Now that the Pandemic is “more or less over”, there are still those who think that most things are going back to the way they were before. They could not be more wrong. The after-effects are long lasting and many of them will or have already changed the way we live and interact forever.
The “Worlds factory” operation was severely disrupted and further pushed all players to -at a minimum- extend their supply chains or even alter them completely in many cases.
Those who were already on their way to Digitize and/or Digitalized (not the same thing) their operations were much better prepared for the needed changes, but make no mistake, this was just the beginning. The transformation will continue in all areas.
Once every human being and company have seen the benefits of living (or surviving) in a digitally driven society, there is no way back. More will be demanded from every player, the producer, the wholesale, the grocery store, the logistics, and distribution partner, the financial parties supporting the whole process, and last but not least the end consumer.
Reliability, Resilience, Risk awareness, Cost efficiency. All must be considered and brought into balance for the next generation of business models and logistics solutions to be successful and deliver on very high expectations. We grew accustomed to the -almost- immediate gratification and same or next-day delivery is now the basic level of service all over the market. The bar has been raised!
There will be portions of the end-to-end process that will inevitably continue to rely on humans interacting, such as the first and last mile portions. Everything else needs to be digitalized, meaning, that the whole process needs to be converted (and sometimes redone from scratch) with the help of the latest digital technologies. Electronic Data exchange on all levels and instantaneous information on shipments are nowadays the minimum requirements that any Logistics partner needs to be equipped to provide in the easiest and most efficient way. Those who chose to make only marginal improvements or partial changes will surely fall behind and may lose out on a huge opportunity to grab that extra piece of the market or to make a successful incursion in a completely new niche.
The latest innovations, in terms of automation in Production and Logistics, will give those companies willing to grab today’s opportunities, a competitive edge when applied consistently and properly. Meaning that companies need a holistic approach when it comes to reinventing themselves. Remember, a fool with a tool is still a fool.
In the end, it is the end consumers who will push the demand for faster and better services, those willing and able to satisfy such needs will survive and thrive.
Automation in the logistics industry is nothing new, a lot has been done and should not be confused with digitalization. Automation is about executing tasks, which are usually done by humans, with the help of mechanical and electronic solutions. The latter is about redesigning the whole process with the help of digital solutions, that not only save time and money but also create additional value. The use of IoT (Internet of Things) technologies within and among the logistics players is paramount for this evolution to happen. They are the main source of data to feed those digital solutions and platforms that will support different business models.
Choosing the right partner to travel this winding road with is fundamental. Companies need to partner with those that will not only provide the cheapest services, but rather those with the right vision and capacity for execution. There must be an exceptional alignment with the logistics partner(s) in terms of purpose, besides a solid understanding of the market to ensure things are going to fall in the right place at the right time (literally).
Bavaria Consulting GmbH
Partner / Head of Professional IT & Logistics Expert
Partner der Bavaria Consulting ist IT-Experte mit Schwerpunkt Logistik. Er verfügt über 20 Jahre Erfahrung in der erfolgreichen Umsetzung von Transformations-Projekten mit einem starken Fokus auf Global Supply Chain Logistics. Einer seiner Beratungsschwerpunkte ist die Implementierung von Lagerverwaltungs- und Transportsystemen.
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