a 'nice to have but an absolute 'must have'.

A breakthrough in eCommerce and delivery

The coronavirus pandemic was a huge challenge but also an opportunity for eCommerce and related industries. When people started shifting their shopping habits to online in 2020, the market was not ready for it, primarily due to the burden of transport and logistics. Deliveries were delayed and customers, also first-time buyers, turned their attention towards the companies that had handled the delivery crisis best. Often, these were those that had already set their sights on developing innovative technologies in the delivery system.

What problems LMD faces

Inefficiency . Logistics companies today have incredible opportunities to make the supply chain as efficient as possible. Capacious means of transport, fast loading and unloading processes, optimally located warehouses and modern technologies that allow every step to be monitored, risks to be caught and processes to be optimised. Everything works perfectly in this well-thought-out mechanism. And then comes the LMD - a large number of small parcels that have to be delivered to a great many locations, almost defying the efficiency patterns developed so far.

LMD costs account for as much as 53% of total shipping costs. That's a lot, and with the current delivery model, it's hard to make the process cheaper. The situation is not helped by the fact that the practice of 'free delivery’ is becoming more common. Customers are starting to expect not to have to pay for courier services, which somehow forces transport companies and suppliers to take these charges on themselves.

Loss of trust. LMD involves enormous pressure because at this stage the customer and the transport company come into direct contact. Every mistake costs a loss of trust and a negative reputation that is hard to forget, especially if the delayed parcel was a birthday present for a niece or a dress the customer intended to wear to their best friend's wedding. Every little delayed or lost package means one unhappy customer + the friends they tell about it. The consequences of such mistakes are enormous! Besides, delays in the transport company also directly affect the reputation of the partners, because an unhappy customer will "take offence" at the courier and the shop from which he ordered.

Competition. Everyone wants to be the best and have the most efficient supply chain. The difference is that most of the steps in the process are of interest only to people in the industries, while the policy towards Last Mile Delivery is also followed by consumers. This makes it a powerful marketing bargaining chip. To stay competitive you have to follow the standards set by others, and not everyone can afford the cost and effort involved.

Poor communication. One has to admit that for such a risky stage, LMD still has a lot to do in terms of communication. Customers first get emails and text messages from the company they ordered the product from. Then, they get further emails from the shipping company, which allows them to track the package with a link. The link does not always take customers to the tracking panel right away - it often requires providing additional information. Also, it often happens that the information in the tracker is not correct. Then customers receive a phone call from an unknown number. Usually, it's a courier wanting to confirm the collection time, but how are customers supposed to know? Previous communication has been via emails. As a result - they do not answer the call from a strange number. Sometimes they also don't pick up for other reasons, and sometimes they would like to pick up but the driver doesn't try to contact them. As a result, shipments are picked up at the 2nd or 3rd attempt, or returned to the warehouse, which generates additional costs and customer dissatisfaction. 

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Only technology will save us

The problems associated with Last Mile Delivery mean that technology companies are racing to provide digital solutions to support transport and logistics. How does software help improve LMD?

Route optimisation - the key in LMD is for the courier to deliver as many packages as possible in the shortest possible time. However, it is not easy when you have to leave packages in various houses scattered around the city, at the same time taking into account traffic jams, renovations or roadblocks. A lot of time is wasted on inefficient courses and trying to plan them. This is where route optimisation software comes to the rescue. This solution continuously processes all LMD elements such as courier availability, their location, vehicle capacity, place and expected time of parcel delivery and road conditions to automatically propose the best possible route.

Contact app. 73% of clients expect improvement of communication with their transport company. The answer would be to create a mobile application as the default contact point. Thanks to this, the customer will be able to determine the best place and time of delivery and inform about any changes quickly and efficiently. What's more, the app can be linked to a route optimisation system, allowing any updates to be taken into account in real-time.

Real-time tracking - one of the most popular functionalities in applications like Uber is the ability to watch how the awaited vehicle moves on the map. Such a solution will also work perfectly for transport companies. Customers will not only see the progress of their delivery in real-time but will also be able to react quickly if they see a potential error. This solution prevents potential delays and problems and ensures user experience for our consumers. Win-win.

Feedback system - in the case of LMD, which is the carrier of a company's reputation, it is very important to receive ongoing feedback. With the help of appropriate software, customers can provide information after each shipment whether the delivery went smoothly, in what condition the items were received, how they rate the contact with the courier, whether they received the package on time and whether they were informed about the delivery. Besides, the system can also be used by drivers who will be able to confirm delivery, for example in the form of a photo, and inform if they were unable to get to the building or contact the recipient. Such data is extremely valuable to optimise and personalise future deliveries. 

Virtual assistant - customers often ask questions that can be checked in a moment, based only on the order number. To simplify the process of informing about the status of a shipment, it is worth implementing a solution such as a chatbot or a voice assistant. A virtual "employee" of our company will respond quickly and efficiently to the majority of easy-to-verify customer enquiries, allowing us to engage far fewer people in the process. 

International laws - overseas shipments are always associated with problems and delays, especially during pandemics where the situation at the borders is so uncertain. Modern software allows you to constantly monitor changes in regulations and new restrictions in various countries, which allows you to significantly improve the efficiency of international shipments, and more accurately inform customers about their packages.

Reporting - knowledge is the basis for growth. By bringing together multiple functionalities in a single delivery management system, we can then generate detailed and comprehensive reports. The information and statistics obtained in this way will allow us to seek more effective solutions, save money and time, and plan work more efficiently for our team.

Do what others do (as long as they do it well)

For the biggest players in the industry, optimising Last Mile Delivery is an absolute priority, so they continually invest in the latest solutions to improve this stage. How?

Amazon is the benchmark when it comes to efficient Last Mile Delivery. This is due to several factors: multiple warehouses in the vicinity of large cities, an annual fee that includes "free" shipping for customers, and powerful software to manage a huge number of elements in the supply chain. Also, the company has a strong focus on user experience, which is underpinned by a perfect Customer Relationship Management CRM system that allows customers to know everything about their shipment in real-time and makes the entire purchase path simple and enjoyable.

UPS optimises its drivers' routes and fuel consumption with the Orion software. The solution allows them to shorten a single trip by an average of 10-13 km per day, the equivalent of up to $50 million in annual savings.

FedEx has decided to increase the efficiency of its deliveries by integrating express services with ground services. This will eliminate repetitive courses by compacting parcels in transit. This will result in fewer vehicles and a more secure and sustainable supply chain

Last but not least

Last Mile Delivery is the most sensitive point in the supply chain, not only because of the logistical difficulties and low efficiency but also because of the huge image risk associated with the negative feedback from customers who only see this stage out of the whole process. Modern technological solutions and reliable software are the best way to optimise LMD and save huge amounts of effort, time and money.


