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Why Digital Transformation Matters in Logistics & Transportation

Digital transformation for logistics
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Why Digital Transformation Matters in Logistics & Transportation

Industry leaders are looking for alternatives to leverage the opportunities of tomorrow and this is the reason for opting digital transformation in logistics and transportation. 

The output of logistics and transportation is often measured using three critical parameters: efficiency, time and speed. The industry in order to meet the brimming competition and accelerating evolutions look out for opportunities to create an advantage. 

And, thanks to digital transformation solutions, most executives believe that adding real-time data to their processes and systems will improve their overall efficiency, speed and time. 

Here in this post I have compiled some common challenges logistics, transportation face and some of the ways digital solutions are impacting and benefiting the logistics and transportation industries. 

Logistics and transportation challenges

Shared below are some of the top and common challenges both the industries face on a day-to-day basis. 

  • Fuel costs
  • Business process improvements
  • Improved customer service
  • Economy
  • Driver shortage & retention
  • Government regulations 
  • Environmental issues 
  • Technology strategy & implementation

Of the many, technology strategy and implementation for business improvements is considered to be alarming as it contributes to increased cost, time and below par customer service. 

Before diving in, let’s take a quick look at the impacts of digital transformation in logistics and transportation, and market share across logistics and transportation segments. 

What is logistics 4.0

Logistics 4.0 has the objective of creating a transparent ecosystem, in which all the systems involved can expose relevant data. People, machines, sensors, and devices will be able to share the data necessary for the supply chain to operate efficiently, which will enable end-to-end visibility and control. This will also support top management decisions by providing in advance insights and prediction about delays, breakdowns, and interruptions to the stakeholders involved in the supply chain. (Source: medium.com). Logistics 4.0 is not possible with industry 4.0 solutions. From this it is prudent that digital transformation in the logistics industry is gaining momentum. 

DX market share for logistics & transportation segments

The global market size for digital transformation in logistics and transportation was valued at USD 54.92 billion in 2018 and is anticipated to rise up to USD 145.28 billion by 2025 with a CAGR of 13.0% during the forecast period. 

Clearly, there is high adoption of digital technologies in field of transportation and logistics as developing robust new platforms solve problems related to asset underutilization, reduces supply chain inefficiencies, improve demand-supply matching, and increase connectivity and visibility across systems. With the improved operational connectivity and visibility between previously siloed systems, stakeholders are able to seamlessly connect to each other throughout the supply chain. (Source: Adroit Market Research)   

Digital transformation solutions for Logistics and Transportation

Industry 4.0 solutions are transforming the way logistics and transportation companies function and in fact play a critical role in enhancing the overall processes and performances. The below sections will focus on the role of advanced digital technologies like IoT, RPA, AI and Mobile Applications and their benefits for both these segments. 

Role of IoT in transportation and logistics industry

IoT provides actionable insights about Asset Intelligence and helps the transportation and logistics industry to expand in the below mentioned ways.

End-to-End Supply Chain Visibility

IoT combines the company’s online presence with the physical stores through real-time collection at key points in the supply chain. This paves way for end-to-end customer satisfaction and improved supply chain process. Also, the data captured helps in improving accuracy. With the sensor-enabled IoT solutions, companies can monitor the location and speed of vehicles precisely.

IoT technology helps in condition monitoring including measuring temperature stability to minimize the wastage of perishable products. It also helps in sharing the critical real-time information with the stakeholders to mitigate disruption.

Another huge advantage of IoT in supply chain visibility is inventory and equipment monitoring, management. Along with inventory management benefits, it also provides predictive maintenance information, alerting the engineers for the potential breakdowns to avoid costly machine maintenance operations.

Warehouse Management

The real-time data collected through the physical devices help warehouse staff in the transportation and logistics industry to share every critical data in the centralized cloud. This accelerates on-time delivery of a particular product at the right location. So, the IoT-based mobile devices at warehouses enhance the productivity of organizations.

Fleet Management

Replacing manual and hard-copy orders with the IoT-enabled operations improves the fleet performance, saves time and ensures data accuracy. IoT connectivity enables companies to communicate regarding the in-field repairs, maintenance, etc. 

With regular updates on certain conditions such as bad weather or traffic through this connectivity, managing the fleet becomes seamless while also increases workforce safety. 

Here are some of the ways IoT helps logistics and transportation companies. 

  • Improves inventory with IoT asset tracking
  • Improves supply chain transparency
  • Offers real-Time data monitoring across different touch points
  • Ensures seamless fleet management

Role of mobile app for logistics and transportation

Along with other technologies like IoT, AI, Cloud, mobile applications play a critical role in the improvement of logistics and transportation performances of companies. 

Here are some of the ways mobile apps development help the companies expedite operations in an efficient way. 

  • Offers flexibility to optimize routes and delivery schedules
  • Enables location tracking
  • Helps monitor vehicle and fleet movement 
  • Improves process efficiency
  • Betters inventory management
  • Improves driver efficiency
  • Enhances user experience

Role of AI in logistics and transportation industry

Artificial intelligence is transforming the logistics industry significantly. According to an Independent market research firm Tractica, the sales of warehousing and logistics robots will reach $22.4 billion by 2021. 

Some of the benefits of AI in logistics and transportation companies include 

  • Helps with demand forecasting
  • Helps with big data
  • Assists in last-mile delivery
  • Helps in real-time decision making
  • Helps in creating contingency plans
  • Helps in accurate information processing

Role of RPA in logistics and transportation industry

Industry experts are focusing on increasing staff productivity, service levels by deploying robotic process automation (RPA) to eliminate repetitive, manual data entry tasks. This frees up employees to focus on your customers and perform the critical tasks. RPA also helps with identifying trends and patterns that can help the business optimize operations and logistics management.

Some of the benefits of RPA in logistics and transportation companies include 

  • Automates shipment scheduling and tracking with robotic process automation
  • Eliminates manual processes for capturing loads and rate look-ups
  • Speeds up invoicing by integrating systems with customer portals
  • Enhances customer responsiveness with automated order/inventory tracking
  • Helps gain insights to improve forecasting and logistics planning

Digital transformation benefits for logistics and transportation

  • Hyper-connectedness in transport and logistics
  • Secure and accurate information management
  • Real-time visibility across all points 
  • Minimal risks, maximum trust
  • Accelerated productivity
  • Digitized inventory, asset, fleet management
  • Improved customer engagement

Digital transformation in logistics use case

A leading logistics player wanted to increase the profit with a digitally transformed business ecosystem. The challenge was to automate end-to-end logistics processes from manufacturing consignment to end-client delivery fulfilment. With the help of digital transformation solutions, the company was able to transform their business landscape through efficient order to delivery management. The real-time data helped make better decisions in handling end-to-end shipment during the transition with utmost accuracy and efficiency. 

Conclusion

As the logistics and transportation companies are looking out for innovative ways to transform their existing processes to optimized ones, the future of digital transformation solutions looms bright in these segments. With the majority of the companies switching to digital solutions like IoT, mobile app, AI, RPA, it is prudent that digital transformation solutions will be an automatic choice for these industries. 

Do you look for digital transformation services to optimize your logistics and transportation process? We are experts. Got questions? Let’s talk. 

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