Logistics Data and Decision-Making: The Importance of Metrics

October 22, 2020

When it comes to logistics data, it’s hard to see how we could work without it. Literally, in the case of Capacity, as it cuts to the core of everything we do and the value proposition we offer to our clients.

In a recent interview with supply chain software experts Tecsys, our CSO Thom Campbell highlights the essential nature of data and metrics to our services.

“It’s our job to know the challenges of each [fulfillment] channel and understand how to bring together the processes, material handling equipment, and technology we need to execute to the highest standards,” says Campbell, who has witnessed incredible changes in his industry over the past 20 years. The past five years, in particular, have yielded phenomenal growth, in which time Capacity processed its 20 millionth order in late 2018. Less than two years later, it passed the 30 million mark!

Suffice it to say, it would have been almost impossible to manage such accelerated order processing without the help of new technology. With a passionate, experienced team already in place, Capacity has added tech from tier-one providers to empower that team to keep orders moving efficiently and on-time.

Logistics Data and Decision-Making

In an industry tasked with keeping cargo and orders moving, data is the grease that keeps the wheels of logistics turning. Without logistics data, the supply chain would be something of a long tunnel, in which visibility is minimal and clients wait for their customer orders to come out the other side. Most of the time that works out, but when that motion slows or grinds to a halt, they want immediate visibility of what’s going on.

Capacity plays a role in providing that transparency for its clients, first by capturing data every step of the way, then turning it into meaningful information for reports and the company’s proprietary client portal. From Computer-Aided Design (CAD) programs to business intelligence platforms, Campbell emphasizes that Capacity helps key stakeholders glean meaning from logistics data that might otherwise be too dense to aid decision-making:

“We use tools to understand what the data is telling us. The data is always telling you something, but sometimes you must transform your mindset through the visual language you use to look at the information.”

However, even against this backdrop of extensive data gathering and analysis, Campbell reminds us that there’s no substitute for being present and talking to those vital team members who actually handle orders:

“Follow one of the most important methodologies for learning how to do these projects better: go down to the floor and see how it’s being done.”

Addition Through Subtraction

While technology has the potential to get complex and convoluted, Capacity’s job is to take that complexity and simplify critical order processing activities for its clients. Campbell summarizes his company’s tech additions in recent years with a brief cinematic analogy:

“There is an old movie, “Chariots of Fire,” where the British runner interviews a potential coach and he wants to know what the coach is going to do for him. The coach lays out several shilling coins like the path the runner will take and says, “I’m going to remove these two coins.” That’s essentially what we do every day.”

Capacity logistics data portal

Armed with appropriate technology to speed up order processing and the logistics data to inform strategic fulfillment decisions, Capacity has combined the team and technological means to remove supply chain headaches that can distract brands from serving their customers.

Read the full interview with Tecsys here.

If you could use some help improving your fulfillment system through enhanced data analysis and reporting, contact us today