Digital Transformation in Logistics

Discover what digital transformation looks like in the logistics industries, the main blockers and the big HR benefits.
What we'll cover

So, you already know how digital transformation can improve your warehousing, docking and inventory processes, but are you paying enough attention to digitalization in your run-the-business systems? Here's why you need to. 

Digital technology is making huge advancements in the logistics sector, yet the frontline are still left feeling unsatisfied. By improving not only supply chain capabilities, but also your day-to-day employee management systems, businesses can enjoy a number of unexpected benefits, which we've put together for you in this handy guide.

We'll share some of our frontline employee engagement expertise with you here, as well as the latest research on how digital transformation can help in areas such as recruitment, training and tracking performance. This should help HR leaders see just how valuable digital tech can be when it comes to making their logistics workforce operate better and more efficiently across the board.

What is digital transformation (DX) in logistics?

Digital transformation (DX) in logistics is the use of digital technologies to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and responsiveness of logistics systems in order to better meet the needs of customers and businesses.

While you may be familiar with the growing pressure to digitize your supply chain management and front-of-house systems, many logistics companies are just starting to realize the impact that digital transformation can have on their back-end operations as well.

In order to keep up with today's fast-paced and competitive business environment, HR leaders will need to look at how they leverage employee technology in order to better manage their workforce; recruit and retrain more effectively; and track employee performance and engagement over time. 

By creating a more streamlined, digital and integrated approach to these HR functions, businesses can streamline their operations and better meet the needs of both customers and employees alike.

So for any HR leader looking to get ahead of the competition, it is essential to embrace digital transformation in logistics and use it as a tool to improve operational efficiency, employee engagement, and overall business performance.

Core goals of logistics digital transformation

As business leaders, it's crucial to have clear goals in mind when looking to invest in or implement new digital tools. 

While common logistics and supply chain processes like docking, inventory, digital supply chains, and other front-of-house systems might not be your main focus, digital transformation in logistics can help you improve or manage your business in other important ways. Think project management, team communication, and business planning, just to name a few.

But what specific goals should you be looking to achieve with your run-the-biz logistics DX efforts? Core goals often include:

  • Cost Reduction: For HR professionals, this may mean looking for ways to automate processes, reduce employee errors and minimize overhead costs related to hiring, training, and onboarding new employees.
  • Improve Communication: One of the main goals of the digital transformation journey is improving communication both internally and externally, with an aim to drive increased employee satisfaction and, ultimately, retention. 
  • Customer Satisfaction: Improving customer satisfaction is another important priority for many logistics leaders looking to leverage digital technologies. Whether it's through improvements in product quality and delivery times, or better tracking of customer feedback and requests, maintaining high levels of service can be a key goal of DX efforts in logistics.
  • Employee Engagement: One often forgotten goal of DX efforts in the transportation and logistics sector is to improve employee engagement and happiness, which can have a direct impact on your employee retention and productivity levels.
  • Increase Profits: While not always a top priority for HR leaders, increasing profits and driving ROI can be another overarching goal of DX efforts in the industry – and this can be a great hook to get buy-in from your IT leaders or CEO. 
Bar chart showing roadblocks to digital transformation in the logistics industry. Budget (22%) and company culture (17%_ are the highest two

While there are many benefits to be had from digital transformation for logistics companies, there are also a number of potential barriers (see image above) and roadblocks that can impede success. For HR professionals, the main challenges will likely include:

  • Resistance to Change: One of the biggest challenges faced by any company looking to undergo digital transformation is the natural resistance to change that arises within any organization. This can be especially true in cases where employees feel they are being asked to do more work or change the way they've been doing things for years.
  • Company Culture: Another obstacle that can arise during DX efforts in logistics is company culture. If the company's culture is not supportive of change or new technologies, it can be very difficult for any type of transformation – digital or otherwise – to take hold and be successful.
  • Legacy Infrastructure: Finally, one of the biggest challenges faced by companies looking to digitize their operations is legacy infrastructure. Many companies have invested heavily in outdated systems and technologies that can be difficult – and expensive – to replace. As such, it often takes a lot of time and effort to upgrade these systems in order to enable a successful DX initiative.

By knowing what you're up against, you can better prepare yourself and your organization for the challenges of digital transformation in logistics. With a clear understanding of your goals and potential roadblocks, you can work to overcome resistance, build a supportive company culture, and upgrade or replace legacy systems as needed.

And with the right approach and mindset, you can leverage digital tools that will help you achieve improved business outcomes and drive higher levels of success for your organization.

Driving digital transformation with frontline workers

Digital business processes impact your frontline team directly, and they need to be included in the transformation journey. Frontline workers are often left feeling like an afterthought, particularly during digital transformation efforts, which can be a huge mistake. 

These workers are the ones who interface directly with customers and clients on a daily basis, and they understand what improvements will make their jobs easier – and ultimately benefit the company as well. As such, it is important to invest in frontline workers when driving supply chain digital transformation initiatives.

For logistics companies, this often means leveraging frontline workers as a source of insights, ideas, and feedback on what technologies will work best for them. For logistics employees, this could include instant communication, on-the-go manuals, direct route information or a familiar social media interface: all features of the Blink Frontline Engagement App.

Image showing the benefits of having an employee app for logistics workforce. Benefits include instant communication, on the go manuals, and easy access route information

5 unexpected HR benefits of DX in logistics

1. Reduction in staff turnover

With a real pressure on HR leaders to bring in high-quality candidates and retain their existing staff, one of the most surprising benefits of digital transformation in logistics is reduced staff turnover.

By leveraging new technologies in your business strategy to improve the work environment – such as intuitive systems that are easy to use or improved communication channels – you can help alleviate some of the stresses and challenges faced by your employees on a daily basis. 

