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6 Important Tips For Effective Logistics Performance

The key to running a successful business lies in its effective management. And when it comes to handling a logistics or supply chain business, it is important to ensure a smooth flow of information as well as the flow of the products through good management. 

Logistics management includes the management of everything in the supply chain from the raw material to its warehousing, the labor administration, the transportation of the final product to the information flow, all come under it.

Why is it Necessary:

An efficient logistics management with a proactive and a well-defined strategy can help build better customer relationships, add reliability across the whole supply chain and minimize the need for excess inventory

Along with improving delivery times and reducing errors, there are some additional things to improve in the supply chain.

Source: blog.tranzact.com

What to do?

In order to streamline the logistics operation and bring perfection within the network, you should consider various factors. 

Following some measures will not only help the organization to improve the output but will also help earning a competitive edge in the market.

Some of the suggestions are discussed below:

1. Proper Planning and Setting Goals

The first and foremost thing to consider is planning the whole logistics procedure.

Every step in the freight forwarding process should follow a proper vision. From manufacturing goods and storage facilities to their safety and timely delivery to the final customer – everything should be done according to a proper pre-planned scheme.

With proper planned management of time, transportation, and other parameters, the maximum profit can be earned. Most importantly, no compromises should be made when considering the standard. 

For better tracking, quality control, and timely delivery, the schedule should be followed strictly.

energenetics.com

What to Look Out For:

No matter how well planned the procedure is, the chances of unforeseen circumstances can’t be discarded.

Problems related to the products, transportation, time, etc. can always surface. It is always recommended to have a backup emergency plan to handle such situations.

2. Training of Staff

The success chances of the plan are majorly dependent on how efficient the company staff is. This takes us to the next important factor that can help an organization to maximize their profits i.e. a well-trained staff.

Role of HR:

The staff must be well trained in managing all orders and information by utilizing modern techniques. 

This can be achieved by a positive and active role of HR. This department is responsible for training the staff according to what is required and prepares the employees for it.

Source: mclogisticsllc.com

Notices And Flyers:

Moreover, brochures, paper notices posted on different walls of the workplace and frequent training sessions for the workers can prove beneficial for their performance and efficiency in their working ability. 

During the working process, it is necessary that each worker and official must be made aware of the new policies. Their understanding must be increased to the level that is easy for them to grasp so that any product related loss could be avoided.

Proper Handling Of Products:

The handling of edible goods, fragile items and chemicals is a really sensitive job. The handler must be conscious while the special items are being packed and being labeled. All these things must be carried out in an updated way.

3. Adoption of Technology

As time passes, new technology makes its way into the homes and markets. In order to keep up, it is necessary to incorporate the latest technology to handle modern-day problems and tackle modern-day demands. 

The AI and technology can assist in efficiently working in high volumes and low margins, as well as in performing multiple payments and meeting time-sensitive deadlines.

Blockchain:

Blockchain which is a modern technology that can help in handling larger amounts of data structured or unstructured collected at various stages of the supply chain. 

This can help in operating the cash control including the customer and supply cash control.

Voicebots and Chatbots:

Automated voice bots and chatbots are also playing a significant role in customer services as well as in classifying the conditions and provisions.

Source: datapine.com

Automation In Warehouses And Vehicle:

The automated warehouses and vehicles have made the handling of larger volumes of products much easier. Sorting, packaging, and organizing materials are much easier with the help of technology.

Inventory Management:

Nowadays, one of the useful technologies in the supply chain is the Radio Frequency Identification RFID. The tracking of the inventory has become more efficient as a chip is placed on each product thus improving visibility. It simplifies the whole process with reduced costs.

Source: qstockinventory.com

Accessibility:

The cloud application by securing all the data online can streamline your entire supply chain and as it is accessible through the Internet, you can access the report from anywhere in the world and keep everyone on the same page.

Use of Social Media:

Social media not only helps you to keep a better relationship with clients, but you can also analyze and get feedback from your clients or manufacturers, etc. 

4. Proper Warehouse And Inventory Management  

It is recommended for the logistics management to keep an inventory that is suitable for the type and quantity of products the company is handling. 

