5 Logistics Elements and How Technology Facilitates Them
With the increasing investment in technology resources and the changing consumer landscape, it’s time to reevaluate supply chain management practices. Small businesses have started exploring innovations in order to improve efficiency and keep up with consumer demands. The goal is to make business operations more effective, and technology is now becoming a viable option for small companies across several countries.
We’ll go over more about fresh prospects in this post, as well as five supply chain innovation examples that can help firms stay on track.
Table of Contents
Predictive Analytics and Supply Chain Management
Businesses have spent decades focusing on cutting expenses and lowering inventories. Because manufacturing interruptions were uncommon, supply chain pliability took a back spot. As a result, the preceding two years’ crisis took many individuals by surprise.
Companies must now restructure their supply chains. To do so, companies must consider IoT development services that could positively impact on their business. This is where smart supply chain IoT solutions like digital twins come in handy.
Digital twins are virtual representations of real objects and processes.
Changes in the supply chain can be simulated using digital twins. They:
- At every step of a supply chain, monitor product flows, transportation volumes, and expenditures.
- Gather data from various systems
- Eliminate data discrepancies.
- Use a responsive map to create what-if possibilities. The model depicts how external events or changes in the supply chain network might have an impact on the whole chain.
They can imitate the chaos of global supply chains, such as vendor and transit issues. The device can also forecast the impact of a disruptive incident on the supply chain and recommend solutions to reduce the damage. As a consequence, a company will be better prepared for future shortages and will be able to save costs by optimizing its supply chain network.
ML and Inventory Optimization
Retailers are constantly in danger of running out of hot items and being overstocked on those that sell less. In this situation, a store will continue to miss out on trendy item sales, resulting in income being locked up in unsold inventory. Today’s hazards make deciding whether to save money on pricey storage or buy and keep more products even more challenging.
Today’s technology assists in the following ways:
- Maintain inventory records
- Determine the optimal stock levels.
- Stock up on supplies ahead of time.
- Take into account external risks
Flieber, for example, employs advanced data analytics and machine learning to estimate sales and identify a suitable inventory level for e-commerce companies. The technology also alerts retailers when it’s time to restock so that new goods arrive before they run out.
Smart Routing and Fleet Management
This was a major setback for independent operators and small fleets, as they had less negotiating power with shippers. Customers are not in a rush to accept price hikes that reflect the rise in diesel prices. Truckers are being forced to cut corners on vehicle repairs and other expenses as a result of this.
Smart routing and fleet management help businesses to optimize their shipping routes, which can reduce costs and environmental impact. This technology uses real-time information about traffic patterns, road closures, and other factors to route vehicles more efficiently. For example, if a shipment needs to be transported from point A to point B but there are road closures on the route, smart routing will change the route for the vehicle so that it can still reach its destination in the same amount of time without having to go around the closed roads.
Smart routing systems, such as Wise System’s, can assist trucks in lowering expenses and reducing fuel usage. The so-called traveling salesman issue, or TSP, is solved using AI algorithms in the IoT world. Its major goal is to determine the most lucrative route between cities. Data such as local traffic, weather, and gate codes are analyzed by solutions like this. Then they suggest a route with the least amount of kilometers and time spent on the road.
Cyber security and Digitized Logistics
Larger businesses are more likely to have a robust security system. As a result, hackers frequently try to obtain access to critical information through smaller vendors. Even if they’re not in a typical assault zone, businesses must safeguard their assets. Traditional solutions, on the other hand, can only monitor assets that are directly connected to an enterprise’s IT infrastructure.
Outside-facing connections can be analyzed with the use of a third-party risk management solution. Unlike traditional solutions, such systems evaluate the security of all linked IT assets.
Digital logistic systems are susceptible to a variety of vulnerabilities, including:
- Malware: Viruses and malevolent software intended to infiltrate computer systems or networks.
- Denial of Service (DoS): An attack where an online service is prevented from functioning by overwhelming it with traffic;
- Data theft: Theft or alteration of data.
- Phishing: A fraudulent email that tries to trick users into giving up sensitive information such as passwords or credit card numbers through social engineering techniques such as fake emails that appear legitimate but are actually from scammers seeking personal information.
- Spoofing: The act of sending false data packets over the network so that other computers believe them to be genuine.
Container Management and Artificial Intelligence
Aside from rising fuel prices, the freight sector is dealing with another major issue. It’s the container scarcity we’re talking about.
It all started when the World Health Organization proclaimed the COVID-19 pandemic and manufacturers shut down their plants. Because US businesses were unable to create enough items for export, transcontinental containers became stranded in North American ports. Shippers cut the number of ships at sea in response to declining demand. Other nations’ manufacturing rebounded quicker than North America’s, resulting in a container shortfall that is unlikely to be resolved very soon.
When compared to manual operation management, technology may improve the efficiency of maritime transportation and freight control. Portcast, a Singapore firm, has built an ocean shipping platform, for example. It keeps track of ships in real time and uses that information to calculate quicker routes between ports.
Portcast uses artificial intelligence to assess data such as ship location, speed, route, ports, wind speed, and tidal range. They also include economic trends, weather, and current events such as the Suez Canal blockade. In addition, Portcast monitors more than 90% of worldwide ocean carrier traffic and 35% of air cargo.
As a result of all of this, the system is capable of:
- Foreseeing outages
- Identifying the source of the problem
- Preventing delays
Container arrivals may now be better anticipated by shippers’ shipping and storage teams.
Technology is helping to shape supply chain strategy and logistics in a variety of ways, and that trend is likely to continue. With greater access to data and increased awareness, companies can make informed decisions that deliver better overall results and meet customer needs.