Achieving digital transformation is no longer just a nicety for the transportation and logistics industry; it’s become a necessity. And it’s easy to understand why. When companies use technology solutions to modernise their transportation and distribution networks, they can expect operating costs to decrease by 10% to 25%, according to Bain & Company industry research. Meanwhile, their on-time, in-full delivery rate improves to at least 95%, according to Bain & Company. These game-changing improvements make digital transformation a win-win proposition for transportation and logistics companies of all sizes that serve all verticals. But what exactly does digital transformation look like? For the average transportation and logistics company, digital transformation at its core is about getting rid of legacy workflows and disconnected, siloed systems that have caused inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and inferior customer service. By investing in an integrated, modern set of systems and processes, transportation and logistics companies are able to fundamentally re-think and re-architect how work gets done.
Setting Priorities is Key to Digital Modernisation
The key to success with digital transformation is to approach it with a clear sense of purpose and strategy. The transportation and logistics industry is constantly evolving, and competition can be cutthroat. Companies don’t have the luxury of moving slowly and stumbling their way through digital transformation. When a business can’t modernise and transform fast enough to compete with industry disruptors like Amazon and international freight shipper Flexport, it loses ground fast—to the point of becoming obsolete. Thus, businesses must always come to the table prepared to tackle digital transformation. Let’s explore three key things every transportation and logistics executive should prioritise to ensure digital transformation is a success for their organisation:
Align IT projects to business priorities
The transportation and logistics industry is constantly updating, expanding, and patching its IT infrastructure. Most companies juggle multiple IT projects at once. Many of these projects are fairly mundane and routine, and they’re managed using static spreadsheets. Personal preferences and internal politics dictate when and how projects move forward. Digital transformation, however, is anything but mundane and passe—and its fate cannot be left to chance. To ensure digital transformation projects consistently get the resources and attention they need, it’s critical to align these projects fully to strategic business priorities. In other words, the C-suite needs to see precisely how digital transformation will impact the business—and that can only happen when businesses have the tools in place to properly understand and communicate this linkage. Using ServiceNow products like Project Portfolio Management (PPM), Application Portfolio Management (APM) and IT Financial Management (ITFM), businesses can ensure that every transformative IT project is adequately funded, properly road-mapped and tracked, and delivered on time and to exacting specifications. What makes these ServiceNow apps so powerful is that they all draw from a single, integrated source of truth, enabling projects to be managed based on comprehensive, real-time information—not on perceptions and partial information.
Deliver value rapidly
The transportation and logistics industry moves fast. And that means digital transformation initiatives in this industry need to move fast as well. Businesses cannot afford to develop a long implementation timeline or spend an overwhelming amount of time on analysis and soliciting requirements and specs. To ensure digital transformation projects are delivering value rapidly, transportation and logistics companies should be using agile processes that provide maximum visibility and accountability for all DevOps work. ServiceNow is designed to support agile DevOps workflows with modern, agile development tools such as scrum programme boards, dashboards, and a unified backlog that are built into ServiceNow’s IT Business Management platform. By using these tools to power digital transformation, transportation and logistics companies can ensure all DevOps work is optimised to advance digital transformation goals.
Build diverse, proactive customer service channels
Transportation and logistics companies are increasingly on the hook to deliver polished, high-quality customer service experiences. Especially as companies interact directly with consumers via diverse digital channels, every digital transformation initiative needs to prioritise the quality of the customer experience. In fact, customer service should be front and centre of any digital transformation initiative. ServiceNow is ideally suited to help transportation and logistics companies develop and manage modern customer experiences. Through ServiceNow apps like Customer Service Management, businesses can build integrated, multi-channel service options with intelligent routing. ServiceNow also automates the process of prioritising customer issues based on business criticality. Finally, ServiceNow CSM can proactively identify and notify customers about issues that customers aren’t even aware of yet; this proactive approach to customer service can reduce many individual, duplicated requests for service—and simultaneously boost customer satisfaction.
Digital transformation is a make-or-break prospect for transportation and logistics companies. Although the stakes are high, success is within reach for every business. The keys to ensuring successful digital transformation are to align IT projects to business priorities, deliver value rapidly, and build diverse customer service channels that take a proactive approach to service.