The world of logistics is making a huge shift towards digital business now more than ever. Some figure even point out that more than 80% of all businesses will move towards digital channels within the next 5 years, which means that being prepared for those changes is not simply a luxury a few can afford, but instead an absolute necessity in order to remain relevant, competitive and pretty much alive in the world of logistics of the near future.
Technological advances in the world of logistics respond to the necessities of many different areas of operations. You have some new innovations that cover transportation, warehousing, customer relations, shipping and even internal data gathering that allow for a better control of statistics in the way information is collected, analyzed and subsequently used. However, we want to talk about three areas in particular, today in David Kiger’s Blog because we feel the are the best in bringing everything together into one package and have the widest impact on the entire logistics operations in direct and also indirect ways.
The truth of the matter is, most warehouses and logistic businesses are in the process of upgrading their operations and embracing new technology that will make them much more competitive in the coming future and able to not just meet the needs of their customers but most importantly anticipate those needs in ways we didn’t imagine were possible ten or twenty years ago.
As we all already know, logistics is the backbone of the way we do business and technological advances can dramatically change the way those businesses are conducted by increasing the affordability and efficiency of transportation management systems, warehousing procedures and general and overall tracking of product movement in-house or externally.
Here we have 3 of the most important technologies that are changing logistics right now.
Automation includes many processes that can be done without the need of an operator being involved with the actual movement and running of the activity. This includes drones, robots, self-driving vehicles and automated computer systems.
It goes without saying that robots and drones allow us to do less work as we leave the heavy lifting literally to artificial intelligent machines that collect no wages and can work 24 hours a day. Robots in manufacturing are not a new thing, but continue to become more and more impressive as time goes by. On top of that, you can avoid many safety issues and expect an almost perfect performance of these solutions. Self-driving vehicles are no longer a futuristic fantasy and in the world of logistics, they are a dream come true. These fleets are able to move around the country without drivers at all hours of the day making operations more efficient and allowing companies to reduce costs so as to enhance profit and be able to provide customers with more affordable solutions to their logistic needs. Automated computer systems are.
Big Data’s impact in the supply chain cannot be overstated. As logistics are complex and dynamic as few other fields of business, Big Data comes in and changes the way operations are run by allowing a great insight into analytics. Big data can pick up information concerning operational systems, traffic and weather data, diagnosis from vehicles and driving patterns, response data to advertising and website browsing and general data gathered from social media. All of this information is analyzed and used to preemptively make decisions about where the business should focus and how operations should shift in order to anticipate what customers want and how the company will get it to their hands.
Amazon is known for the superb logistics and their operation is so advanced that they are now able to send products to the areas where they anticipate customers are going to want them before the customers even know these products exist. Solutions like that require an immense amount of planning and experience that only Big Data can offer businesses today. In our day in age, there are few resources as valuable as information and Big Date is the way to put all of that information to great use and to enhance your business.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
Augmented and virtual reality are solutions that are equally amazing, complex and useful to launch logistics to places we never imagined before. Imagine seeing reality through your eyes but with the help of a device that takes in your environment and enhances the information you have and joins it with extra information gathered from many different sources helping you keep your vision on the price while at the same time utilize available data. AR not only helps workers in warehouses but also drivers and forklift operators to do their jobs faster and in a more efficient and safe way. These are truly exciting times in the world of logistic.
* Featured Image courtesy of spencer cooper at Flickr.com