In 2019 alone, the Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index reported that there were over 100 billion parcels delivered in the world’s 13 major markets. Current demand on the supply chain and logistics market is so large that McKinsey expects digital ecosystem global revenue to hit $60 trillion (£42.339 trillion) by 2025. A large portion of this growth is expected to come following the continued digitalisation of the supply chain. While this digital transformation has long been of interest, mass adoption of such technologies was propelled by the COVID-19 pandemic and new digital-savvy customer expectations. Here are some of the most prominent solutions that will propel supply chain processes to in the new normal:
Order Processing and Fulfilment Tools
According to a study by Stitch Labs, the number one cause of fulfilment issues is human error. These include incorrectly prepared orders, lack of manpower, inefficient storage methods, and redundant order processing steps that lengthen fulfilment time. However, by using cloud-based solutions and Machine Learning, companies can rely on this tech to manage stocks and order handling autonomously. By having a secure and centralised database, your company can remain flexible, especially if they use our dedicated logistics and supply chain solutions here at Cleverti. You will be able to accommodate heavy loads or increased usage without relying on the manual generation of invoices and purchase orders.
Lean Inventory Tools
Overproduction for the sake of satisfying demand is more costly than it is efficient. Enter the just-in-time (JIT) production method that was the brainchild of industrialist Henry Ford. This approach aims to only create what is needed at the time without sacrificing quality or capability to answer consumer needs. Today, lean inventory tools are available to help companies correctly forecast demands using past datasets. With this information, production can be optimised to reduce warehouse use, inventory cost, and misuse of raw materials. Lean inventory tools can include software that covers materials planning, scheduling tools, and simulation programmes that can even accurately predict future numbers and trends in your supply chain.
Shipping Status Tools
Shipping statuses can be among the most convoluted in a company’s supply chain given the various factors that can influence its outcome (human error, border control, logistics, scale of operations, etc.). Shipping status tools, which include fleet management technology, illuminate this process by providing instant updates and alerts that allow stakeholders to keep track and intervene early if needed. Verizon Connect explains that fleet management software can help save money by monitoring driver behaviour. This will help supply chain companies reduce fuel waste and streamline a vehicle’s mileage. It can also be used to set reminders on vehicle maintenance. Fleet management software also give tracking visibility to customers, which is ideal considering that the average customer likes to check the order tracking page up to five times per transaction.
Warehouse Management Tools
Warehouse management solutions can cover a broad array of jobs including supply chain training, route planning, and most popularly, kitting and bundling. Amazon is a prime example of how proper warehouse management can improve revenue since it is now the fourth-largest US delivery system and its influence is felt across the world. The company recorded over $26.4 million (£18.65 million) in net sales in the UK in 2020, reports Statista. Each Amazon warehouse is fully optimised with pick-and-pack robots that can autonomously pick out the necessary item and move them towards delivery. In tandem with these, human workers are aided by cobots—or collaborative robots—who can bring the necessary shelves instead of the workers having to manually do this.
Analytical Reporting Tools
As more industries transition online, the flurry of big data is fast becoming a means to better understand, satisfy, and learn. Most notably, analytical tools can help companies to pivot their operations following the patterns and feedback culled from the Internet. NC State University notes how these tools ensure that real world examples are being put together, this means learning algorithms can cast predictions that are more accurate. This results in more traceable supply chain operations with improved efficiency.
The supply chain industry is already seeing a massive shift because of supply chain solutions. As more industries become comfortable with this digitalisation, we can expect a more dynamic and creative industry that will fulfil the needs of the digital era.
Written by Jane Adkins