The global focus on Covid-19 has shifted the priorities for all businesses and individuals globally. While the impact of and the reaction to the virus on supply chains and logistics appear to be spreading across the globe, organizations may be able to anticipate the impact on their business by using a combined set of tools.
For the logistics industry, the situation has become quite confusing. Because, thousands of people working in the transportation industry must both isolate themselves from the external environment and create a more isolated working environment by taking into account their own health, and also have to deal with an increasing workload. Due to the fact that the time spent at home has increased more than ever before, there has been a serious increase in demand especially in domestic logistics.
In this period when the importance of the supply chain became more evident, we wanted to prepare a guide that would support the operations of logistics companies and forwarders who want to run their business remotely or who have already created the opportunity to work from their homes without losing their business efficiency.
- Create “business” triggers for yourself
Although the idea of working from home seems very attractive at first, it can be a very challenging experience to be able to work efficiently in the home environment for many different reasons. If you have a family, for example, children can prevent you from doing business. Many different factors such as television, internet and social media urge to spend time, loneliness psychology due to social abstraction, etc. can push you under the productive work you have caught in the office environment. You can start by drawing the general framework and setting certain principles.
- Determine Your Working Hours, Share With Your Team and / or Manager.
To be able to enter work psychology, determine the working hours clearly as in your office. For example, weekdays 09:00 – 12: 00/13:00 – 17:00, Saturday 09:00 – 12:00 etc. Do not work in any way outside of these hours, do not have job interviews. Do not deal with anything other than work during these hours.
- Prepare Your Work Environment.
Creating a workspace can also be important. It is very good if you can work anywhere and be productive. If you need more layout, allocating a designated workspace, such as a separate room, a desk reserved for work or a clean part of your kitchen table, can give your brain the message that you are working efficiently without distraction.
- Change Your Clothes.
Of course, you do not need to wear a suit at home, but still you should not be dressed for a business call in your pajamas.. After breakfast, you can wear sweatpants or some casual outfit. According to experts, this change will prepare the ground for you to leave the house and move to the business environment.
Active and efficient communication is a sine qua non for the dynamic nature of the logistics industry. Currently, companies are conducting their intra-team communications to a large extent via email, whatsapp or telegram, live cell phone calls. Likewise, works with customers, subcontractors or suppliers are organized using one or both of the phone, whatsapp and email alternatives. Although working remotely does not affect this communication much, in-team communication can be more challenging from afar. Since internal lines and face-to-face communication are completely eliminated, there may be disruptions in intra-team communication. Let’s consider what alternative methods can be.
- In-Team Communication, Project Management
Asana, Basecamp and Trello are the first communication and project management applications to mind. If you are a company that uses microsoft as email infrastructure, you can look at the services offered under the name “Microsoft team” or if you are working on google-based, you can review the communication products provided by google for the teams under the name “Gsuite”. Finally, the application we can recommend – Slack. Especially in the IT sector, Slack is one of the most popular applications of the last period. Offering an efficient working environment in different sectors, you can evaluate this cloud-based platform for many features such as in-team communication, project and document management, video conferencing etc.
- Online Meeting, Video-Conference
There are many alternatives on the internet that allow you to video chat and make online meetings within the company or with customers online. But the most known and common ones are: Skype, Zoom, Appear.in and Google Hangouts.
- Online forms.
You can use one of the online form applications that are used more actively every day in order to receive your customers’ demands correctly and to carry the orders online. Likewise, follow-up forms can be useful for jobs that need to be done within the team. Jotforms and Wufoo are the best known platforms. Although it offers a relatively limited use, Google Forms and Microsoft Forms can of course be considered as alternatives.
3. Logistic Operations
There is no doubt that the main focus of your business is to plan your routine transportation operations, to follow the documents and documents related to the transports, to follow the steps for the transportation of the loads. While you are not using cloud-based software for your logistics operations while you are working remotely, remote access tools can be a savior at this point, although executing processes is a bit challenging.
- Remote access
Teamviewer and Anydesk applications give you access to your office PC from your home. Likewise, a remote access channel can be opened for your logistics program. Let us remind you that if there is any problem in your computer that you access remotely for uninterrupted operation, you need to make the settings that will turn this computer back on.
- Online File Management-Cloud Storage
It can be an ideal time to move the documents you use in the company to the cloud. Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft Onedrive can be considered as the most suitable services. In this way, you can access your documents from anywhere and easily share your work.
- Online Logistics Applications
Applications running on internet browsers such as Modaltrans allow you to carry out all your logistics processes, store your transport documents unlimitedly and make your in-team communication from anywhere without any problems. You can also automatically create offers, organize auctions, and bill your shipments.
- Finance & Document Management
Many logistics companies have switched to solutions such as e-invoice and e-archive. If you have not yet moved to digital paperwork, this extraordinary period may be an opportunity for you. In this way, you have the opportunity to conclude your processes completely in electronic environment with electronic documents.
4. JOB TRACKING AND PRODUCTIVITY
In a way of working where the team is deployed at different points and where there is no in-office synergy, productivity can drop. Likewise, for managers, the impact on their team may be reduced, and it can be challenging to keep track of what the teams are working on. Even when working remotely, we will list the tips that will contribute to increase the synergy within the team and increase your productivity.
- Video Talk
Business professionals and psychologists recommend administrators to video chat with staff at least once a day, even when switching to working remotely. Conducting the state of affairs or general conversation in this way will prevent the team from breaking with reality, bring dynamism to the team and provide momentum to your workflows.
- Team management
Doodle, Outlook Calendar, or Google Calendar can be useful for creating a common calendar with the team and customers. You can also follow your colleagues’ degree of happiness periodically with applications such as Chimp and Champ.
- To-Do Lists
There are quite good applications to keep track of both your own work and the work that needs to be done as a team. iDoneThis, Time Doctor and Hubstaff will be very useful when planning and tracking the entire team. You can consider alternatives such as google tasks and todoist to create your own to-do lists and keep track of your daily to-do.
- Password Management
In an environment where every action is somehow digitalized and entered with a password, remembering all the passwords and sign-in every time can be a problem. Many people have already switched to password management applications such as 1password, Lastpass, which encrypt your passwords and enable you to automatically log in to your applications. You can try it too.
In all cases, the setting for remote work is ultimately not that different from an office space. The main difference is that it takes extra attention to detail and open re-evaluation as part of the arrangement between the remote worker and employer.
As Modaltrans, we also left our offices during this period and we work remotely. You can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org about any matter you want to get support for your logistics processes. Hoping to have good and healthy days as soon as possible.