How SMS Can Be Used in Transportation, Logistics, and Distribution

OpenMarket – March 17, 2016

When you look at companies in transportation, logistics, and distribution, it’s clear that technology and innovation are massively important. Being up to date can mean the difference between being highly efficient and missing a deadline. Even a single misstep can leave you trailing your closest competitors.

SMS usage in transportation and logistics

This is especially true when it comes to the adoption of new tools and technologies. If you don’t pay attention to the evolution of technology in the industry, you’ll quickly fall behind and dig an irrecoverable hole for your organization. Now that’s a scary thought!

The good news is that you won’t miss out on these developments if you’re paying attention. And if you’ve been engaged over the past few months and years, then you know that SMS isn’t going anywhere. It’s an extremely valuable and convenient form of engagement – both internally and externally – and you’ll need to adopt it sooner rather than later.

The State of SMS in the Logistics Industry

According to an IDC InfoBrief we sponsored, 73 percent of transportation and logistics companies aren’t currently leveraging SMS with their customers or employees. That means only a quarter – or 27 percent, to be exact – of companies have recognized this opportunity and made it a priority. Believe it or not, this represents the lowest adoption rate by industry – which indicates a major opportunity for companies to gain a competitive advantage.

What’s holding these companies back? Well, 75 percent of companies surveyed said vendor affordability is a “must-have” in the relationship. Furthermore, 70 percent require global reach for the SMS platform they use.

Because most SMS solutions aren’t properly priced and don’t have global reach, the majority of companies have backed off and decided to continue with their current approach. However, over time, we’ve seen that logistics companies are beginning to recognize that quality vendors do exist. And once this becomes common knowledge, industry insiders expect adoption to happen at a swift rate.

The Benefits and Uses of SMS in Logistics

Over time, what we’ve discovered is that logistics companies who haven’t yet adopted SMS aren’t only holding off because of vendor requirements, but rather because there’s a lack of education. In other words, logistics companies know SMS exists, but they don’t know why it’s valuable and how it will affect them.

In order to clear the air and explain the value of SMS and how it specifically pertains to the logistics industry, let’s identify some of the major benefits and uses. You may be surprised to learn just how flexible of a solution SMS is.

  1. SMS Alerts

The wonderful thing about SMS is that it’s short and quick. There’s no extra noise or delay between when the message is sent and when/how it arrives. In an industry where real-time updates and clarity are of the utmost concern, it makes sense that SMS is such a valuable tool for communication.

When it comes to using SMS for alerts, there are a number of possible uses. These include:

  • SMS can be used to notify the appropriate parties when there is a delay or change in the drop-off or pick-up schedule. For example, if an accident on the freeway has a truck driver stuck in traffic, he can notify the warehouse that the delivery will be delayed by two hours.
  • SMS can be used to send delivery information to drivers, especially in the instance that something changes. For example, if a courier is supposed to be delivering a shipment to a specific individual who happens to be out of the office for the day, the client services rep can send out a quick text that tells him who the new point of contact is.
  • One of the most popular uses of SMS (in terms of alerts) is delivery notifications. Most of the large delivery companies – including UPS and FedEx – now alert customers as to when and where a package has been delivered (or when it can be expected).

As you can see, the ability to send SMS alerts is very beneficial in a variety of situations for logistics companies. However, the value of SMS goes much further.

  1. Reduce Call Volume

Customer service is wholly important in logistics. There’s nothing more frustrating than a lack of communication in the supply chain. This is another reason SMS is so effective. When logistics companies use SMS, they can significantly reduce call volume – both from customers and drivers – which frees them up to handle issues that actually matter. This is because the aforementioned alerts replace the need for most over-the-phone contact.

  1. Marketing and Consumer Engagement

What many businesses in this industry don’t realize is that SMS is also an efficient marketing and consumer engagement tool. While you have to follow very specific guidelines for putting people on a SMS list, once they are on the list you can send out reminders, coupon codes, and announcements that will ideally engage customers and encourage additional business.

This is perhaps the best-kept secret about SMS. It’s not only a tool for making announcements, but it’s also a valuable medium for reaching customers where they’re at. And as research continues to show, SMS has a substantially higher open rate than that of email.

Contact OpenMarket Today

SMS is the most widely used mobile channel on the planet. It’s quick, easy, and streamlined. And because millions of people are already familiar with how SMS works, you don’t have to spend time teaching employees and customers how to use it after implementing a SMS solution.

At OpenMarket, we are on the forefront of enterprise SMS and mobile communications. We work with some of the largest organizations in the world and have access to more than 200 countries. It’s this dedication to global adoption and responsive customer service that has allowed us to become the premier name in SMS.

If you’re interested in learning more about how SMS could specifically impact your business in the transportation, logistics, and distribution industry, please don’t hesitate to contact us today! We would love to speak with you and begin developing a long-term relationship that helps you gain a competitive advantage.

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