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The last mile is an essential part of the delivery process, since it plays a key role in user satisfaction and, consequently,
Digitalization
The 4 mistakes to avoid in the last mile

La Last mile is an essential part of the delivery process, since it plays a key role in user satisfaction and, consequently, in the success of the company itself.

It is important to emphasize the parameter of the satisfaction of our users since they, having a bad experience or being dissatisfied with the business activity we carry out, would turn to other competing providers. In addition, they would also highlight the negative experience regarding our company to other potential customers. For this reason, it is essential that in the logistics sector, we analyze what the main problems are in this last mile and, above all, how to solve them.

The Last Mile: The Great Challenge

As we have anticipated before, the last mile is the most challenging part of the logistics process given the great complexity involved, so identifying possible errors and possible solutions is of vital importance.

Here are some of the most common errors in the last mile and how to resolve them.

Outdated planning strategy: times change and with them the ways of proceeding. Living entrenched in the past is a mistake and this can be applied to practically any field, including logistics. Until very recently, last-mile planning was carried out manually: a single person responsible for drawing up that impossible “sketch” of hundreds of deliveries on the same route and with numerous drivers. This way of proceeding is the first big mistake: thinking that the way it has been done is always right.

It is often said that “adapt or die” and this is an example of this. It is crucial to adapt to the new times through the use of digital tools that allow last-mile planning. Thanks to the use of software specialized in managing the last mile, such as SmartMonkey Planner, better results are achieved in route efficiency, user satisfaction (direct communication with customers), savings in planning time (now it's a matter of a few minutes) and significant economic savings also in fuel.

Poor communication: Not having direct and effective communication with users and even with the drivers themselves is also one of the biggest mistakes in the last mile. Having direct communication channels that allow customers to know when they will receive a package or what phase of the operation it is in is key to their satisfaction. The transparency and effectiveness of the entire process is very important for your success and, consequently, ours as a company. At SmartMonkey Planner, we have a direct communication platform through emails in real time, so that operations leave that problem behind and become a pleasant common experience.

Low flexibility: as mentioned before, anchoring in the past is a mistake, since we are in a digitalized and constantly changing world. For this reason, it is necessary to implement last-mile management software that allows the flexibility required by logistics, such as schedule changes or the variability of service and driver assignments. It is necessary to have a tool that has this flexibility to ensure an optimal and efficient service.

A bad implementation: all the errors mentioned so far can be truncated in their solution if a good implementation has not been achieved. It is a priority to implement last-mile management software that has an efficient, fast and optimal implementation. With this we are not only referring to the most technical aspects but also to the human aspects: implementing a tool that is easy to use, so that it can begin to be used effectively in a matter of hours and not over weeks or months. An example of this is the company's success story. Prio Energy, who have been able to start optimizing production routes with literally 1 meeting and a 20-minute demonstration.

“Digital transformation is no longer a source of competitive advantage, it's a ticket to stay in the game”

Pablo Martinez — SmartMonkey CTO

If you want to solve all these problems and many more, join Planner

Try it for free!

Do you want to know more solutions for the logistics market? We recommend that you read the article How to increase logistics productivity: the 4 key aspects you must consider to increase logistics efficiency.

The 4 mistakes to avoid in the last mile
On November 26th, in exactly 10 days, a new edition of Black Friday will be held.
Logistics
Prepare your logistics for Black Friday in less than 2 weeks

On November 26th, in exactly 10 days, a new edition of the Black Friday.

El Black Friday or Black Fridayor is it a commercial event of American origin that is held every year for a day: always on the last Friday of the month of November.

On the occasion of the opening of the Christmas shopping season, great discounts and offers are offered throughout Black Friday in large and small stores, both electronic and traditional.

Black Friday and the Last Mile

Given the enormous impact of this “Black Friday”, a large part of businesses are positively affected on this day, especially e-commerce. According to studies shown in Lobocom,”E-commerce companies increase their turnover by 35% on average during the week of Black Friday”. In addition, the fact about the comparison with Christmas shopping also stands out, “since The benefits may even exceed the Christmas campaign”.

In this regard, it should be noted that the month of November is the month of the year with the highest number of sales, thus surpassing the hitherto unbeatable months of December (Christmas campaign) or January (sales campaign).

In this way, and taking into account the great benefits and business repercussions of this important date, it is essential to formulate a strategy prior to Black Friday, in order to guarantee success in our company.

Preliminary market study

As we mentioned before, a prior approach is essential in addition to creating a strategy focused on Black Friday. Here are some of the key aspects you should consider when carrying out a previous study:

· Knowledge of market trends: know what the dynamics of the market are in terms of purchasing patterns, products or services most in demand or, even, purchase method (in-store pickup, home delivery, etc.), among others. Knowledge of all or some of these trends will help us to establish a more precise and, consequently, more beneficial strategy.

· Analysis of our consumers: in relation to market trends, it is also essential to know our own users or potential customers in depth. Knowing what they want, what they need and how they want to achieve it will provide us with a lot of information to direct a focused and efficient strategy.

