How to improve your Logistics business in Kenya
With the recent launch of the Lamu Port, the transport sector is expected to improve with new routes developing, as well as having a great impact in the development of new job opportunities. This is expected to have a great impact not only to the big corporations in Kenya but also for the small and medium size enterprises in Mombasa. The logistics sector greatly contributes to the development of Kenya’s economy and thereby influencing the growth of SMEs. The Lamu port is expected to uplift the local communities by creating job opportunities of which already had been affected by Covid-19, the Standard Gauge Railway and the dwindling tourism industry fortunes.
With Covid 19 affecting how we run our daily businesses, contact less operation has become the norm, our daily activities have been affected a great deal and this has heavily impacted on the logistic sector which relies heavily on human contact to operate. Many smaller and medium size enterprise are struggling to keep up with their daily routines, and the management of their businesses can only be helped by the use of technology – easy to use yet affordable to the SMEs market.
With technology, Business owners can improve how they run their business at the comfort of their homes with less to worry about. For instance, there are automated systems which have been designed where you can track your cargo while on transit until it reaches its destination. Also, there are tracking systems where SMEs can install trackers to lorries and be able to monitor how the cargo is being transported or how the fleet and team is performing their activities. Unfortunately, not many SMEs can manage the cost of installation, repair and maintenance for such systems. Their costs are mostly prohibitive for SMEs.
As a result, it is noteworthy that the actions drivers take while they work behind the wheel can have a significant impact on the growth and sustainability of local SME logistics business.
By maintaining oversight of driver performance and monitoring vehicle activity, you can ensure that you’re able to operate more safely and efficiently. providing real-time tracking and allowing you to receive alerts when a member of your driver drives over a certain speed.
Lower Fuel Consumption: Whether you run a commercial shipping operation including trucks or manage a fleet of school buses, filling the gas tank is one of your biggest expenses. Control your fuel costs by eliminating fuel waste due to excessive speed. GPS speed monitoring help drivers be more conscious of their habits and behaviors, encouraging them to follow best practices out of every trip.
Reduce Risk and Expenses: Speeding is a well-known cause of automobile accidents. It increases the risk of damage to your trucks and cargo. It’s also more likely that an injury or fatality may occur. vehicle speed monitoring helps slow down fast drivers, resulting in fewer hazards and moving violations.
Real-time Alerts: Without a vehicle speed monitoring system in place, you’ll only know if your drivers have been going too fast in the event they get a ticket — and you may still have to wait weeks or months to find out. Commercial speed monitoring delivers instant alerts when vehicles travel above a pre-determined speed, so you can address poor driving habits immediately.
Truck Activity Reports: An isolated speeding incident isn’t the only indicator that a particular employee drives too fast. speed monitoring software collects historical data and provides detailed reports that allow you to see speeding trends. Warn drivers with a history of speeding, and make adjustments that can reduce your operating costs by thousands of shillings annually.
Data is a necessity if you want to optimize your driver performance, but you may be wondering types of information are worth paying attention to.
In our view of how to improve the performance of logistical business in Kenya, we highlight the following tips that will greatly improve how your work is optimal, reduces waste and loses while at the same time build a business that will withstand market shocks.
1. Driving Practices
Safety should be a priority for any transport manager, Safe driving habits can help drivers prevent accidents, helping your company avoid financial damages. Good driving practices can also help keep your vehicles in great shape. Wear and tear from poor driving behaviours can add up over time and cause your vehicles to require more maintenance and fail you sooner than necessary.
Drivers may feel like they’re being safe, but hard data is more reliable than general impressions and can help keep drivers accountable. Avoid unsafe driving practices like:
- Speeding; is the most factor that contributes to large truck crashes. Speeding also wastes fuel. Tracking technology can monitor speed and notify you if a driver exceeds certain speeds.
- Hard turns: Also called hard or harsh cornering, hard turns occur when a driver fails to ease into a turn. Taking a turn too quickly can be dangerous especially when road conditions are slick and can put strain on tires, brakes and other parts of the vehicle.
- Heavy braking: Heavy braking can cause some of the same issues and cause brakes to overheat, reducing their lifespan. Drivers should begin decelerating and braking early to gently bring the vehicle to a stop rather than waiting until the last second to pump the brakes.
- Fast acceleration: Fast acceleration is also a bad driving habit to watch out for. It doesn’t tend to cause as many problems as harsh turning or braking, but it can add a bit to your vehicle’s wear and tear and burn unnecessary fuel. It can also cause cargo to shift.
Monitoring these can help you encourage and reward safe driving habits across your organization and address problems where they may exist.
2. Fuel Efficiency
Your fuel economy is another critical area to monitor. Fuel efficiency is a win-win for the environment and for your company’s bottom line, so it’s always a good idea to look for ways to cut fuel consumption. Monitoring the miles your fleet travels and the cost of fuel can help you accurately track and predict operating costs.
You can also look for any inefficiencies in your route or in your fuel optimization to make improvements. Tracking and cutting down on idling time, for instance, can be a significant step in the right direction. Every year, fuel including diesel and oil is wasted on idling engines. You can reduce emissions and save money by cutting down on your vehicles’ idling time. If idling is due to delays at stops, you can also save time by identifying and addressing these instances.
3. Miles Traveled
The routine practice of tracking your vehicles’ odometers is essential. Fortunately, you don’t have to do this manually if you’re using a tracking technology. Your software will keep track of how many miles each vehicle has travelled over the last shift, week, year or its entire lifespan.
Odometer readings can help you monitor the distance each driver has travelled. Keeping track of mileage can also help tremendously with scheduling preventive maintenance. The timing of many preventive maintenance tasks, like oil changes and tire replacements, is based on miles travelled. So tracking this metric is key to making sure you take care of maintenance tasks as soon as it’s time to do so. Proper preventive maintenance can help you extend the life of your vehicles and avoid downtime.
4. Inspection Results
These reports can help you identify problems before it becomes more serious and more expensive to fix or before they create a hazardous situation on the road. You should already be looking at these individuals but you may also want to take a macro look at your inspection reports overall to gain insights into your drivers.
Look for patterns to see if there are any common issues affecting your team You can focus on taking more proactive steps to prevent these issues. For example, you may want to look for potential driving concerns if you’re seeing frequent needs for tire replacements or rotations. Or you may simply want to upgrade to higher quality tires that will last longer. Patterns in maintenance issues may also signal that you need to schedule more frequent tune-ups.
5. Vehicle Utilisation
A crucial piece of fleet optimisation is ensuring you have exactly the vehicles you need to get the job done no more, no less. Having too many vehicles increases your overhead costs without increasing your profits, and having too few vehicles can leave you scrambling. To help you pinpoint the right size for your team, track your vehicles’ usage hours.
Consider tracking each vehicle’s average miles or hours in operation per day. Tracking this metric over time can help you spot under-utilised vehicles you can eliminate from your fleet or make better use of. It could also show you that your current fleet is maxed out and you need to purchase some new assets to better meet demand or to scale.
6. Repair Times
In some cases, vehicles may be out of use even if they’re needed because of maintenance problems. Even with a preventive maintenance plan, some unplanned repairs are typically inevitable. A vehicle’s time spent in the garage whether with your in-house mechanic or outsourced to an auto service business can make a difference in how much those repairs affect your schedule.
Tracking the length of time vehicles spend out of commission due to repairs can help you look for ways to prevent those instances if possible or to speed up the repair process. You may find it makes more financial sense to handle repairs in house if third-party mechanics are busy completing other repairs before handling yours. Or, if you already have in-house mechanics, you can use repair time data to encourage efficient, productive work.