The logistics industry has seen plenty of changes in 2018 that point to a more technology-oriented future and this year is proving to be a transformative one. Companies are experiencing huge benefits in the manufacturing, sourcing, and delivering of their products into the market thanks to the implementation of the newest trends in the industry. This allows companies to keep up with the increasing demands of consumers in regards to faster delivery and customization.
In order to stay relevant and competitive, supply chain innovators are starting to explore their options when it comes to the use of digital technology and artificial intelligence.
These are the top trends in the logistics industry that supply chain innovators should follow to meet the demands of their consumers and provide overall satisfaction.
The use of more data and cloud-based infrastructure
Companies are starting to adapt the use of data-driven logistics and it’s one of the primary driving forces in the industry in 2018. By correctly using data, logistics managers are able to measure consumer demand more accurately and take the necessary steps to meet it. Visualization of data, graphs, and analytics allow companies to provide a seamless way of servicing their customers in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
The prevalent use of cloud-based infrastructure has been increasingly important for a lot of companies and for good reason. This allows for improved performance in after-sales management and makes numerous tasks more streamlined thanks to the accessibility of cloud-based infrastructure.
With data and analytics, many companies within the logistics industry are placing more emphasis on forecasting to ensure that the product supply is adequate enough without having to over-compensate. Improved data management allows companies to better predict consumer needs
The use of artificial intelligence and blockchain
One of the most important trends in the logistics industry is the use of artificial intelligence. It’s the cutting edge solution to improve operations within the supply chain. AI fills the gap between consumer demand and shortage of workers thanks to robotics and machine visions being used in production facilities, warehouses, and every other component of the supply chain sector. It’s a cost-efficient strategy by reducing labor costs within the supply chain.
AI technology enhances many moving parts of the logistics function through automation and digitization. A prime example is self-driving vehicles that operate autonomously within the warehouse and manufacturing facilities. Advanced material handling equipments are able to perform certain tasks seamlessly which helps operators utilize their resources in the best way possible.
This means that companies can assign their employees to perform far more important tasks and let the machines handle the repetitive, lower value tasks.
Blockchain delivers more transparency within the supply chain, allowing companies to confidently collaborate with logistics providers and suppliers without having to worry about compromised information. Taking advantage of these innovations will help facilitate work within the supply chain and it’s something that supply chain innovators should start following in order to keep up with the competition.
Enhancing the visibility of the supply chain
With proper analysis of supply chain data, companies can start to improve forecasting and help optimize the use of their resources in storage, transportation, and inventory management. Having an enhanced visibility of the supply chain gives valuable insight on what’s happening at each aspect of the supply chain. In order to improve logistics, companies must ensure that the entire supply chain process is working in tandem with each other like acquiring goods, manufacturing, transport and delivery, etc.
Another advantage of having an enhanced supply chain visibility is the refinement of real-time inventory management. It raises the process up to a whole new level by making use of point-to-point sensors to better track and handle inventory, allowing the goods to be replaced immediately as soon as they are consumed.
Real-time data input and access
Advanced AI solutions are becoming more and more prevalent within the supply chain, especially in the warehouse segment. Companies are adapting new technologies like wearable devices to which they combine it with cloud technology to help input and access data in real time. The advantage of these wearable devices is that employees can properly collect, analyze, and break down data which helps them stay up-to-date with the product demands while maintaining full control of inventory at any point in time.
Warehouse managers can take advantage of these wearable devices to enhance data input and access. Things like keeping track of stored, manufactured, and distributed products, and quick, accurate data collection all benefit every aspect of the supply chain.
Strengthening collaborations within the supply chain process
Forging strong relationships with suppliers and maintaining solid procurement practices are an important trend that many supply chain innovators should follow suit. Seamless cooperation within the supply chain process can help assess risks more effectively. This way, potential stock shortages can be avoided by taking a close look at the global industrial trends as well as a the political trends.
Internal processes also receive a huge benefit which helps prevent overutilization of resources that are normally used in time-consuming administrative tasks. Stronger collaborations within the supply chain means that you can also generate referrals from satisfied business partners, helping you to reel in more business as an added bonus.
Addressing the needs of the customers are of significant importance and companies should start segmenting them into groups. By doing so, companies can effectively discuss in detail what influences each customer’s purchasing decisions instead of generalizing them altogether. This direct consumer business approach will ensure the satisfaction of the customers and improve the quality of service will lead to more revenue as companies adapt to this new trend.
The logistics industry is always undergoing changes in order to improve customer satisfaction by streamlining their services to a future-oriented approach. By implementing these trends, every aspect of the supply chain will experience significantly improved performance. As the trends continue to evolve, innovative supply chain leaders are looking to embrace these changes to improve their rankings in the marketplace.