· Black Friday marketing strategy: knowing the market and our potential consumers will help us to implement a marketing strategy focused solely and exclusively on Black Friday. Strategies such as email marketing campaigns in the previous days, publications on social networks or even banners and pop-ups within the website itself may be considered.

How to prepare your logistics last mile for a successful Black Friday

Given the enormous success of this “Black Friday” and the great impact on sales in practically all the stores participating in this “black day”, it is essential to establish a logistical preparation prior to this day.

For users, it is increasingly important to speed and efficiency in your purchases. Make a quick and convenient purchase: from anywhere (at home or from the beach) and receive it in the shortest possible time. This entire process is one of the most important aspects for users and one of the most difficult logistically for any company.

For this reason, implementing tools that facilitate logistics operations and, above all, help to efficiently manage delivery routes is vital on such a special date.

Here's how you should prepare for Black Friday in your store:

· Using specialized software in the last mile: the implementation of tools on such an important date as Black Friday will be a fundamental part of your company's commercial success. Tools such as SmartMonkey Planner they will help you to cope with this frenetic sales day in addition to Increase profits, because with Planner you'll plan routes in an intelligent way: the program itself will result in the fastest and most efficient routes in a matter of seconds. With efficient routes, you will not only have economic savings, due to lower fuel consumption, but also time savings, since you will carry out the most optimal route.

· Direct communication channels with your customers: direct communication with users is essential, since in the midst of the digital age, we are used to being constantly connected and informed. With the use of software such as Planner, your customers will be able to receive direct and real-time information about your purchases. For example, your customers will be able to know at all times where their order is or when they will receive it, among others.

· Transportation: given the enormous sales forecast on this date, it is necessary to take into account the company's logistics and transport capabilities. If, as we mentioned before, the increase in sales is greater than 35% compared to other days, we must weigh what the transport needs will be in order to operate successfully. To reach the total of the operation, you must Increase transport of the same exponentially: increasing one third of available transport, at least 10% if sales exceed 35%.

· Logistic staff: in the same way as with transport, it will be necessary increase specialized logistics staff to be able to carry out the day in a satisfactory manner. Taking into account that the increase in sales will be 35%, the available logistics staff must increase by the same number or, at least 10% less. Therefore, the workforce should increase by 25%-35% for that day.

But there are 10 days left, am I still on time?

Of course! One of our greatest achievements at SmartMonkey is, precisely, having launched it to the market the most user-friendly last-mile management tool on the market. In fact, a recent case is that of the Portuguese company Prio, a company that has been able to start optimizing production routes with literally 1 meeting and a 20-minute demonstration.

Don't be less, and do like Prio. Try Planner and start enjoying all the benefits.

Create a schedule in a few minutes with this step-by-step

Try it for free!

Do you want to know more about Black Friday and what are the forecasts for the 2021 edition? Go to our article Black Friday: 50 days until the biggest logistics challenge of the year and find out.

Prepare your logistics for Black Friday in less than 2 weeks
The trend towards digitalization has brought with it new forms of purchase for users, thus giving rise to e-commerce.
Digitalization
Ecommerce: everything you need to know about buying and selling online

The trend towards digitalization has brought new forms of purchase among users, thus giving rise to Ecommerce.

El e-commerce or Ecommerce is defined as the purchase and sale of products or services over the internet.

Currently, the relationship between Logistics and the Ecommerce has become so important that the first has become one of the fundamental pillars of the second, since the logistics industry is indispensable for the success of ecommerce. For this reason, for companies that focus their business activity on Internet sales, logistics is one of the most careful processes, since the satisfaction of their customers and the shopping experience will depend on it, especially on last mile.

Advantages of Ecommerce

Below, we show you what are the main advantages of implementing a ecommerce compared to a traditional business with the help of the specialized blog Ecommerce News:

  • No geographical limitations
  • wider range of products and services
  • Reducing costs
  • Greater ease of purchase for users in addition to a saving in time spent on the purchase
  • Easier to develop marketing strategies
  • Increased transparency and information for customers
  • Possibility to offer a comparison of products with respect to their prices and characteristics
  • No time limit

Ecommerce and the Last Mile

La Last mile corresponds to the final stage of the delivery of the order. It is one of the steps that increase logistics costs the most, due to factors such as traffic, urban limitations or inefficient routes in daily deliveries (which will later result in delays in orders, among others).

How to optimize the management of the last mile?

  • Establish strategies in the delivery conditions: use collection points after failed deliveries, direct communication with the user about the status of the package, etc. Also, with regard to transportation, grouping orders by area or the use of light vehicles with better urban mobility.
  • Use transportation route management software: optimize the routes that are going to be taken in the distribution of packages so that they are as efficient as possible. With this, we will achieve not only a significant reduction in fuel costs, but also a reduction in the time spent on routes and, consequently, an increase in profits. In addition, optimizing routes will make your company a much more sustainable company.

