Nokia’s core business is telecommunications. According to Steinbock (2010), “the corporation is the world’s leading manufacturer of mobile devices with a worldwide presence and operations”. As a result, the company has large volumes of products to transport from manufacturers to suppliers, to retailers. The company’s success in ensuring its products reach the markets on time so far has been attributed to a well-established supply chain management and effective inventory management. These two processes are heavily dependent on a transportation system that allows a large capacity at a minimum cost.
Nokia’s transportation system
Nokia operates many dozens of warehouse sites across different continents in the world. The company works together with other players in the transportation industry such as DHL to ensure timely delivery of its products. One way through which Nokia can improve its transportation process is by using the many available GS1 standards. The company will be able to track its products from every part of the world they are in. Deployment of such technologies ensures more streamlined communication between the company, its warehouse managers, and distributors.
Another way to improve a company’s transportation process is using real-time dynamic optimized models (Plant, 2007). Such models will allow Nokia to respond to supply chain changes in a way that most of its traditional transportation methods would not handle. Nokia’s supply chain managers will be able to respond to challenges and changes in a more timely manner. Real-time optimized models will help Nokia increase its focus on performance management. It will also allow the implementation of more sophisticated and effective reporting systems, allowing Nokia to track and trace its transport operations. In supply chain management, it will be easier to track goods on transit and have an accurate collection and delivery times.
Payment methods influence Nokia’s transport processes. The company has to pay for customs in different borders, fuel, and its team’s allowances. Enhanced freight payment tools will give Nokia better capabilities. In an era where bigger capacities are required, Nokia needs to move into more sophisticated processes of handling incoming freight bills to avoid delays. Improved payment tools will ensure that order deliveries are not delayed and cargo does not take too long on clearance points. A modern payment capability will also allow automatic recordings in Nokia’s systems, making data and information management even easier.
Another way through which Nokia can ensure transportation excellence is by integrating fleet management capabilities. Transportation management solutions can offer better ways to establish backhaul techniques and opportunities for Nokia. Modern fleet management solutions will offer Nokia robust support for integration of different transportation modes such as ocean and rail, to help solve the cost and capacity challenges facing the business today. They will offer capabilities that assure compliance, proper documentation, and accurate cost calculations.
Nokia can perfect its transport systems by using route optimization and planning. Optimization will help transport managers in different locations create daily routes using powerful programs (Transportation Research Board, 2010). The result is better resource utilization, where drivers deliver more and drive less. As demand for its products grows, the company does not have to increase the number of cars it has on the road. Instead, available transport management systems such as optimization can help it transit more volumes while keeping its costs low. Route optimization will help its transportation managers to synchronize activities in different warehouses and ensure that vehicles take as little time as possible on the road.
Continuous performance measurement is important for Nokia to establish areas and functions that are not working. It can be done through discussions with the transportation team or surveys on warehousing teams and retailers. A transportation system’s performance measurement can be based on the time taken to deliver products, cost incurred, the safety of goods, quality of goods when they reach their destinations, and distributors’ satisfaction with deliveries.
Adopting modern solutions such as transportation management systems is an important initiative if Nokia wants to reap full benefits from its transport processes. The transportation management system is one of the tools used by many other multinationals and big businesses to manage their supply chain. Its solutions will allow Nokia to manage key processes in its transportation system among them; planning, decision making, measurement, and transport follow-up. Its functions will act as supportive pillars for Nokia when selecting transportation modes and carriers, tracking vehicles on a real-time basis, controlling service quality, optimizing and planning transport schedules, simulating transportation costs, and batching shipment orders.
Nokia has an integrated supply chain inter-linking its manufacturers, suppliers, and customers. For it to reach its customers all over the globe, the company has put in place an extensive distribution channel. With a presence all over the globe, it requires an effective inventory management system to ensure its customers reach their products and the business minimizes expenses associated with distribution. Part of an effective inventory system is a timely movement of goods from one place to the other. The business can improve its transportation system by adopting modern solutions and technologies and through performance measurement, to allow it to identify what works and what doesn’t. It is through such initiatives that Nokia will be able to deliver products reliably and do it with less hustle.
Plant, J.F. (2007). Handbook of transportation policy and administration. Boca Raton: Taylor & Frances.
Steinbock, D. (2010). Winning across global markets: How Nokia creates strategic advantage in a fast-changing world. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Transportation Research Board. (2010). Measuring transportation network performance. Washington, D.C.: Transportation Research Board.