52% of frontline workers claim that they would leave their job over tech tools, according to Unleash.ai, highlighting the impact that the right workplace technology has on employee retention.

The right digital initiatives can make your workers feel more valued, appreciated, and supported – thereby helping to reduce turnover rates in the long-term.

2. Better employee engagement

Another unexpected benefit of digital transformation in logistics is improved employee engagement. This can be driven by a number of different factors, such as the use of gamification techniques or employee engagement apps that allow workers to connect with their colleagues and share ideas.

DX for your logistics workforce can also help foster a company culture of collaboration, innovation, and teamwork. By investing in your employees and encouraging them to work together towards common goals, you can cultivate a sense of shared purpose that will help drive greater success for the entire organization.

And with improved employee engagement and loyalty, HR leaders are better equipped to attract and retain top talent, manage performance, and achieve their business goals. Highly engaged employees also achieve 23% more profitability and 43% less employee turnover, Gallup reports, so the impact of upgrading your employee engagement initiatives runs deeper than you might think.

3. More productive staff

In addition to greater employee engagement and reduced turnover, digital transformation in logistics can also help boost staff productivity. In fact, McKinsey reports that well-connected teams see a productivity increase of 20–25%, so if you can target your DX initiatives towards connecting your employees, you could see another unexpected benefit.

With the right tools and technologies at their fingertips, your workers will be able to streamline processes, optimize performance, and improve output. This means better results for you and your organization – as well as increased job satisfaction for your logistics workers as it becomes easier to succeed in their frontline roles.

Whether you are implementing new systems, optimizing existing technology, or offering your employees training and support, digital transformation can help unlock the full potential of your workers and help drive greater success for your business.

4. Improved safety

In the logistics sector, one of the biggest concerns is often worker safety. This can be due to a number of factors, including long hours on the road, heavy lifting and handling of goods, or exposure to harsh weather conditions and other environmental hazards.

With digital transformation in logistics, however, you can help improve worker safety by leveraging new technologies and systems to protect your staff. This could include investing in smart wearables that track location and movement, implementing automated risk assessment tools, or an easy-to-access, Central Hub storing safety procedures and policies.

With this focus on safety, your workers will be more confident about their working conditions and better able to manage any risks that arise. And as a result, you can help reduce workplace injuries and help keep your employees safe, satisfied and healthy.

5. Increase your bottom line

And finally, perhaps one of the most valuable benefits of digital transformation in logistics is an improved bottom line. Whether you are looking to reduce costs, increase revenue, or improve overall efficiency for profitability, DX can help support these goals and drive greater success for your organization.

By leveraging new technologies and systems, you can streamline day-to-day processes, optimize performance and drive retention amongst your logistics workforce, saving on costs related to employee churn and recruitment and boosting your bottom line in the long-term.

Tips to help drive digital transformation in the logistics industry

Here are our top 5 tips to help implement a successful digital transformation in the logistics industry:

  1. Create a DX roadmap: A DX roadmap should include an evaluation of existing processes and systems, as well as a plan for implementing new technologies and improving existing ones.
  2. Align digital transformation strategy with business objectives: To maximize the impact of your digital transformation efforts in logistics, it's important to align these efforts with business objectives and goals. This will help ensure that you are investing in solutions that can have the greatest impact on your operations.
  3. Appoint digital transformation champions: To drive successful implementation and adoption of digital tools in logistics, it is important to identify key champions within your organization who can act as advocates for change.
  4. Communicate clearly and often: To help ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page, it is important to communicate your digital transformation goals and strategies clearly and often, as well as work closely with IT or other key departments to troubleshoot any issues or problems along the way.
  5. Keep track of your timeline: Maintaining a clear and realistic timeline for your digital transformation journey is essential to ensuring that you stay on track and meet your goals.
  6. Use the right tools: Whether it's a digital tool for employee engagement, a new ERP system, or order tracking do your best to ensure it's right fit that will drive performance forward.

By keeping these best practices in mind, HR leaders can help drive digital transformation in logistics, maximizing the impact of these efforts on their organization as a whole.

Accelerate your digital transformation today…

The Blink Frontline Engagement App offers a powerful and easy-to-use platform for improving communication, collaboration, and task management between logistics managers and frontline employees. Whether you are looking to reduce costs or drive employee engagement in your logistics operations, the Blink app can help you achieve your goals quickly and easily.


Don't fall behind in the DX movement – get started with Blink today, and start accelerating your digital transformation in logistics! 

With features like Secure Chats for real-time communications, Blink Feed for product updates, and a Central Hub for document management, Blink can help drive increased innovation and productivity throughout your entire organization.

Get started today

Logistics digital transformation FAQs

Why is digital transformation important in logistics?

Digital transformation is important in the logistics industry because it offers the opportunity for improved communication and collaboration, faster decision making, more efficient processes, and reduced costs. Additionally, digital transformation can help enhance customer satisfaction by improving product quality and delivery times, as well as helping to drive greater employee engagement and retention.

What are the benefits of digitalization in the logistics industry?

Some of the key benefits of digitalization in logistics include improved efficiency and productivity, reduced costs, faster decision making, enhanced communication and collaboration, and more effective customer service. In addition to this, digital technologies can help improve visibility into supply chain processes and systems, as well as enable real-time tracking of shipments and other important data through a strong digital supply chain process.

What are the future trends in logistics?

Some of the key future trends in logistics include the continued adoption of digital technologies and automation, growing focus on sustainability and environmental impact, expansion of delivery options and services, increasing digitization of supply chains, greater use of predictive and advanced analytics to drive decision making, and increased focus on data security.

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