Optimised productivity is vital for industrial and logistics businesses to compete; in the Warehousing and Support Activities for Transportation industry division, it was found that the average output per hour in 2018 (£27.49) was 35.66 per cent higher than in 1997 (£20.26), which shows that employers are chasing efficiency gains as much as they can— and succeeding at it.
This notion is reinforced by the fact that, for logistics businesses in 2018, profit margins were only two per cent. Considering that 192,000 out of 192,525 of logistics enterprises are SMEs, minor efficiencies can have a massive impact on the bottom line, particularly over the Christmas peak season, when companies can expect to have their busiest period.
From getting your information organised properly to scanning barcodes efficiently, here are a few apps that will help you and your team over the peak season.
Issues you face: In today’s industrial and logistics worksites, barcodes are an essential part of the workflow, from stock-taking to processing returns. However, barcodes aren’t without their issues; factors such as poor lighting conditions, peeling, and distance can all corrupt a barcode scan, possibly resulting in a missent order or the need for another stock count, time-consuming additions to your team’s day-to-day tasks.
How Scandit helps: Scandit overcomes the problems associated with barcodes, simplifies the process for users and offers new features to improve productivity. Users are able to scan barcodes in poorly lit conditions, process multiple barcodes simultaneously and take advantage of its augmented reality feature, providing important details at every stage of the workflow.
Cost: Free to download and test, subscription model for full usage.
Issues you face: When juggling multiple tasks, it’s common to feel that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. A team meeting overruns, you finish admin faster than expected, you have to send some last-minute emails; it all adds up. Identifying how you divide up your time can be invaluable to making your week more productive, the definition of working smarter, not harder.
How Toggl helps: Toggl is a freemium time tracking app that helps you understand just what you’re doing with your working day. Just press “start” when you begin a task and “stop” when you end, then your time will be logged. Additionally, you can automatically track your time when you open assigned programmes or use specific keywords. Toggl’s clear and comprehensive reporting mechanism allows you to make sense of the data it compiles.
Cost: Free for up to five users, then subscription per user per month
Issues you face: Email, CRM, office suite, cloud storage; each piece of software serves an important purpose, but simply accessing them can be timely and confusing for one reason: passwords. In recent years, the focus on online security has increased, with the introduction of 2-step verification and the demand for increasingly complicated passwords. You don’t want to use the same simple password, and noting them down on paper is neither safe nor secure, but maintaining effective security conveniently is now possible.
How LastPass helps: LastPass is a password manager that gives you secure access to your passwords across your devices. Lastpass’ security check feature finds weak and duplicated passwords, and generates strong ones. Using the autofill feature, you’re able to add financial information to speed up online purchases, while the easily searchable vault allows you to see your stored information. No more dithering over logging in.
Cost: Free for a personal account, with tiers from £3.07 per user per month for businesses.
Issues you face: In a fast-paced industrial and logistics business, you’ll have to take notes to deal with the weight of information, from project updates to a prospective client’s details. However, effectively collating miscellaneous information can be a challenge, potentially delaying timely and accurate decision-making, hampering you and your workplace’s productivity.
How Evernote helps: Evernote is the holy grail of notetaking. You can make, organise and sync notes across platforms, thematically group your writings in Notebooks, scan your handwriting and convert it into text, and seamlessly create to-do lists. You can use the app to keep yourself organised or adopt the Business version for your team, keeping everyone on the same page.
Cost: Basic – free, Premium – £4.99 per month, Business – £10.99 per user per month.