The most common goals we hear from operations professionals in last-mile organizations are improving operational efficiency and performance. Sounds like a simple assignment, but anyone in the industry knows just how daunting that can be. In fact, it’s a complex recipe that requires excellent ingredients, including data, technology, and staff. Let’s look closely at data first.
The quality of your organization’s data plays a crucial role in your team’s success. And, if you want to leverage the benefits of AI and machine learning, that data needs to be pristine. If you’re ready to explore a new technology solution to address your last-mile objectives, go through these three key steps to make sure your data can deliver on the promise.
One: Determine available data
The first critical step is to understand what data your team needs and whether it’s accessible. For example, accurate and complete data about delivery time windows, service times, and order details can yield new opportunities to optimize routes and consolidate deliveries. The question is whether you have this information and the means to use it.
Two: Assess data quality
Having the data is only valuable if the quality is there. That data – whether it be customer order data, customer preferences, or driver shift times – must be accurate and up-to-date for it to be useful for improving your operations. Out-of-date information is extremely costly, and slows your business down.
Three: Put the pieces to work
After you’ve evaluated the data you have and its quality, you are ready to put it to work with a system that’s capable of fully extracting the value. With high-quality data, systems that leverage AI and machine learning models are able to produce highly accurate projected service times, bringing you more efficient routes better suited to meet your business goals.
In a recent Wise Systems webinar, Nathan DeGasperis, Director of Operations for Columbus Distributing, shared that there are always areas for improvement when it comes to data management. Without taking the time to fully examine and understand the power of your data, it’s easy to lose sight of other optimization opportunities.
“That was the big piece, was just getting actual factual data on how we’re doing out in the market in terms of deliveries and trying to see where we can gain some efficiencies.”
– Nathan DeGasperis, Director of Operations for Columbus and Del Mar Distributing
By working with Wise Systems to assess data quantity and quality, Columbus Distributing quickly saw the true potential of their operations. In addition to uncovering new efficiencies, this beverage distributor also now incorporates data-management best practices into their daily operations. To learn more about how Columbus Distributing leverages data to improve their operation, download the case study.
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