logistics design - cover

Demystifying Logistics Solution Design

Design, Product
14 min
Jan 11, 2024

In freight and logistics, digital transformation occurs slower than in other industries. However, as economic globalization develops, improving logistics management is the main task for companies focusing on logistics.

Accenture Research survey shows that 76% of respondents agree with the statement that freight and logistics companies who don’t invest in digitalization are likely to endanger their business. And one of the ways to accelerate and streamline processes in logistics is through a well-planned design.

Below, we will cover the essential components of a logistics solution design and provide instructions on designing for this industry.

Logistics Solution Design Revealed

Logistics is the process of managing the transportation of goods from one point to another. However, under this definition, there are multiple processes hidden. To satisfy customers’ requirements and deliver goods in a timely and cost-effective manner, design solutions are crucial.

Logistics solution design focuses on analyzing supply chain management to improve its efficiency and speed by offering unique design solutions. For example, logistics managers’ critical task is connecting warehouses situated in different states or countries with drivers. This requires the application of GPS-tracking systems. In design, it creates screens compatible with managers’ big desktops and small drivers’ mobile screens.

Why Is Logistics So Crucial?

The world is living in economic globalization, meaning the flow of trading goods, services, and information has a cross-border character. Any product can be delivered to a customer within days. This is a positive factor of economic globalization as time becomes manageable, and the cases when people’s lives depended on receiving products are now not happening. Thus, clients’ demands are growing, which determines the need for the development of logistics solutions, in particular by way of design.

Potential Benefits of Implementing Well-Designed Logistics Solutions

Reinforcing logistics with appropriate design solutions can bring the following benefits:

Potential Benefits of Implementing Well-Designed Logistics Solutions

  • Reduced costs. The main expense in the logistics is the fuel. With rising prices, the companies seek better ways to manage this expense, not increasing shipment costs. Design solutions can help save costs for freight and logistics businesses by disclosing information effectively and allowing workers to make decisions quickly.
  • Improved supply chain efficiency. Smooth and easy goods transportation ways start from smooth and easy managing routes. A well-planned design helps to organize inventory and warehouse management so that place and time are used rationally.
  • Increased user satisfaction. Ensuring goods are delivered within the deadline in good condition is the main standard by which customer satisfaction is measured. Well-designed logistics management also facilitates trade and enables better global integration.

Key Components of Logistics Solution Design

Designing an app for logistics requires specific knowledge of its components. This is what designers have to comprehend to create a logistics solution design.

Key Components of Logistics Solution Design

Understanding Customers’ Needs

The transportation processes include different user personas. And the needs of every category differ. For instance:

  • For logistics managers, the main features are planning that covers storage, warehouse, and materials management; packaging and utilization; inventory and information control; and transportation. For instance, such practices as reducing touch points or making popular items easy to find the platform’s usability.
  • For drivers, the functions in demand are vehicle diagnosis and maintenance, theft prevention, temperature and humidity sensors, and geolocation. Implementing user interface (UI) design techniques like appropriate color schemes for notifications can quickly alert the driver about possible dangers.
  • For customers, tracking orders is a crucial functionality. Awareness of every phase of the purchase journey increases clients’ trust and satisfaction. The tracking part can be delivered in different forms. The options are countless, from choosing the most favorable design to enabling multi-access.

Design and Network Optimization

Logistics network design is your business card and investment in your identity. With the help of the designer’s decisions, you can increase your brand recognition and align with market conditions. But on top of the aesthetic value, a well-planned design can streamline network processes in freight and logistics. The main issue with which applications in this field face is the lack of visibility. Since there is a lot of data, which is important, it is quite challenging to determine what to highlight. The design solutions can store it in different ways (charts, bars, or schemes) and show it with increased visibility.

Another issue that can be tackled with logistics solution design is the complexity of global operations. Companies that conduct trading activities globally have multi-layer networks and simultaneously conduct multiple operations. Designing the management systems using different transportation methods and warehousing strategies can help lower the complexity level.

Inventory Management

Design solutions in inventory management strongly rely on data. It all starts with inventory forecasting. The methods of analyzing help to realize how much and what product to keep so that it doesn’t occupy more space than needed. In return, it can save thousands of dollars. Another aspect of inventory management is a control system via which managers set goals and control the production and shipment of the product. Control systems usually store a vast amount of data, making it difficult to process the information quickly. Design solutions help to store the info for control systems in such a way that it is easy to comprehend.

A well-designed inventory management software can bring many benefits for inventory management optimization. Seamlessly viewing all orders, products, fulfillment centers, drivers in real-time, and customers in one place can cover the majority of requests during the workflow.