1 March 2021Comments are off for this post.

Blockchain in Supply Chain Management

Blockchain is one of the most exciting technologies today. Many companies are adopting blockchain technology to increase the speed and safety of their platforms. Blockchain tech has numerous applications, including digital currency, smart contracts, and digitalization of assets. One of the popular use cases for blockchain technology is the transport and logistics space.

Blockchain technology is not only fast, but it is one of the safest technologies with proper implementation. This does not mean that blockchain is guaranteed to benefit your business. Even though it is well adopted, the applications of blockchain in supply chain management are not as tested as the ones currently in use.

Advantages of using Blockchain Technology in Supply Chain Management

1. Faster Transactions

Blockchain is well known for its incredible transaction speed. Even though the technologies we are using today are performing well, they are not equipped to deal with the data that is estimated to increase in the coming years. Even if the current tools can do that, they may not work at the same speeds.

This is where blockchain comes in. Since blockchain is a decentralized network, the data storage and recovery rates will increase significantly. Any request made to or by the blockchain network will be resolved at incredible speeds.

Some supply chain systems still rely heavily on paper and are extremely slow in general. Blockchain can easily replace these systems with faster, more secure, and easily accessible ones.

2. Secure Systems

As new technologies are emerging, more and more flaws are being detected in the older ones. As a result, we see an increased number of cyberattacks on legacy stems as of late. Blockchain technology is equipped to handle such security issues.

If properly implemented, it is almost impossible to crack a blockchain system. If an attacker wants to crack the data of a single transaction, they have to crack the entire blockchain, which is physically inefficient.

Take a look at bitcoin, for instance. Bitcoin networks combined have more processing power than the entire NASA. This would mean that if you want to crack the bitcoin network, you need to have more processing power than hundreds of thousands of people together.

3. Reduced Transaction Costs

Blockchain has a decentralized system, and every block you propose to add demands a small fee from the owner. However, comparing this fee with the current technologies transaction fee makes it look very minimal. Even though it’s just a theory, implementing blockchain technology can reduce the overall cost of maintaining the system.

Moreover, if you are using a permissionless or a public blockchain, you can rest assured of safety. However, privacy will be an issue you will have to deal with in such cases. Backing up the data you have multiple times is almost pointless when using a permissionless blockchain.

4. Increased Traceability

Implementing a blockchain network for your supply chain needs increases the overall traceability of the system. This increased traceability ensures that all the standards are met. In addition to this, blockchain technology also inhibits any counterfeit and gray market trading and reduces its losses.

5. Lower Administrative Costs

Blockchain not only has lower transaction costs, but it also reduces administrative costs. Since the network is decentralized, you won’t need as big of an IT team you may need right now. Along with this, blockchain also reduces the use of paper and other such office supplies, saving a ton of money in the long run.

Blockchain also reduces the paperwork the employees have to do in the office. Since blockchain essentially maintains every record and can be integrated with automation technologies, the overall paperwork you have to do will be reduced significantly.

6. Increased Transparency

Transparency became an important thing in the corporate environment. The customers are demanding to know what the company is up to, which created a massive demand for transparent operational technologies.

Blockchain is one such fantastic technology to show people that your company is transparent and open. More transparency means more openness, and that means more customers.

7. Reliability

Blockchain offers something that most normal technologies do not, reliability. Unlike the technologies companies are using today, blockchain does not have a single point of failure. Even if one server fails, the blockchain still remains intact.

Moreover, blockchain also offers more trusted transactions. These transactions cannot be tampered with. However, some modern tools also offer great reliability. Choosing among the existing tools and new technology such as blockchain may pose a severe decision issue for some companies.

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Is Blockchain Good for all Supply chains?

Even though blockchain may sound like a fantastic solution for all supply chains, it may not be for everyone.

One of the primary reasons is that the initial blockchain technologies we saw to date are not as effective as they are in theory. In addition to this, blockchain technology is also not able to capture the data from the numerous untrusted sources that will exist in a complex supply chain system.

There is a severe lack of blockchain developers. As a result, there is no clear idea on how to make use of blockchain technology effectively. There is also a lack of resources, making it hard for the new developers to enter the field.

Some of the blockchain features, such as transparency and reliability, are available in high-end supply chain technologies at this moment. This creates a dilemma on whether to switch to a blockchain network or stay with the current, well-tested technologies.

Ultimately, blockchain in transport and logistics may not be for everyone. However, the potential use cases are quite fascinating.

Conclusion

Blockchain is a fascinating technology and is considered one of the best technological advancements in the last decade. Numerous multinational organizations are looking to adopt a blockchain network to deliver what the customers need. The future of blockchain in transport and logistics is looking quite optimistic, with many projects in beta stages and many more on the way.


11 February 2021Comments are off for this post.

How to develop a sustainable supply chain?

We are all familiar with the stereotype of large corporations ruthlessly seeking to increase their profits. Although this problem has not ceased to exist, there is no longer any room for short-termism in modern business. The largest players on the market are consistently building their powerhouses to the rhythm of sustainability, i.e. in such a way as to minimise their negative impact on the natural, social and economic environment in the long term.

Sustainability is a must

Not so long ago, sustainability in various sectors of business and industry was a novelty, a trend that was worth following for our company to be perceived as modern, responsible and conscious. Today, development in line with these standards is no longer a choice but a necessity. 

The widespread knowledge about the impact of large corporations on the degradation of the environment makes the largest corporations in the world very carefully select their partners and suppliers, and the criterion for selection is precisely the observance of appropriate procedures. 

Particular elements of the supply chain are not perceived individually, but each supplier becomes, in a way, the responsibility of the buyer, and on subsequent rungs of the business ladder, everyone follows the same schema, cooperating with companies that respect sustainable supply chain development standards. 

As a result, a network of conscious practices is created, and if we want to develop among the most important players on the market, there is nothing left to do but to implement modern solutions in our structures. But how to do it?

Sustainable Supply Chain

Luckily, catching up with standards of sustainability is becoming much easier, thanks to the advancements in digital technologies. 

Software helps supply chain companies deal with a number of issues. Take empty (or half-empty) runs as an example. Digital technologies, such as real-time visibility, allow transport companies to significantly reduce the amount of empty runs, which directly leads to the reduction of CO2 emissions. 

Green supply chain also means green logistics and warehouse management. But how can we actually make it green? Automation and digital analytics lead to shorter time spent by transport units at the docks, ports and distribution centers, which significantly contributes to the lower energy consumption. Again, software is essential to hit those sustainability targets and create sustainable supply chain tools.

There are countless examples of digital technologies allowing supply chain companies to become greener. At times we might think that a certain kind of innovation is not revolutionary enough and the resulting change is too small. But sometimes even the tiniest improvements can lead to massive savings, when you consider the scale of a company’s operations and its fleet size. 