With SmartMonkey Planner you can enjoy all the advantages offered by a ecommerce thanks to our advanced software, which allows you to establish direct communication with your customers, have traceability of deliveries, optimize routes, and much more!

Try it for free!

Do you want to know what are the 5 key tools for an ecommerce? Go to our article Ecommerce: 5 essential tools to survive in 2021 and find out.

Ecommerce: everything you need to know about buying and selling online
Customer Centric responds to the customer-oriented strategy with the objective of focusing all processes and operations on users.
Digitalization
What is the Customer Centric strategy and how to implement it in 6 simple steps

The unstoppable growth and digital business transformation is undeniable, a fact that has completely changed the existing relationship between companies and consumers. Currently, it is necessary to implement strategies and have the necessary resources to improve the customer experience. To do this, it is essential to ask the following question: What do customers want? With the answer, we can begin to prepare a strategy based on Customer Centric.

Recent studies such as that of the company Deloitte confirm that the companies that implement strategies based on Customer Centric are 60% more profitable compared to those that haven't implemented it. If you want to be part of that successful majority, keep reading this article and we'll tell you how.

What is Customer Centric?

The concept Customer Centric — literally translated as “Customer at the Center” — responds to the customer-oriented strategy through which an organization places the customer at the center of the company with the objective of focusing all processes and operations on users.

Thanks to the implementation of Customer Centric, with actions aimed at customer satisfaction and loyalty, among others, clear objectives such as loyalty are established and benefits such as increased sales are achieved. All of this stems from the idea of satisfying customer needs and, consequently, establishing a long-term relationship.

In short, the Customer Centric philosophy has been gaining more and more ground in companies, linking their customers to decision-making and subsequent development of the product or service, in order to offer a better value offer.

Customer Centric Benefits

· Increased user satisfaction: placing the customer at the center of the company's interests, as a key part of the operation, will make them feel much more satisfied due to their prestigious position.

· Customer loyalty: as we mentioned before, with the implementation of customer centric your customers will be more satisfied. As a result, by having happy customers, you will be able to make them loyal to your company.

· Improving the corporate image: placing your customers at the center of the company's activity or operations will significantly improve their image of your company.

· Positive publicity: taking into account good results in parameters such as user satisfaction or even the rate of improvement in the corporate image, it will be possible to obtain feedback in the advertising of our company. A satisfied and happy customer will be a company's best prescriber.

· Business opportunities: knowing in detail the concerns and needs of customers will not only help to increase their satisfaction but also to exploit all possible business opportunities. Through calls, surveys or even through support channels, we can detect all these needs and treat them as information that can be implemented.

How to implement the Customer Centric philosophy in your company

Taking action and implementing such a novel strategy and approach as Customer Centric is not easy. Therefore, below we show you by the hand of Zendesk What are the key aspects you should consider to carry it out:

· Take actions to receive Feedback from customers: measuring your satisfaction in addition to knowing first-hand what your feelings are regarding a service or product is key to being able to improve. Use the feedbacks as a premonitive formula for solutions to potential problems, it will make it possible to identify unmet needs in advance.

· Instant communication: as we mentioned before with feedback, having direct and instant communication with your customers is a key factor for their satisfaction and success, since you offer them security and transparency regarding your product. At SmartMonkey, we are very clear that communication with customers is very important and, therefore, we have our email platform. Thanks to the email platform, you can keep your customers informed at all times with the possibility of directly sending all the information necessary to monitor the full service in real time.

· Synchrony between departments: all departments of the company must be aligned with the continuous improvement of the customer experience; all must aim to provide the best possible experience to customers through support, information or improvements at the product level, among others.

· Loyalty programs: the most satisfied and loyal customers will be the best ambassadors of our brand. In this way, it is important to consider a loyalty strategy so that the customer feels part of a community as well as feeling the center of it.

· Appropriate interaction and support: it is essential to offer customers all the interaction and support they need with our company. Therefore, offering a multiplicity of channels to adapt to the needs of each user is key, since the objective will be to facilitate communication.

· CRM: it is necessary to have a customer data manager in order to be able to know in depth what the needs of each of them are; having the right tools will make customers have a better service and are more satisfied. In addition, with a CRM you can manage the analysis of all the information collected from your customers and extract, among others, buying trends.

Do you want to know other market trends? Go to our article Reverse Logistics: what it is and what are its benefits and discover one of the latest trends.

What is the Customer Centric strategy and how to implement it in 6 simple steps
A true story about open innovation between startup and corporation. Recommendations on how to succeed by innovating together with startups
RoutalMinds
MonkeyMinds: The truth about open innovation between startup and corporation. A story of knights, princesses and beaches.

An article by open innovation Not talking about big names wouldn't be a good article. Like any science, citing your references is an obligation. We could talk about Henry Chesbrough, Erik Ries or Xavier Marcet, to name a few examples. But today we will not talk about theories and beautiful books. Today I want to talk about reality. The one that is hard to see in the midst of so much editor review. Why reality, sometimes, is not as beautiful as it is presented in books. Sometimes, some insignificantly important details are avoided, but in this blog we try to be faithful to our thinking and we like to share them.

