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Digital Transformation in the Supply Chain

31 Jan 2019

Pallet racks

We are now living in a world where customers are becoming more and more impatient to receive deliveries. Everyone wants everything now. With the likes of Amazon prime and countless Next Day Delivery schemes – pressure is mounting on those involved in the supply chain or fleet management. They must strive to achieve faster turnaround times on deliveries.

What’s the Solution?

These growing expectations have led companies to start looking further afield to achieve these ambitious deadlines and turnaround. They are looking to technology.

The ability to leverage technology in common supply chain processes is considered by many to be the best way to achieve digital transformation in supply chain operations. Whether it’s automation, scalability, real-time reporting or improving the customer experience – technology could be holding all the answers.

Technology Showing Improvements

Here is a breakdown of some examples of disruptive technology and how it is currently being utilised to achieve better results throughout the supply chain:

Robots – warehouses have reported savings of 20-25% in areas such as productivity and operations by using robots to reduce the time involved in employees travelling around warehouses

Drones – drones have been tested to see if they can effectively scan pallets and locations. A drone was able to complete a scan in around 20 minutes, compared to a scan being completed manually which was in the region of 90 minutes

Sensors – sensors can be used for identification e.g. asset identification which is expected to offer productivity savings of more than 25%

Wearables – wearable technology such as smart glasses have been used at customer warehouses with efficiency savings of approximately 33%

Revolutionising the Supply Chain

It is crucial that companies are always evaluating different types of technology and forms of automation, the silver bullet being those that require minimum upfront and ongoing investment but which deliverable impressive returns.

As consumers continue to escalate their demands, thus increasing the fulfilment demands, the logistics industry is left to continue to innovate and automate where possible across different elements of the process.

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