The Covid-19 pandemic changed the way consumers behave. Lockdowns that kept us at home for months meant a huge increase in the use of digital services and a reliance on logistics and supply chain companies to deliver goods directly to our doors. One in ten consumers across Europe (almost 30% in the UK) now buy food online and January 2021 saw the highest ever proportion of online retail sales (35.2%) in the UK on record.
As lockdowns ease, consumers are expected to return to shops but, with 54% of people globally nervous about resuming normal activity after the pandemic, demand for reliable online and delivery services will remain high.
This is a great time for logistics and supply chain businesses to invest in their digital infrastructure so they can retain and grow the new customers earned during 2020.
At hedgehog lab, we’re passionate about using technology to solve business challenges so we asked our expert team in mobile and web app development for their tips on how digital technology can help the logistics and supply chain sector excel in a post-Covid world.
1. Make it easy for your supply chain to connect
Use digital products to connect your supply chain so orders and supplies can be handled online. Mobile and web apps that manage the end-to-end ordering process improve communication and efficiency throughout the supply chain.
Here’s a success story:
Online delivery company Deliveroo asked us to use our expertise in mobile and web app development to create a digital product to connect its 50,000 restaurants with suppliers across 13 markets.
We created Sourced, a digital restaurant ingredient sourcing platform that enables users to track their supplies and orders through a web-based admin panel and communicate with suppliers through chat, making it easier and quicker to respond to queries. It was launched on iOS, Android and web and provided an end-to-end ordering platform that connected Deliveroo’s extensive global supply chain.
2. Understand your processes
Map out every step of the product and customer journey and develop digital products to manage them. By understanding each stage of the process, you can find solutions to pain points and customer needs that make services run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Here’s an example:
We worked with last-mile delivery company LaserShip to review the performance of the app used to connect drivers to its 60 delivery hubs across Eastern and Midwest United States. By mapping drivers’ use of the app when delivering a package, we managed to reduce interactions from 24 to seven and offered a range of practical new features with user-friendly UI and UX.
By understanding the delivery process in detail, we provided a technology solution to improve performance and reduce costs.
3. Keep your drivers informed
Give drivers the information they need to ensure products are delivered on time. Digital technology can provide drivers with real-time information about their haul and route so they can make decisions on the road that result in more efficient and safer journeys.
Here’s how this can work:
Continental Express asked us to develop an iOS iPad dashboard app for its long- and short-haul drivers to replace an outdated system that was no longer fit for purpose.
The app included a wide range of data – such as haul manifest, directions and weather alerts – and connected drivers with key Continental Express staff to provide a comprehensive overview of their load and driving conditions. These ensured products were delivered on time and at the right temperature and improved journey safety.
Digital technology can transform logistics and supply chain businesses by solving problems that impact efficiency, performance and profit.
As an award-winning digital product development agency, we’re passionate about using our expertise to put businesses ahead of their competitors and meet their challenges head-on.