Are you overlooking your intralogistics processes?
A lot goes into managing a business, and there are many areas you can focus on to improve productivity and profit margins. One of the most common places people look is their transportation costs, but the price of transporting goods isn’t just accrued with a logistics company. Many things can happen inside your own facilities that will impact how much you’re spending. Streamlining those intralogistics processes could help you gain efficiencies and improve your bottom line.
Logistics vs intralogistics
While logistics refers to the process of moving goods from point A to point B — including mode optimization, route planning, and the actual transportation of each shipment — intralogistics accounts for everything that happens inside a business’s warehouses and distribution centers.
Effectively managing the flow of materials and information within these facilities is critical for keeping supply chains running smoothly and operating costs under control.
Understanding the potential impact
Investing in intralogistics can lead to higher efficiency and cost savings for businesses by providing:
Increased workplace safety
Using proper materials handling equipment, such as conveyors and forklifts, and following strict safety protocols can help reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. This protects employees — creating a better working environment — and helps reduce workers' compensation claims that could impact your bottom line.
Better inventory management
With the growth of e-commerce and the rise of omnichannel retailing, warehouses are handling more inventory than ever. And while this growth can benefit revenue, it also comes with an increased risk of legacy technology and processes being unable to handle the new workload. Utilizing the right tools can help you better control the flow of materials through your supply chain, so you reduce waste and limit stockouts.
Streamlining how goods move within a warehouse or distribution center can reduce the time and resources needed to fulfill orders. These efficiency gains, combined with advanced technology, allow businesses to quickly adapt to changes in market demand, ultimately leading to increased customer satisfaction and profitability.
Technology’s role in intralogistics
Because intralogistics is heavily centered around the flow of information, technology is a critical enabler for successful intralogistics management. Everything from order fulfillment to scheduling pickup and delivery requests requires different hardware and software, and businesses that successfully adopt the right tools should see results quickly.
Common technology used in intralogistics includes:
Warehouse Management System (WMS.) WMS is software that enables better control over warehouse operations. It offers real-time monitoring of inventory levels, order processing and shipping information to help companies effectively manage goods the entire time they’re in the warehouse.
Digital integrations. Using API and EDI connections can help streamline the flow of information between your facilities and external partners like your logistics company. The faster data can be shared, the faster you can make decisions.
Automation technology. Advanced robotics, sensors and software allow companies to automate time-consuming tasks such as material handling and sorting. This ability can create efficiencies while allowing humans to perform more essential roles.
Deciding what technology to use comes down to your specific business goals. Understanding how your workforce can benefit from different technology, the cost of adopting it, and how it will truly impact your business is vital for making the best decisions.
Partnering with a logistics company that can provide digital tools and help you implement them for your business can make evaluating how new technology could fit into your operations easier.
Suggested Read: How Data Helps with Logistics Decisions
Give your business a competitive advantage
Examining both your external and internal processes for inefficiencies ensures you find every opportunity to save costs and improve performance. ArcBest can help with both. Our managed solutions team offers a complimentary supply chain analysis to help uncover areas of improvement in your logistics processes, and our robust technology — including the Vaux Freight Movement System™ — can help you save valuable time and improve your customers’ experience.
Learn more about the technology available to help with your shipments.