In a fast-changing world, the success of your business could depend on your ability to adapt to growing demands and tackle new challenges that arise. The logistics of running a successful business can be complicated, especially in a time where businesses across the world need to change their way of operating due to an ongoing pandemic. With strategic automation solutions, the process of adapting to changes can be simplified to increase effectiveness and profitability. Often profitability is not in increasing income but in lowering expenses.
One way of lowering long-term expenses is by investing in automation that can increase effectiveness. Market research shows that the automation market is expected to grow by 12.3% between 2020 and 2027 to meet demands.
With markets like the e-commerce industry showing exceptional growth, you may have to make some changes to keep up with the demands of an expanding and changing market. Swiss research has shown that the Swiss e-commerce market grew by 55% between 2019 and 2020 because of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
For automation to work effectively, it must be tailored to your company’s particular needs and capabilities. Some innovations may apply to warehouse and storage management, while others focus more on transportation management. Having an integrated and transparent automation solution will help your company run more effectively and thereby be more profitable.
Luckily, the growing demand for intelligent automation has led to many breakthroughs and innovations that are helping businesses cope with the growing demand for fast and effective service.
What are the latest trends that you need to take notice of?
Taking a closer look at some of the leading trends in logistics automation can help you decide what will work best for your business. In the year 2021, ten logistic automation trends were followed by global leaders of the industry. In taking a closer look at these trends, you can get a scope of the possibilities for your business.
The internet of things
Visibility in the supply chain helps your operation to run with more efficiency. When fleet managers have real-time visibility of a product, it helps them manage inventory more effectively.
One way in which IoT can make a change in your business is when it is applied to vehicles, giving analyzed data from vehicles to help you with route optimization and fleet maintenance.
Furthermore, IoT networks have the ability to collect data from sensors and distributed ledgers. It then uses this information to improve the supply chain by analyzing the data to guarantee the quality and authenticity of products. It does this by making use of blockchain technology.
When doing business, security is of utmost importance. By recording and storing information in a way that cannot be hacked or changed, that can be traced, and that brings transparency, blockchain offers you security and reduces processing time.
Blockchain technology can be used for secure B2B payments that offer indisputable records of transactions, therefore avoiding fraud. There are also innovations like smart contract systems that can help keep currency conversion costs down.
Goods often change hands multiple times in the supply chain before reaching the final destination. You can track shipment locations with blockchain technology and receive updates on delivery time estimations. Once the delivery is complete, delivery documents are uploaded to the blockchain platform, offering you transparency of where goods are in the supply chain.
AI algorithms can find solutions to reduce operational costs and help your company to manage fluctuation in supply and demand.
AI technology integrated with cognitive automation technology can be applied to perform administrative tasks such as price prediction and demand forecast. This will help you have the information you need to make the right decisions with product replenishment.
The technology can also be applied to help you with route optimization. It can further help you be prepared for external influences that might affect your deliveries, such as weather and traffic conditions.
Another application for AI is to calculate and manage your workforce requirements as it fluctuates according to changing demands.
Robotics can be used to give you more speed and accuracy along the supply chain with lower chances of human error. Robots can pick, pack, palletize and transport goods with efficiency in warehouses and storage facilities.
You can use software robots for repetitive and mundane tasks like handling invoicing, audit trails, and purchase orders.
An important link in your supply chain is getting the product from the warehouse or distribution center in a timely and reliable manner. Last-mile delivery often has numerous problems related to factors such as traffic density, the expectations of customers, delivery density, and government regulations that could influence your operation.
To address these challenges, there are numerous innovations available from which you can choose.
Drones are being used more and more often and can reduce delivery costs and time for certain products. Drones have been used by restaurant chains and some healthcare distributors. This has been particularly useful during the Covid-19 pandemic but can be applied to long-term distribution strategies.
Another challenge with deliveries is security when customers are unavailable to receive parcels. One solution that addresses this is smart lockers for both indoor and outdoor conditions. Smart lockers can protect deliveries from the elements and theft and, in some cases, are temperature controlled to accommodate perishable goods.
A lot is going on in a warehouse, and by automating warehouse processes, the speed, productivity, and efficiency of your operation can be increased. Various technologies are available like automated vehicles, robot picking, and solutions for storage and retrieval automation.
Moving goods within a warehouse can be done by automated guided vehicles, reducing labor while working with large quantities of goods. There are various AGV integration options available on the market that can be adjusted to fulfill your needs and fit in with the rest of your operation.
For you to make an informed decision and improve productivity in the warehouse and on deliveries, you need to have the applicable data analyzed, such as weather and fleet schedules. Having this information allows you to plan routes and deliveries and maximize fuel efficiency.
Having the right data also gives you the ability to compile risk management reports.
You can also use it to make informed decisions concerning inventory and pricing. Data analytics can be used to predict demand and sales, enabling you to manage to supply.
Logistics automation trends have developed by addressing communication challenges by making use of cloud-based infrastructure. Using cloud-integrated logistics offers accessibility and security.
You can use this to communicate with manufacturers and logistics companies and consolidate the demands of transport into a central database providing more efficiency. The product can be tracked, and customers can stay up to date with shipping locations.
By using autonomous vehicles, you can increase fuel efficiency by optimizing delivery routes to account for traffic jams and maximizing the advantages of long-haul routes. Because there is no driver required, your operation can run around the clock without the need to rest. Autonomous vehicles are ideal for addressing some of the issues that are found in last-mile delivery.
There are various options to choose from, depending on your needs, including trailers customized for cargo, food, and mobile lockers.
Autonomous vehicles minimize problems caused by humans error and deliver your cargo safely and reliably.
Fluctuation in demand can cause difficulty for your company. Normal supply chain operations can be disrupted, and the need may arise for you to change the scale of your supply chain to adjust to market demand.
One way of mitigating fluctuation in supply and demand is to rent out unused space to fulfill other companies’ short-term needs. Some companies help small and medium enterprises find short-term solutions to their excess storage by renting the unused space out or by supplying on-demand storage as needed.
Choosing a solution that will help you
Here at Integrātz, we are committed to understanding your business needs and finding a working solution to your challenges.
Whether you are overwhelmed with complicated work overflows or simply struggling to keep up with mundane tasks, we can guide you to successfully transform your business to become the best it can be. With our experience in areas of insurance, logistics, customer service, supply chain, and more, we can provide you with a lasting solution.
Book a 30-minute timeslot now and we can discuss a way forward. During the meeting, you will meet directly with our CEO, Josh, and he will lay out how we can assist your company in moving into the future.