After the digital revolution, data (or big data) has truly transformed the professional world. Managing and interpreting data has become a key competitive factor. Logistics software such as WMS and TMS can both collect data and provide dashboards.
Data management for greater competitiveness
The technological tools available today make it possible to collect an incalculable amount of data, process it and analyze it to gain detailed knowledge of an activity. Logistics is no exception to the rule, especially since the sector's complexity provides it with numerous indicators for assessing performance, and hence profitability. Today, it is no longer necessary to recruit data or IT specialists to carry out these analyses. Many software packages available on the market, even as Software-as-a-service, offer powerful tools for gathering data, sorting and analyzing it according to criteria to be defined, and then suggesting measures to be implemented. This is particularly true of WMS (Warehouse Management System) software, which focuses on all possible logistics indicators to help improve warehouse productivity.
Definition of logistics KPIs
Performance indicators are measurable, quantifiable data that show the efficiency of a process. By comparing it with another period in the company's history, or with benchmark indicators, it is possible to identify positive or negative trends in controlled processes, and act accordingly.
Calculate fleet utilization by comparing actual capacity with utilization
Types of indicators according to logistics phase
In the field of logistics, performance indicators (or KPIs, Key Performance Indicators) are numerous, since they cover every stage of the activity. The main indicators concern the following areas:
Supply or purchasing
Storage (space utilization)
Inventory (stock management)
In fact, the aim is to obtain as much precise data as possible in order to improve productivity and optimize costs, without compromising service quality. In transport, for example, fleet utilization can be calculated by comparing actual capacity (in volume or kilos of goods) with utilization. Knowing the volume or weight of goods transported per period is also the best way of adjusting the fleet to actual needs.
Analyze and understand logistics indicators
The aim is not simply to accumulate data. You need to know how to select and interpret them. Knowing the results obtained at a given point in time is interesting, but it's more interesting to compare them with those obtained over similar periods, in a comparative perspective
If figures are available, comparisons can also be made with competitors in order to better assess performance in relation to the sector. While not all companies disclose their figures, the largest groups often do, as do companies that are up for sale or liquidation.
Finally, since it is desirable but difficult to improve in all areas, the analysis of logistics indicators should make it possible to target the sectors in which improvements would be most relevant, either because the margin for possible progress is significant, or because the results obtained are really below those expected. The fleet utilization rate is an interesting example: a company with a transport capacity of 100 m3 (i.e. 5 vehicles of 20 m3) but which only transports a volume greater than this figure two months out of twelve should question the need to keep its fleet in its current state, considering on the one hand its real cost (maintenance, insurance, petrol, etc.) and on the other hand the gains it brings to the company. While waiting for the business to develop, it might make sense to reduce the fleet in order to cut costs
This example is admittedly simplistic (especially as volume can be a misleading indicator), but it does show that data is nothing without relevant analysis.
Which tools to use to illustrate your logistics indicators
WMS software, mentioned in the introduction, has the advantage of being easy to learn and adapt to all types of company. They can process all conceivable data, but also only those you select on the basis of your experience or previous results
Designed to help you optimize your business, they are like virtual logistics consultants, but always available. The digital revolution has made productivity tools available to everyone, and it would be a shame to miss out.
There are many logistics KPIs, and choosing the most relevant ones in the context of an organization is a strategic decision for achieving logistics excellence.
The boom in e-commerce, omnichannel sales, changing purchasing habits and consumer expectations are all having an impact on logistics, and especially on warehousing, which is on the front line. BEXT WS frees you from unforeseen events such as stock-outs, discrepancies and picking errors; the solution optimizes your m2, your resources and digitalizes your processes for impeccable customer service.