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Logistics Adoption Of Digital Innovation Is Fundamental To Perform And Meet The Needs Of A Future That Has Arrived Early

Chris Foord, Regional Director, Argon & Co, Former Chief Logistics Officer, The Warehouse Group

Things have changed, and so must logistics networks of the future. Local, regional, national, and international logistics is becoming increasingly complex and customers want more. The pace of change means businesses cannot wait to begin transforming their logistics capability. The best organisations are transforming their supply chains to be a strategic advantage.

We have all learnt from COVID-19 that there is no such thing as an optimised number one plan–only a range of possible consequences, shaped by internal and external factors. Logistics must evolve to be more resilient, whilst having agility and flexibility.

The future that has arrived early is data hungry, demanding real time visibility and response to changes. Logistics operations are now, more than ever, critical to customer experience and the associated success of your organisation.

There are two exciting technological advances that are emerging to support operational transformation in Logistics; the Internet of Things (IoT) and Cognitive Automation. Combined, the potential of Logistics operations to become a strategic advantage is real.

 Logistics operations are now, more than ever, critical to customer experience and the associated success of your organisation 

Logistics network flows can be complex, involving various actors (internal and external) across multimodal operations. Getting detailed, real-time and accurate data is not easy. Imagine having real-time end-to-end visibility of all your flows, with the ability to identify ways to optimise them. IoT technology, using the ‘Zero G’ (or OG) network developed by Sigfox can provide this, with global scalability.

So, IoT technology can close the gaps in your data by eliminating your blind flows, and give you the visibility to optimise, which is great. However, with more data and visibility comes the need for advanced analytics, actionable insights and decision making. Doing all of this with limited human intervention would free up organisations to focus on their customers. This is where the autonomous supply chain comes in–cognitive automation is here.

Logistics operations is a part of your end-to-end supply chain. The performance of logistics in real-time needs to be integrated with your supply chain planning and execution systems to enable rapid sense and response adjustments. Cognitive automation can act as the conditioning tool and visibility layer over your APS suite. Envision a self-driving supply chain, driven by cognitive automation that understands, recommends, predicts, and acts within set control boundaries.

Real-time, sense and respond decision making will enhance your logistics operations, providing a seamless experience for your customers, whilst freeing your team up to look forward not back.

We all know the cost of acquiring new customers is large. So, your logistics operations must provide the data, visibility and responsiveness that is the new normal, otherwise your customer will find someone who can.

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