When considering the distribution of items across different geographical locations to meet up with the global value chain, it is necessary to have a strategically placed logistics system in place. Moving items from one point to another or from a point to different places seems like a less daunting task to achieve on the surface, but with a critical look, it takes more than just a coordinated network on the peripheral to achieve this task.
Practically speaking, the level of successes achieved by any logistics company through its supply chain is dependent on its depth of innovation. Logistics are mainly operated on the basis of demands in production or operation. Consequently, all innovations made are geared towards meeting up with an insatiable customer’s needs. Nevertheless, Logistics Company has come to realize the primary importance of having systematic innovation in place to meet up with the ever increasing demands and competitiveness in the field.
This article discusses various America’s innovative approaches to achieve the best logistics system. What are America’s innovative approaches in logistics in meeting up with the ever increasing demands?
1. Logistics of the E-shop
Nowadays the rate of customers buying products online has become pretty high, and in order to get the product to the right customer safe and sound, the proper organization of E-commerce logistics is essential. Here are the trends in modern E-shop logistics:
- A successful home delivery and customer satisfaction has been one of the biggest challenges in the past. Attaining prompt and reliable delivery is a price to pay for customer’s loyalty and set a competitive standard.
- The increased internet usage and engaged shoppers online has created an avenue through which customer requests can be met with just a click. Instead of the conventional store shopping method, customer requests are submitted online which needs to be shipped accordingly.
- According to statistics, at the end of 2018 E-commerce sales in America were estimated to 233 bn USD, and they are expected to increase by not less than 50% by the end of 2019.
- Taking statistics from Amazon, there are, on average, two out of every five consumers in the US (approximately 41%). Considering consumers between the ages of 18-25, this number jumps to 50%, and for ages between 26-35 it moves to approximately 57%. Moreover, during the last six months more than 80% of consumers in the US made online purchases mainly form Amazon.
The ability to deliver the right products or services at the right time to many sensitive consumers is not a simple task, with the final stage of distribution in the supply chain process being the toughest of all. The online distribution cannot be successful without a proper distribution delivery system in place. Recently one of the innovative approaches to meet up with the increasing demand in the logistics system has been the use of drones, bikes (smart bikes especially), for the delivery of goods ordered online in order to meet up with delivery time expected or estimated by consumers. Logistics Companies like DHL have practically used drones to show how technological advancement can contribute to the successful delivery of products. Other companies who have actively employed technological advancement are Amazon and Google.
2. Delivery Tracking System
When considering the old shipments and delivery system, after a customer successfully booked for the shipment of an item, after receiving the estimated delivery time further information as to when the product will be delivered cannot be determined. In such cases, customers are left in the dark as to what will happen next. Today, with the wide use of the internet and technological advancements seen in the use of software, customers have access to the shipping and tracking system.
This technological development enhances user experience and at the same time saves an appreciable amount of time and money. A proper tracking system allows customers to monitor and manage their shipments, with notifications and messages for customized reporting with unique information for each customer. Without doubt, there are little or no worries with such technological advancement creating an avenue through which things can be done from the comfort of our rooms.
3. Artificial Intelligence
The ability to employ Artificial Intelligence (AI) to achieve a better decision, transformation of business strategies and arrive at a better experience by customer will be an advantage for any business or company. A recent survey on the implementation of AI to digital enterprise shows that about 60% of businesses are shaping their AI tactics through its acceptance, while other digital companies have experienced significant improvements in implementing AI solutions. While implementing AI appropriately can have a great result in any digital enterprise with an innovative approach in logistics, the promises available of general AI to carry out intellectual tasks that can be done by humans is undoubtedly uncertain. It should be noted that AI can offer an immense benefit to supply chain and logistics companies only if it is based on the fundamentals and dynamic nature of the present day supply chain.
