Barcelona, August 5, 2017. The month of August is the time of disconnection. However, at the same time is the time to analyze the business plan during the first semester and plan the following exercises. One of the variables to be monitored will be the logistics, the supply chain, the transportation of the goods and the user experience of the customer. To reflect on the supply chain it is very useful to read the most current trends. For example:
Data-Driven Supply Chains
The technological landscape for logistics and supply chain is rapidly changing. However, deployment remains sluggish thanks to existing old legacy systems that cannot be instantaneously flushed, causing a competitive disadvantage to companies as they lose the time-window to modernize their operations and structures. Better-equipped companies will prevail. Understanding big data and its genuine benefits, along with implementing best practices results in a massive advantage for optimizing existing supply chain manufacturing, warehousing, and logistics practices. To stay on top of the evolution, processes must be automated, and systems integrated. Alibaba released their quarterly reports just recently. Big hand to them! They are the perfect example of a company investing more and more in big data and its closely related technologies.
Consumerization refers to the impact that consumer-originated technologies can have on enterprises. It reflects how enterprises will be affected by, and can take advantage of, new technologies and models that originate and develop in the consumer space, rather than in the enterprise IT sector. Just look at what has happened to travel agencies on the passenger side; then question how air cargo can still remain about 40 years behind. The reason lies in industry protectionism, which is starting to explode. Shippers will jump into the drivers seat and empower consumerization. We have seen numerous companies pop-up in the world of inefficient freight forwarding (FF) recently. These newcomers will eventually make this so called “complicated process” of booking freight and clearing customs etc. a seamless working solution. At that time, we can kiss most of today’s FFs goodbye. That is, unless they quickly start repairing the holes in their socks. Supply chains will become more consumer-driven with efficient future demand prediction, to ensure supply meets the predicted demand.
The logistics industry is testing and evaluating various IoT use cases, and chances are, some will add tremendous value (especially with more valuable assets being shipped). The industry should keep close on this, while also keeping in mind cost efficiency, decreasing margins on bulk, and primarily the real added value for end-customers. Amazon Go is a great example of an IoT application that is adding great value.
Augmented Reality (AR) in Labor Intensive Functions
Augmented Reality has become a topic of interest in some areas of logistics, such as warehousing, packing and ground handling roles, which are typically low-paid, rather boring and inefficient. Workers can use “smart glasses” to integrate product information right before their eyes (literally). These smart glasses can scan barcodes, help indoor navigation, and eventually increase the efficiency (less faults, better visibility, better performance and more fun in the job) of manually handling products.
Returns Management Excellence
There are 2 major components to consider regarding returns management.
1. Customer satisfaction. If you manage it well, the customer will shop again.
2. Cost savings as the result of a transparent process and execution.
Autonomous Vehicles and Drones
This is an area that is sure to grow, but 2017 is still a bit too early. Customer facing deliveries are somewhere in the future still, even though many last mile delivery companies and postal operators have already tested drones in practice. At this point, it is more PR related than anything else. However the role of unmanned vehicles inside factories and warehouses is already in full swing. Robots have played an integral part in developed warehouses since the 1980s and 90s.
Software for transport and logistics companies is another variable for the global analysis of your company. Check the health of your information technologies. In AndSoft we have accumulated 20 years of being experts in development. Software for transport and logistics companies is another variable for the global analysis of your company. Check the health of your information technologies. At AndSoft we have accumulated 20 years being experts in developing the best technological solutions for transportation and logistics. We invite you to meet us and analyze together the efficiency of your technology platform.