Suitable Environment:

Every warehouse should be designed in accordance with the type of goods that it is required to store. 

For instance, dairy products, medicines, and some food items often need a refrigerated environment and wheat products like grains need to be stored in a moisture-free place. 

The storage facilities should always satisfy the type of product.

Vertical Columns:

To utilize the maximum capacity of the warehouse, a well-organized product storage is a must. A vertical column storage is recommended for the efficient use of the space in the warehouse. 

Source: srs-i.com

Inventory Size:

If the inventory is smaller in size, it can lead to a supply shortage and also a delay in the orders. And if it’s too large, it will cost you a lot of extra money. 

Hence, a manageable and accurate size of the inventory is recommended to make the management profitable. Moreover, a good inventory management system can add efficiency in controlling the stock levels and help anticipate customer demands saving time, cost, and the customer loyalty. 

It should also follow the modern and up to dated packaging trends.

5. Use of Data and Predictive Analytics

To re-define the standard operating procedure, you should apply a check-and-examine method.

Metrics Analysis:

It is crucial to analyze the cost, cycle, and service metrics with the help of feedback and the latest software. The reports should be prepared and submitted to the relevant department on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis and they must be brief and highly analytical.

It will provide a guideline to the respective related department.

Source: datapine.com

Predictive Analysis:

The latest technology enables logistics companies to make predictive analysis assisting in managing unexpected situations and solve a number of problems that can rise in the process of freight forwarding.

Addressing Problems:

You need to revisit your freight-related problems and address them with a better understanding. 

Occasional assessment of the performance along with the critical evaluation of the entire operation process can guide you better to which areas require improvement. 

Besides that, the customer-related analysis can provide delivery reports and information regarding the popular demands which will help you in improving or introducing the policies.

6. Good and Efficient Customer Relationship

While a good and quick performance of the customer support not only leaves a better impression on the customer, it also enhances the credibility of the business impact. 

Source: giaohangtie.wordpress.com

Getting technical help can revolutionize productivity and profitability but improved communication with the customer and real-time delivery increases the credibility of the company and strengthens the loyalty with the customer. 

Applying some or all these tips will ultimately enhance the business scope on both ends.

Best Ways to Track User Behavior in Mobile App

If you have developed your app, one of the crucial things you need to pay attention to is user behaviour. 

It is important to track KPIs like downloads and retention but do you know how your users behave?Do you know what your users like or dislike with your app?

Such information helps you to ‘see’ how users interact with your mobile app and to improve user experience.

Users will abandon the app for the various issues (complex registration, app crashes or speed, too many or too few push notifications etc.) or use gestures in a totally unexpected way and tracking their behaviour can provide you with a valuable insight on what features of your app are preferred or disliked. 

If you use the right methods and tools, you can understand your users much better and improve your mobile app as well as increase conversion rates. 

Session Recordings

The best way to actually SEE how your users interact with your app is to track user behaviour – that’s where session recordings come in handy. 

Session recordings show you exactly how users interact with your app from the moment they launch it for the first time until they leave the app. 

This way, you’ll see your app through users’ eyes, with every tap and gesture they make – you can track user behaviour at any stage of app’s lifecycle.

Source: business2community.com

Session recordings provide a full analysis of every action taken by the user which makes it easier to understand users’ pain points better. 

For example, if users quickly abandon or uninstall your app, the session recordings will alert you and pinpoint any hidden problems that may harm your conversion rates or user retention.

Pro Tip:

  • The first session recordings are important to understand how users navigate your onboarding process or what triggers them to abandon your app after a single use. If your sessions are under 20 seconds, you can identify the reasons for abandonment thus increase the retention.
  • Monitor your long-term customers’ sessions and learn from them what works well in your app or what can be optimized

Touch Heatmaps

If you want to understand how the users navigate your app, how they explore each menu, screen or gestures, it would be wise to use a qualitative tool like touch heatmaps.

Touch heatmaps produce a color spectrum of collected users’ interactions on each app screen. These maps provide instant insight on how your users interact with each screen enabling you to monitor user behaviour and understand the issues. 

