The adoption of digitalisation across industries is slowly becoming apparent to many business owners as they realise the power it has to grow their businesses and customer base.
This is mainly pushed by the needs of millennials who grew up in a digital world and now rely on digital services be it for work or personal benefit.
Certainly, the transport sector is no different – in recent years we have bared witness to digitalisation and new business models disrupting the South Africa public transport sector. Just consider the likes of Uber who is challenging the status quo not only in terms of its business model, but how it is using technology to –bring public transport closer and more easily accessible to consumers. Similarly, the freight and logistics sector has seen the upsurge of technology being adopted to streamline processes and improve efficiencies for both imports, exports and even door-to-door deliveries.
If you are a business owner in this sector, you need to have a pulse on trends and changes that are shifting the game to ensure you are not left behind. So, here are a few trends to note:
- E-commerce – Increasingly consumers are finding online services and transactions more efficient as they can be done while at work or at home, allowing them to continue with their fast-paced lifestyles. Retailers are turning more and more to transport and logistics companies (in house or external) to ensure timely delivery of goods to maintain customer satisfaction.
- Tracking and Fleet technology – With supply chains, companies need to go beyond just simple technology that shows you that a parcel or shipment has left the warehouse or has been shipped Technology is way more advanced and in order to stand out, logistics companies need to invest in technology that really brings out the value of the supply chain and allows reports in real-time showing the customer exactly where their parcel is and when it will arrive. They should also be able to notify customers if there are any delays as well. This sort of technology deployed throughout the fleet or sector can also have enormous impact on minimising risk, managing driver behaviour and controlling and reducing costs.
- Fintech – Fintech is revolutionising the financial industry by applying technology to improve financial activities. As a result, it has opened up a number of options as opposed to traditional channels for finance particularly for small businesses. What’s more, it is changing the way small businesses operate and how they manage their cash flow with digital transactions making payment processes easier. Bills and receipts can be effortlessly tracked and issues of lost documents are a thing of the past.
- Integrated public transport system – The South African public transport system has always operated in silos; however, government has plans to integrate the system, making it more affordable and accessible for consumers with a single transport authority, which will run an integrated public transport network premised on a single ticketing system. This of course will bring about its own set of challenges to the sector, but hopefully a refreshing change with long term viability.
The transport sector has seen a lot of changes over the years and we are likely to see move changes and the sector moves in line with market dynamics and expectations – allowing it to improve its services for business growth and enhance customer experience. If you are a business owner in this industry, assess whether your business is moving forward with all these advancements and which ones are important for your unique business so that you are not left behind? Remember that business growth and advancements also require a healthy and sustainable cash flow so make sure you have evaluated your business, have a plan in mind and find the right partner to help you finance these if required.