How would I say Javier G. Recuenco speaking of complex problems:

“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong”
H. L. Mencken

Not everything can be theorized, nor is every theory applicable in practice, much less to your particular case. The simple thing seems beautiful, leaves our mind calm and allows us to breathe coherence, perfection. Far from reality, innovation is harshness, irregularity, is full of failures and, above all, it is difficult to predict.

I would like to talk about innovation in the corporate world from the point of view of a startup. Our biased view of reality, although we already have some experience behind us after having worked with several corporations.

To make it easy to understand, I will use the beach as a metaphor (because of our proximity to the Mediterranean and my passion for the sea) accompanied by brushstrokes of our own experience and a pinch of personal opinion.

I hope it will not leave anyone indifferent, it may even inspire someone. Who knows, they say that stories are the most powerful weapon in our world...

kiran gurung M vtkdfAIiI unsplash

Every good story begins in an idyllic place on the Costa Brava. Coarse-sand beaches and crystal clear water. You can get inspired here Link.

Every good story needs a Caballero, the startup. This time, turned into a sad building brick. Made from clay. Perfectly straight out of the mold of any business school, startup incubator and/or MBA. You already understand me, serial entrepreneurs. (Greetings to the entire industry 😄

I think we're the fastest startup in history so we'll have seen something good in signing up so much... 😉

). Perhaps it is that we too are part of a series, although the experience makes us look at the world from a different point of view.

There is no story without a Princess. Ours will be called Corporate. With great scores of results that our gentleman aspires to be able to scratch and perhaps one day he will conquer. In this story we will turn it into beach sand. Millions of small grains perfectly united to form a great and wonderful beach. Just like its thousands of workers paddling in one direction.

You can sense an epic story full of adventures. All that remains is to introduce our evil and dreaded dragon. The perverse MARKET. We will give it the shape of the sea, storms and waves. In the memory of all, we will remember great market victories over Kodak or Blockbuster, as undisputed leaders, they ended up on the seabed and utterly forgotten.

The story begins at the beginning of this century. Traditional innovation seems exhausted, lagging behind the incremental development of a regular business without much expectation of major improvements. Quiet days of sun and beach, some would say. Nothing to worry about. But suddenly, a great stranger appeared. Climate change.

Unexpected storms, of extreme force that make entire beaches engulfed by a market ruthless by new business models disappear in just a few years, even months, without time to maneuver.

Our beloved corporation is trying to face the challenges of the market and decides to open its beach and embrace new ways to combat climate change. This is where open innovation is born.

Collaboration between startups and corporations with a common goal. Give an innovative market exit, with external help, new ideas, easy and fast to execute (and on top of that very cheap). What more can the princess ask for?

Just one thing. Decision. It is essential that the corporation be created and committed to innovation as the model that will maintain the company's survival. For this reason, it is essential that top management truly bets on this process. Dedicate resources to make the needle move. Budget and human resources dedicated to making plans work. As Team A would say.

The word Greenwashing sounds a lot lately. Companies that use the environment to provide a more committed vision of the company. (Read Apple removing chargers from its iPhones on the grounds that they are doing it for the environment). We associate innovawashing with large press conferences, large PR agencies and little pilot project. The next storm may be ahead of you... remember that!

Can you imagine a super press conference, with a big project to build a supermega-construction, with infographics, cameras and not a gram of cement on the beach? Well, just as we often see politicians with great ideas and little execution, there are also corporations with a lot of marketing and little execution.

Either your business is to be in the media all the time, or rather look for some other princess that you can really learn from. At the other extreme, we find the pharaonic projects, with only 20 years of delays and 3 Gigatrons of steel and cement. In which the sea takes her ahead at the inauguration. Surely one comes to mind...

What situations have allowed us to move the needle as a startup?

Fight for a pilot project. I remember the first one we did with Aigues de Barcelona (Water Utility of the city of Barcelona) within the defunct Sity accelerator (Yes, innovation fails, it's normal, but you learn). Aigües de Barcelona is a public-private company, with a vision for innovation that is out of the ordinary in our country. (Hopefully this will encourage more companies to follow in their footsteps!)

Our negotiation was clear, if there is no pilot we are not interested. I think I remember that we were the only ones fighting for a pilot. Obviously we didn't win the contest, but we won something more important. To have demonstrated the value of our project and to be able to fight for a second pilot: Put our technology into production and see the real impact. We were touching the sky, seeing the million-euro contract (😂 we were young and inexperienced I would say now...).

In reality, we had to go through 3 pilots and 4 years to achieve full integration into production. A very hard journey, full of uncertainty and demand but above all full of learning.

