IT technologies go hand-in-hand with the logistics industry in many ways today. Information technology has evolved from something that only big businesses once thought about to an essential function for today’s companies. A global marketplace has made companies competitive with each other in many ways, making the marketing strategy of logistics business all the more important.
Although logistics information systems have historically been associated with larger companies, they play an important role in companies of all sizes. A North Carolina State University study found that logistics information systems help with tracking internal metrics. This type of tracking helps companies to manage their inventory much more efficiently.
Read on to learn more about the role of IT technologies in logistics for companies of all sizes.
Technology innovations for logistics operators’ activities
Although logistics management dates back to ancient Greece and Rome, what people today think of as logistics technology has seen a major shift in the digital age. Automation has started to play a role in many of the larger companies with fewer limitations on resources. Improved tracking tools for product shipments are also innovations that have grown in importance.
Artificial intelligence is one of the major drivers for these innovations. Tasks that previously required a lot of work at the hands of technical staff are easy for programs to accomplish using state-of-the-art computer programs. Although this technology will not replace the need for human intervention, the tech will allow staff to allocate their time and resources most efficiently.
For the various types of Internet technology in logistics to work the most efficiently, data collection needs to be one of your top priorities. Any of the data collected needs to harmonize with the rest of the technology. One of the ways companies can make sure they are giving proper attention to their data collection is if data-driven decision-making is the norm, rather than the exception.
One of the growing concerns that companies will face as the IT technologies used in logistics grow in importance is proper authentication. The more that demand grows for cutting-edge technology, the more that others will try to replicate it. As important as this technology is for logistics, companies want to make sure that the software they use is safe from piracy.
Lastly, one of the most important types of technology used in logistics is mobile app technology. The use of mobile apps has grown across all major industries. Because these types of programs occupy such a vitally important place, companies that want to stay ahead will need to keep this form of technology in mind.
When you consider the forms of IT technology used in logistics, one of the most important things that stand out is the need to implement the tech effectively. How you handle the implementation will play a crucial role in your company’s success. We’ll take a look at how some of the most popular types of technology might be implemented next.
Implementing It Technologies in the Logistics Operator’s Activities
SME discovered that 59% of respondents in a survey had a standardized implementation process for their company when introducing new technology. Larger companies have many advantages when it comes to an implementation process. However, there is no reason that smaller companies cannot use such processes.
An example of one way that technology may be implemented is by updating software, which may not be a priority outside of the computers and mobile devices that the company uses. However, updated software plays an essential role in keeping machinery and other assets in good working order. When implementing new technology, there are two alternatives to standardized implementation. One is the use of analysis by your in-house staff or the software vendor, and the other is the use of training programs.
An analysis is an implementation method that is not as likely to be used as training programs. An advantage of this method is that in-house tech staff and vendors can collaborate to ensure that everything goes together seamlessly. A possible downside is that employees may still have to undergo training sessions, depending on your technical staff’s size.
Training programs, offering in a series of three to four, have become popular ways to teach employees the basics about new technology. Safety training, when necessary, and orientation for new employees also make up many of the training sessions that companies use. These programs are more popular with companies that lack an entire IT department.
Some types of technology stand out as exceptional examples of how a successful implementation can look. These technology examples have been among some of the earliest adopted in a logistics setting. Because of these technologies’ longevity, they have a lot of examples of how they can be successfully implemented.
Shipment Tracking Systems – Tracking shipments is a feature that has seen a lot of attention as one of the older types of logistics technology. One of the beneficial things about the technology is its familiarity. A shipment tracker is relatively easy to integrate into existing customer and employee portals for easier access and use.
Internet of Things (IoT) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) – The IoT has made it easier for companies of all sizes to implement new technology. This technology makes an easier implementation process for intelligent devices used around the office or warehouse. When RFID is in use, the technology can be implemented to work effortlessly with smart office and warehouse devices, saving valuable staff time when making this transition.
Autonomous Trucks and Drones – Autonomous vehicles have made a difference in how efficient warehouses can be with high demand. When trucks or drones are implemented for independent use, they need to work effectively to replace the work performed by a human operator. Implementing these types of vehicles is likely to require training sessions.
Enhanced GPS Accuracy – The more accurate a GPS system, the better it will perform its intended job. Feedback from company users will be necessary throughout the entire implementation process to ensure accuracy. Because GPS navigation is built into so many devices in use today, employees will find implementing this technology relatively easily.
IT technologies have become an essential part of the logistics landscape. However, how companies will implement this new technology is often an issue of concern. One of the biggest debates often becomes whether analysis, with or without vendor support, is best or whether training sessions work the best.
One of the ways that company decision-makers can predict how well implementation might work is by looking at how existing technology has been implemented in logistics. Shipment tracking systems, the Internet of Things, Radio Frequency Identification, autonomous trucks and drones, and enhanced GPS are some examples of technology successfully implemented into the logistics industry. Learning more about how these technologies are used today helps to provide helpful insights.
Article by Born Realist