It is said that Logistics is the system of transportation of goods and deliveries while supply chain deals with customer satisfaction and finished products. However both exist together in any business, each having its unique role to play.
“Supply chain is the football coach, and logistics is the quarterback. They both provide direction regarding how field assets must be situated and positioned. But the coach provides the overall game plan, and the QB executes the moves, adapting on the fly as needed.“ says Jasen Incidis (Application Developer and Support Specialist, UltraShipTMS).
This apt comparison, helps us to realize how important both are. Let us examine now the future trends of Logistics and supply chain management systems.
- “Algorithmic supply chain planning” will be adopted widely in 2020. Using the theory of probability, these algorithms can interfere with the uncertainty of supply and demand and predict patterns that will help to plan in advance so that businesses can take appropriate corrective measures.
- Machine learning is set to take over from humans though not completely, to aid the tricky management of the supply chain system. It can automate tasks and self learn as a result of which productivity increases. Digitization has transformed the entire supply chain management system and today ML as well as AI is set to play an even greater role as robots are set to replace humans in the supply chain system.
- Specialist data skills are expensive so the smartest move is to automate to the maximum. Machine Learning will be thus applied to automate a high volume of data analysis so that tasks like planning of promotions and introduction of new products can be supported.
- So far the supply chain scenario has been quite uncertain. The emergence of what is known as the ‘ digital twin’ aids companies in reducing risks by testing the complex global supply chain systems. Digital twins can detect port shutdowns and any regulatory change in the supply chain system thereby helping to plan businesses better, as also in procurement and supplier management. This is therefore the future of Logistics and supply chain management in2020.
- Supply chain will gradually be aided by block chain. Businesses are not yet equipped to adopt block chain and the transformation is predicted to be gradual. Its ability to provide protection to data makes it valuable to the supply chain management system. In the global distribution system it is easy to lose data accuracy and so it is important to protect data security and maintain its authenticity which block chain helps in doing.
- With the day by day growing customer expectations supply chain too is affected. However the well developed logistics management solutions are helping supply chains to be more sustainable, faster and customer centric.
- Green Logistics is the next gen logistic solution that will be adopted to promote reputation of corporate, increase customer loyalty and lowering of supply chain costs.
- Global trade will be supported by block chain powered software to track the journey of a shipping process. The idea is to use a common portal for major shipping lines, ports, stevedores and other logistic players to update customers.
- Humans will not be overridden by machines completely. Businesses are set to realize how important a human is to the entire logistics and supply chain management system. Machine Learning and Artificial intelligence is a boon but at a premium. The presence of humans will increase the productivity of a supply chain management eliminating machine maintenance costs which sometimes prove to be more expensive than humans especially in the case of say short distance deliveries. So the use of automation will become judicious. Of course it is also true that drones are set to take over delivery of supplies. But what is the volume a drone can deliver? Not as much as a human driven truck can take.
- Every company would like to reduce freight charges and for that it is ideal to have partnerships. This will help to minimize costs and ensure efficient service besides controlling risks pertaining to cargo. The trend in 2020 will therefore be of enhanced partnerships which will even help out in case of delayed deliveries thus increasing customer satisfaction. The search will be for expertise in technology when looking for an international partner so that innovative solutions can be brought into the picture opening up new avenues. All these will improve accuracy and efficiency in all the arms of the supply chain management system.
- Logistics is set to undergo a sea change with automation taking over. It will embrace technology that will simplify works and reduce the burden on administration. Collaborative logistics is important here as it is customer centric and has a unified approach. It’s a new model whose goal is to make the customer experience better through bidirectional portals that will help them in real time tracking managing and delivery of their orders.
All aspects of supply chain need to be digitized by the logistic leaders in order to optimize all business processes, internal as well as external. The entire system will improve by 2020 due to automation. They will be embracing the data revolution in order to evolve as tech savvy leaders; thus using data analytics and AI powered suggestions to plan ahead, leading to greater customer satisfaction as a result of operation efficiency. All data pertaining to freight, orders, warehousing will be utilized in order to plan and forecast thus leading to success.
Supply chain and Logistics go hand in hand and as John McDermott of St Onge says, “From my standpoint, I view logistics as a subset of supply chain. I would define logistics as the storage and movement of goods from a companies’ origin point (ex: supplier, plant, etc.) through to the destination point (ex: customer), with a large emphasis on transportation. I view supply chain as being much broader to incorporate such groups/activities as sourcing/manufacturing, distribution, IT, packaging, planning (supply, inventory, demand), etc.”
So the Logistics and supply trend management trends in 2020 are interlinked.
The thought of dealing with so much might seem daunting but trust me this is the path to be followed in order to succeed in the supply chain management system. Adopt the new trends of technology and focus on building a bond with customers. All that people want is to generate more revenue and for that your efficiency must improve.