April 16, 2019

Digital Logistics: What Is It, and How Will It Impact Your Organization?

As the world continues to become increasingly connected, and internet-of-things (IoT) takes the supply chain industry by storm, organizations have much to gain from the introduction of this new operating approach known as “digital logistics.” Digitization, in its simplest definition, is the process of collecting data from disparate silos or buckets and aggregating it to create a holistic view of individual processes from beginning to end.
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What is digital logistics?

Digital logistics, as it relates to the supply chain, takes traditional data collection, which is often manual and prone to human error or delay, and digitises it to improve and expedite your logistics processes, strategies and systems. In other words, it automises routine-like parts of the logistics chain that are practical to be automised.

Not only does this digital approach create opportunities for your organisation to save money on operating expenses, lost productivity, and accurate order fulfilment, but it also increases data transparency for all the vendors and partners involved in each step of supply chain management and operations.

By employing thoughtfully-integrated enterprise logistics applications that collaborate and communicate through a centralised information system, all stakeholders have access to the information they need to make agile, informed decisions even in the midst of the unexpected.

Why is it on the rise?

As the pervasiveness of the internet drives the need for greater speed and agility within the supply chain, organizations also need to look for ways to cut costs and communicate more effectively between service providers and partners. As a result, supply chain management is making a distinct shift from traditional logistics to digital logistics.

Unlike traditional logistics methodologies, digital logistics fuels the agility that modern supply chain enterprises need to properly communicate with each member of the supply chain. Modern supply chain companies are adopting digital logistics to improve distribution methods, including warehouse management technology and fulfilment data. They also recognise the opportunity to automate transportation processes and carrier operations, as well as labour management and employee engagement strategies.

As consumer expectations for customer-focused logistics, reduced effort, and faster shipping methods increase, the adoption of digital logistics paves the way for your organisation to deliver customer-focused service that will differentiate your business from the competition.

The impact of digital logistics on business operations

Many digital logistics platforms incorporate an element of machine learning to help make critical, data-informed decisions and continually drive improvement to your supply chain processes.

So what happens when your team is freed from the monotony of managing tedious processes and tasks, sifting through spreadsheet after spreadsheet to find the data they need to take the right action? They can focus on strategic improvements that will directly impact customer satisfaction. Digital logistics is not a replacement for the human touch. Instead, it is an enhancement that empowers supply chain providers to focus on a better customer experience.

Logistics is the newest brand differentiator. Competition is fierce, no matter the product or industry. When all other things are considered equal, logistics can often make the difference between a repeat customer and a negative review or lost sale.

Consumers expect an effortless experience from the point-of-sale until delivery. Reputation matters, and the companies that use technology to stay ahead of the curve will thrive.

Making the switch to digital logistics

With transparent, real-time visibility of order fulfilment, inventory status, and shipment updates, digital logistics is the fastest way for your team and your partners to provide a better customer experience. If you’re just starting to dip your toe in the water of this brave new digital world, there are a few best practices you can follow to ease the transition.

First, you must communicate the benefits of digitisation to your team. Not only is it imperative to the longevity of your organisation in this new, digital age, but it also impacts customer service metrics, as well as your company’s bottom line. In fact, digital logistics has been credited with an average cost savings of 35%, as well as a 50% reduction in carbon footprint.

The next step is to integrate your new digital solution with your partner network. You’ll discover that as you join key partners in the cloud with modern technology, everything suddenly becomes more agile, from complex order management to basic accounting.

Finally, be prepared to embrace change and use it to your advantage. As you gain access to more data, have a plan already in place to use it to your advantage. And as your employees are liberated from monotonous tasks thanks to artificial intelligence and streamlined processes, put them to work delivering a better experience for customers.

In Conclusion

Digitization isn’t going anywhere. It will only continue to evolve and drive consumer expectations. As your customers and stakeholders demand more information (and in real-time), make sure you are positioned to exceed their expectations, thanks to a nimble and modern approach to logistics.



Did you enjoy this article? Take a look at our blog posts What is Data Logging?, Four Ways Technology Will Boost Warehouse Efficiency How the Industrial Internet of Things Can Help Your Business or take a look at the Logmore Feature post, Missions.