A good example? Smart steaming! Smart steaming is a strategy by which the vessel speed is dynamically optimised based on the real-time state of the sea, weather and the situation at the destination port - all of it to reduce fuel consumption. And even though the amount of saved fuel by an individual vessel might not be spectacular, when this innovation is applied to a fleet of hundreds of thousands of vessels, it really makes an enormous difference. 

Hello technology 

When we already have knowledge and awareness of what a green supply chain can do and we want to implement these standards in our company, technology comes to our aid. 

Thanks to it, we can develop in the field of zero waste, constantly monitoring the indicators of raw materials used, control the emission of pollutants, reduce the amount of paper used, simplify administration, collect and analyse data on the entire supply chain and educate our suppliers and partners on responsible procedures. 

Digital solutions have a huge impact on optimising almost every stage in the supply chain, so it makes sense to use them as often as possible.

Knowledge is power

Yes, yes, this phrase sounds like a truism, but let's think about it - how can we streamline processes, make changes or improve the functioning of our company without relevant data about the current state of affairs? How can we look for solutions when we don't know the source of the problem? 

Thousands of elements interact in the supply chain. Every stage of transport and logistics involves a huge number of operations, each of which generates profits, but also losses, for example in the form of emissions or unnecessary tasks that reduce the efficiency and well-being of employees. 

It's frightening how many companies don't know the details of their supply chains, especially as today's organisations' operations are more extensive and global than ever before. Knowledge of the processes in a company is the basis and starting point for making improvements and with the help of digital solutions, we can obtain it in several ways. 

Audits, or how our company is doing

An audit is a basic tool of verification and control of processes in our organisation, giving us an overall view of its functioning. In an extended supply chain, each of the entities conducts or at least should conduct them. This allows us to accumulate tons of valuable knowledge, but the problem is its flow. 

Anyone who has watched films or series about serial killers in America in the 1960s or 1970s may have noticed a certain absurdity in the investigations carried out at that time. Namely, the police in different states did not exchange knowledge among themselves. As a result, a criminal only needed to cross a state border for the current investigation to practically cease, because law enforcement in another state had no access to the information gathered and developed by officers at the crime scene. 

Of course, in the case of more serious crimes, the case could be taken over by federal officers, but FBI agents did not always evoke positive feelings from local police, who were reluctant to share their knowledge with them. The stifling flow of information between the various units resulted in the case not being solved and further damage caused by the elusive criminal. 

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Information flow

In the case of audits, the potential consequences may not be as dramatic, but the principle is similar - the subsequent companies in the chain do not share it with each other or with the buyer, and the faulty practices still exist and cause damage. 

Modern supply chain software allows you to greatly simplify the entire audit process and systematise the information, which can then be shared with partners. 

Is a company generating too much raw material waste? Are working conditions unsuitable for employees somewhere? Does a particular supplier emit too many greenhouse gases or make inefficient transports? Thanks to technology, we will know this as soon as possible so that we can react to potential risks.

Supply chain mapping

Supply chain mapping is not a new idea. Back in the 19th century, when the management of raw material transportation grew to unprecedented proportions due to colonisation, rulers, entrepreneurs and companies created such maps. 

They made it possible to determine the course of trade routes, the most important suppliers, the places of receipt and sale, and which raw materials were involved. The disadvantage of such maps was their comprehensive and static nature - the document showed the status of our chain only at the time of its creation; every change of route, a new partner or threat of pirate attack or armed conflict made the map outdated. 

Constantly correcting it was complicated because the flow of information was slow, and it was unfeasible to provide everyone involved with the latest version of the map at the same time. Ah, if only 19th-century entrepreneurs had the technology we have now.

After all, we don't live in the 19th century…

Today, the scale and complexity of the supply chain are incomparably greater. The vast amount of information we have to analyse and take into account would not be possible to process without appropriate digital solutions such as cloud based supply chain management software. 

We can create accurate maps, showing every supplier, every receiving and selling point, every process, every transport, in real-time, because we can update them in a highly automated way. What's more, everyone involved in our supply chain has access to the map and can follow the process they are interested in at any time, so they can see if there is a problem at any stage. 

At the same time, information about suppliers can also include whether they operate to sustainability standards, so we can support them in implementing appropriate practices. IoT (Internet of Things) technology is very often used to collect this data, i.e. devices that constantly monitor fuel consumption or emissions and transfer them to a database in real-time. 

Modern supply chain maps are important for optimising transport and logistics, increasing visibility and developing sustainable supply chain business.

Risk under control

Risk assessment in multi-component industries such as transport and logistics is an absolute must. Analysing factors such as the possibility of natural disasters, financial crises, social and political issues is essential to minimise damage and select the best solutions from a business, environmental and safety perspective. 

Processing the information coming from each partner at different stages of transport in supply chains as complex as today's would be impossible without the support of appropriate technology. Modern systems work with huge amounts of data and automation makes procedures simpler, clearer and, above all, effective. 

Supply chain information management programs can accurately predict which elements of an operation are most sensitive, allowing weaknesses to be identified and potential risks to be addressed at the earliest possible stage.

Carbon footprint, the main market antagonist

Reducing the carbon footprint, or the sum of greenhouse gases generated is one of the most important tasks facing companies aiming to aiming to create sustainable supply chain. Counting and reducing this indicator is key to stopping environmental degradation. 

Moreover, in today's business environment, the carbon footprint is one of the most important criteria for companies to join collaborations or tenders, as major companies strictly adhere to standards and restrictions in this area. 

Here again, technology comes to the rescue, as dedicated software can not only count the carbon footprint of the entire supply chain and each company but can also predict how much greenhouse gas will be generated in the future. Such solutions allow us to monitor the state of carbon emissions in real-time and react where necessary and develop preventative solutions. 

Support and cooperation

Owners or investors of large, modern companies today have all the knowledge and tools they need to grow their businesses in the most sustainable way. Technology companies are racing to develop the solutions needed to do this because in a time of climate change and social inequality it is not just about profit, but about creating a market. 

It is up to large organisations to ensure that their partners and suppliers operate to modern standards, but many of them are located in developing economies where these procedures are not yet as strongly implemented. 

Sharing knowledge and best practice, through educational platforms, training and instruction, which will enable smaller businesses to improve their businesses, is hugely important in this case. This education and knowledge sharing throughout the supply chain help to build an interconnected network of sustainable practices and shape a modern, responsible market.


24 January 2021Comments are off for this post.

Cargo securing: why intermodal transport needs digital solutions

Inadequate securing of cargo and the resulting damage is a constant, although undesirable element of any kind of transport, including intermodal transport. In an increasingly competitive business environment even a small optimization of costs can have a significant impact on the company's financial results. Improvement of the cargo securing process is therefore one of the factors that can have a large impact on building a competitive advantage.

