Cross-site benchmarking could bring benefits to the parcel industry

For the parcel industry, speed, reliability and efficiency are of paramount importance. However, maintaining consistent performance across a number of sites can be a significant challenge.

With this in mind, parcel companies are constantly exploring ways to optimise their networks, streamline processes and – ultimately – enhance customer satisfaction. It would therefore be a valuable exercise to consider cross-site benchmarking. By undertaking this process, parcel companies can gain meaningful insights and engage in timely practices to optimise their facilities.

“With AI, it could soon be possible to harness historical data and predictive analytics to predict when a facility might face challenges.”
Richard Trost
Product Manager Parcel IT

Identifying areas for improvement

Cross-site benchmarking involves comparing and analysing performance data, processes and practices at various sites. Specifically, for parcel sorting centres, cross-site benchmarking emerges as a valuable tool to enhance performance. Through its utilisation, areas in need of improvement can be identified before strategies are implemented to boost operational efficiency.

Data-driven decision making can also be enhanced through the use of cross-site benchmarking. Parcel companies can gather data from various facilities, including metrics such as processing time, package handling efficiency, delivery delays, employee productivity and equipment maintenance records. This data can be collected either in real time or at regular intervals.

Using AI to predict challenges

By exploiting the power of artificial intelligence (AI), it could soon be possible to harness historical data and predictive analytics to predict when a facility might face challenges. Although the use of AI is conceptual at present, such a system could recognise patterns of increased workload during specific seasons and anticipate potential congestion or delays.

As a hypothetical example, should an issue be detected, AI might assist in redirecting trucks to alternative facilities that are performing better or have more capacity. To make the most optimal rerouting decisions, various factors could be taken into account such as distance, traffic conditions, facility capacity and delivery schedules.

By getting the big picture, parcel companies can also potentially optimise their whole network. For instance, by comparing the performance of various sites, they can find out which particular facility within their sorting operations has a higher rate of errors and delays in package handling.

Implementing changes that work

With this newfound knowledge, the centre can then implement a range of strategic measures to make improvements. These may include adding more quality checks, providing extra training to employees or reallocating resources. These strategies can enhance operational performance and reduce costs by helping to correct errors in an efficient manner.

The search for higher speed and efficiency is a never-ending journey – but it’s certainly one worth making. Success is driven by innovation, supported by data and informed by lessons from comparing different approaches. Embracing the value of cross-site benchmarking is therefore the path to sustained success in the ever-evolving parcel industry.

Like to know more?

Every parcel company and market are different. This is reflected by the various layouts of depots and sortation centres. Our experts are available to offer help and advice in every respect.