Transport and logistics companies are turning to new secure mobile text messaging technologies, similar to those used in critical health, and highly secure government settings, to improve turnaround and communications.
Soprano Design – one of the world’s leading developers of secure enterprise workflow messaging – reports the transport and logistics sector as a key adopter of secure mobile technologies, enabling them to increase their operational capacity, lessen risks and save significant time and money across the chain.
CEO of Australia’s Soprano Design, Horden Wiltshire, said secure messaging is a significant game-changer for the logistics and supply chain sector as hacking and IP theft become more prevalent.
“We know from a number of our international clients that the sector is always under pressure to improve operations and remove costs caused by inefficient work place practices and at the same time reduce risk,” he said.
“Secure workflow messaging means freight carriers can use a secure texting environment to automate, simplify and speed up tasks. It’s significantly quicker and more secure than emailing, and far more flexible and versatile than legacy paging and text alerting systems.”
Mr Wiltshire said the flexibility of secure enterprise workflow messaging – which is deployed as an app on a person’s mobile – means businesses can automate processes to best address their own challenges.
“Businesses use the technology to improve inventory management, respond more quickly to critical equipment failures, and better track product shipments, whether they’re in transport via air, road, rail or sea,” he said.
“At the pointy end of logistics, businesses are reducing failed delivery attempts because they can easily communicate with customers to confirm and change deliveries.”
Global research shows the pressure on transport and logistics companies to look for ways to save time and money across the chain.
Mr Wiltshire said the research report, Unlocking Hidden Cost in the Distribution Centre, found that eight of 10 managers in supply and distribution are seeking cost savings, and those savings need to be, on average, 20 per cent across their business.
Undertaken by Intermec Technologies Corporation, the research canvassed 250 senior managers across the US, UK, France and Germany.
“The research estimates that up to 3,000 hours per year are lost at distribution centres due to inefficient processes. Nine out of 10 managers see new technologies as the answer to combat this,” he said
“Our own logistics’ client feedback shows that business measures time savings in seconds because improvements in a task – one that is done over and over by multiple workers – can ultimately save hundreds, if not thousands, of hours.”
Soprano has taken its learnings from other time-critical sectors, such as health, and global trends in security to develop tools applicable to transport and logistics.
Increasing security breaches in recent years has seen business and government move away from consumer messaging to these more secure business-grade messaging solutions.
According to Mr Wiltshire, hacking and blackmail has made boards sit up and take action including in the logistics sector with the escalation of parcel delivery via e-commerce.
“It’s increasingly common for people to send sensitive information via a messaging app but in business it’s essential those messages are secure. Our response has been to develop what is now world leading secure messaging with the integrated work flow options,” he said.
Soprano’s GAMMA application uses encryption and mission-critical security features including a PIN-protected app, remote wipe and vanishing messages. Its workflow automation capability combines secure mobile chat with simple workflow forms that use button and menu-based user-interfaces
Mr Wiltshire said, as an example, a number of their logistics sector companies manage multi-location events for major global brands.
“One particular client integrates all aspects of packaging and distribution – from warehousing printed materials and product to delivering them to multiple urban and rural locations across their market.”
“These companies needed a streamlined secure merchandising, administrative and controlling system so that merchandisers can access the right product and make decisions quickly with clients.”
E-commerce has become a significant driver of the logistics business in the Australian market.
And the rapid escalation in online sales, particularly of computers, smart phones and digital television sets, has not only increased the demands on logistics companies but significantly heightened the need for high level secure communications between fleet managements and vehicles.
Stock orders, including brand and product details as well as destination delivery instructions and timing, are highly vulnerable.
Interception and hacking of emails and messaging apps is allowing organised crime to target delivery locations, homes and businesses as well as warehouses holding millions of dollars of major brand products.