4. Transport Management System
Transport management system involves tracking of overall transportation activities for a proper delivery system. It involves route planning/ scheduling and optimization, payment processing, shipment management and more customer relations. Transport management system helps to control and reduce costs of transportation for logistics companies.
Transport management system has moved from the traditional terminal-based operation to a cloud-based operation, eliminating delay in implementation and delays at the same time serving as a refining process in cyber security. As a result, more logistics companies will employ the use of transport management systems to meet up with the ever increasing demand and also to employ this method to amplify other technological trends. The appropriation of transport management systems for logistics companies in the US is expected to be on the increase by 2019 for a better innovation in delivery.
5. Mobile Apps
The emergence of new technological features has contributed positively to logistics service providers and shippers and fleet management. Certain mobile apps exist for logistic based applications in terms of inventory management, barcode scanning, tracking of shipment order, customer service management, order management, inventory and many more. One of the most common logistics apps that will have gained significance is the Freight sharing app. As Dmitriy Malets, Technorely CEO, states, there are some challenges concerning these apps:
- The biggest challenge is to develop and integrate a mobile application to the backend side and make it work. Logistics companies can access information through an app to meet up with customers’ requests and satisfy demand.
- The delivery process was the biggest thing for automation, because it helps update the application quickly, fix some bugs and introduce new features to spread it out all.
These aspects were the reasons while a mobile app for delivery process automation was introduced.
6. Cyber Security and Safety
The idea of safety and logistics has been on the rise recently. Cyber hacks into companies have exposed the potential of threats to organization globally. As a result, logistics companies will see the need to concentrate more on safety. The increasing demand for a fast turnaround increases the risk of accidents during transportation operations. Considering the fact that logistics companies will be working to meet up with increasing demand with overtime work, there is the possibility to bypass protocols. Hence cyber security and safety measures should be employed to monitor performances of employees and to maintain safety standards.
7. Automation and Robotics
Several years ago the use of forklifts and related machineries have been very important components in warehousing. With technological advancement and innovations, there is a shift into programming to achieve success across supply chain in logistic system. The major goal for the implementation of automation and robotics is to achieve better efficiency.
At the moment, Amazon is taking the lead in this area with the acquisition of Kiva System, generally known as Amazon Robotics. By the implementation of robotics as well as automation by Amazon and related companies, delivery times have reduced appreciably to 24 to 48 hours, substantial improvements and an innovative approach in logistics.
8. Blockchain Technology
Blockchain is a list of records known as blocks linked together with cryptography. Nowadays Blockchain is widely used due to several advantages:
- Blockchain is a decentralized block of information geared towards elimination of friction between two parties.
- Blockchain technology has the potential to bring about transformation in industries, government agencies, healthcare and logistics companies.
- The application of blockchain to logistics innovation has helped to develop and set standards within logistics companies.
In addition to this, social media has made it easy to get questions and concerns resolved as well as news and updates to be passed across to customers.
9. The Social Media Impact
According to a recent survey by Hootsuite, 50% of Americans having a social media account believe that accessing customer service through social media such as Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter has made it easier to get questions and issues resolved as quickly as possible. Nearly everyone checks in one social media platform on a daily basis. The power and potential of social media is creating a platform for optimal operations for logistics companies. Social media platforms are becoming the easiest and most efficient way for companies to communicate with their customers, passing out relevant information, trending news and customer responses in a short time.
To maintain a competitive edge and attain efficiency, being innovative and keeping up with the latest technological trends is a necessary condition. Logistics industry is definitely benefiting to a large extent from the latest breakthrough and technological advance.
The breakthrough in technology and coming innovation will definitely continue to create enabling platforms for logistic companies and continually push boundaries in the nearest future. So, in 2019 E-sales in the US are expected to grow not less than 50%.
Technorely has helped Deliveright solve business communication and technical problems. As a result, now we deliver applications right on time, and our customers’ businesses start growing. For example, the application stability was increased by 150% and new stability tools were introduced, which helped to fix all the bugs.