21.9.2022 | Technology

Defend and invest

Safeguard your business from cyber criminals and ensure that technology is driving your business forward and not holding it back.

The transport and logistics industries are busier than ever. Rising customer demands for fast and flawless delivery to consumers and businesses is a great opportunity, yet it also poses challenges that must be overcome. Alongside global issues such as skilled labour shortages, rising fuel prices and changing emission standards, the need for supply chain visibility and real-time communication is critical to the success of the industry. The reliance on technology is hugely significant.

From integrating teams and programs, supporting better communication and collaboration, increasing visibility, boosting security and, more crucially, maximising efficiencies- technology has a vital role to play in the transport and logistics sector. Being one step ahead with your technology can ensure you gain a competitive advantage for your business. Utilising an IT Services Buyers Guide to find all the key components you should consider when talking about your technology is a great place to start. Here, we detail just one aspect and show why having a clear robust IT Strategy in place is helping those in the transport and logistics industry to thrive.

What’s your IT Strategy?
A strong IT strategy has the power to change everything in your business.

There are two main Technology areas that you should always focus on for your IT Strategy:

Defend is safeguarding your business from cyber criminals.

Invest is ensuring that technology is driving your business forward and not holding it back.

More and more business tasks in the transport and logistics sector have become totally dependent on great IT. Many businesses in the sector are shifting away from on-site software solutions to integrated cloud-based technologies incorporating warehouse management systems, transportation management systems and predictive analytics. Many are even looking into the concept of anticipatory shipping. It’s a rapidly changing environment, so you need to ensure you have a trusted, proactive IT support partner. You must also put your IT strategy and Technology Roadmap, including your data security, front and central to your long-term business planning.

IT Strategy/Technology Roadmap
Your IT Strategy is a key foundation to growing your business and ultimately can make the difference between enduring a difficult time or thriving through it. Throughout the last couple of years, the pandemic has meant you are already likely to have made some changes to your business strategy.

Some people look at the term ‘IT Strategy’ and think it’s just all about IT but, there’s so much more to it- we know how intrinsic IT is to the transport and logistics industry. Whilst your IT strategy will include a plan for your technology and the devices that you use, it is essentially more about your business and how your technology can support you to achieve all that you would like to in a positive way.

An IT strategy should be used by companies of all sizes. It should be part of your business plan, detailing your aims for the way technology will enable you to progress towards your objectives and your goals. It should always cover short, medium, and long-term targets and provide space for changes in case you need to modify them quickly.

But where do you start? One of the initial things to do is to take a look at your existing IT infrastructure. What’s working well? What’s not working as well and causing you pain points? Where do you think improvements could be made? Consider your growth. As your business progresses, will your technology grow with you? Or will you have to factor in new phone systems, applications, and even some networks?

IT has revolutionised the Transport and Logistics industry. Now computer-based information systems are used to gather information, process it and make the management procedures more efficient and effective. Every item that is shipped globally can be tracked at all stages, and because of this, problems with delivery or dispatching can be pinpointed any step of the way, providing a much more efficient service. Even data that is collected by IT can be analysed to predict trends to help improve service. Continuing to be proactive and look at ways in which you can continue to maximise your efficiencies is a vital part of your IT strategy.

Chat to the people that work in your business day to day. What would they change? What do they think works well? What impacts how efficient they are? Are there parts of your infrastructure that hinder what you do? Would moving to a different software save you time? Or are there any regular inputs that you could automate?

When you work with an IT Support Partner like Corbel Solutions your IT strategy will be entwined with the solutions that are right for you. They will make recommendations based on how you work and how you would like to work.

A technology roadmap is an element of your IT strategy and will help you budget. We all face unexpected costs and invoices, and it can be difficult to determine when they will occur. Alongside your IT Support partner, all costs can be forecasted, meaning your budget is fully justified, and value for money is ensured.

Another format that can be used within your technology roadmap is some metrics to measure how your infrastructure is working for you. Reflecting and analysing how good a particular system works and whether it’s delivering a good return on your investment.

Regular account meetings and strategic reviews should also be pencilled in. Your IT Strategy will be bespoke to you, at Corbel Solutions, we always recommend it at least every 6 months, and if you consider how much external factors influence and change the transport and logistics industry, it’s important to reflect on what’s going well and what is taking longer than you would have hoped for. Sometimes a slight tweak in your systems can really help towards reaching your goals.

In the transport and logistics sector, you cannot just focus on your service- you must consider the whole chain. From initial manufacturing through to delivery and dispatch, any single break in the system and the ripple effect impacts all the businesses within that chain. That’s why your IT Strategy doesn’t just focus on IT but on your whole business strategy. It’s about having an IT support partner, not an IT support company. Looking at the whole picture and being proactive enough to stop the disruptive issues from happening and, planning your steps to success.

That’s what a trusted IT support partner does. We take a proactive approach. Doing as much as possible in the background to prevent things from going wrong in the first place. Sometimes things will go wrong. Unfortunately, that’s inevitable when it comes to data and technology. Nevertheless, all of that proactive work means that we need to clean up much less than an IT support company that has not worked proactively.

A technology roadmap also gives clarity. From what investments are critical, what could be put on hold (if there was an issue) through to what could possibly be postponed or brought forward depending on your financial status.

Most importantly, it’s a proactive partnership that allows this in-depth planning to take place. Understanding your business, your team, and your processes. This dedication makes it easier for us to help you because we know (just as well as you do) where the business is going.

IT Strategy Action Points in Summary

– Define your business goals and objectives
– Engage your key stakeholders
– Review your existing infrastructure
– Create a technology roadmap that aligns with your business goals
– Define metrics

Corbel is hosting an Open Morning on Tuesday, 8th November 2022, from 9.30am- 12.00pm. We welcome all local businesses to meet us and see the hugely positive impact technology can have. Register here.

Corbel Solutions are IT Experts offering IT SupportCyber Security and Workplace Recovery services to businesses across Suffolk. If you would like further information, get in touch and email info@corbel.co.uk or give us a call on 01473 241515.