Key Insights [2021]: Our Digital Transformation Journey in the Logistics Industry

Digital transformation in logistics

The modern-day consumer has complex varied needs, and their expectations are changing, fast. But we all know that right? Amazon’s everything-now-centric model has not only shifted the way that we shop and interact with brands as consumers but more crucially how we behave as organisations. We know our target market and increasingly what their demands are – not just in terms of service quality. Today’s consumer expects personalisation to their needs.

We live in a world where change is the norm. Every product and service is now considered a fast-moving consumer good. We want what we want and we want it now. Delivery when and where we choose. And a buying experience that echoes the speed and convenience we’ve become accustomed to in other areas of our lives.

Picture the scene, it’s late 2018, the office (like many freight companies) was stacked with rate cards, printed emails, and detailed shipment information. The organisation’s IT infrastructure required an upgrade. I tasked the team with developing a roadmap for success by setting objectives that would increase the effectiveness of business operations by focusing on customer relations with the brand via digital transformation.

 

The challenge going digital

The point of my introduction in this insight was to highlight how consumer trends, attitudes and business is moving faster than ever before. Yes, the decision was taken to invest, streamline and rebuild our core IT operating systems but there is a bigger point to emphasise – If asked to describe their ideal customer, I believe 99.9% of brands could break down their pain points, buying habits and what drives them to act.

The issue for most brands, therefore, isn’t really about knowing your audience, it’s about how you service them and asking, “are we offering them a powerful experience?”. It is no secret the freight industry is undergoing a technological overhaul to improve the ageing internal systems and processes.

The challenge then has been for our Business Change team to be closely attuned to how customer decision journeys are evolving. In the broadest sense, this involved the simplification of processes to understand our customers’ needs and behaviours so we could build a platform that offered our customers individual scalability, flexibility, and visibility over their shipments.

 

Enter Horizon

Horizon is our one-stop shop to efficiently manage your global supply chain and multimodal transport requirements. Our unique platform provides advanced integration for tracking solutions such as real-time tracking, 24/7, 365 days a year, across the globe, covering all modes of transport for total visibility over the cargo. It doesn’t stop there either. Horizon offers a control tower view of your operations, a detailed breakdown of tracking information such as destination ETA, VAT calculations for goods, HS Code lookup, shipment information, reference numbers, real-time access to invoices and documentation, and much more.

 

Personalised reporting

The platform can offer a bespoke dashboard tailored to your exact requirements. Horizon empowers our users to plan sales, inventory, and operations, manage multiple warehouses with a delivery calendar, manage carriers and bookings, track & trace numerous shipments, reconcile payments and integrate all required documents. Horizon can coordinate and control your shipments to help drive profitability.

 

Dedicated account management

For today’s consumers, experience matters. And if the desired experience doesn’t match up to their expectations, you’ve got a problem. A big one. In our experience, consumers want proactive account management where change requests are listened to. So, how to keep pace? We use our Community Administrator – Vincent. Vincent works with our Horizon users daily, listening to feedback, analysing data, and unearthing ideas to innovate and develop a seamless experience that works for our consumers.

 

Final thoughts

On what sometimes feels like a digital merry-go-round, how do you, as an organisation, make sure that you are keeping up and putting your customer at the forefront of everything you do? How do you keep building those connections? Let alone keeping track of fresh compliance, channels and technologies?

These are questions I’ve asked myself a lot.

The answer differs for every organisation.

For the entire team at DG International, everything begins with knowing our customers, knowing who they are, where they are and how they think and feel. Our digital transformation in logistics has only just started but the focus from the team to deliver customer-centric solutions which challenge conventions and bring about meaningful change will continue.

Leah Samy

Head of IT & Business Change