Lot’s of logistics experts make tech predictions about driverless vehicles, drones for the last mile, robots in the supply chain and more. This type of creativity is important, maybe even essential, to moving the industry forward. Startup companies, 3PL and more have been finding ways for decades to help organizations large and small get business done, while trimming costs and creating efficiencies.
To help make sense of the rapid pace of change, we decided to take a quick look at three ways organizations are looking to gain an advantage in their supply chain. And of course, we will give you our advice on the four things that you should really be focused on and how they can still put you miles ahead of the competition, while startups and the Fortune 100 sort out how to brings mind-blowing tech into the supply chain.
Drone tech in the supply chain
If you want to fly a drone, you have to immerse yourself in the regulations of your jurisdiction. If you want to fly a network of drones as a business, the laws are even less clear. Good luck with that. You’re not a drone expert, and your customers probably don’t want or need you to Wow them with the latest tech. They want service they can count on, done as cheaply as you can.
For now, Packaging optimization is the proven way to save on supplies, save labor, warehouse space, shipping costs, and most importantly, save money.
Driverless vehicle tech in the supply chain
The optimism and anticipation related to driverless vehicles makes for captivating reading. But in truth, this is a sector that is far from being legally viable, much less technologically possible. And then taking autonomous vehicles to scale in a supply chain is yet another, unproven and tremendously large challenge. It will be amazing when it happens, but let’s not put off savings and efficiencies now for an as of yet unproven way of doing business. Transportation optimization is a time-tested way to analyze what you are doing and save money using most, or all, of your existing transport network, physical assets and more.
Robots in the supply chain
Robots or robotic technologies is an area we are actually quite bullish about, partly because they are already in use in around ⅓ of all supply chain companies. Robots are making the most dangerous jobs safer, and they are increasing speed and efficiency.
Robots are a tremendous advantage for the industry. But it is still going to be a decade or two at least, before this tech becomes cheap enough and easy enough to implement, not to mention support with staff and the right physical spaces to turn modern day warehouse operations into the buzzing hives of ecommerce productivity we’ve been promised.
Tech for e-commerce, 3PLs and pick, pack & ship organizations
Get these four things right: packaging optimization, labor optimization, shipping optimization and warehouse optimization, and you will be better off than 75% of your competition. Let everyone else play with drones, driverless vehicles and robots while they are still cost prohibitive, and while standards for their use are still wildly in flux. Drones might work for Amazon, but there is still a lot that has to happen before there is a true competitive advantage for everyone else.
When it comes to saving your business money, PLS and OBI are ready to be your partner in creating verifiable, easy-to-implement changes that will improve your bottom line. If you’ve got questions about how your organization can get started on securing a leaner, more profitable future, follow, like and share us on Facebook and LinkedIn or get in touch on our website.
John Moore – Founder
Packaging & Logistics Solutions (PLS)