With the logistics landscape stepping into the "on-demand" era, knowledge has certainly become the supreme power. Information about on-going events as they occur and future events well in advance is not a value addition anymore but a critical essential to achieve operational excellence and competent planning in logistics. We discussed about satisfying customer demands in our previous blog, Tech In Logistics: Exceeding Customer Expectations, also covering the race to beat the clock in delivering goods to customers; the need to provide the customer a complete visibility and the increasing trend of forecasting the customer's next move becoming one of the core differentiators of the logistics game. It's really a tough spot to be in. But surprisingly the answer to this complex maze of demands lies within the logistics ecosystem - it's distributed across the network and it's called data.
With globalization, logistics as a function started depending increasingly on technology to connect with its partners and customers, creating a network of connections. This robust network started generating heaps of infinite data with every transaction at each node. Initially, these precious data were ignored, but when the stakeholders realized the power of these generated data, its value grew ... leading to the era of big data.
But with big data came big challenges - precious data often had to be mined from a whole lot of noisy data, unnecessary junk information that was of no value to logistics functions. This meant handling two opposing challenges - collecting data in real time and ensuring that the data was precious enough to enable logistics stakeholders to take timely, informed decisions.
This, the need of the hour for the logistics landscape is indeed real-time data collection. Let's check out the main pain points of this ecosystem that the magic of data can resolve.
How can real-time data resolve the toughest logistics pain points?
The value of real-time data is evident from its ability to resolve most of the logistics network's common pain points.
Transportation management nightmare
Managing route optimization and transportation is possibly the most difficult responsibility in the logistics landscape. With multiple sources and destinations, time constraints, and variants to account for, planning the optimal transportation route is a logistics nightmare.
Real-time data feeds insights and recommendations based on the current route status, patterns from previously encountered situations, and forecasts derived by extrapolating available information. All these features create an in-memory optimization engine that uses the collected real-time data to deliver accurate and timely insights for efficient transportation planning.
Real-time data also highlights potential disruptions to planned routes - such as traffic, weather, or road conditions -helping stakeholders take well-informed decisions to overcome the hurdles.
Mapping Availability of Resources with Needs
Logistics is all about resources being available at the right time and the right place - which includes drivers, vehicles, and warehouse space. Mapping all the three variants for a smooth logistics process across the entire supply chain is quite a daunting task.
Algorithm-based data analytics that accounts for every aspect of human resource, vehicle, and warehouse capability will definitely simplify this tough activity. From mapping human resources in terms of their current schedules, capabilities, availability, and OHS compliance conditions to vehicle condition, size, and specific storage features, as well as warehouse locations and space availability, these data-enabled solutions deliver all possible options through a permutation of different possibilities, thus simplifying the logistics stakeholder's role.
The need for futuristic, enduring models
Freight rate and demand oscillations, severe competition, and limited resource availability, have forced logistics providers to look for alternate logistics models such that their margins start to look up as they did earlier.
Recent trends such as asset-light operational models have catalyzed the logistics stakeholders' confidence levels with their efficiency in sharing transportation responsibilities across the supply chain, freeing up precious capital, and enabling financial flexibility. Data flows seamlessly across the partner ecosystem to ensure that the logistics operations too function without any hiccups.
Anytime, Anywhere Visibility
Customers need to know exactly what's happening anytime from anywhere. This demand necessitates the need for a system that is on the cloud, with the capability of transmitting instant information of the location, pace, and status of the consignment in real time.
From a technology viewpoint, innumerable futuristic technologies are harnessing data to deliver data to every stakeholder in customized formats with zero latency. Sensor-based beacons use Bluetooth technology to transmit data across the cloud in real time. These self-powered devices inform all devices within the specific network about the exact location and all related information about the consignment across its travel along the supply chain.
Ramco Logistics has taken innovative ways to meet the needs of 3PLs, Freight Forwarders and Courier Service Providers. We at Ramco Systems ensure that our customers have end-to-end visibility in their transportation, warehousing and fleet management with real-time data as a useful aid. You can get a glimpse of our Command Center in this video here. Along with our industry specific mobility solutions, unified platform for seamless integrations, we have a lot of other product innovations brewing in our lab. To know more, leave a comment below or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes, we are certainly living in exciting times, especially for the logistics world! Real-time data collection enabled by technological innovations is exponentially improving the operational efficiency of logistics providers. But what else can data do? Can it deliver value addition by predicting the future in this landscape - through demand forecasts, fuel saving, and workforce management? Of course, it can! Let's check out these exciting data possibilities in our next blog here.