Cargo securing - challenges of the current state of affairs

The cost of lost cargo, due to inadequate securing, can be enormous. Given the low margins that dominate the shipping industry, a single loss of shipment can represent a significant drop in revenue.

Statistics show that the damage rate in transport is found to be between 1 and 4%, depending on the type of transit. Globally, cargo damage losses amount to €4 billion each year. Most importantly - almost 70% of cargo damage in global transport is classified as avoidable.

Apart from the obvious, huge financial losses related to the destruction of the cargo, its improper securing carries another risk - the risk of receiving financial penalties. The EU Directive 2014/47 / EU on the technical roadside inspection of roadworthiness of commercial vehicles has been in force for more than a year, which imposes not only higher penalties, but also even the risk of revoking a license to operate, in case of repeated failure to secure cargo properly.

The COVID-19 pandemic also has an impact on cargo securing, potential damage and financial losses. The turmoil hit small and medium-sized players hardest, allowing global giants to take over an ever-larger piece of the transport market pie. Under these conditions, cost optimization becomes absolutely essential to be able to remain competitive on the market. Correct and efficient load securing is one of the most important elements of reducing operating costs.

Efficiency in cargo securing affects the competitiveness of any company from the very beginning of the fight for a customer. The valuation of transport and cargo securing costs has an enormous impact on the efficiency of catching new deals on a freight exchange.

It is also worth noting that in the case of intermodal transport, these estimates are particularly complex due to different requirements of cargo securing for different modes of transport. Intermodal transport is also often associated with intercontinental travel, through a large number of countries - which leads to the increased number of regulations and requirements that the cargo securing must meet.

So how do transport companies deal with minimizing the financial risk related to cargo damage? Insurance of cargo in case of damage is the main tool to transfer risks. However, insurance requires a cargo securing plan from the carrier, together with documentation confirming its implementation. This presents transport companies with another challenge.

cargo securing app

At Setapp we are working on solutions that make cargo securing much more efficient.

Cargo securing plan - how do transport companies deal with this task?

The cargo securing plan and documentation confirming its implementation is another factor that puts small and medium-sized companies under huge pressure. Large transport concerns do not have a problem with this task, as they use their extensive internal resources or hire expensive cargo securing companies. Smaller companies usually can’t afford these kinds of solutions. So they do either one of these two things:

Some companies secure their cargo intuitively, not relying on precise calculations or plans. This usually means they secure their cargo excessively, wasting material and time. This type of approach involves constant and significant financial losses - completely avoidable losses.

The second way to get a cargo securing plan is to have this type of calculation and documentation created by a person who creates them based on spreadsheets or autocad. This is a time consuming and inflexible approach. It often happens that the incoming load is packed or divided differently or with different parameters than set in the contract. In such a situation, a quick response and change of the security plan is required, and it is not always possible when a company relies on autocad calculations or spreadsheets.

These imperfect solutions create space for the use of digital solutions that would allow relatively cheap and quick creation of complete documentation necessary for the safe transport of cargo. The first digital products of this type are already appearing on the market. Most of them however, turn out to be inaccurate, which results in incorrect calculations and, consequently, potential penalties for the carrier. It is therefore important to take a look at conditions that we believe should be met by apps that would solve the problem of cargo securing and its documentation.

One of the most important thing for us is to create a tool that works with any kind of load

What criteria should a digital tool for building a cargo securing plan meet? 

One of the basic conditions for the success of any app is whether it will be a trusted tool that works with global standards. It must therefore be a tool that can easily comply with the most important cargo securing standards (CTU-Code 2014 and EN 12195-1: 2011). This type of app should allow for quick and standardized calculations to create a cargo securing plan.

Another of the key requirements is the flexibility of the app and the ability to adjust its tools to specific needs of any kind of client. The apps available on the market generate an automatic proposal of cargo securing, but do not allow the use of expert knowledge and optimal matching, which means that their calculations do not work for more complicated loads. 

A good example here is, for example, an oversized transport, which the currently available apps are not able to handle. The goal should therefore be to create an application that covers all the needs of a transport company, regardless of the complexity of their orders.

Moving cargo securing to the digital world should also mean that the entire process should not require extensive expert knowledge. The app should allow you to enter the input data easily. In such a case, you don’t need to engage any experts, because the planner in the company, without deep knowledge of the standards, will be able to design cargo securing, and the app will provide calculations and verify their compliance with global standards.

 

Digitization also significantly increases the accessibility of documentation. Right now, it is common to use technical drawing that requires experience in reading. Moving the experience to the digital world, we can show everything on 3D objects, which are much easier to understand. This benefit is absolutely crucial as it ensures cargo securing documentation is available and easy to read at all stages of transport - for the planner, packing team, driver, forwarder, cargo controlling services, insurer, etc.

Increasing the availability through digitization also means, for example, the ease of downloading the report anywhere in the world. This is especially crucial for the intermodal transport industry. All you need is a QR code and full documentation can follow the cargo all over the world.

The main advantage of digitization is cost optimization. The goal is to properly secure the cargo at the lowest possible cost. The digital app should be able to recalculate each binding or blockage on the fly, informing the user that the requirements specified by the standards are met, so that there is no waste of materials for securing the load excessively.

Cost optimization is also associated with the optimization of time spent by employees on cargo securing. The time to build a cargo securing plan thanks to digital solutions is around 15-30 minutes, instead of the standard 1-2 days. As a result, transport companies don’t need to hire as many experts as before.

The app we are creating focuses on user-friendliness.

Our project at Setapp

Responding to the challenges mentioned in this post and the lack of efficient tools on the market, we at Setapp conduct research and development work aimed at creating a digital solution that meets the requirements of the market. We create this app in cooperation with Dr. Jarosław Soliwoda from the Department of Ship’s Operation at Gdynia Maritime University,

The main goal of our project is to create an app that allows companies to quickly and repeatedly build industrial cargo security plans, for a fraction of the price of the traditional approach.

Thanks to special algorithms, each cargo securing plan will (amongst other things) verify loads mass, forces and moments affecting the load to ensure its compliance with world standards. To learn more about this project, leave your e-mail below and we will contact you with all the details!

The original (Polish) version of this article was first published on IntermodalNews.


6 September 2020Comments are off for this post.

12 best practices to build a successful nearshore software development partnership

For today’s post, we asked Setapp’s Service Delivery Managers (SDMs) Michał and Arek, what are the best practices for making a software development project successful as a nearshore team? These guys know what they’re talking about, having facilitated many projects for clients from all over the world.

The tips they have come up with form a great guide for anyone looking for a digital partner to learn what should be expected from a great software development team. But these tips can also be definitely useful for anyone aspiring to become a SDM or a Project Manager. So let's dive in and take a look at 12 best practices to build a successful nearshore software development partnership.

