Good Quality Data is ESSENTIAL for Logistics Processes


One of the conclusions of the quick research I did together with Henri Groothuis of Mandersloot Transport during our workshop “Better results through data-driven decisions” was that good quality data is essential for logistics processes.

This holds especially true for companies that want to start working with their data to gain better insight in their operations and improve their results. Garbage in is garbage out, right?

Over 96% those questioned agreed with this position.

How about the current state of your data?

If good quality data is so essential, what is the current state of available data? None of those questioned said their data quality is perfect. Only 26% said their data was quality was good and 32% indicated average quality levels. Over 40% said the quality of their data was mediocre to bad. There is some serious work to be done for this last group.

Who is responsible for data quality?

A third of those questioned indicated they are responsible themselves and a little over 60% that next to themselves data quality is also the responsibility of their customer. Transportation companies or logistics service providers that want to get better results by using a data-driven approach to taking the right decisions, need to make sure the quality of their data is high. For that you need your customers and your suppliers as well. You can have everything well taken care of on your end, but if your customer sends you bad data, you take the wrong decision. Karel van Dijk, transportation manager at Van Zaal Transport, gave the audience a perfect example of this during the workshop. Van Zaal Transport demands complete and correct data, from themselves, but also from their customers.

“We used to have customers that would use a remark field to send an instruction like: “be sure to pick it up before 6pm, please!” We no longer accept that. Cut off time is a data field and should be filled out as such. Our automated route planning system can then use it in calculations.”

What is the effect of good quality data?

Most of those questioned (almost 65%) indicated that good quality increases the overall quality of supply chain management. The rest was evenly divided between better communications with customers and increased profits. Good to see nobody thought there would be no effect of good quality data.

If you ask me, there is no one single answer to this question. One thing is sure: good data is good for business. You see the effects of good quality data at multiple points in the supply chain. It can be cost saving due to improved purchasing processes, or savings in time or miles driven, or improvements in customer- or even employee satisfaction, to name a few. Where the biggest savings or increases in profit are found is different for every organization. Just make sure the quality of your data is good, because that’s when you can start taking better decisions, supported by computation.

Do you want better results? Contact me through e-mail, or by connecting to me on LinkedIn and sending me a message. I’d love to meet you for coffee and hear more about your operation and your processes and see how we can help you get those better results.


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