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Digital Transformation: Accelerate Logistics Operations with Process Digitization

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Digital Transformation: Accelerate Logistics Operations with Process Digitization

The digital revolution has enabled customers to buy the products or goods they prefer delivered at their doorsteps. Today’s customers want it fast and have no clue over what happens behind the scenes to deliver the same on-time. Growing customer demands and expectations always add more pressure on logistics companies as their staffs have to ensure the warehouse and inventory are properly stocked and managed. With fewer tools and technology, their staffs have to strain a lot to live up to the customer expectations. However, it is very possible today with the help of partnering with reputed digital transformation services.

Logistics 4.0 and digitalization impact on Logistics companies

With the internet being the major access portal for customers to consume information, almost every industry is striving hard to embrace cutting-edge digital technologies and solutions. Intelligent and integrated processes using advanced digital disruptions are the new normal and only companies with such an approach are thriving today. 

Logistics 4.0 – simply put, it is the digitalization of logistics processes (using Industry 4.0 solutions) to experience accelerated performance and position their businesses successfully in the market. In brief, it is all about automating the processes within and outside the logistics companies to improve decision making and perform better. 

SEE ALSO: Why Digital Transformation Matters in Logistics & Transportation

The ultimate aim of logistics companies switching to digital solutions is to create transparency across the whole processes at the same time optimize their existing processes to improve the overall process and resource efficiency to the optimum level. So, Logistics 4.0 has started to impact the logistics industry hard and companies have no other option than to invest in the technologies to improve their bottom-line. 

3 Areas digitization is transforming logistics companies

Digitalization is impacting the below 3 areas of logistics companies hard, but for a good cause. 

Distribution (warehouse, inventory, assets)

In general, distribution relies on the management of 3 key processes – warehouse, inventory, and distribution. Manually managing these 3 key areas constitute man-made errors, inaccurate data, siloed activities, dismal customer experience. Managing and performing the processes in a uniform manner is recommended and automation is considered to be the best way out to achieve this. 

Let’s dive deep to discuss them in detail. 

Warehouse plays an important role in the supply chain management of logistics companies and automating the process can increase its performance by leaps and bounds. 

Here are some of the challenges and how automation could help in improving the process. 

Ordering goods

Ordering and stocking goods is always a massive challenge for warehouse staff as the process involves a lot of resources and backbreaking work hours. Performing the task manually will eat up most of the time of the warehouse staff leading to poor productivity and efficiency. An automated warehouse management system (a combination of mobile application/QR-code/RFID + RPA) can be a great option to streamline the process and its staff performance. With such a system in place, the overall performance and efficiency of process and resource can be doubled easily. 

Guide to Digital Transformation Success(whitepaper) (1)

Inventory management and goods replacement 

Identifying and replacing goods within a warehouse is even challenging and requires specialized tools to perform this task. By installing an IoT-based sensor to identify products quickly and efficiently, the process can be simplified and improved a lot in no time. IoT in logistics eventually saves the time of your staff to a great extent. 

Storage systems

Monitoring the health of products stored under different temperatures is a headache for most logistics workers, especially in areas where they can’t intervene. Taking good care of the systems in such areas is inevitable and having regular checks is most welcome. With storage systems powered with IoT/sensors and mobile applications, monitoring the temperature and health of the products under any environment is absolutely seamless and takes a few seconds to analyze their status. This saves a lot of time for your staff again yet prevents your products from damage. 

Physical movement 

If you’ve walked into a warehouse of a logistics company, one thing you could witness in common is the movement of staff and goods across different zones. It requires efforts to move a product from one place to another and consumes time. With automated warehouse management systems, it is absolutely easy to control the physical movement yet have complete control over the goods movement. This indeed saves time while alerting the staff about the movement of goods in real-time. 

Transportation (route optimization, fuel cost, distance traveled)

Managing logistics transportation is an expensive affair and requires lots of human hours to perform activities perfectly. 

Here are some of the challenges with respect to transportation in logistics companies and solutions to overcome them. 

Costly errors

Manual transportation operations and data entries often lead to costly errors and this could impact the bottom-line of your logistics company. The inaccurate data about fuel expenses, travel distance, time of delivery can really impact the customer service and subsequently your brand. 

With an IoT-enabled application solution, you will be able to garner real-time data of transportation operations without any hardship. Moreover, IoT solutions are simply amazing for drivers to plan their perfectly and deliver products on-time. 

Route optimization

A major problem with most transportation activities of logistics companies is planning the route. The fuel cost and distance traveled relies on the route planned. However, in some incidents, it is difficult for drivers to plan their travel ahead as they don’t have the know-how of road conditions, environmental challenges, or natural disasters. Lack of knowledge or information about these challenges can potentially affect the route planned for delivering the goods. 

With an IoT and mobile application in place, the drivers can not only prevent routes that have potential problems and pick alternate routes to deliver the products well within the stipulated time. Even the IoT data helps the drivers with real-time alerts about the product damages and conditions enabling the vehicle owner to deliver a defect-free product to a customer. 

Siloed data

It doesn’t matter whether it is transportation or inventory management, siloed and inaccurate data is a headache for most logistics owners and staff. A huge setback with respect to discrete logistics operations data is making the right decisions at the right time every time. Lack of data could only lead to poor decision-making impacting your business RoI.

Powering your logistics company with IoT-powered with AI-enabled systems, garnering the real-time data of the logistics operation, and storing them in a centralized place is possible. With AI, processing the data and making key decisions at critical times is simple and easy. 

Dismal customer service

Finally, all the above said challenges could only affect your logistics company’s customer service and this is not good news for any business. Providing amazing customer service is the need of the hour and only companies that are upping their ante in this regard are performing better. So, ensure your logistics company makes use of all the potential benefits of advanced digital business transformation solutions to overcome your shortcomings and render positive and amazing customer service all the time. 

Labor and asset management 

Last but not least, managing and accounting for your assets and labors is a tricky process and involves strenuous efforts. With manual only systems to track the efficiency and overall performances of your assets and labors could lead to incurred costs. It is always better to opt for a digital system to have complete control over resource management. 

An IoT coupled with a mobile application would be a wonderful option for your resource management activities as the digital solution would provide you with real-time data about the performance and health of the resources accurately from anywhere, any time. With all the data in a centralized web dashboard, you can easily make the desired actions to improve the efficiency and performance of resources which eventually lead to reduced costs. 

Conclusion

So from the above discussion, it is apparent that adding advanced digital transformation technologies and solutions like the Internet of Things, AI, Mobile, Web, and Cloud could potentially transform the way your business functions. Going forward, only companies that invest in digital solutions will stay ahead of the curve – what’s your take? Want to take the lead or just continue with existing legacy systems – the decision is yours.