1. Be prepared
2. Define the toolbox
3. Set core hours
4. Make roles and responsibilities clear
5. Share the expertise
6. Make financial agreements clear
7. Create a culture of regular feedback
8. Arrange face-to-face integration
9. Be flexible
10. Be transparent
11. Put yourself in the shoes of your client
12. Work as a one team (no Us v Them)

1. Be prepared

First off, let’s start with things that need to be done before any substantial work can kick off. It is crucial for a nearshore team to be perfectly prepared and that responsibility lies with Project Owners (POs) and SMDs.

It is up to SDMs and POs to evaluate the project and make sure that the team can produce the highest quality of work from Day 1 of the partnership.

No substantial planning should be left for later on - it’s the pre-project phase when it’s easy and cheap to learn the product’s domain and confirm the high-level scope of the project. It's impossible to completely erase uncertainty, but the more assumptions you can clarify at the beginning of the work (e.g. problem statement, types of personas, users needs) the better you can choose the tools and architecture for the proposed solution.

Any major changes later on would prove much more difficult and expensive so don’t waste your time and use the pre-project phase to the maximum!

2. Define the toolbox

Look, in this post we will constantly remind you of the importance of communication. We do it because we know that it's the key to the success of any project. And defining the right toolbox for communication is a huge part of that process.

Of course we all have our preferred tool and methods of professional communication. The most common ones are Slack for everyday’s chats, Jira for keeping track of tasks and video calls for crucial communication. But the key is to be open to suggestions - the set of tools used for communication should make the communication smooth and pleasant for both sides of the project.

If a client for some reason absolutely hates some communication platform - fine! SDM should find another tool that works just as well and makes the communication effective. At the end of the day, all we want from the communication toolbox is to make everyone feel comfortable and confident that both sides are always on the same page and the project is going smoothly into the right direction - just as Setapp's clients feel, according to Clutch reviews:

“Setapp managed the project excellently. Their use of Jira and Slack gave us the confidence that we could sit halfway across the world and still communicate and deliver effectively.”

Armaan Talreja, Head of Sales & Marketing

Just remember one thing - being flexible doesn’t mean that communication can become messy and unorganized. Everything should be kept as predictable as possible - using the same links for video calls, naming meetings clearly, if possible using the same time slots etc. Always keep in mind that all sides of the project are busy with other tasks and activities. The last thing anyone needs is to deal with the unpredictability on software development team's side.

3. Set core hours of communication

As you might have learned from our previous article, nearshore teams (as opposed to offshore teams) are usually located in the same time zones as their clients, or at least the time difference between them is rather small (up to 2 hours). This allows to easily set core hours for a whole cooperation period.

Why is it so crucial though? Shouldn’t be a development team available to the client at all times? In a way, it should - best teams are always responsive and flexible. However, it is important to set the core hours to provide predictability and increase the sense of regularity for a project. It's also a way of respecting everyone's time.

It doesn’t have to be a lot. Let’s plan two or three slots a week for teamwork. You wouldn’t believe how much this time slot can improve. It encourages both sides to give valuable feedback, boosts team spirit and makes sure that you’re all on the same page at all times.

It's also important to point out that different organizations have different sets of good practices for their way of working. For example, asynchronous communication might work just fine for some, while may be completely unacceptable for the others. Good software development team should keep these differences in mind while planning their work.

4. Make roles and responsibilities clear

Making sure that everyone knows who is responsible for what and what are the roles in the team is absolutely essential to keep things running smoothly. Not doing that might get you into different problems, depending on the culture of your team and your client.

In some cultures, this lack of clarity might lead to conflicts over who is in charge. And obviously, the last thing you want is team members fighting over responsibilities in the project. On the other hand, in some cultures not setting clear roles can lead to no one taking the responsibility at all and everyone choosing to procrastinate on the task. It’s just as bad as people fighting for responsibility.

Setting clear roles and responsibilities makes the work environment better for everyone - clients feel more confident when they can see this kind of clarity and a development team will be working much better with this kind of approach. Working this way gives every team member a clarity of what they can & should expect from their colleges, but also what the others can expect from them.

5. Share the expertise

Look, at Setapp we understand that our clients don’t have to be digital experts. That’s why we are here! It’s our job to make scary technical things look more appealing and understandable. That’s why we are always proud to get this kind of reviews:

“They provide great insight; they excel at deciphering technical concepts and reducing them to basic ideas”

Lora Jakobsen, Maersk Tankers

It's important for a whole software development team to never assume that something is obvious just because in their little bubble everyone think it is. Clients might not have had the experience of working with and creating digital products before. It’s SDMs job to make them feel confident that they understand the details of the project. Clients also might’ve never worked with Scrum - we know that in the software development world it’s a new normal, but not all industries use it as widely. Making sure that a client knows the concept and understands why we are using it is a must.

But education works both ways. While development team has to educate a client on the technical side of the project and the processes that will be used, the team also has a lot to learn - mostly about the business environment on a client’s side. Development team needs to understand the key processes and business relations inside of a client’s organization. Only with that full understanding, it's possible to start to build a project that will give a real business value to a client.

6. Make the financial agreements clear

It's important to keep in mind that building a digital product is an investment - the investment with a set budget and other financial constraints. That’s why it’s so crucial to provide clear rules of approval for every stage of the project so that a client feels confident where his money is going.

Most of the time, the decision maker in a project is someone who has to report to and acquire acceptance from a superior at their company. The financial clarity and transparency of the payment process makes it easier for them to present the project to the superiors and explain how your cooperation works - with clear stages and finish line on the horizon, if fixed priced model has been chosen.

If a project is developed under the time and material model, there's no fixed price and detailed specification in the contract. Under this model of financing, clients pay exactly for the time spent by the development team on the project and the real effects. But no matter what kind of contract a client chooses, it is essential that the payment process is understandable and transparent for everyone involved.

7. Create a culture of regular feedback

The importance of feedback is hard to overestimate and we’re sure you know it already. But what’s even more important is to get (and give) feedback almost instantly. If a client or a development team wait and save feedback for a couple of weeks and then open up, it is a massive problem. Changes that could’ve been done before easily, with no additional costs, are now much harder to implement. That’s why it’s absolutely crucial for all the stakeholders to speak up openly and regularly about their feelings, opinions and doubts.

And a role of SDMs and POs is to encourage these ideals of Scrum to create the culture of regular feedback. Making sure that feedback is appreciated. Encouraging everyone to speak up, even if they feel like their opinion might not be popular. Letting a team know that negative feedback is absolutely necessary and no one should take it personally.

At Setapp, our way of working forces us to provide (and get) regular feedback in a form of review and retrospection meetings. Review is all focused on the product that we are building, while retro(spection) is a meeting where we discuss our way of working. We are holding these meetings regularly, usually every 2 weeks, so that all sides of a project have a space to talk about their opinions and doubts. But we also keep the feedback flowing at all times - by talking to our clients, performing UX tests, checking the quality internally etc.

