When technology and transportation converged to mark a key supply chain milestone in 2018, companies shifted focus to visibility and real time communication. As 2019 unfolds, new momentous changes loom to beg the following question: are you prepared for the digital disruption that is poised to transform your business, and more so, your logistics?
The age of Big Data
Many companies incorporated Big Data into their core competencies in 2018 to better analyze legacy transportation systems. In 2019, Big Data will play a bigger role in optimizing asset utilization and resource management. You snooze, you lose: better give it a go and see what flies. The key success factor is to be convinced and confident in the existing work process as well as accumulated experience. Alongside legacy efficiencies, Big Data can be gradually incorporated to improve things and provide much needed qualitative analysis that leads to the discovery of hidden problems in supply chain. A slowly but surely mindset will allow organization employees progressive learning with minor change in proper stages along the learning curve to fully integrated new world trends, as opposed to major change that come with high risk.
Blockchain has arisen as the major technological breakthrough and contender in the past 2-3 years, albeit much confusion around what exactly is it good for. 2019 will be the year Blockchain brings colossal impact to logistics as it minimizes complexity with maximum supply chain efficiency-transparency and unprecedented system integrity.
Financial transactions will become safe and effortless when transacted through Blockchain-powered medium as data from various parties are stored in ever growing blocks of records that contain the digital fingerprint string that identifies the previous block, the user and timestamp of the transaction, along with transactional data itself. As all parties involved are required to acknowledge and approve each and every transaction, and no one can change anything without leaving a trace behind, Blockchain is virtually impossible to hack or corrupt as data is recorded in a verifiable and permanent way. And, if Blockchain is good enough to run a currency and large global financial systems, pretty much, it is good enough for anything. “The epitome of system integrity” is never a phrase to use lightly.
Previuosly limited to small labels on the package, in-depth product information will be provided with Blockchain as related raw material and product data is automatically recorded. Agricultural products, for example, where verification of source information has been an uphill task, consumers will be able to research and crosscheck prior to each purchase, e.g., where each product comes from, which farm and who produced and transported, along with accredited standards that product is rewarded for.
Industry Consolidation will continue
Although logistics system as an industry has turned to focus on service consolidation over the past 2-3 years, or, transports combine bundle packaging with multiple product SKUs and multiple destinations into the same load, the number of such service providers will reduce in 2019. The remaining operators will become major One-Stop hubs that expand or collaborate with other operators to provide inclusive beginning-to-end logistics services that raises overall standards and competitiveness for the supply chain industry as a whole and for the retail market in general.
In a nutshell without giving anything away, 2019 is the year of change and growth in the supply chain world. Anyone who manages to adopt and adapt will be able to transcend service limitations with innovations that better serve and better meet the needs of the customers in juxtaposition to competitors that stick to the status quo.
Compiled by BLOG.SCGLogistics
References and photos expaklogistics.com, freepik.com