With only a month left for 2016 to bid us farewell, the reflection begins on what the year was like and how quickly it passed us by. Logistics has been a booming industry with its advent in 2000 to 2008 resulting in an increase of 5.4% on an average each year, and there is no slowing down for the industry just yet. If 2016 is any testament to how logistic has been growing. We at Tookan have been trying to make your time on our blog worthwhile and we will try our best in continuing to do so. This blog post speaks of the logistic trends on the rise and the predictions for the coming year that will push the boundaries of the logistics industry
Lately, real-time technology has become something that retailers can’t help but depend on, it helps that it is accurate thus enabling to keep a tab on what is available and in stock, at what location. The insecurity that existed before is now eliminated regarding the current stock levels and on your restocking needs. It also helps the staff be sure about what’s available in the store. It’s a neat way to gain efficiency, with minimum effort which will definitely lead to a surge in the use of technology and live data going forward. Retail online shopping has come a long way but an area to focus on is shipment tracking, which possesses a good deal of room for improvement. When it comes to warehouse technology, its can pack a punch when stacked together with email and text communication that is targeted for the customers depicting it as a lot more approachable by establishing the right kind of tone. This proves to be of great help in spreading the word about upcoming offers and discounts that need visibility to boost sales. Additionally, the shoppers are kept informed about the exact status of their orders and when can they have them. These are some of the tricks of the trade already being religiously followed by the companies that are good at what they do, which in turn reinforces sales and priceless customer loyalty. Being informed about your stock levels is crucial, but if you don’t have data to back it up, which isn’t easy to analyze, it can end up eating a lot of your time.
This will give rise to frequent usage of intelligent reporting something that 2017 will see more of. What exactly is intelligent reporting? It is an intuitive, graphical representation of data with automated alerts that proactively informs you when the stock needs restocking or nearing it is expiry date. Live inventory updates are an immense help for companies that have large scale operations that need to be stocked at all times to balance out the supply and demand they get flooded with, and tracking the movements in the supply chain just gives an additional edge and assurance to the companies, particularly the B2C ones. In the world of logistics with internet coming into play, it’s an assumption made by a majority of people that anything is possible, and everything is accessible, thus making the importance of sticking to the promise of delivery ever so significant. Waiting for packages to arrive for a week seems like a nightmare from the past, customers want their good and want them now! With money not being a factor of concern options like same day deliveries are now becoming more of a necessity, rather than what it was earlier pegged as – a luxury. Thus, in turn, putting a lot of focus on the turnaround time. One thing remains unchanged even with the passing trends, the best logistics operations are those that can provide a seamless connection between the tap on a shopping app and the goods being delivered to their doorstep. In 2016 the most successful companies have been those that succeed in doing so.
Some supply chain and logistic trends that are coming your way –
The Flash of the logistics industry.
With promises to deliver on the same day, it came in as a rumor, something that was unattempted before for supposedly being impossible and spread like wildfire. In today’s world that has no time for patience same day deliveries are not just an add-on, they are the most sought-after thing at the moment. Consumers after having a taste for same day deliveries now don’t want to settle down for anything less and are expecting this for all their purchases.
eCommerce has turned traditional supply chain and logistics models on their heads. eCommerce, coming from something that most people didn’t have much faith in, has now become the dominant driving force in retail today. In fact, while brick and mortar retail remains stagnant, eCommerce continues to rise. eCommerce puts a strain on traditional models because of its nature – automated, high volume, requirements of stocking items based on demand, and a variety of delivery options. To meet those needs, supply chain and logistics professionals, as well as their 3PL partners, will need to look to innovation as a way to deal with eCommerce’s rising role in retail.
Visibility Will Drive Logistics Innovation, A general theme of all of all these supply chains and logistics trends is innovation. Innovation is the reason that economies thrive or fail. It is the reason that a business excels, or loses out to newer entrants, and visibility is going to be the primary driver of innovation for logistics. So what does visibility mean and how will we see innovation around it? Firstly, visibility means having a full view over your entire supply chain, from when an order is placed until it is delivered and signed for. This means a centralized system, a dispatching solution, a connected mobile app for drivers that keeps them in contact with both home base and the end-customer. Visibility also means that the end-customer must have a full view over the last mile of the supply chain. They want to know when a package is on its way, have the ability to track the movement of the driver on a real-time map through their mobile phones, as well as the capacity to rate their experience after. Engagement and Efficiency are Where Competitive Advantage Will be Created – Amazon, with its highly optimized supply chain and fast delivery times, and Uber, with its amazing customer experience, have both created a paradigm shift that has had a lasting impact on consumers. Some might see this as a threat, but you have to look at the opportunity in everything – finally, there is white space in which you can fill the void and create an advantage in an area that has been working on a similar playbook for quite some time. Engagement of end-customers and efficiency of the supply chain will be the most important factors for establishing a competitive advantage in a market that are getting even more competitive. Supply Chains Will Need to Become Customer-Centric-The paradigm shift caused by the age of empowered consumers has forced supply chains to reinvent themselves. To appeal to new customer expectations, formerly “Back Office” activities need to come to the front office, while some non-sales activities go further up the supply chain.
June 2016 had a lot of people anxious with the results of Brexit coming in, and immediately after the markets went into a frenzy. Thereafter the 30 year low for the British Pound didn’t help the situation. But after a while the markets were able to process the new found information and resume back to normal, however, uncertainty looms above shipping industry, Europe and Britain. An influx of trading with China might be on the cards since the free trade with European countries will cease to exist, if Brexit does follow through, it’s passing is still subject to a parliamentary vote. This will also sway the import and export from and to the UK, the shipping industry will take a hit and result in a lot changed shipping regulations with UK and Europe facing the brunt.
Drones they are a coming!
Drones have been at the center of the logistic storm and Amazon was the one to start it with their announcement that spoke of drone deliveries being rolled out and the world couldn’t stop talking about them. Even though drones haven’t made a lot of noise in the recent past, a lot of retailers are considering to invest in them and it’s only the calm before the storm. It is yet to be seen how a drone delivery will be regulated and the deliveries managed. It is hard to tell when will we see the first attempt at drone deliveries and how well will they go, speculations surround the drones and their potential as of now.
To summarize, it’s safe to state that the technological possibilities for logistics and supply chains are on a path of aggressive transformation. This will have a lot to do with automation, system integrations and one needs to be very well informed to keep up with the trends that are now setting in. Infrastructure in itself will see a complete makeover as the workers will be in need of new resources that come with the revamped technology and managers with better foresight in the changing needs of the consumers. We at Tookan are pro-change and are looking forward to helping you embrace change as we do the same. I hope this helped you get an idea of what’s coming up ahead and helps you gear your businesses for the winds of change that are swiftly but surely advancing.