Technology Changing the Logistical Industry
In today’s world technology plays a major role in everyday life, from wearable devices, robotic machines, drones to cloud computing, hence it is important that one must stay abreast and updated with all the latest that technology can offer that not only simplifies our lives, but also makes us deliver better performance and even stay healthy. Even in the world of logistics, technology has started playing a significant role in transforming how things are done to cater to the new age that completely depends and thrives on technology. Logistics sector is becoming more and more popular in recent times as people have discovered that every business runs on logistical background, which not only gets things done quicker than normal, but also in a much more efficient way that increases profitability and save a whole lot of time spent on unnecessary activates. There are more new generation graduates that are seeking to start their career in the field of logistics today than their counterparts a few years ago, this is because of the job opportunities that are offered by the logistics industry and even during economic struggle, logistics industry has grown offering jobs across its various sectors.
Technology is a means to enhance business competitiveness and performance, bothcustomer and business expect goods to get delivered quicker, having more flexibility and atthe lowest possible price. With new technologies emerging, they are creating strategicopportunities for organizations to build competitive advantages in the areas of managementincluding logistics and supply chain. Manufacturing is becoming more and more customizedto suit to the ever-increasing demand from the customer for customized products that fitinto their budget and lifestyle. The degree of success for an organization to meet thesespecific demands of the customer depends on the selection of the right technology for theapplication, availability of proper organizational infrastructure, culture and managementpolicies. These specific and always changing demand from the customer is increasing thepressure it puts on logistics is tremendous. In logistics, information, communication and automation technologies has substantially increased speed of identification, data gathering, processing, analysis and transmission, with high level of accuracy and reliability.
Automation is the first step forward in implementing technology in the simplest form whichare driven by software that improves operational efficiencies in machines with minimalhuman intervention. Automation is applied in the areas of manufacturing, transportation,facility operations and many others. In a manufacturing factory automation takes care ofoperations such as assembly, inspection, processing and even material handling, therebyincreasing the output quality and quantity by reducing lead time which is a major factor thatcauses delay in getting the product out of the factory for sales and distribution. Automationnot only increases production output but also aids to mitigate labour/ skill shortages,eliminate manual tasks, improve product quality and reduce lead time. Rotterdam port inHolland is a classic example of automation and is often called “one of the mosttechnologically advanced port in the world” The port’s fully-automated container terminalsuse computer- programmed stacking cranes to unload cargo in ways that increaseproduction, improve handling performance and reduce labour costs.
There has been a sea of change with respect to technological improvements that has beentransforming the transportation industry. I remember way back in the early 2000’s one ofmy friend who works for a transportation company had an incident. One of his truck wentmissing with a cargo worth 1.5 crore. The truck left the warehouse on Monday and wasbound to the delivery location, until Tuesday morning the truck driver was in touch with theoffice through his mobile by constantly updating the office about his current location,however by that same afternoon, the driver’s mobile went dead and the office had nocommunication or whereabouts. It took my friends office the whole of Wednesday to figureout what actually happened to the driver and their truck with 1.5 crore worth of goods
.Today these kinds of mishaps are easily mitigated by simply installing a GPS device and an IPcamera in the truck. The GPS device gives real time location of the truck and if you have agood software it also gives you details such as the speed of the truck at various stages of thejourney, time lost when the truck was parked either for the driver to have his meal or forany other reason plus you can see if the truck followed the prescribed route that wasplanned for it or it deviated from the actual route resulting in higher fuel consumption andincreased lead time. With the IP camera inside the truck or in the drivers’ cabin can give youa full-time view of what is happening in the cabin in addition to you having a conversationwith the driver if required.
Technology at your fingertips can help give you access to a wholelot of information which otherwise would be available on real-time basis, with these kindsof technological advancement help productivity and increase profitability to a greater extentgiving companies the necessary competitive advantage in the market.
With the advent of block chain technology privacy bottle necks staring at the supply chainindustry had been reduced to a large extent. Block chain technology is gaining popularity inthe supply chain domain by reducing errors in documentation by encrypting them andtaking them online thereby preventing unauthorized usage of critical documents bymiscreants. Block chain technology gives utmost transparency and unprecedented privacy interms of all the transactions that takes place in a supply chain process. Smart contracts areone such example of block chain enabled transaction, shipping bills are another example.Block chain technology allows customers to track their products and trace the entire lifecycle of their product manufacturing. Banks, trade finance personnel can easily verify andcheck any transactions in the supply chain.
Information stored in blockchain is unalterable,it cannot be changed by any third party, which makes this technology more secure than anyexisting solution. Implementing block chain technology reduces physical paper work, allowsorganizations to save more than millions of dollars. As more and more logistical companies are turning towards the implementation of block chain technology, there is going to be acollective change in the way a common man would look at logistics and the improvedservices a customer would benefit from these technological advancements.