Disruptive forces are always active which tend to restructure the corporate operations and compel them to change goalposts too, from time to time and affect key decision making capability and corporate philosophy too, (last one to a minimal extent though).
The Logistics industry is no alien to this and prevailing trends have their impacts getting deeper into it. There are some new technologies with impressive advantages but then regulations also undergo change accordingly and call for strategies to be re-thought and re-planned in regard to compliance while their efforts are targeted towards enduring competence.
Not mincing words, but successful professional groups are those which realize the value and worth hidden in the innovative technology and use a bunch of latest trends in bringing about synergy with the traditional business systems, with the purpose of achieving mega business glory.
1). Fulfilment Through Omni-Channel Concept:
In any industry, customers’ demands need to be met in a timely and efficient manner and talking about the retail industry, a bevvy of new service approaches have been shaped over the past few years, giving rise to the concept of omnichannel shipping.
Going by the review from Harvard Business, this is just the influence of Amazon, that has led retailers to opt for multiple omnichannel touchpoints, simply to garner customers’ loyalty. Not surprisingly, the end objective is to unroll easy ways of doing shopping seamlessly, irrespective of the fact that whether it is done online or off-line.
Truly, companies need to progress along side such innovation and unroll a handful of new-age approaches to efficient handling and shipping of goods, to emerge more successful and they need to tackle certain bottlenecks that may arise in the swift implementation of the omnichannel concept, in the overall supply chain operations.
Not surprisingly, when we have omnichannel regularization, a range of deliveries and (shipment) can be managed, such as:
A. Store to consumer,
B. Distributor to consumer,
C. Supplier to consumer,
D. Warehouse to consumer,
Consumers are not required to visit the stores to buy stuff they need, (i.e. a “last mile” journey) and logistics companies simply take it upon themselves to deliver their required items, which is a diligent display of their services. For such a purpose, retail shipments operate like USPS and even big whales in this ocean of Supply Chain, such as Amazon, have placed their trust upon USPS which look after these deliveries as their broader network is finely-tuned and well-established across US cities.
In the case of Walmart, it has adopted a new procedure as well and ask employee working at specific locations, to drop the package as they return home at the end of their shifts, yes, in lieu of some incentives.
Clearly, as the e-commerce trend gathers more and more momentum and with the retail omnichannel network, there are some intricacies too, which are tackled in judicious ways, like those at the helm of operations, are seasoned professionals.
In a bid to ensure real-time tracking of each of the items in a jiff, huge trust is maintained in chips soaked with RFID. In other words, for a very long time, when one considers having a premium way to track info about goods in quick time and with accuracy and reliability, RFIC which are radio frequency chips have prevailed to be hugely useful, in fact, for the past 10 years. But judicious implementation of RFID and to draw a complete range of benefits call for a framework to be designed specifically for the purpose. Truly, IT systems need to be present near the data, for its easy collection, processing and transfer. Companies find integration technology handy, which ought to be primarily file-based and by the virtue of which, core systems present at the corporate headquarters get updated easily promptly, with necessary documents. Such data is maintained, sorted and is analyzed for getting rich insights and for quick decision making.
Also, in the field of logistics, business enterprises do get thrilled with supreme value when they align with RFID technology with other time-honoured frameworks, such as when barcode labels and merged with RFID. Sans doubt, barcode labels are widely in use and are pretty economical too, as compared to RFID which is in fact, is 10 times more expensive than barcode readers. But then, it should also be considered that how much accurate, crisp and reliable data is provided thereby.
To be specific, when it comes to route utilization and instant tracking of goods and to know about their quantity, RFID does the trick. For instance, trucks, pallets, and even the inventory can be tagged to get multi-lateral looks about the events as they happen across a given supply chain framework.
For instance, when we know about the location of a specific truck at a given time, our parties can be more proactive and even routes should be overturned considering events that are otherwise uncertain, such as weather and road mishaps.
Undoubtedly, the latest technology is designed smartly to fetch smartness in operations and its unmatched performance is a towering advantage to supply chain and logistics companies.
With the outbreak of a pandemic, logistics companies also refined their service tactics simply to focus upon industries that were still afloat and churned great profits out, such as food, medicines, medical supplies, paper and packaging.
As such, such logistics enterprises developed dedicated teams and networks to make inroads.
They did not shift the focus from core operations neither did they change the major service delivery goalposts, but still, opting for this did bear rich business dividends to them.
4). Enmeshing Integration Technology Of Modern Day:
Tech has been immensely useful to business corporations across the corporate horizon, and they cultivate rich benefits. In the logistics field, as the integrated platform is created network gradually gets swollen with suppliers, customers, business associates and so forth and thorough monitoring also gets ensured highly actively.
In a grander scheme of things, suppliers and business associates can get involved in key business operations with the help of premium technology, back-office systems can be accessed through 3PL (Third Party Logistics services).
As a result, in nearly half of the world countries, cutting-edge technology empowers logistics enterprises to draw a rich thick value, needed for running their network smoothly.
Even before the outbreak of Covid-19, companies that shifted operations to a chic integrated platform, today find themselves at the most commanding positions than the rest in the race. The core reason is their tactful administration of disruption and to ensure its little impact on their supply chain network as well as on its operations, especially in testing times like this.
5). Last-Mile Delivery:
The last step, in supply chain framework, bears a lot of significance, which is when an item travels from wareouse or distribution point towards customer’s residence and multiple types of errors and delays are likely to occur therein which also involves rising costs associated with goods movement. Truly, last mile delivery bears a great importance in logistics as customer satisfaction also relies on it and there are certain predictable issues such as traffic delays, customer’s availability and his own woes regarding insufficient money, rules and regulations from government side and too much of items to be delivered along the route and many other.
Manna – Drones
Based in Ireland, Manna is instant delivery assistance to restaurants and it provides drones for such a purpose, in fact, those restaurants that are covered under its fleet of delivery drones which are of aviation-grade. Such drones are capable of flying at a height of 80 meters and can fly at a speed of 80 Km per hour. Clearly, making deliveries by drones is a prime colution to traffic snarls and on congested roads.
Such is an Italian effort which provides smart lockers that can be installed indoors and outdoors and such are available in various configurations that can easily be adjusted. Under such smart lockers, parcels remain secured and covered from any harsh weather conditions. Finally, for goods that are perishiable, smart lockers have the facility of temperature control as well.
No doubt, with smart lockers, customers can easily get their deliveries on time and any last mile issue related to customer being not available at the location, can easily be surpassed.