For supply chains to run smoothly, each logistics element needs to be efficient and work seamlessly with the other links in the chain.
Inventory needs to always be at the right level, goods need to leave warehouses at the right time, and shipments need to be delivered within set timeframes, to name just a few of the things that are important to successful logistics operations.
Smooth-running supply chains are more achievable than ever thanks to technology-led innovations. So, let’s look at some of the innovative techs that are helping the supply chain industry to function even better.
Logistics Optimisation Software
When companies utilise logistics optimisation software, they can streamline their operations and ensure all components of the supply chain are working in coordination with each other.
Software solutions not only provide numerous tools for achieving multiple tasks, such as having access to real-time data to check order fulfilment statuses.
Logistics optimisation software also blends multiple technologies into a single cohesive platform, enabling logistical operations to run much more smoothly.
But supply chain software solutions do much more than just that.
Many logistics companies are beginning to understand how much value their supply chain data has beyond everyday operations.
For instance, with the best logistics optimisation software, companies can analyse trends and patterns, and even use predictive analysis to find innovative ways of expanding into new markets and making other supply chain improvements, before any risks arise.
The innovative technology of predictive analytics basically takes known information and uses it to create more efficient supply chain planning.
Data can be gathered from multiple company departments, such as marketing and sales, and used with logistics data to come up with analysis reports that can help supply chain managers create more efficient and profitable logistics solutions.
At the end of the day, with the right software, supply chain companies can measure logistics elements more accurately than ever before to make improvements that benefit the companies, their partners, and the end customers.
AI and Machine Learning
Today, artificial intelligence and machine learning play a key role in supply chain improvement, and the technologies will only become more sophisticated and game-changing in the future.
AI and machine learning tech can create fully-automated or semi-automated processes for supply chain optimisation. Because the technologies basically emulate human performance and knowledge and strive to go beyond it.
AI and machine learning can improve optimisation elements such as planning, forecasting, implementation, and maintenance in logistics operations.
By applying predictive modelling to third-party logistics and tightening data security, AI and machine learning can boost the end-to-end supply chain.
The tech can also provide full supply chain visibility to enhance the management of key performance indicators.
Inventory management, delivery routing, shipping transactions, and even customer service, can all become automated, and thereby improved.
More and more specialist items are being manufactured by big robotics companies that can help in the day-to-day operations of logistics.
Automated robotic systems are now more capable and flexible than ever before.
For instance, robotics has led to warehouse operations becoming quicker. A robotic fast-packing system can handle thousands of picks per hour, thanks to the innovative technology that enables it to handle objects that are in all kinds of positions and orientations.
At present, robotic fast-packing systems are commonly used in supply chains for the mail-order and pharmaceuticals industries, because the systems do have limitations regarding things like size and weight, but research is gathering pace to create robots that can work in multiple settings and achieve human levels of adaptability.
Other robotics technology advancements include sensors and safety technologies that enable automated vehicles and robot arms to work alongside human workers.