Digital improvement in logistics and supply chain

The evolution of technology is pushing the boundaries and changing how the world does business. Today, we’re accustomed to everything being online and right at our fingertips for immediate access. Improved technology has also increased productivity in the supply chain, minimizing costs and errors. According to the Logistics, Supply Chain and Transportation 2023 report by Forbes Insights, nearly two-thirds of logistics executives say they expect technology to deliver significant productivity gains. They are looking at blockchain allied to IoT and telematics to enable greater visibility while 53 percent of respondents say they expect technology to enhance the whole of the customer experience, with solutions like artificial intelligence and machine learning at the heart of that. Here are five major technology advances that are changing the future of the logistics industry.

  1. Shipment Tracking Systems
    Previously, customers booked shipments, received an estimated delivery date and then were left in the dark, unless they decided to make a phone call. Today, internet and software advances allow customers access to shipping and tracking systems 24/7. Not only does this enhance the user experience, but it saves time and money for the company as well.
  2. Internet of Things (IoT)
    IoT is opening up many opportunities for the supply chain, such as reducing costs and delays by avoiding risks. Sensors are built into cabs, cargo ships, trains, etc., and connect to an alarm system or dispatcher that is monitoring and tracking. These sensors process and transmit the information to the crew who then gains insight into hidden risks and knowledge. Data collected from IoT devices gives fleet management companies valuable insights into driver and vehicle behavior, any possible acts of law breaking by the driver, breaking speed limits and more.
    IoT tracking and tracing tools make companies more profitable – according to Frost & Sullivan, using IoT solutions in the trucking industry to improve traceability and control of freight leads to an increase in profits of 10-15 percent annually.Although IoT isn’t an entirely new technology, it continues to impact the future of logistics, allowing for a more accurate in-transit visibility and delivery of goods.
  3. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
    RFID technology, which has also been in use for a few years, is a popular labor-saving way companies can track their inventory. A tag or sensor is placed on the product and radio waves are sent out. The data is then received and processed by the company. Similar to RFID tags are barcodes, but the superior speed of information delivery and data processing of RFIDs is more appealing to businesses and the way technology is moving. Today, many companies are using RFID tags in their distribution warehouses to monitor containers. Other industries are already using RFID tags, such as the apparel industry and major theme parks.
  4. Enhanced GPS Accuracy
    Long gone are the days when you printed out directions from the computer before you left the house. Now almost everyone uses GPS, whether built-in on their vehicles or on their cellphones. The accuracy of these devices has drastically increased throughout the years, not only helping frustrated, lost drivers but also improving the supply chain. The advanced accuracy of GPS allows for increased productivity and satisfied customers, by tracking trucks’ locations and improving hauls through access to updated traffic data.
  5. Social Media
    Who doesn’t check some sort of social media platform every day? The power of social media is optimizing the logistics industry and operations as a whole. These platforms are becoming the easiest and most efficient way for companies to communicate with customers, conveying urgent information, industry news, and customer responses quickly.

To remain competitive and enhance efficiency, keeping up with the latest technology is a must. The breakthroughs in technology will continue to push the boundaries for years to come and the logistics industry will continue to grow as more advances are made.

Importance of TMS in logistics

Transportation Management System (TMS) has become crucial. Often times, people initially think of a TMS as a simple tool in routing freight from origin to destination. Although, this is a core feature, utilizing a TMS during the fulfillment process creates greater efficiency and productivity in the daily operations.
There are many types of TMS solutions, that vary from more traditional on-premise TMS solutions, to network TMS solutions. The right TMS can optimize your core operations and transform the way your business functions.
Here are the Benefits of Transportation Management System

  1. Reduction in Cost: The more you use it, the more you save! The TMS has the ability to log and track all carriers, their fees and the amount of transactions daily to achieve more savings.
  2. Time Savings: Instead of doing manual work or sending disjointed emails, shippers can instantly access the information they need through a single digital platform. The TMS let shippers compare rates side by side and make strategic choices regarding their shipment
  3. Efficiency and productivity: implementing a TMS into your fulfillment center processes allows you to dedicate more time to areas that need it. These systems are built to be customized to suit your needs and are in place to enforce business rules and processes to ensure proper execution.In combination with a Warehouse Management Service (WMS), you get the overall supply chain visibility you need to make business decisions that drive additional cost savings and reduce inefficiencies.Manual processes are eliminated, leaving little room for error.
  4. Improve customer service levels: Providing excellent customer service is crucial for business growth. Consumers like to know where their orders are at all times and a TMS allows you to do so. With the ability to monitor on-time performance, a TMS can show you how frequently a carrier meets, or doesn’t meet, their transit times logged in the system. If your customer is paying a higher rate for expedited service, you can help them save money by holding the carrier responsible in meeting those times. Additionally, you can use the tracking and reporting to identify service failures; enabling you to solve problems before they occur.
  5. Increase Business growth: Using a TMS is a great resource to help manage your supply chain. Companies that use a TMS have a competitive advantage against competition and see many opportunities to grow their business.

Challenges like the driver shortage, capacity crunch, increased final mile delivery expectations and rising freight prices have shippers looking for ways to improve their supply chains. The solution to these problems is to implement a transportation management system (TMS). A robust TMS can speed up logistics operations, reduce waste and improve the company’s bottom line.

Importance of Logistics to Supply Chain

Logistics is one of the most important factors of supply chain management.  It is the basic factor of success for each company and evolves in all the operations happen in the business. By the cargo volumes grow and transportation becomes more difficult; the requirement of logistics is rising. The process of planning, implementing, and controlling the efficient, effective flow and storage of goods, services and related information from their point of origin to point of consumption for the purpose of satisfying customer requirements. Logistics aligns the complex pattern of traffic and transportation, shipping and receiving, import and export operations, warehousing, inventory management, purchasing, production planning, and customer service. Companies see logistics as a critical blueprint of the supply chain. It is the procurement, supply, maintenance, and transportation of equipment, facilities, and personnel.

By creating partnerships with suppliers, shipping services and warehousers, and connecting these services through automated systems, the logistics of getting products to the consumer are improved with reduced overhead costs and faster delivery. Understanding how the logistics system theory works require strategic planning when calculating what will be needed while focusing on obtaining materials and managing how quickly products are produced to help ensure swift delivery to the consumer. Component of a good logistics include:

  • Customer satisfaction: Customer service satisfaction has become a basis on which companies drive business growth and profitability, using the best transportation system strengthens performance trade-offs to reduce shipping costs and ensure timely delivery of goods. These processes and systems are integral parts of a solid logistics management system, emphasizing the importance of warehousing and transportation for customer service excellence for end-user product delivery.
  • Fast delivery: Today’s world economy is connected through social media and the Internet and has raised customer expectations for faster product delivery. Developing logistics strategies that embrace these expectations requires companies to look at things like the physical location of warehouses and the use of sophisticated software systems to receive purchase requests within a matter of of seconds rather than days.
  • Saving Cost: Cost savings is created by reducing warehousing costs and purchasing based on supply forecasts, better inventory management, reliable shipping and timely delivery to the end-user.
  • Long term goal: Logistics helps companies understand the key metrics, core processes and long-term goals of their supply chain so they can get the right item to the right place at the right time. To meet these expectations, companies have to improve the logistics of their supply chain to expedite order fulfillment and quickly ship the item via the most reliable, yet cost-effective and timely means.