8. Arrange face-to-face integration

Now look, you might think that nearshoring means that a development team and a client never meet in person. And it might work like this. But the geographical proximity of a nearshore team gives a chance to arrange in-person meetings between both sides, which are extremely valuable.

As one of our clients says:

“In-person meetings with Setapp are excellent. (They allow you to) explain your needs and be clear about the results you want.”

Lora Jakobsen, Maersk Tankers

At Setapp, we have arranged all kinds of different meetings with our clients. Our spacious office allows us to hold workshops, business meetings, as well as team building games. These kinds of face-to-face interactions can truly boost communication, build confidence among team members and make the exchange of ideas much easier. We cannot overestimate the usefulness of these in-person meetings.

9. Be flexible

Build a process and choose methods of cooperation that fit the particular project and your client. Don’t use the one size fits all approach. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools - always! Don’t fixate on one particular framework that you’d love to apply to all your projects.

It's important to accept and appreciate the fact that all clients and projects are different. They have different needs, they are at different levels of understanding of the process of software development, they represent different industries. It’s a development team's job to make sure that every client feels comfortable with a partnership created. It’s all worth it when you get this kind of feedback afterwards:

“Their flexibility and project management are definitely the two most impressive aspects of the partnership”

Marcin Molski, Katana Studios

10. Be transparent

This tip is probably the most important one, but also the one that’s the hardest to implement. It’s not always easy to be transparent when it comes to failures and challenges that we’re facing. Sometimes it feels easier to cover things up.

But we firmly believe that honesty and transparency is the only way to go. It manifests itself in a lot of different ways. Honesty and transparency about everyday’s work of team members, transparency when it comes to client’s actions, which can have all kinds of impact on the project, and honesty about difficulties faced during the process.

Because let’s be clear - not a single great project was built without its own set of challenges and difficulties. But there’s no way you can sweep things under the rug. It will make things worse in the long run. That’s why facing challenges with courage and character, learning from previous mistakes and having a 'can-do' attitude is so important. And our belief in openness and transparency seems to resonate with our clients, who appreciate this approach:

“We were impressed by how open the team was about challenges. Because our tracking system was so comprehensive, we could always see if there were delays on certain tasks. That allowed us to check in and see what was causing those delays, and how we could support the team to overcome them.

They were always honest and upfront about whether the problem had to do with capabilities or if it was just an oversight. That line of communication was really comforting to us.”

Armaan Talreja, Head of Sales & Marketing

11. Put yourself in the shoes of your client

We know that sometimes the workload, time pressure and other factors can make us forget that there’s a real human-being on the other side of the project. Clients are also facing deadlines, they also do have managers or superiors waiting for results. Thus, it's always a good idea to put yourself in the shoes of your clients to understand the motivations behind their moves.

A little bit of empathy can truly make the partnership work! Reflecting on clients' worries, doubts and motivations can truly improve the quality of work. This way the development team can get to understand the pressures the other side of the project is facing and how they can make things easier for their clients and their teams.

12. Work as one team

The greatest (and regular) feedback that we get at Setapp is that our teams blend in with our clients’ internal teams! It’s not always easy but it should always be an aim for a partnership. There should never be an ‘us versus them’ scenario.

From Day 1 of a project, all parts involved should feel like they form one team, with one clear goal. As Arek, our Service Delivery Manager says “working with a client is like a relay-race - we all achieve the results we want only when we work together”. There’s no room for competition or rivalry. We either succeed or fail together.

That’s why it’s so important to create a personal connection with all team members. It’s not always easy when hundreds of kilometres divide you but it’s definitely doable!

Final thoughts

Obviously, there are tons of other things that a great SDM or PM has to focus on to make sure that a project is going to achieve the results that all sides are hoping for. We hope that our list of 12 best practices is a good starting point to think about the priorities of any development project.

As you might have noticed, there are things that connect all the practices in this post. It’s the openness, respect and transparency that a team needs to show to all clients. We believe that it’s the only way to ensure that every client is happy with the way we worked together.

If you found this post interesting or useful, want to share your own thoughts on the subject or need further information on how we at Setapp are making sure that every project achieves its goals - feel free to contact Arek and Michał on Linkedin, or contact us directly.

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Arkadiusz Król
Passionate about broadly understood ways of thinking about deliveries in the area of ​​services and projects. For over 9 years associated with the Project Management.

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Michał Wolecki
For the last few years, I’ve been managing IT projects for automotive and transport clients, supporting their digital transformation and delivering massive business value.

21 August 2020Comments are off for this post.

What is Supply Chain Network Design and why is it so beneficial for a transport company?

Supply Chain Network Design (SNDC), also called strategic supply chain planning, is the process of building and modeling a supply chain to determine the best location and optimal size of the facilities to be included in the network with the resources and locations available.

The location of all the supply chain’s facilities such as production sites, warehouses and distribution centres needs to be optimized to increase the efficiency of the whole system.

Companies have to take into account several elements that influence their decisions when it comes to supply chain network design. The most obvious ones are available transportation networks, customers location, cost of labour and site availability.

But the increasing amount of data makes the supply chain network design an increasingly complex thing to do. Transport companies are faced with a challenge of using all of the available data to reduce overall supply chain costs while improving customer satisfaction at the same time.

It is not surprising that the task of creating an efficient supply chain network is getting more difficult as the company grows. The things that could’ve been done manually for a small company, require sophisticated software when we’re talking about a network of hundreds or thousands of sites and connections.

And it’s not only about creating an efficient supply chain network that works for now. The biggest trend of supply chain network design is to create systems that are flexible enough so that they can stay efficient with constantly changing market needs.

A supply chain network that’s not flexible and doesn’t adjust to the changing business requirements can create a lot of problems for a transport company and certainly is a source of raising costs that could’ve been prevented otherwise.

That’s why all of the major supply chain network design software providers focus on the flexibility of their solutions. The designed network should easily adjust to the changing volumes of transported items, as well as changing shipping routes. This year’s difficulties due to the global pandemic showed everyone that transport flexibility is something that no one can disregard.

Benefits of Supply Chain Network Design

But what are the most important benefits of supply chain network design and why should companies invest in sophisticated software that uses available data to help them make these crucial decisions? We can pinpoint to several major advantages of investing in supply chain network design tools:

Lowering costs of the overall supply chain system. Efficiently designed supply chain network can lead to massive savings of all the operations performed by the company. The cost optimization can create savings on all levels - from the detailed, small regional connections, through national systems to global, international chains of supply.

Improved customer satisfaction. A supply chain network that is optimized leads to lower delivery times, which is directly correlated with a better customer service. Well-designed network of production sites and warehouses is also better prepared to efficiently communicate with company’s clients.