Thanks to these pilots, we were able to enter an incredible level of depth into the analysis. We even demonstrated that the drivers who paid the most attention to the optimized routes we suggested were 10% more productive than those who didn't follow them as much! It's no coincidence that the drivers were happy that two guys with a geeky face could solve a daily, costly problem that had a direct impact on their goals 💰).

If you want to know More details in this video (with 2 other startups talking about their experience).

The last success story I would like to talk about is Prio Energy. Energy company with an innovation program Prio Jump Start very well organized. They just chose the 3 startups selected to pilot their solutions and SmartMonkey was one of them.

What have we learned in this case? Get your product to work as soon as possible. Even before your company is elected. I want to think that part of the reason for our choice was how easy and fast it is to put our tool into production. They were able to start optimizing production routes with literally 1 meeting and a 20-minute demonstration. Even we couldn't believe our eyes. We have overcome the main obstacle, now it is time to demonstrate real value in order to grow within the corporation.

My recommendation to others is that one should always be humble, say NO and stick to a strategy. Open innovation is a path that is done hand in hand. The princess and the gentleman. The corporate and the startup. If both work together, make an effort, success is guaranteed. A beach that is well reinforced with bricks is much more resistant to any type of storm.

If your employees, like those at Prio, are open to trying new things that make their daily lives easier, faster and more efficient. What is to be expected is that wonderful things will happen. Time and storms will put everyone in their place.

Main factors for the success of the start-up-corporate collaboration

After going through several collaborations, Aigües de Barcelona, Heineken and Prio Energy, my personal recommendations can be summarized as follows:

  1. Top-bottom support: Without clear management support, it's impossible to succeed. There will always be other priorities. Innovation for corporations must be a priority. Failure is guaranteed, but if you don't innovate, the corporation is sure to fail.
  2. Continuity to the project: If the projects are successful, giving them continuity not only helps the startup, but it also encourages intra-entrepreneurship. You don't want those experts you've been training for years to decide to leave their golden cage to sell you the same much more expensive thing, right? The security of a large company and the resources to innovate as an outsider can be wonderful.
  3. Requirement to the startup: Put the startup in a difficult but real situation. If you can demonstrate courage in the worst case scenario, the rest will be a piece of cake. However, remember to continue the project if it goes well, or you will generate frustration in the startup and the internal team.
  4. Free pilots, no thanks: Top-bottom support is essential and must be accompanied by resources. Startups have a healthy habit of wanting to eat (little and cheaply, but to eat something, yes). If the CFO doesn't scratch his pocket, real innovation is unlikely to exist. Without a budget, it's also difficult to demand anything from anyone. Neither startups nor corporate teams. In addition, startups tend to have a short lifespan, supporting them allows them to generate metrics that encourage other investors and have more resources to invest in your company's innovation.
  5. Deal flow: The main problem for investors (Venture Capital) is to get enough quality deal flow. As a corporate, getting enough startups to innovate with will not be an easy task. Having a good brand, good references, a good collaboration proposal and having other startups speak highly of your program is a great cover letter that will make it easier for you to work in future editions. Obviously, more and better companies will want to work with you.

I just want to end this story with a film ending: The brick ends up molten in the corporation as just another piece of its complicated beach of sand, stones and waves. Who knows, they may one day become part of the same company, but until then, they will work together in the face of storms and climate change.

Who would have said that optimizing routes was so beautiful and with such a noble mission: To generate less emissions to save our beaches.

MonkeyMinds: The truth about open innovation between startup and corporation. A story of knights, princesses and beaches.
Reverse logistics as the set of practices and processes responsible for managing the returns of products purchased by users.
Innovation
Reverse Logistics: what it is and what are its benefits

In general terms, it could be said that logistics is the set of all those processes necessary for a product or service to reach the end user; it mainly covers transport, storage and distribution operations.

In turn, and due to the constant change in processes and ways of doing things, largely due to technological advances, different modalities in processes coexist, such as reverse logistics.

La reverse logistics It is a very broad concept that can encompass a myriad of activities since, for example, some of them have ecological purposes (with the objective of avoiding harm to the environment) or others for commercial or productive purposes only, since their actions are interconnected to market supply.

So... What is Reverse Logistics?

With the rise of the already known ecommerce, logistics processes have been forced to adapt and update themselves to new trends and market processes in order to maintain competitiveness vis-a-vis other companies. One of the aspects in which logistics has had to adapt the most due to these b2c stores is, precisely, in the logistics of returns or returns (those users who have purchased an item online and want to return it directly).

In this way, reverse logistics can be defined as the set of practices and processes responsible for managing the returns and returns of those products purchased by users. These returns or returns are managed from the points of sale of the products to the manufacturer itself (to carry out the repair, recycling or disposal of the product at the lowest possible cost).

In addition, logistics is already another process and of vital importance when planning the supply chain for the satisfaction of the end customer.

What are the differences between regular logistics and reverse logistics?

