For many companies, logistics and supply chain management is no longer a simple cost of doing business, but a way to generate competitive and operational advantages. Technology has become the perfect enabler for most advances in the supply chain.
Gartner, one of the most trustworthy voices in technology research today, published its list of top supply chain technology trends businesses should be watching. These technologies can help our companies create leaner, faster and self-orchestrated logistics and supply chain operations.
8 Technology Trends Shippers Need to Know for Supply Chain
Artificial Intelligence applied to our business
Artificial intelligence (AI) is an advanced technology that is already offering tremendous promise for the logistics and supply chain space. Gartner says, “The ability to apply AI to enhance and automate decision making, reinvent business models and ecosystems, and remake the customer experience could make many other emerging technology trends redundant.”
In logistics operations, businesses should be using a TMS (transportation management system) with AI technology as it will help optimize carrier selection, rating, routing, quality control processes and enable you to make faster and better business decisions.
Time to use Advanced Analytics
Advanced analytics, notes Gartner, improves decision making in areas like logistics, and transportation. “Processes that previously relied on human judgment can be powered by predictive and prescriptive analytics that could have a significant impact on future demands for supply chain talent.”
Using Internet of Things (IoT) on Deliveries
End consumers are increasingly asking for detailed shipment tracking and transparency into the location of their purchases. IoT (Internet of Things) technology, like sensors and RFID, is helping to deliver real-time visibility to meet those consumer demands.
Intelligent Things in controlled environments
Intelligent things, such as robots or autonomous vehicles, are mostly being deployed in controlled environments like warehouses. Logistics service providers are using mobile robots in fulfillment operations to meet labor shortages and help businesses meet their same day and next-day delivery demands.
Chatbots or Conversational Systems
Conversational systems are chatbots, the so-called virtual personal assistants (VPAs). These systems handle discovery questions and offer solutions without human involvement. Conversational systems enable transactions, handle payments, ensure delivery, and provide customer service.
Robotic Process Automation is here
Also known as RPA, robotic process automation eliminates supply chain manual tasks and processes by automating them with something like structured data. “RPA allows supply chain leaders to cut costs, eliminate keying errors, speed up processes and link applications.”
About Immersive Technologies
“Gartner estimates that immersive technologies like virtual reality (VR) will reach mainstream adoption in the next two to five years, with augmented reality (AR) going mainstream in the next five to 10 years.” In warehousing, AR technology in the form of glasses is being used as a hands-free system to display pick items for the employee filling an order, and to help increase speed and accuracy for them.
Blockchain can create a more connected and efficient supply chain by enabling real-time, secure, and inalterable information sharing between manufacturers, shippers, carriers, brokers, consumers and more. Several companies are piloting blockchain technology within the supply chain, including Walmart and IBM. So it´s time for freight lines to join this system.
(Based on a GlobalTranz article)