Source: quota.com

Touch heatmaps can be filtered by various parameters like the unresponsive gestures on the screen or the first gestures users made on a screen etc. For example, monitoring unresponsive gestures for example can quickly reveal any usability issue that causes the same. 

Some of the reasons can be ambiguous design, error in resolution calculations or mislaid elements on the screen etc. 

Pro Tip:

  • You should check the features that first catch users’ attention on every screen and only then optimize them appropriately.
  • Try to identify the unresponsive gestures to improve gesture UX and observe the final gestures on each screen to see if they make sense or indicate any potential problem. (e.g.  if someone taps the ‘BACK’ button instead of completing the registration process).

Navigation Paths

Navigation paths provide a detailed map of your app’s user journey – it appears as sunburst visualization where the center indicates that the user launched the app and then the sunburst expands to show the first screen the user navigated to. It displays the screens from the first one to the second one and so on. This is especially important as it facilitates detecting interesting or problematic user journeys. 

For example, if you detect users that go back and forth between the same screens, it may be a sign that they are confused about the navigation or may have encountered a usability issue.

Source: clevertap.com

Navigation paths can help you to pin a starting point apart from the ‘open app’ to see journeys from any screen in your app, even popups. These navigation paths can also guide you when choosing the most relevant session recording to review. 

Pro Tip

  • You can improve navigation by identifying user journeys that show confusion as well as understanding why users abandoned the app by comparing new vs. returning users.
  • In case you have an eCommerce mobile app, you can assess these paths from the cart screen to understand where users go if they don’t complete the payment.

Conversion Funnels

Conversion funnels can show you the exact spot where the users drop out of the funnel.  

Conversion funnels track user behaviour in the areas of your app that is the most relevant for your company bottom line: onboarding, payment and in-app purchases. 

Source: webhopers.com

A powerful approach would be to combine the conversion funnels and session recordings – conversation funnels provide excellent data (completion time of each step etc.) and combining it with session recordings may increase your chances to successfully improve conversion rates.  

Pro Tip:

  • Monitor the recordings of your users as they drop out of the funnel and try to understand what made them fail if you want to increase in-app purchase.
  • Another good advice is to assess the average time between each step of the funnel.
  • Monitor conversion funnels and session recordings for registration, login and onboarding to increase retention rates and improve the onboarding process.

Action Cohorts 

Action cohorts enable you to analyze any user action in relation to another revealing user behaviour trends and engagement over any period of time. 

Such information can enable you to understand the relationship of your app and the users as well as what kind of behaviour you’d like to see with users and how to incite it. 

Source: business2community.com

Action cohorts allow you to analyze the time between the initial and the following actions – it enables you to track user behaviour between two specific actions over a certain period of time. 

Pro Tip:

  • You should try to understand the entire navigation process, from the moment users completed onboarding to the moment they’ve created an account. You will be able to track the relationship between users’ first and second in-app purchases as well as the behaviour of the new users.
  • Increase user retention by monitoring cohorts of users who created an account and then abandoned the app to understand the behaviour better and improve any possible faults.

Best tools for tracking User Behaviour for Mobile Apps

If you’d like to get deeper insight on how users behave with your app or what are their likes or dislikes, there are many tools on the market which can help you with it. These tools can help you to see how users interact with your app as well as to improve and optimize your app for your users. 

Some of the tools are: 


Google Analytics for Mobile Apps

Google Mobile App Analytics is a free tool which you can use for Android and iOS platforms. You can also choose a premium version which is intended for enterprises with more detailed information. 

Google Analytics primarily measures user acquisition, activation and revenue. You just need to sign in with your Google account and start using it. 

You can set goals for your users and check if they are accomplished as well as track the goal flow. 

Some of the features are:

  • The number of users and sessions
  • The money spent by users
  • Session duration
  • Operating systems, device models and locations of your users
Source: google.developers.com

Mixpanel

Mixpanel helps with tracking your mobile app and analyzing how users engage with your product to be able to re-engage them with more targeted information in the future. 

You can get further insights of the users’ journey not only on your mobile app but also on desktop and mobile web. 

No code is required to track the app’s metrics so it is really easy to use. 

