Digitization is not a silver bullet that will immediately solve all labour problems, but it can be part of the solution. When thinking about how to reduce labour pressures, companies should consider how technology can help.
Two of the main reasons companies are reluctant to deploy new technologies are their lack of the skilled employees required and the high costs associated with implementing digital automation.
However, large investments are not necessary to get serious results. Even modest improvements, such as implementing systems that automate gate operations or warehouse-to-driver communication, can improve efficiency and reduce strain on employees.
Investing in technologies that reduce labour pressures can have many benefits for transport and logistics companies. First, it can improve efficiency and communication, two areas that are often key to reducing labour pressures. Second, it can help identify and resolve problems before they become full-blown crises. Finally, it can provide a competitive advantage for companies that adopt these systems.
Automate gate operations
When it comes to technology, there are many options for trucking companies. One option is to automate gate operations. Nowadays, innovative solutions can recognize the driver and automatically open and close the gate while recording information – truck, trailer and plate numbers – in an accessible digital entry and exit log.
Self-serve driver registration kiosks are becoming increasingly popular for automating driver identification and interaction. This type of kiosk allows drivers to check-in, receive their documents and be on their way within minutes.
These types of solutions, like Nuvoola’s, not only save time for drivers, but also significantly reduce the amount of time employees spend identifying, checking in and communicating with drivers.
If you have multiple locations and multiple entrances and exits, automation can reduce the cost of having many security guards present. A single agent can now oversee the entrances and exits of a site and react when necessary.
Automate document reading to avoid paper and errors
Technology and artificial intelligence can be used to scan documents which reduces paper management and the risk of human error. With technology, documents can be scanned and relevant information can be recognized by the system and then filed in the database. For example, a driver can present the bill of lading and the scanner reads the document. The system then recognizes the purchase order number, customer name, description and automatically enters this information into the database.
This makes it possible to keep track of important information, to have access to it in real-time without searching for it everywhere and ultimately, to improve efficiency.
Automate tasks and inventory
Another option is to invest in software that can automate some of the tasks currently performed by humans. For example, there is now software that can track inventory levels and automatically order supplies when they are low. This type of system can free up employees to perform other tasks, such as customer service.
If you store merchandise in a warehouse, another option is to invest in digital order-taking so that your customers can place orders online, autonomously. The system will be able to notify the picking team when appropriate, update the inventory and track the order.
If you store trailers or containers in your yard, the use of your security cameras combined with computer vision can help you view a complete inventory of the trailers or containers stored in your yard at all times. No need to go do yard walks to find what you are looking for.
As we’ve seen, technology can help reduce workforce strain in several ways. By automating tasks, increasing efficiency, and improving communication, companies can free up employees to perform other, more strategic, priority tasks. In addition, technology can help companies keep track of important information and improve decision-making.