3 Ways for Transportation and Logistics Companies to Reduce Costs - and Pay for Innovation

3 minute read

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the transportation and logistics industry has continued to grow and expand. In the warehouse and distribution industry, 28% of companies reported that their e-commerce channel grew by 40% or more in 2020, and 10% experienced growth of more than 60%, according to a 2020 survey from Peerless Research Group. This type of meteoric growth can be both a blessing and a curse. While more sales are of course beneficial, many transportation and logistics companies tend to struggle to grow their businesses in an efficient, optimized fashion. Often, they layer new systems and workflows onto existing ones, and rapidly grow their outsourcing and staffing levels without strategic planning. These factors combine to create excessive, avoidable costs across the business.

 

Reducing Costs and Freeing Up Resources for Innovation

Even as transportation and logistics companies are on the hook to rein in costs, they also are under pressure to make strategic investments in digital innovation. The transportation and logistics industry is changing rapidly, and companies cannot afford to lag behind the digital transformation curve. Fortunately, cost reduction and innovation are not mutually exclusive goals. Let’s explore three key ways that transportation and logistics companies can reduce costs while simultaneously paying for innovation:

  1. Use unified workflows and automation to drive efficiencies

    Transportation and logistics companies have traditionally struggled with expansive staffing footprints spread out across IT, legal, finance, HR, procurement, and so forth. Over time, these teams have developed their own, often manual, less-than-efficient workflows. These workflows aren’t necessarily compatible with one another—and that leads to friction, wasted time, and excess costs. The key to overcoming these challenges is to invest in streamlining, automating, and better integrating workflows across teams within an organization. Not only does modernizing workflows eliminate many operational challenges in one fell swoop, but these investments are themselves a strategic investment in digital innovation. For example, when transportation and logistics companies implement ServiceNow, the platform enables disparate teams to seamlessly integrate and automate their workflows. ServiceNow offers companies user-friendly tools like self-service portals that enable teams to efficiently access IT and HR support, as well as knowledge bases for improving teams’ ability to quickly retrieve accurate, complete answers to common questions and issues. 

  2. Replace multiple apps with a single unified system

    As transportation and logistics companies grow over time, they tend to add new systems and apps on top of existing ones. These apps aren’t all maintained the same way, nor are they necessarily capable of talking to one another. What this means is that a company could be on the hook to support a wide range of disconnected, siloed apps on a one-off basis, creating long-term maintenance obligations that significantly drive up costs. The solution to this challenge is to replace all of these siloed apps with a single unified system. ServiceNow is optimally suited to serve as a single source of truth for managing workflows across IT, HR, legal, finance, and field operations. Each of these teams gets modern, powerful apps built in ServiceNow, while the organization as a whole gets a single set of business apps that integrate seamlessly with one another—and thus can be managed and maintained collectively. Best of all, when a company invests in replacing multiple apps with a single unified system, the company is both reducing costs and simultaneously making a strategic investment in digital innovation.

  3. Replace laborious custom coding with visual workflows

    When transportation and logistics companies need an app to support new or updated workflows, the first place they tend to turn to is custom coding. The DevOps teams they retain are tasked with building custom solutions—typically from scratch, typically with a significant price tag, and not necessarily in adherence with best development practices. Fortunately, technology has advanced to a point where expert coding knowledge is no longer necessary to build workflows. Instead, platforms like ServiceNow are using low-code visual interfaces to create and manage a wide range of workflows and business processes. Not only does this intuitive, user-friendly solution eliminate costly and unnecessary DevOps work for transportation and logistics companies, but these companies also are simultaneously adopting the latest in transformative digital solutions. 

Cost reductions and digital innovation are not mutually exclusive goals for the transportation and logistics industry. In fact, companies can kill two birds with one stone when they unify and modernize workflows, replace their multiple legacy apps with a single unified system through which all apps are run, and replace their costly, coding-intensive workflows with user-friendly visual workflows.

To learn more about how to use ServiceNow to both cut costs and pay for digital transformation, please reach out to the ServiceNow workflow experts at Crossfuze. We’d be glad to show you how to reimagine workflows across your organization to achieve all of your strategic priorities.

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