How Technology is Impacting Logistics – David Webb

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As you may already know, technology affects every aspect of every industry in one way or another. What’s more, technology’s impact on an industry is bound to happen sooner or later. The main reason is that industries have to adopt new technologies and adjust to them or lose a competitive edge on the market. Needless to say, technological innovations and changes are always disruptive at first.

However, as companies begin to adjust, they also get to enjoy numerous benefits and advantages these innovations have to offer. The entire logistic process is no different. It’s safe to say that both retail and e-commerce supply chains have experienced some vast changes in the past couple of years and for the better. Today, technological trends on the market are driving improvements, innovations and changes to how products are manufactured, stored, transported and delivered to consumers. With that in mind, here are a few ways of how technology is impacting logistics.   

Warehouse automation

No longer do businesses have to worry about inconveniences that resulted from manual warehouse management. Misplaced orders, lost goods, late deliveries and other issues may as well be a thing of the past. Automation is one of the latest technological innovations that brought significant benefits to various industries, supply chains included.

By automating most of the warehouse management tasks, companies can improve productivity, reduce costs, improve efficiency, as well as accuracy. Automation can help with various warehouse management activities, such as order analyzing, invoicing, storage, labeling, packaging and even transportation. However, the key is to analyze your current system and implement automation the right way. Otherwise, you might run into difficulties due to inefficiency and poor optimization of warehouse automation.

Seamless transportation

Delivering goods to customers in a fast and efficient way has always been one of the major challenges of every supply chain. This is especially true for companies that provide customers with same-day or next-day deliveries. After all, ensuring customer satisfaction and retention are major factors in determining business success and remaining competitive on the market. Fortunately, technology aids those in need. With reliable fleet tracking software, companies can plan out the best routes for their vehicles and ensure that the goods are delivered to consumers on time.

In addition, this technological solution allows companies to monitor the state of both vehicles and drivers. The entire system is integrated into a single platform, which allows for better management and analysis. Companies can, therefore, ensure regular maintenance, reporting and cost-effectiveness of their planned out strategies. Moreover, employees will be much more productive as they don’t have to work double shifts due to a tight schedule and an abundance of deliveries.

Improved order management and fulfillment

Order fulfillment and order management can easily turn into a nightmare, especially if you favor a particularly large consumer base. In most cases, the holiday season tends to be the busiest time of the year when consumers are more than willing to stock up with necessities. Luckily, technology has once again provided a solution and made a significant impact on the logistics process. As a matter of fact, cloud-based solutions allow companies to vastly improve their order management and fulfillment processes.

You can process orders seamlessly and schedule pick-ups on time. What’s more, advanced data analytics allows companies to gather information and predict trends, which allows them to stock up on inventory in accordance with predicted consumer demand. This greatly reduces costs, saves time and helps avoid unnecessary delays. Companies can have everything prepared up front ranging from supplier deliveries to the transportation of goods to customers when orders are processed.

Enhanced scalability

Business scaling in accordance with consumer demand is also one of the major challenges supply chains often experienced. When consumer demand tends to increase the need for additional logistics comes alongside it. As mentioned before, advanced analytics allow companies to predict consumer demand by following the latest, as well as future market trends. That also means that technology can help businesses scale their logistic needs, in order to adjust to the new consumer demand.

This can be achieved by leveraging technology to assess potential bottlenecks and avoid inconveniences on time. Also, companies can monitor vendor health and switch between suppliers on time. In addition, inventory forecasting allows companies to predict demand and ensure their inventories are properly stocked on time and that everything is prepared to be shipped once the demand kicks in. Aside from it all, companies can accurately estimate how much they need to scale their logistics, in order to be able to meet that demand, in the first place.

Efficient global trade

Many retailers and e-commerce stores operate in the global market. International trade is one of the surest ways to guarantee profitability and success for your business. However, challenges that plague international trade, such as global logistics, international rules and regulations, foreign market and labor laws etc. were more than enough to give business owners major headaches. Once again, technology can make the entire process of global trade much more efficient and seamless.

Technology can ensure efficient communication and collaboration between everyone involved in the global supply chain ranging from manufactures to freight forwarders. One of the technological innovations that can improve the process, even more, is blockchain technology. This tech can enable seamless transactions between businesses and suppliers with no third-party intervention that will cause unnecessary delays. Unfortunately, this tech is still being developed and perfected but once it hits the market, it’s bound to revolutionize the supply chain as we know it.

Technological innovations are always pioneering improvements and changes for any industry they come in contact with. Even though the supply chain and logistics industry have the lowest level of digitalization, they’re still making significant progress. The impact technology will have on this sector is bound to be major and beneficial.