Giving predictions is no easy undertaking. I guess that's why fortune tellers tend to keep their forecasts as vague as possible. Or rather, predicting the future is easy ... getting it right is the hard part. However, in logistics, one thing seems certain: All information exchange in logistics will be electronic in the near future. Or, in other words, the future is digital logistics.
What does this mean in practice?
Essentially, it means one of the following, depending upon the situation your company is in:
If you are using an ICT system that enables electronic information exchange with your supply chain partners using messages, web services or other exchange of structured electronic documents, you should be “future-proof”.
If your company has an internal ICT system and exchanges information with other supply chain partners’ ICT systems using e-mail to send PDF, Excel or other files – typically requiring manual input one way or the other – then you need to take drastic action.
Your best option is to get help ensuring that your exchange of information is transformed into a capability defined in scenario number 1. There are providers that make such a transformation possible without having to change existing systems.
If your company does not use any type of ICT system for logistics management, then you have two choices:
A. If you are a very small company, basically a driver and a truck, then smartphone apps are available to you. These apps should include link to a community of logistics stakeholders, so that you may join one.
B. If such a smartphone app is not sufficient for your needs, then there are Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings for logistics management that do not require any initial investment.
You simply “pay as you go”, meaning that you are billed proportionally to usage. The more you use the service, the more you pay. This is a smart way to enter into the digital logistics era.
Predicting the future is never easy, but one thing is looming on the horizon: The future of logistics is digital. Digital logistics is the only feasible way forward as the industry is going through a time of rapid and unprecedented transformation.
Across the globe, logistics companies are adopting digital technologies to provide faster, cheaper, more reliable and sustainable delivery. Digitally optimising operations is critical to meeting rapidly growing consumer demands, cost reduction requirements, and the need to being compliant with regulations and environmental legislation.
More so, it is imperative for staying competitive and retaining market positions.
Understand the strategic reasons for making your logistics operation digital. Then follow the rest of the 6 steps to digital logistics.