Features cover:

  • engagement
  • retention analytics
  • conversion funnels
  • A/B testing and
  • automatic insights.
Source: mixpanel.com

Appsee (acquired by ServiceNow)

Appsee provides qualitative analytics enabling you to actually ‘see’ how your users behave while using the app and understand each action they take – in short, you can see if the user was puzzled during onboarding or if any issue triggered him to leave the app. 

Touch heatmap features expose the areas where users interact the most or the least per each screen. The heatmaps also show unresponsive gestures giving you a chance to quickly identify any usability issues and optimize your app for better user experience. 

Some of the features are:

  • Realtime In-App analytics
  • Touch heatmaps
  • User journey tracking 
  • Realtime alerts
  • Navigation Paths
Source: apptamin.com

Localytics

Localytics offers a variety of features – from extensive quantitative analytics to smart tagging and more. 

It gives you an understanding on how to drive targeted engagement across the user lifecycle. 

Localytics supports Android, iOS, Windows, Blackberry and HTML5.

Some of the features:

  • App usage information
  • Screenflow
  • A/B testing 
  • Funnels and segments
Source: localytics.com

Clevertap

CleverTap offers deep insights on user behaviour, thorough segmentation and personalized messaging. 

It enables you to engage your users with personalized push notifications and in-app messages to better understand users’ preferences as well as to track user uninstalls to better retarget them. 

Some of the features are:

  • Audience Analytics (funnels, cohorts, uninstalls, user journey)
  • Automated Segmentation
  • Omnichannel Marketing
  • Campaign Optimization
Source: clevertap.com

Flurry 

Flurry analytics is extensive and detailed  where you can view data of your app usage. It can be used by businesses as it monitors user interactions across multiple mobile applications. 

Dashboard covers a variety of information like app usage, audience, events etc. It can appear somewhat confusing for the first time yet the analytics provide extensive data to better optimize your app. 

Some of the features are:

  • Retention analytics
  • User Sessions
  • Events and Segmentation
  • User paths 
  • Funnels
Source: flurry.com

Apptentive 

Apptentive analytics will help you to uncover strengths and weaknesses in your user experience – it helps to listen to, engage with and retain your users. 

The product intelligently engages customer segments, triggers users to take action through in-app messages, surveys etc. Apptentive helps to boost your app ratings, drive downloads and build customer loyalty. 

Some features include:

  • Sentiment analysis
  • Analytics
  • Rates and Reviews
  • Surveys 
Source: apptentive.com

Final Word

If you’ve built your mobile app, you should work on popularization of your app – to do so, you must engage your users and the best way to do that is to track their app behaviour and understand any potential usability issues or reasons why they like or dislike your app.

There are many more tools to help you to track your users’ behaviour  when using your app so consider each tool’s pros and cons and choose the  one matching your needs for the best outcome possible. 

The Best Tools to Build an Augmented Reality Mobile App

Who can forget the time when the world went frenzy with Pokemon Go? 

You might have a hard time finding someone who was not familiar with the app that erupted back in 2016. The Pokemon Go app changed the lives of an average mobile user and made Augmented Reality (AR) a household name. When the craze ballooned, even the big establishments like shopping centres around the world adopted the technological advancement to elevate their visitors’ shopping experience. 

While Pokemon Go absorbed most smartphone users around the globe and presented AR within the entertainment industry, few people know that AR is also used in different sectors like healthcare, architecture and eCommerce.

Source: phys.org

In eCommerce in particular, the potential of AR is massive and seamless especially when it comes to customer experience and engagement. This has made many big brands notice AR and its way to create an impact in their promotional activities. 

Experts have forecasted the market for AR to grow to $215 billion by 2021 and that’s why big corporations like Google, Apple and Facebook are heavily investing in AR technologies. 

Small businesses are expected to follow as it doesn’t only captures the audience’s attention but also increases engagement that can turn into a sales conversion. 

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality or AR is considered by many to be one of the promising innovations in digital technology. Accordingly, Augmented Reality or AR is the technology that adds layers of digital information to the physical world. While it is a growing trend now, it still has to unleash its full potential. 

AR is an interactive experience for most users – it involves a real-world environment adorned with computer-enhanced images providing real-time interaction to any user. It is an interwoven environment of an actual physical world and a simulated virtual object.   

