Logistics KPIs: if you love it, don't count it?

May 22, 2023

Renting a wagon costs a company between €10K and €15K per year, yet the operations manager in charge of optimising it usually has only fragmented information on the behaviour of his wagon.

Plea for a performance logic in rail logistics

Renting a wagon costs a company between 10K and 15K€ per year. The investment is substantial, yet the operations manager in charge of optimising it generally has only fragmented and poorly automated information on the behaviour of his wagon.

"How many journeys has he made? How many days did it spend in maintenance? How much did this wagon earn me in terms of goods transported?" These are all logistics KPIs that need to be monitored regularly.

We often say: "If you love it, you don't count it", but the saying hardly applies to logistics and rail.

In order to remain competitive and gain in efficiency, the rail mode definitely needs performance statistics.

Every Operations Director, Supply Chain Manager or Optimization Project Manager should use a reliable and automated business intelligence tool to achieve their goals.

Outdated and time-consuming railway reporting tools

Railway undertakings and shippers have put in place several methods to collect data on their wagon fleet and its use :

  • Purchased train paths and consignment notes are often compiled in an Excel file.
  • Regular emails are sent to notify the progress of the trains.
  • Phone calls are made to partners to check on traffic, car availability and the smooth running of operations.
  • Physical inventories are carried out by a person directly in the field.

This data can then be used for reporting purposes. It is used to determine various logistics KPIs: for example, the service rate, the average number of rotations, or the factory loading rate can be calculated.

However, if you have ever done such reporting, you may have wished that these data retrieval methods were automated.

Information is scattered or not up to date. Sometimes it is simply not centralised.

This is often the case, for example, for the time spent in the workshop.

Without reliable indicators, implementing an optimisation policy is tricky. But once you have activity statistics, you can start to adapt your practices and deepen your performance logic.

Anything that can be measured gets better!

At Everysens, we are convinced that everything that is measured improves. 

To make progress, you must first take stock. By measuring your performance via dashboards, you can analyse your operations more accurately and increase your operational efficiency.

Everything that is measured improves, and everything that improves can become profit! The lack of centralised data is a source of financial loss.

Logistics is a business with limited margins and many players. Regular performance measurement is therefore crucial.

In this context, the Internet of Things technology is an opportunity because it considerably increases the amount of data available for analysis. Our logistics optimisation platform centralises this data in real time and extracts reliable, automatically updated performance statistics tailored to your business.

A utopia, you might ask? Well, no.

A concrete example of a logistics KPI: the utilization rate

Our platform calculates the fleet utilisation rate. Set according to the client's business realities, this indicator provides information on the actual use of the fleet and identifies the phases of the wagon's life that require optimisation. The statistics make it possible to dispel any doubts with service providers and to focus on solutions.

The granularity of the indicator makes it possible to start with simple optimisations, but with a snowball effect. Putting a wagon back into use after a period of retention is a small-scale action. But taken together, these actions can reduce the rate of unavailability. And why not resize the fleet! Quite a saving in prospect...

Adapt your indicators to your business challenges

The idea is not to create a mill of KPIs without a purpose, but rather to have keys to understanding what works well and what doesn't, and to know why, in order to be able to put in place best practices.

Elisabeth Briand, Supply Chain Director at Conforama, confirms this

"The objective is to spend more time on improving the indicator than on how it is calculated".

Want to learn more? Schedule a meeting with our team.