The logistics landscape is changing for the better, but it’s hard to keep up with the trends and embrace a whole range of advanced technologies. Logistics companies now need to be more flexible than ever because their clients demand flawless services and timely delivery.
This is particularly important for decision-makers and SDC executives who have to bring data-driven decisions and create highly accurate long-term forecasts. Needless to say, it goes well beyond human capabilities, so the only surefire way to deal with this issue is to identify and deploy the state of the art tech solutions.
Studies show that 81% of companies plan to increase spending on software over the next two years, while 84% claim they are interested in introducing some sort of automation.
The main question is: What are the most important developments in this industry? There are lots of cutting-edge solutions to consider here, so keep reading to learn seven technologies which are key to high-performing logistics.
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1. Dynamic Route Planning Systems
Fleet management eats the vast majority of logistics costs, so a well-planned optimization in this field can make entire organizations better and more cost-efficient. Dynamic route planning systems can shorten delivery cycles and speed up transportation in order to maximize operational efficiency.
Such systems make it possible to reduce time-waste and spend only a few minutes planning the best routes for random delivery destinations. The purpose of dynamic route planning platforms is to have the right assets in the right place at the right time so as to increase customer service and satisfaction.
Jake Gardner, a dissertation help expert at the academic writing agency, explains that the system eliminates service failures, contributes to mile reduction, and drastically improves equipment utilization: “Instead of worrying about last-minute deliveries, you can exploit dynamic route planning and prepare all of your assets well in advance.”
2. Artificial Intelligence
AI represents the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings. As such, AI is making a substantial impact on logistics as it improves and sometimes even automates entire business models.
Although we still do not enjoy the privilege of independent AI-powered decision-making in logistics, the technology is already powerful enough to revolutionize capacity planning, inventory management, and many other aspects of the supply chain.
First of all, AI takes over most of the boring and repetitive tasks high-performing logistics agents would have to do manually. Secondly, AI-based platforms measure all inputs and parameters vital to logistics organizations, thus cutting costs and increasing customer retention in the long run.
3. Conversational systems
AI also contributes to the development of conversational systems. It’s a precious feature that comes in two basic formats:
- Website chatbots
- Voice-based personal assistants
You can find these platforms almost anywhere these days, from dissertation services to online stores and similar. The purpose of conversational systems is to enhance customer service and help clients to interact with the business around the clock.
Chatbots and voice assistants can answer the vast majority of users’ inquiries. This help high-performing logistics managers to cut costs, maximize satisfaction rates, and boost customer loyalty.
But that’s not the only benefit of using conversational systems. On the contrary, chatbots and personal assistants can also handle payments, monitor transactions, confirm deliveries, and do a whole range of other routine tasks without any human involvement whatsoever.
Internet of Things
You don’t need to be a tech geek to know about the Internet of Things (IoT), a concept that brings together smart devices to create a super-productive network of objects. This technology enables devices to communicate, exchange information, and trigger reactions among each other.
How does it influence logistics?
IoT turns warehouses into clever locations where managers perfectly understand the position and condition of each item 24/7. At the same time, the network can gather parcel-related information and figure out the delivery status at all times.
Paired with a central inventory management platform, IoT can eliminate overstocking and perfectly optimize the entire ecosystem in real-time.
5. Augmented Reality
Another technology that is threatening to change logistics for good is AR, a tool that could become vital for optimal planning and timely delivery. Generally speaking, there are four major features of AR in logistics:
- Warehousing operations: Although being a relatively new technology, AR already proves the ability to improve warehousing operations through the enhancement of the picking process.
- Transportation optimization: It also contributes to the optimization of transportation in terms of driver navigation, completeness check, freight loading, and international trade.
- Drop-offs optimization: Instead of relying on memory to find a given box, drivers can use AR devices to quickly locate boxes in the truck.
- Enhanced value-added services: Instead of focusing on delivery only, logistics companies could also use AR to perform new services like repair or assembly.
6. Autonomous vehicles
This may seem like a sci-fi concept, but autonomous vehicles are already alive and kicking in some areas of the logistic business. Self-driving vehicles make the business more productive, while they also drive data accumulation and drastically reduce downtime.
With full autonomy, operating costs would decline by about 45%, saving the US for-hire trucking industry between $85 billion and $125 billion. How come?
Here’s why – autonomous vehicles are fully operational around the clock. They don’t take breaks, don’t mind the weather conditions, and don’t waste fuel thanks to the automatic driving mode. Besides that, self-driving vehicles improve warehouse operations without jeopardizing the safety of human workers.
7. Big data for predictive analytics
Big data is making yet another breakthrough in logistics due to its predictive analytics abilities. As data resources keep piling up, all you need is a big data platform to identify relevant information and come up with valuable business-related conclusions.
That way, logistics companies can reduce error margins and pinpoint future opportunities much faster than their less agile competitors. There’s no need to rely on human judgment or intuition anymore as there are objective data analytics tools that take into account key parameters such as supply chain efficiency, end-to-end performance, sourcing, inventory management, and so on.Listen to “End-to-End Supply Chain Visibility: The Always Evolving Quest Driven by Technology” on Spreaker.
The Bottom Line For High-Performing Logistics
New technologies influence almost every aspect of the business, but it seems like logistics has been experiencing a genuine metamorphosis in the last few years. In this post, we analyzed seven technologies that are key to high-performing logistics. Are you planning to embrace any of the platforms we mentioned above?