Source: codingdojo.com

Types of Augmented Reality Mobile App

There are different types of augmented reality mobile applications on the market today, but these are the most common: Marker-based AR  and Location-based AR. 

Depending on your need and your niche market, you can decide which AR mobile application to build. 

Location-based AR

This type of AR app relies on GPS and other position detectors like digital compasses that can determine your location and create AR objects. 

Industries like tourism utilize location-based AR applications to help visitors learn about historical sites. Other sectors like education, advertising or healthcare use this development. The Pokemon Go game that made people go out on the streets is a sample of a location-based reality app. 

Source: intellify.com

Marker-based AR

Market-based AR applications use a camera or a portable device to detect a pattern or a QR code before the app overlays digital information on the marker. 

The app renders a 3D image, video, another image or even a scene that you can interact with by using your device. This development is widely used by different brands to make their product stand out. 

IKEA is one of the market leaders to leverage on this technological advancement by developing a furniture AR app that allows prospects to preview a piece of furniture before buying it. 

Source: youtube.com

Best Tools To Build Augmented Reality App

If you are doubtful about AR development due to the costs it may incur (or you wish to learn AR development), you can try and build an AR app yourself with the help of the following tools: 

1. Vuforia

Source: vuforia.com

Vuforia toolkit is considered as one of the best platforms when it comes to AR development. It offers an impressive set of useful features that make it a top choice by many developers and supports both Android and iOS. 

Some of its features which can create excellent performing AR apps include recognition of multiple objects, supported text recognition, customization and creation of a 3D geometric map with its Smart terrain feature. 

Price: Comes with a free version but offers a paid version with options starting at $99 per month. 

2. ARToolkit

Source: artoolkitx.org

ARToolkit is another popular option as an open-source tool for AR-based applications developments. 

Though it is entirely free, it offers advanced features found in several paid tool kits. 

The rich set of features it provides like the support for both single and dual cameras was found extremely useful by developers. It even incorporates Digital compass and GPS, which makes the creation of location-based AR almost effortless.  

Price: FREE

3. Google ARCore

Source: https://developers.google.com/ar/

Google is undeniably one of the top leaders when it comes to digital innovations. With millions of users under its belt, it has also allowed developers to have another free option when it comes to AR development. While it is also free, ARCore is also loaded with cool features making it an excellent AR tool. 

Features of ARCore include monitor tracking, light estimation and environment understanding, among others. 

Price: FREE

4. MAXST

Source: maxst.com

Another leading AR development toolkit, MAXST offers two kinds of software for developers. You can either create a 2D SDK that tracks images or 3D SDK which recognizes the environment. The 3D option has features like SLAM and occlusion effect while 2D feature comes with multiple image recognition. 

Price: Comes with a free version but also offers a commercial license. 

5. Apple ARkit

Source: apple.com

When Apple released iOS11, it introduced its own AR development tool kit called ARKit

What makes it one of the best are its features like VIO or Visual Inertial Odometry which can track the environment without any additional calibration. It can also detect 2D objects that allow interaction with developers and can integrate with third-party tools like Unreal Engine. 

ARKit was announced in July 2017 and is compatible with any Apple devices starting from iPhones 6s or devices released not later than 2015. 

Price: FREE

6. Kudan

Source: kudan.com

Considered as Vuforia’s most significant competition, Kudan offers features that are similar to those of Vuforia. Its main features include high-quality 3D graphics, however it only supports iOS and Android platforms.

Price: Available for free but offers a paid version for $1,500 per year or a licensed version.

7. Deep AR

Source: deepar.ai

Although DeepAR is not as popular as the others listed here, it also has cool features making it a great player in AR development. It can support location real-time tracking, facial detection and it is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. 

Price: Starts free for ten monthly active users.

Final Thoughts

The demand for AR technology has gained wider recognition however it still has to unleash its full potential.

While big enterprises have already started to leverage the technology advances, small businesses can also find AR to be an adequate tool in making their brand stand out among the competition. 

Based on what you want to accomplish with your AR development, consider your app’s functionality and the toolkits’ pricing to make sure your result is an outstanding AR mobile application.