Digital freight forwarder Zencargo has released an analysis of industry data that suggested supply chain inefficiencies and miscommunication through “Chinese Whispers” are costing UK businesses over £1.5 billion in lost productivity.
The study analysed over 100 shipments from a variety of UK industries, finding that UK businesses that trade internationally are wasting over three hours on average per individual shipment. Moreover, employees are spending time on phone calls and emails to request and funnel data back and forth between their trade partners, the majority of which already exists on partner systems, resulting in over 100 million hours of time wasted every year in the UK – the equivalent of 50,000 employees’ annual working hours.
This efficiency problem is likely to exacerbate further once Brexit happens, as shipments with non-EU countries involve on average 17% more wasted time than shipments with the EU, owing to the increased communications burden around customs documentation.
In order to solve the productivity puzzle, the study suggests supply chain innovation as the route. The adoption of simple technology that helps automate communication can deliver productivity gains now to the tune of £1.5 billion per annum, representing 5% of the UK Government’s annual target for productivity gains from digitisation (£30 billion per year until 2030).
“Technology is the main building block to bridge the productivity gap in the UK. Lack of communication harms productivity in any business, factor in complicated and often outdated supply chains and problems very quickly escalate. Now is the time to invest and innovative in technology so we can truly compete on the global stage and at the same time benefit on a productivity level,” said Alex Hersham, CEO and Co-Founder of Zencargo.
To tackle the productivity issue, Zencargo plans to use its comprehensive dashboard that allows supply chain teams to collaborate in real time. Users can book shipments online, track status updates and run analytics to reveal critical supply chain insights. They have also released a Purchase order management feature that can save over an hour per shipment. Their digital solution streamlines communication around a PO, gives procurement teams real-time visibility on their production status, from PO raising to cargo-ready and delivery.