Dealing with acquisitions and mergers. Without a well-functioning supply chain network design tool, companies might struggle to quickly and smoothly add newly acquired sites and resources into their systems. This can lead to prolonged, ineffective transition periods, waste of company resources, and slower return on investment.

Preparing for the unexpected. Creating supply chain contingency plans prepares a company for unexpected situations, which can be crucial in times of crisis. Good supply chain network design tool allows company’s management to understand and analyze all the risks and their potential impact on the operations, financial results and service level.

Supporting company growth. The analytic side of supply chain network design software can be crucial to understand the growing potential for the organization. It helps to locate the potential for growth and provides hard data to prepare for expansion plans.

We help to transform the world of transport and logistics

Examples of successful SCND software

As you can see, there are many reasons to invest in SCND tools. And there are plenty of examples of successful supply chain network design software solutions on the market. Many of them offer one-size-fits-all products, while the others push for a more customized approach. Let’s take a look at some of the most well-known SCND software providers available:

Symphonyretailai. Future-ready supply chain platform with true demand forecasting providing a single, unified inventory view to orchestrate and optimize data, people and processes. Used by European retail powerhouses such as Lidl, Carrefour and Auchan.

Llamasoft. The AI-powered enterprise decision platform delivering the science behind faster, smarter decisions across the extended supply chain. One of the solutions that focuses strongly on AI and its impact on operations, strategy, and competition.

Slimstock. Slim4 is Slimstock’s SCND solution for forecasting, demand planning and inventory control, and is built to help getting the right inventory to the right place at the right time. Inventory optimization is at the heart of what they do. Slim4 is used by over 925 companies in more than 40 countries around the world.

John Galt. It’s an American company that provides a wide range of supply chain planning solutions, including ForecastX and Atlas Planning Platform. Their focus on easy implementations and scalable solutions have earned them more than 6000 customers globally and high levels of customer satisfaction.

Siemens Digital Logistics. Part of the Siemens group, Siemens Digital Logistics offers the Supply Chain Suite (SCS). It lets you design, monitor, manage, and understand the entire supply chain. The holistic, data-driven view of the supply chain lets the customers design processes more efficiently and cut costs. Their team consists of 300 experts and their solution serves companies from more than 20 different industries.

Ortec. Ortec delivers solutions and consulting for supply chain planning from strategic to operational level. The ORTEC Supply Chain Design solution delivers answers on various what-if scenarios at a strategic level, including the modeling of inbound flows, production and inventory and outbound delivery. The unique capability of their solution is the ability to model your strategic business decision making requirements.

QAD Precision. QAD Precision provides global trade management, transportation execution and multi carrier shipping software solutions from a single, integrated platform. Their solution helps thousands of carriers, minimize shipping costs, optimize first mile and last mile deliveries, avoid compliance delays, navigate dynamic trading environments and manage millions of shipping transactions every day.

Infor Nexus. Nexus Supply Management allows buyers to share and collaborate with multiple tiers of suppliers on plans, forecasts, and commitments on the network, improving responsiveness to dynamic demand. With faster collaboration and automated alerts, companies can proactively balance supply and demand to improve on-time delivery rates and reduce cycle times while simultaneously reducing inventory costs.

Summing up

As you can see, a great supply chain network design tool is a must-have for a transport company. It helps to create the most efficient operation schemes, which leads to major cost cuts. It’s also crucial to prepare a company for the constantly changing environment. This way you can minimize the risks, while also getting the most from positive changes and improvements.

There’s no doubt that significant and stable growth for a transport company can’t be achieved without the utilization of the modern, efficient software solutions on all the company’s processes and operations. If you’d like to learn more about how software is changing the world of transport and logistics - feel free to hit us up! Our experts are constantly looking for new ways to help digitize the supply chain industry and they’d love to share their knowledge with you!

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30 July 2020Comments are off for this post.

Nearshoring, Offshoring, Onshoring – How Does It Work?

What do most companies do when the demand for their goods or services increases and they need to scale up their teams? Usually they try to hire new employees. While this standard solution might seem like an obvious choice, it’s not always as easy as it sounds and it comes with a handful of flaws as well. 

First of all - costs. Hiring additional team members might prove too costly for a lot of companies. It is especially true when we’re talking about hiring skilled professionals, such as software engineers. And then also comes another problem - the lack of potential qualified employees. In a lot of places, hiring a talented, experienced software developer is extremely difficult due to the small pool of talents.

But one thing stands out as probably the biggest challenge when it comes to hiring new employees. It’s usually very hard to predict how your project is going to develop over time. At the moment you might feel like you need new people on board but what if things don’t go as planned and your project gets scaled down? You will be left with a team that’s too big for the job. 

And it works the other way around - your project might grow and you won’t be able to respond to that increasing need for the workforce. That’s why hiring might not be the best option - it doesn’t provide you with a scalable team that is always the right size for your project’s needs.

What are the alternatives though? In this article we will show you three different layers of outsourcing that can be a successful alternative to a laborious local recruitment process - offshoring, onshoring and nearshoring. Let’s have a look at their main benefits and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each option. 

Offshoring

Probably the most well-known out of these three, offshoring has been around for quite some time. As it is the most budget-cutting solution, a lot of companies benefit from offshoring some of their activities. 

Offshoring is basically a transfer of your company’s own activities to distant countries. If your company is based in Europe, offshoring would mean hiring a team in India, China or the Philippines. 

In these far-off countries, the talent pool is enormous and the costs of hiring professionals usually is a small fraction of what would be necessary to hire additional team members back in Europe. 

However, offshoring comes with its own set of challenges. Due to the time zone difference, synchronous communication might be difficult to achieve. When your own local team gets their first coffee of the day, the working day of your offshored team in Manila is coming to an end. This makes the slot for real-time communication particularly tiny, which might be frustrating for both sides and can lead to a slower development of your services.

The other issue that a lot of companies that try offshoring face are cultural differences. Whether it’s about different communication styles, approach to completing tasks, attitude toward conflicts and decision-making, these issues are real and they can be truly detrimental to the company’s success. The same goes for differences in legal systems, which can make such a cooperation rather difficult.

If offshoring sounds too risky for your business, there are two different layers of outsourcing that minimize these risks while keeping a lot of benefits of the original solution. Let’s look at the first one - onshoring.

Onshoring

While offshoring was all about moving parts of your development very far from your location - onshoring is quite the opposite. Onshoring basically means outsourcing to a different place in the same country. If your company is based in Paris, onshoring would mean hiring a team in Nantes or Toulouse. 

It can be a profitable solution for companies based in huge metropolitan areas, where costs of hiring additional team members are huge. The costs of hiring IT professionals in Norwich are much lower than what you need to pay for similarly qualified people in London.