The infrastructure required to manage reverse logistics processes is, as a general rule, the same as for any other logistics process in use. However, we can find differences both in its planning and in its monitoring: the operation is different, since now the customer is the one who can act as a “warehouse” and wait for the collection of their product for subsequent evaluation and economic compensation. In this way, new adapted processes must be considered and taken into account, such as the user's pickup or the treatment of the return product.

Types of Reverse Logistics

According to the article on Reverse Logistics From the company Imatica, specialized in IT services and management software, two types of reverse logistics can be differentiated due to the difference in their approach or objectives.

Business: consists of managing the returns that customers make to inventories or manufacturers.

Eco-friendly: one of the priorities of reverse logistics is precisely the reduction of the environmental impact caused by business activities. For this reason, its use for waste treatment, such as recycling, is also very popular (discarded objects are grouped together for their subsequent recovery process to promote their use).

Benefits of Reverse Logistics

The benefits of reverse logistics are diverse, since they can have both an impact on a better corporate image of the company as well as contributing to a cost reduction. In addition, it is also necessary to highlight the enormous environmental benefit in ecological reverse logistics thanks to practices such as recycling.

Economically, this type of logistics can be significantly beneficial since it is reduced both in time and in costs because there is no need to invest in new materials in the production chain.

Also, and taking into account the typology, “ecological inverted logistics” promotes environmental protection as long as practices such as recycling are carried out (raw materials are created from waste, thus generating a second life cycle for products). All of this also contributes to the improvement of the company's corporate image, since all actions that take advantage of sustainability are increasingly recognized and better valued.

For all these reasons, reverse logistics must be increasingly optimal and efficient, since the management capacity that any company has to manage services such as product returns or customer returns will determine its business success.

As with traditional logistics and last-mile delivery services, reverse logistics also requires tailored planning and optimization, since the user's requirements will be the same: a satisfactory experience both in terms of quality and economy with timely collections and quick returns.

In order to plan reverse logistics that meets the needs of users, it is essential to adopt a last mile management software that allows the efficiency and optimization of all the resources available in your company.

With Routal Planner you will get specialized software that can carry out the different operations that involve reverse logistics, such as the collection and return of products, thanks to optimal planning of the process and with real-time monitoring of its development. Below, we show you a short video in which we show you how to carry out this type of operation in a simple and, above all, efficient way thanks to the use of Planner.

Reverse Logistics: what it is and what are its benefits
implement actions to ensure the good use of resources and significant energy savings for better logistics efficiency
Logistics
Energy savings in logistics are possible: 3 measures you should know to achieve energy efficiency in your company

Optimizing the use of resources, especially those that have an environmental benefit, is, to an increasing extent, an extended challenge for society, especially in the logistics sector.

Due to the complexity of logistics operations, many companies face the challenge of reducing costs while being forced to optimize the use and management of resources, as in the case of energy. All of this combines not only environmental awareness and concern, but also a concern to remain competitive with other companies.

In this article, we analyze the importance of implementing actions to ensure the good use of energy resources to achieve a more sustainable future within your company.

Current Situation

The service sector, also known as the tertiary sector, is one whose economic activities are based on the distribution and consumption of goods in order to meet user demand. In turn, this sector encompasses logistics and transport as a subsector, key industries for the development and good functioning of those more developed economies.

However, the logistics industry is a sector in which there is a lot of competition and, given the increasingly specific requirements of users, the improvement of energy efficiency within the logistics process itself has become a key factor for logistics companies to continue with a tight price offer without detracting from the quality of their service.

For this reason, it is essential to implement solutions capable of integrating energy saving mechanisms into their logistics processes in order to achieve resource optimization in addition to remaining at a demanding competitive level such as logistics.

In line with this, according to statements made by Fernando López Zamora, Head of Development at EDF Fenice Ibérica, at the conference”Energy efficiency in logistics facilities” energy efficiency is “a tool for competitiveness and sustainability for companies”.

Emphasizing the fact that “today's industry must prepare to compete tomorrow. And energy and the environment are at the center of this transformation. Therefore, this preparation implies that there is a digitalization of the logistics industry with digital technologies that improve the efficiency of facilities and processes; that are committed to sustainability with efficient uses and consumption of resources; and that they invest in competitiveness to be able to produce the same thing while consuming less”.

Measures

Fleet Management System: the incorporation of specialized software for fleet management will allow the planning of shorter and more efficient routes, in addition to also achieving greater and better use of resources, since it will be possible to take into account the capacities of the vehicles, among others.

Warehouses: The incorporation of automated warehouses has established itself as an efficient solution for energy optimization because it ensures greater use of resources, both spatial and operational (intelligent warehouse management systems).

