Exclusive new research by Transport Intelligence (TI) and Kewill, provider of solutions that simplify global trade and logistics, has confirmed that Transport and Logistics Service Providers have had to implement cost saving measures and make operational efficiencies in response to the economic climate. Yet implementation times and integration issues are often a cause for concern when deploying business software to support these changes.
The research, conducted among 873 supply chain professionals, revealed that implementing cost savings in the operation (73.1%) and realising operational improvements (56.3%) are the most frequently taken measures by transport and logistics companies to remain competitive during the recession. Optimising planning procedures was named by around half (49.1%) whilst almost one in three (31%) businesses admitted to dropping prices in response to the changed market situation.
Business software was identified as an important tool for managing operational costs by over 95% of transport and logistics companies yet significantly was also proving a barrier to responding to new opportunities in a third of cases (32.9%). Of these, the length of implementation time was cited as the main issue for the majority of respondents (79.2%) and, interestingly, posed more of a problem than financial implications (52.8%).
Crucially, when considering a new software solution, the ability to link to existing internal systems was the most important criteria (78.1%), with the ability to deliver the solution on time also high on the list of priorities (70.1%).
Jacquie Boast, Chief Operating Officer Europe at Kewill added, The results clearly indicate that businesses need software solutions that integrate easily with their existing systems, providing an all round picture of supply chain data and allowing them to respond quickly to changes in market conditions. The fact that implementation times are such a concern highlights the need for vendors to focus on phasing projects to ensure a rapid return on initial investment, securing wider business support for further phases which deliver wider business benefits and even greater returns.
Commenting on the findings, Joel Ray, Head of Consulting at TI, said: LSPs have had to adapt to survive the recent global downturn and those that have undertaken operational efficiency programmes are likely to emerge better placed to exploit the recovery. This survey highlights the important role that software can take to assist companies in reducing inefficiencies during these turbulent times.