Logistics is the backbone of all local and global commercial ecosystems. Its implementation determines the efficacy of the process, hence poor execution may very well lead to operational losses. Given this, there is always this unspoken, yet general expectation for this industry to thrive by trailblazing technological advances in order to stay efficient and reliable.
In the last decade, four of the top logistics challenges are directly and indirectly linked to technology and ineffective tracking. These challenges are often taken for granted and tend to be addressed individually with isolated solutions, which in hindsight, is merely a band-aid solution. To achieve operational success, the supply chain must be viewed as a whole.
We are now in the digital age where almost everything is automated and digitised. The logistics industry has received its fair share of challenges as they find adoption and onboarding, expensive and too taxing.
There are still questions around the whole implementation of technology starting with justifying costs, to implementation requirements and of course, maintenance and updates.
As more millennials become the movers and shakers of the global economy, we have to adjust, based on their expectations from customer service, where full transparency of delivery status is best practice in accordance with the “right now” mindset of the generation.
As fuel prices continue to increase, businesses need to make smarter decisions on how to optimise every trip and mitigate the effects of this global issue.
Much as we want to say that technology is the solution to all logistical problems, there are also considerations that need to be made. Track and trace in logistics was introduced to the industry a while back but has not been as widely received as expected. The issue encountered by technology providers is quite common: How willing are they to adapt to new technologies? Perhaps the same dilemma that new and young management personnel are experiencing when they introduce new concepts to the board – with seats still filled by an older generation.
As a business operating for decades, they may raise a lot of questions when it comes to adopting new technologies.
Bridging this gap could be as simple as a cost-benefit analysis, touching on three critical components: Connectivity, information sharing and transparency.
We start by identifying what makes an ideal tracking system:
One of the difficulties of taking on new technology is the headache of deploying a system. Most processes are already too rigid as they have not been updated for decades and to deploy new technology means going through a revamp – this may mean downtime, new process flows and will maybe require new skill sets that current staff might not have. All this considered, business owners tend to just dismiss the idea and not be bothered as they would rather focus on their current systems.
A “compatible”, plug-and-play tracking system is a good entry point for conventional businesses as they won’t have to worry about the issues mentioned above.
The age-old issue of the logistics industry is being able to access clean and accurate data in real time. The wider the operations are, the more inaccurate data tends to be. If technology can address this issue regardless of bandwidth, then this will definitely be a game-changer.
In relation to the argument on millennials being the decision-makers and becoming the majority of the market, a tracking system is a very appealing concept that resonates with this generation.
Nothing is more inclusive than a user-friendly interface. A sophisticated system that can easily communicate and be navigated by a layman means the system can be utilised across the whole organisation. Less time onboarding, faster to adapt.
The ability to also include the financial component in the system is a big factor. Track and trace is not just about tracking where the shipment is – it’s also about being able to efficiently identify, tag, categorise and reconcile the items of the shipment even before it arrives at the destination. This saves a lot of time spent on audits and downtime.
The cherry on top is being able to process data and rank performance among the fleet. This enables management to make data-driven decisions that will improve the overall logistics system such as, which driver or truck is best suited to specific products for certain destinations.
Why do you need a reliable tracking partner?
A better way to present this is to share examples and case studies from 2 different industries:
For perishable products, particularly in the dairy industry, present complex supply chain challenges because of variables such as perishability, lead times, seasonality and raw material availability.
Monitoring is well-considered in the factory but is a different story once the products leave the facility; and are exposed to unpredictable conditions. Track and trace enables real time monitoring of the shipment’s location and its conditions. Thus, this allows businesses to deliver dairy products in best condition.
Transport cage fleet
A fleet with over 3,000 units with multiple partners and destinations is really prone to losses without proper tracking and monitoring. Having a real-time tracking system installed into their units completely eliminates the risk of asset loss costing about $1,000 per unit.
What is the tracking system’s role in the supply chain?
Tracking and tracing technology enables data-driven and informed planning and management to improve logistics performance. Proper use of this technology gives businesses the visibility to identify bottlenecks in the logistics process and empowers them to address it before it creates a significant effect on the whole supply chain. This, then allows them to make better forecasts on production and delivery plans.
By and large, dynamic and complex supply chains need to be flexible to adopt new technology that will allow them to capture high quality data that aids in decision-making. Visibility of data is only the tip of the iceberg; track and trace technology is an investment that will provide long-term value to the business in terms of business process, transport costs, customer service and ultimately, profitability.
The AXIS Group has partnered with LOSCAM – one of the leading Track and Trace technology providers in Australia. For track and trace requirements, you may send us a message through this website or email