To say that technological advancements are happening daily is a misnomer. Technological advancements in every area of industry are happening moment by moment and the supply chain logistics industry holds the evidence of this fact. In almost every part of the process, tech has taken over, and done so with accuracy, speed and control. Toward this end, those who consider purchasing and using the newest tech available must evaluate and consider which tech fits with the internal logistical needs of the business. In this article, we offer some of the tech advancements that make sense for the logistics industry, with the purpose of offering examples of advancements that may change the “traditional” in your business to tech in your business going forward.
- Automated Shipping Software
Yes, we know there have been automated shipping processes for some time; however, consider the newest formats and you may agree this is, in fact, future forward. The newest software, for example, forms the shipping orders according to the customers’ needs, creates new infrastructures, and programs robotic arms in warehouses . Robotic arms have been in production since 2018 for usage in ecommerce; however, it has now reached new heights in strength, speed and precision. Obviously, this leads to fewer manual tasks, which increases productivity. The use of the software in programming robotics also reduces the risks of errors or accidents in the process.
- AI that Supports Algorithms
Artificial Intelligence has already proven to be a tremendous addition to supply chain logistics, simply because it can support or create solutions for thorny challenges within the chain. The newest algorithms, however, can now improve a grocery list of chain components; including reducing errors, boosting effectiveness, forecasting analytics, improving order slotting, and inventory management. This is massive improvements across the board.
- Order Provenance, Tracking & Monitoring
One of the most critical aspects of accuracy in end-to-end supply chain visibility is found in order provenance. With both international partners and changing political winds, the process of tracking and monitoring can be fraught with errors. The newest tech solutions (and challenges) lie in creating a seamless shipment from supplier, to freight forwarder, to shipper, to distribution center, to destinations. To toss all of these elements into the same shopping bag, data analytics must be made to conform to requirements. In consideration of the human and natural acts of God, this conformity may be asking too much; industry software has some way to go before reaching peak performance. If you are observing the process of supply chain logistics and are considering launching your own business, use this how to start a logistics business template as a great start.
- Blockchain Improvements
Blockchain has been used for about a decade; however, it has continually been improved in seamless integrative formulas. This has created the ability for customers, such as consumer goods manufacturers and retail chain logistics teams to ensure order provenance, as well as transparency in manufacturing processes. Blockchain improvements are continually assessed in this critical role and, hopefully, will continue to indicate improved processes.
- Predictive Analytics
The demand from every end user of supply chain transport, including retailers and distributors, has indicated a giant leap in both predictive analytics accessibility and predictive analytics confusion. The art form of predictive analytics requires those who thoroughly understand not only the process, but the programs and these issues are still in flux. Analytics will take the retailer and distributor to higher levels of efficiency and greater receptiveness to supply chain innovations, however, collaboration is needed on a greater level before predictive analytics, with all of its promises, will be fully embraced and effectively utilized.
- Smarter-than-Ever Wearables
Yes, we know wearables are seen in every corner of the supply chain these days. We also remember when the first transistor radios were attached to our ears by a thin cord and a tiny receiver, which made us, at ages 10 and 12, feel important and very adult. The point being, wearables are convenient and offer considerable improvements over sitting at one’s desk, reading the updated information from an automated bank. Wearables are cool, including the glasses and the watches. We’re just saying…wait for it. There will be more wearables ahead and they will be stunning in both appearance and capabilities. Finally, don’t forget that the Sony Walkman followed the transistor radio…so, you can only imagine the improvements to come.
In the supply chain logistics industry, tech has certainly earned a place of prominence. It has infused every corner of the process with reliability, speed and convenience. The occasional disconnect between humans and analytics, AI, software, and other tech is to be expected, as tech marches on toward an even more promising future in supply chain logistics.