The Role of Data Management in Pallets and Transport Packaging
31 Oct 2016
In pallets and transport packaging, data management plays a huge role, but it could become an even bigger part of it in the future.
If you can’t measure something, you can’t manage it, which is why data is incredibly important in every industry. Compared to 30 years ago, there’s a lot more data to be managed these days, and because of how much it has grown, companies are now referring to it as “Big Data”. Big Data refers to the large data sets that are so complex that previous ways of processing data are inadequate in analysing them. The analytics of Big Data now enables companies to look at large sets of data to find things like customer preferences, market trends, unknown correlations and hidden patterns, as well as other useful pieces of information.
By generating data through machines and sensors, companies aren’t just gathering a great amount of data that’s high-quality; they’re also being enabled to use a variety of different types of information sources. This data is being categorised by researchers as structured, semi-structured and unstructured data. Structured data relates to those areas of data that businesses have used for a long time, such as those areas that accounting and IT departments have tracked. Semi-structured data can include other things such as pricing of competitors and customer satisfaction surveys, whilst unstructured data includes a whole host of different sources, including blog posts, emails, Twitter feeds and GPS telematics.
Big Data analytics provides companies with the ability to use the insights that even social media campaigns are providing. For example, this is how Amazon can recommend relevant products to you and how ads appear on your computer relating to things you’ve just been searching for.
Big Data and Pallets
For plastic pallets in the supply chain, the correlation between them and Big Data has been the RFID chip for a long time. The concept behind the RFID was that it could provide information about the unit load or pallet, place a date stamp on it when it reached certain locations and provide additional information about the environment the pallet was in (through additional sensors), such as the temperature.
For supply chain operations, those behind these tagging solutions believed they could create value, outweighing the initial cost of installing readers or tags. However, the market hasn’t embraced this proposition as quickly as it was hoped, instead focusing their optimisation efforts on gathering data provided by barcodes, forklift tracking and transport vehicle telematics.
Despite this, there is still optimism that plastic pallets with sensors will become a more prominent feature, particularly as more managers are embracing data and innovative tools are making the analysis of this data even easier than before.
Data Is Crucial for Pallet Companies
For pallet providers, including those supplying Euro pallets, data is becoming increasingly important. For many pallet organisations, software like Salesforce is crucial when they’re organising and tracking their customer relationships. Other types of software are also helping companies to save money, whilst some larger businesses are utilising software that optimises their transport routing, shaving miles and time from their many deliveries. Barcode systems have also offered impressive benefits for those who are using these systems, along with software that enables them to design their pallets.