Electric vehicles: The electrification of vehicles is becoming increasingly popular thanks to a significant improvement in technology, the reduction of the final cost for users together with a lower cost of use and the absence of limitations on use (large city governments have implemented what are known as Low Emission Zones in order to restrict access to cities to all those vehicles that are the most polluting). Initiatives such as that of the company Avia, who have recently developed the EV12 model, a vehicle specifically developed for the city with 100% electric propulsion, making it an environmentally friendly vehicle.

vehículo-avia-ahorro-energético
EV 12 electric vehicle 100% developed by the company Avia

Benefits of saving energy

With the implementation of more sustainable measures that help to save energy in the normal operations of any company, great advantages will be obtained for your company as a result:

  1. Lower costs: The change in perspective on logistics operations, making it a much more sustainable sector, also bring economic benefits, since planning efficient routes will increase productivity while reducing fuel costs, among others.
  2. Decrease in the carbon footprint: Thanks to new ways of proceeding in logistics, such as the use of electric vehicles or the optimization of routes, the impact of logistics operations on the environment is reduced, thus minimizing the known carbon footprint and improving the quality of life in cities.
  3. Improving the corporate image: Today, organizations understand sustainability as a priority issue, and this is reflected in their value proposition. For this reason, more and more companies are taking sustainability into account in their activities and, also, as a value proposition in their marketing and communication strategies.

How can you add to energy savings in logistics? With an effective use of resources and logistics processes, such as planning more efficient and shorter routes or the use of less polluting vehicles. All of this will not only contribute to environmental efficiency but also to greater economic profitability for companies. If you want to know more about logistics and sustainability, don't miss our article about Green Logistics.

Get on board with energy efficiency with Routal Planner for 30% more efficient and sustainable route planning.

Energy savings in logistics are possible: 3 measures you should know to achieve energy efficiency in your company
On November 26th, that is, in exactly 50 days, a new edition of Black Friday will be held. A commercial event of American origin that
Logistics
Black Friday: 50 days until the biggest logistics challenge of the year

On November 26th, that is, in exactly 50 days, a new edition of Black Friday will be held. A commercial event of American origin that has managed to establish itself with great force around the world in recent years.

Even with the Covid-19 pandemic very present and its inevitable commercial consequences, especially the disproportionate rise in sea freight prices (with a notable impact on trade between China and Europe), the traditional Black Friday will go ahead, despite the “metamorphosis” of the situation.

In this article, we offer you the keys and key aspects of the last edition of the most commercial Black Friday so that you can learn first-hand about the expectations and forecasts of D-Day logistics.

Collapse and rise in prices in maritime freight: How does it affect Black Friday 2021?

Over the past year and a half, electronic commerce has been faced squarely with different problems affecting its good development. One of the first setbacks for the ecommerce it has undoubtedly been a consequence of Covid-19: during the lockdown, many online stores were unable to meet the huge demand, thus causing various logistical problems and even the collapse. In addition, the now popular stranding of the Evergreen vessel and the consequent blockage of the Suez Canal, whose consequences were serious delays for many companies worldwide.

In the same way, in recent weeks, the well-known container crisis has spread, whose impact has shaken the world economy in addition to causing the closure of some ports, such as China. For the Asian country, the closure of a terminal of what is currently the largest port in terms of container traffic on a global scale has caused delays, difficulties as well as an uncertain future for all ecommerce, especially for the next edition of Black Friday 2021 and the Christmas season, the two periods with the highest number of sales in the entire year.

It should be emphasized that all of these problems in the logistics network have consequences not only in terms of delivery times, but also in terms of the final price for users (with a longer transport time, the higher the cost of transport).

And what's the alternative? Companies such as Alibaba have found air transport as a temporary alternative to be able to maintain their logistics operations, an interim solution that has allowed them to maintain the delivery times of their customers in the European market.

Forecasts for Black Friday 2021

Thanks to the article Black Friday 2021 statistics: 10 numbers you should know with the help of the company Oberlo, we offer you below a summary of some of the most significant statistics for the logistics sector ahead of the next edition of Black Friday.

black-friday-2021

Sales forecasts

Many users choose Black Friday as a special date to advance Christmas shopping with great discounts given the proximity between the two dates.

In fact, in the 2020 edition of Black Friday, sales were so high that they even represented 30% of annual revenue.

Despite not yet having forecasts for the Black Friday 2021 edition, from companies such as In Markerter estimate that in the United States alone, the increase in online sales by that date will be approximately 11.3%.

A third of Spanish adults plan to shop on Black Friday 2021

For this next edition of Black Friday, approximately 13 million Spaniards are expected to shop on the famous “Black Friday”. Of all of them, it is estimated that 78.41% will make their purchases in person while 21.59% will make them through e-commerce. With regard to age groups, it is estimated that it is precisely the generation that expects to spend the most throughout the day.

Average spending on Black Friday 2021

According to the company Deloitte, the average expenditure among Spaniards will be 127 euros during the Black Friday weekend, also including the well-known Cyber Monday. Thus, this average expenditure per person would mean that Spaniards will already spend 23% of the budget reserved for Christmas on Black Friday.

It should be noted that in other countries, such as Mexico, the average expenditure per citizen is 279 American dollars, a significantly higher outlay.