What can be extremely attractive about onshoring is the cultural and geographical proximity of your outsourced team. There’s no time-zone difference so the real-time communication is always available. Usually even face-to-face meetings are easily arrangeable as the distance between your two teams is not so big. 

Choosing onshoring also means that cultural differences don’t play part in this kind of partnership. You don’t have to worry about different approaches, communication issues and ways of working on your project. What is also extremely important is that with onshoring you’re staying in the same legal system, which makes things much, much easier.

But onshoring also has its own downsides. The main problem with onshoring is the financial savings are not even near what the other two options - offshoring and nearshoring - can offer. While onshoring to smaller cities or less costly regions of your own country leads to certain reduction of costs, it might be not significant enough to go through the entire process.

Another issue that a lot of companies report as a downside of onshoring is a rather small pool of talent outside of the major metropolitan areas. The trend around the world is quite obvious - the most talented professionals are moving en masse to the biggest cities in their countries. This leaves onshoring options quite limited when you don’t want to sacrifice the quality of your project.

So what if neither offshoring nor onshoring feels like the right solution for your company’s needs? Fortunately, there’s that third solution that combines the benefits of both offshoring and onshoring - nearshoring! Let’s take a look at how it works!

Nearshoring

To cut​ a long story short, nearshoring is a transfer of your processes and activities to a different yet nearby country. If your company is based in Sweden, nearshoring might be done by hiring a team in Poland or Romania. It’s all about moving your project abroad, yet still keeping it close to your country.

Why is nearshoring such a good option? In a way, it combines the benefits of both offshoring and onshoring, while significantly reducing their risks and flaws. It is especially a good alternative for European companies, where there are plenty of good nearshoring destinations.

First thing that makes nearshoring such a good alternative is a reduction of costs. While onshoring cannot usually lead to massive savings - nearshoring can. The differences in costs between certain European countries are significant. What kind of company doesn’t want to have something done while paying less?

Labour costs reduction is what makes nearshoring similar to offshoring. The other thing that makes these two options similar (and what gives them the advantage over onshoring)  is the available pool of talents. Nearshore destinations usually offer an amazing amount of extremely talented and experienced professionals. 

According to 7N Executive Brief on Outsourcing, some of the best nearshore destinations such as Poland, offer one of the largest pools of skilled IT workforce in Europe. While hiring a skilled IT professional in many Western European countries proves to be a challenge, it is relatively easy in top nearshoring countries such as Hungary, Poland or Czech Republic. The abundance of top talent in these countries makes it easy to form a team to deliver your project.

If you want to learn why Poland is a great nearshoring destination, check our article on this issue!

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As you can see, nearshoring shares some of its benefits with offshoring. Luckily, nearshoring is not prone to the same problems as offshoring!

First of all, the geographical proximity of nearshore countries makes for a very easy, synchronous communication. These countries are usually either in the same time-zone or the time difference is insignificant to affect the relationship. 

And when you look at the top European nearshore destinations, what also makes them extremely attractive is how well they’re connected with the rest of the continent. If you need a face-to-face meeting or a group workshop that can’t be done online, you just hop on a plane and in 1-2 hours you’re in any major Romanian or Polish city. This is the thing that can’t be done with offshore teams.

The other thing that makes nearshoring so attractive is the cultural proximity. The differences in approaches or ways of work are extremely small and companies that are experienced as being nearshore teams know how to minimize them even further. 

What makes top European nearshore destinations so appreciated is also the language skills of their workforce. Countries like Estonia or Poland offer some of the highest English proficiency levels anywhere in the world, which makes the cooperation with teams there smooth, efficient and enjoyable.

And last but not least, nearshoring in Europe usually means that you’re staying with your processes within one legal entity - the European Union, or in a wider context the European Economic Area. Not only does it make the partnership much safer, but it’s also way easier and financially effective to operate in one economic zone. 

Summing up 

As you can see, outsourcing comes in three different forms. Each has its own set of pros and cons and it’s up to your company’s particular needs to decide which form of outsourcing might be most beneficial for you.

Offshoring is the most cost-cutting option but it’s also the most risky one. Onshoring is a very safe alternative, but the savings are not as impressive and it’s only a viable option for companies based in the biggest metropolitan areas in the world. And then there’s nearshoring, which combines the best of both worlds but it’s only available in a good quality in certain regions, such as Europe.

Outsourcing, such as nearshoring, might look intimidating at first. That’s why it’s important to work with companies that have plenty of experience in this form of cooperation. If you have any questions about how nearshoring looks like in detail and how we make sure our clients are satisfied, don’t wait and contact Setapp for more info! Also don't forget to subscribe to our transport newsletter, where we show the latest and greatest IT solutions for the transport & logistics industry!


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OUR OFFICES

POL: Wojskowa 6, 60-792 Poznań, Poland
+48 506 798 998
office@setapp.pl

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Setapp Sp. z o.o.
VAT ID: PL7781465185
REGON: 301183743
KRS: 0000334616

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OUR OFFICES

PL: Wojskowa 6, 60-792 Poznań, Poland
+48 506 798 998
office@setapp.pl

ISR: 220 Hertzel Street, 7630003 Israel

COMPANY DATA

Setapp Sp. z o.o.

VAT ID: PL7781465185
REGON: 301183743
KRS: 0000334616

PRIVACY POLICY

OUR OFFICE

Wojskowa 6, 60-792 Poznań, Poland
+48 506 798 998
office@setapp.pl

COMPANY DATA

Setapp Sp. z o.o.

VAT ID: PL7781465185
REGON: 301183743
KRS: 0000334616

PRIVACY POLICY

 COMPANY DATA

Setapp Sp. z o.o.
VAT ID: PL7781465185
REGON: 301183743
KRS: 0000334616

PRIVACY POLICY

OUR OFFICES

POL: Wojskowa 6, 60-792 Poznań, Poland
+48 506 798 998
office@setapp.pl

ISR: 220 Hertzel Street, 7630003 Israel

COMPANY DATA

Setapp Sp. z o.o.
VAT ID: PL7781465185
REGON: 301183743
KRS: 0000334616

PRIVACY POLICY

OUR OFFICES

PL: Wojskowa 6, 60-792 Poznań, Poland
+48 506 798 998
office@setapp.pl

ISR: 220 Hertzel Street, 7630003 Israel

COMPANY DATA

Setapp Sp. z o.o.

VAT ID: PL7781465185
REGON: 301183743
KRS: 0000334616

PRIVACY POLICY

OUR OFFICE

Wojskowa 6, 60-792 Poznań, Poland
+48 506 798 998
office@setapp.pl

COMPANY DATA

Setapp Sp. z o.o.

VAT ID: PL7781465185
REGON: 301183743
KRS: 0000334616

PRIVACY POLICY

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