Standardizing Protocols Of Communication To Address Logistics Challenges
Biggest challenge in technology to meet the challenges of logistics sector and solutions you look forward from technology providers for the enterprise
A lot of the technology built for the logistics sector has been built to suit individual purposes of a single company or platform without much thought of the flexibility or compatibility with other parties. Technology has, by its nature, grown quicker than the industry as been able to adapt so the big players have built custom solutions to take advantage of what new technologies have to offer while smaller organizations struggle to fit into their compliance. My biggest wish for the logistics industry would be for more standardization of protocols of communication.
Technologies that gives a competitive edge
Any player in the logistics space would benefit from fewer systems that can do more. They also provide smarter routing logic based on cost and speed to deliver commitments while protecting the bottom line. However, they can also lead to vendor-lock in and a reliance on a single suite that might not grow with the business as well. ConnectShip is an example where UPS bought the TMS software and now has less motivation to expand the software's capabilities to support other carriers. Customers are locked in because their systems rely on it but they are limited in their choices without being gouged by additional module and custom build fees.
I also see mobile devices playing a bigger part in logistics. Early on we made a decision to use android devices with bluetooth finger scanners that are running mobile optimized versions of our web-based software. This allows us to be much more flexible with our software development, deploying updates instantly and using common software platforms rather than old, archaic Windows CE like the major brands rely on. Not to mention a per unit cost that's about 30% of the alternative.
Several pain points within the enterprise for which solutions do not exist yet and Solutions that would make your job easier
Keeping incoming data consistent is always an issue. In our business we get shipment data from so many different sources that we can't count on it being accurate or reliable. This reduces how much we can rely on technology and increases manual intervention when data is bad.
Technology trends impacting the logistics industry
I'm interested to see how newer software startups can shake up the industry. Warehousing, trucking, etc is still supported by dinosaurs. They move slowly, don't pivot well and are stuck in their old ways on old platforms. Companies like UShip, ShipStation or LettuceApps are going to be running circles around the old dinosaurs. These will be disrupters before the existing technology providers have a chance to retool their offerings.
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