The best-selling products

The products most acclaimed by users for Black Friday are, first of all, technological products, with a total of 39.2% of total sales. Secondly, another big star of this important date are fashion products and accessories, with a total of 33.74% of sales. And finally, leisure and entertainment plans, which win the bronze medal in terms of sales, since they account for around 7.55% of the total.

Do you want Black Friday to be a success for your company? We have the solution! Visit our article Ecommerce: 5 essential tools to survive in 2021 to learn about the most interesting applications for your company.

Logistics trends in ecommerce

It is well known that parcel delivery companies have a lot of difficulty offering a good service during these dates. Neither infrastructures nor personnel are adapted to such a sharp increase in operations. For this and other reasons, a trend is starting to appear in large e-commerce. The internalization of delivery processes in areas with the highest order density.

Currently, only companies with a large number of warehouses (stores) and requirements such as the cold are betting on this change, such as Mercadona, which already distribute their own fleet of gas-powered vehicles. We will see this trend in big brands that are increasingly considering e-commerce. The objectives are clear, better services, lower costs, but also to achieve visibility in the offline world by being able to conspicuously label your vehicles that are constantly moving around the cities.

In these cases, we are looking at route planning tools such as Planner, are very useful for simulating different scenarios and finding optimal logistics performance and determining the return on investment in this type of project. Stay tuned, in future articles we will go into the details of this type of analysis.

Black Friday: 50 days until the biggest logistics challenge of the year
Here are some of the 4 key factors that will help you increase your company's logistics productivity.
Innovation
How to increase logistics productivity: the 4 key aspects to consider to increase logistics efficiency

Find out how to improve logistics productivity in 4 simple steps

La productivity It is an essential indicator for analyzing the state and quality of logistics management of your company. Here are some of the recommendations that will help you increase logistic productivity of your company

Use of metrics and KPIs

To evaluate logistic productivity and process performance, the use of KPIs is essential (Key Performance Indicator). These indicators will help you measure and quantify your company's performance and compliance with established objectives. According to the article Logistics KPI: discover how to increase the productivity of your company from the technology consultancy Enzyme Advising Group, the incorporation of these parameters is an essential component in the success of any company.

It is recommended that when defining the logistics KPIs, they are developed based on the S.M.A.R.T. (Smart, Mmeasurable, Achivable, Realistic and Time-Bound) model:

  • Specific: in line with your company's mission, vision and strategy.
  • Measurable: Quantifying results will be key to strategy planning and subsequent decision-making.
  • Achievable: define objectives as long as they are acceptable and real
  • Realistic: objectives should be defined according to the capabilities and particularities of the strategy
  • Time-limited: objectives with a limited period of time.

Within the KPIs, it must be taken into account which ones can be useful within each of the phases of the logistics process. This will make it easier for you to extract performance data from each department. Here are some of the most important in the different phases of the logistics process:

  • Purchase and inventory: it is essential to measure the service offered by our suppliers and carry out an inventory in order to have a good organization (know the content, avoid possible errors and even reduce costs)
  • Distribution: Quantifying the orders to be placed and evaluating the productivity of your employees will increase the efficiency of your warehouse
  • Transportation: automating tasks related to transportation, thanks to the use of software specialized in route planning and optimization, will make the last mile an efficient and optimal process for your customers
  • Order and delivery management: It is necessary to know times and quantities when carrying out a delivery service, since it will depend on increasing management and operational performance

Increase customer satisfaction

Prioritizing a stable relationship focused on customer satisfaction is the first step and an essential step to achieve success and thus increase logistics productivity.

To establish a good relationship with your customers, you must offer optimal communication throughout the process: it offers direct access, real-time monitoring of information, includes alerts, etc. It is also essential to guarantee adequate technical support: the resolution of incidents or questions that may arise quickly and effectively is essential for the satisfaction of your users. All of this will make them have all the information they may require and will help them build a much stronger relationship with your company, which will also have an impact on logistics productivity.

Optimizing resources: transport and logistics productivity

The optimization of resources when it comes to transportation is essential for the benefit and efficiency of your company, since it will help to control the traceability, trajectory and tracking of shipments. In addition, planning delivery routes efficiently and optimally will result in significant economic and time savings. Therefore, the use of specialized route planning software such as Planner, from SmartMonkey, will be a key element in increasing the logistics productivity of your company.

Design of planning systems, logistics scenarios and efficient warehouses

It is essential to have a good warehouse design, since it will have a direct impact on the supply chain and its effectiveness because this will help to manage one's own supplies properly and to greater logistic productivity.

almacenes-eficientes-logística

The design or redesign of the warehouse should take into account key aspects, such as the prior analysis of the warehouse's space needs and associated areas, together with a previous study also of the expected inflow and outflow.

Do you want to know more aspects of the logistics market? We recommend that you read the article Digital transformation in the logistics sector: the 5 keys to achieving digital success to learn about the latest trends in the sector.

If you want to increase the logistics productivity of your business, join Planner and reinforce the scalability of your company.

How to increase logistics productivity: the 4 key aspects to consider to increase logistics efficiency

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