Information Technology Integration

The SOTI report shows that almost half of logistics companies use outdated technologies. Technological limitations prevent managers from receiving detailed analyses, modeling scenarios, and making data-driven decisions. The supply chain efficiency relies upon sophisticated software that can provide modern solutions.The best decision for a logistics company is to set all business processes and all supply chain parties to one centralized software. In this way, every supply chain step will be visible within one application, and all data will be stored in one place.

Sustainability Aspects

The important aspect of logistics solutions is that they should be sustainable. In an industry where all the processes may stop if the digital platform fails to operate the users’ requests, the functionality has to be reliable. It relates to software maintenance and change implementation. The best way is to design for long-term perspectives. For example, the basic design solutions have to be flexible, so there is no need to make user experience (UX) design from scratch when something is modified in the processes.

Process of Designing the Logistics Solutions

Creating the logistic application has to include suitable logistic solutions aimed at proper company functioning. Let’s take a closer look at each of them below.

Process of Designing the Logistics Solutions

Define the Problem

Defining the app’s purpose is the first step to developing an effective design solution. Different logistics apps aim to solve specific demands with the help of suitable solutions. For example, if you plan to provide your customers with a real-time tracker app, there will be no need to spare resources on other additional functions.

Conduct a Thorough Analysis

An in-depth analysis is a step that helps the company fully understand the user’s expectations, supply chains, and own business processes. Without running the necessary testing and analyzing the received results, you risk integrating the wrong solutions into your project.

Develop the Possible Solution Options

Once you collect the necessary data, it’s time to gather it and provide several possible solutions. It’s crucial to cover the primary possible outcomes during the design presentation. Each proposed option has to offer unique solutions to the problem.

Evaluate and Choose the Suitable Option

During the presentation of the future design solution, it’s necessary to include the main points that those drafts are aimed to solve. Therefore, it would be worth adding a basic comparison of the prepared options to facilitate the final choice and cover the existing needs.

Integrate and Estimate the Results

The design development journey isn’t over once you choose the suitable design pattern. After integrating the design into your project, an uninterrupted analysis should continue. For the proper functioning of the final product, the team should continue to carefully check the received data and fix the possible miscalculations.

Thematic Research and Exam of the Samples

Contemplation of the existing competitors is another stage for the design development. Even after the product’s successful launch, the enhancement process should not stop. Thoroughly analyze the market for up-to-date samples and keep up with the times.

Examples of Successful Logistics Solution Desing Implementation

Design for logistics can be attractive and functional at the same time. The following examples prove this statement.

Kesco

Kesco is a large third-party logistics company located in the US. Their focus in design is to provide a personal touch even in such a data-driven sphere as logistic transportation. The UX design of the website seamlessly leads the visitor down while exploring the necessary details.

Kesco Logistics delivers goods and information technology globally, providing customers with real-time data on where their orders are. They enforce transportation by implementing advanced solutions like foreign fulfillment or customs brokerage.

Gamer Packaging

With Gamer Packaging, businesses from the food, beverage, consumer goods, and healthcare retail industries can emphasize their identity with packaging, designing, and warehousing services.Gamer Packaging is an example of how to focus on understanding customers. From visiting their thorough-thought website, they feel ready to treat your business needs personally.

How to Set Communication with Partners Interested in Logistics Solution Design

These tips will help you cooperate better with partners in logistics solution design:

  • Get to know your audience. It is crucial to research what your audience’s needs are. For example, suppliers focus more on inventory level while customers care about delivery date.
  • Choose the right communication channel. Depending on the complexity of your idea, there might be different ways to communicate: face-to-face, via video, or email.
  • Be clear and concise. Even though logistics solution design refers to in-depth design analysis, using technical terms in communication can be misleading.
  • Be open to feedback. Partner feedback is always valuable as it highlights your strong and weak points.

Conclusion

Managing complex logistics operations can be more accessible when implementing UI/UX design solutions. Logistics systems have rich functionality that can not always be displayed to get access to the needed information. However, well-thought-out design solutions resolve this problem and satisfy the demand of all types of audiences: managers, drivers, and customers.

by Ivan Klyzhenko
UX Startup Advisor, Uitop

FAQs

Why are design solutions important for developing logistic apps?

In logistics, the design aims to satisfy customers’ needs with functionality that covers all desired requirements. Thus, the customer’s needs can be satisfied due to less time and effort and higher effectiveness.

What are the main types of logistic apps?

There are four main types of logistic applications. Those types are tracker applications, on-demand apps, inventory apps, and fleet-managing apps.

How do I come up with a suitable logistic solution?

To satisfy the customer with a great design solution, some basic steps must be included in the design development process. To make it real, just stick to the following development structure: definition of the problem, analysis conduction, providing the solutions, evaluation of options, design integration, and thematic research.

What are the benefits of the proper design solution for the logistic app?

Implementing a well-developed design solution may lead to certain advantages for the overall state of your company. For example, a user-friendly design will decrease expenses, improve the efficiency of supply chains, and increase user satisfaction.

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