Gone are the days when the paper shipping bills were moving from desk to desk to clear the cargo, be it for an air shipment or any other mode. Digitalization of the complete Logistics operation is the future, and the industry is moving towards but not at the pace desired. Increased cargo movement within a country or overseas has its own challenges if it is not handled digitally in terms of the delay in the documentation, track and trace, sorting and consolidation and many more.
Organizations in developing countries have not yet realized the importance of supply chain excellence. Therefore, investment in SCM is of less priority. It creates a ripple effect. If the demand side has a limited budget, the supply side, which is the product or service providers in the Logistics industry, cannot invest more in innovative technology. Here, the industry deals with a shortfall of qualified resources, who are confident in developing or using new technology. When it comes to digital intervention in a different sector, few people opt for product development for the Logistic industry. It is required to have a focused drive by the policymakers and the stakeholders to concentrate on the digitalization movement in the Logistics industry.
At the academic level, people have started taking SCM-related topics in their careers, which is a positive sign for the industry. It shows that the future is bright. However, a lot needs to be looked at, catching up with the pace. Demand in the industry has moved from 3PL to 4PL and now 5PL, and to catch up with the supply, is impossible to do without an agile digital intervention.
It is evident that the Logistics industry is all set to leverage from new technologies, due to cultural diversity and global polarization; organizations will need to see the benefit of mature technologies before taking the risk of investing in ground-breaking technologies.
Be it air, sea, rail or roadways, where an air transport system, carriage of passengers, baggage, cargo and mail etc., the carrier is required, the role of IT/ITeS organizations is immense. To map the architecture of the complete value chain, identify the critical path, reduce the TAT, optimize the cost through automation and enhanced visibility, etc., to name a few. While we do the same to enhance the customer journey throughout the process, it is also the fact that it is the need of the hour to optimize the time and cost because the customer demand is shifting rapidly. PMO plays a significant role in ensuring a successful digital implementation in any organization. PMO acts as a Window or Single Point of Contact (SPoC) that assures the scope, timeliness, and quality of execution by ensuring very high NPS and DIFOT.
Few of the best practices to follow are things like -setting clear guidelines for scope, risk, and change management, laying the foundation for cross-functional collaboration, standardizing project management processes, automating to eliminate menial tasks and improving data access.
Earlier customers had little exposure to such a vast spectrum of technology and hence didn’t understand the value of the such digital intervention. Then some firms started showing the advantages of the technology in terms of faster deliveries, reduction in cost, end-to-end visibility, smart warehouse management systems, etc. These examples opened altogether new avenue where these services became hygienic norms now for them, and the customer has also started looking for what next. Such changes have created a 3-dimensional win-win situation amongst IT service providers, organizations and customers, where each stakeholder has benefitted. It has demonstrated that these digital interventions will remove the concept of the middleman in the whole process and thus make the process more linear and cost-effective.
Now customers are looking for the next level of services. The trends are already prevailing, but very few organizations can follow them completely. The most commonly used Logistics technologies which can help to shape the future of the industry are the concept of Just in Time (JIT), integrated process, integrated warehousing and transportation terminals, and vertical integration of Logistics management.