The logistics and supply chain is continually evolving in ways to get materials and products from origin to destination more quickly and more efficiently. What ongoing trends do we expect to see continue through 2023 and into he future? Let’s take a look.
1. Warehouse Simulation
Simulation, which uses digital twin technology, raises the competitiveness of companies by creating virtual replicas of objects or processes to reproduce the behavior of real world counterparts.
In logistics, this allows for simulating the layout of a warehouse as well as operator and goods flows. Along with 3D representations of a facility, allows for the visualization of prospective operations.
Furthermore, once operational, simulation helps to detect inefficiencies and predict adverse scenarios. It’s also capable of identifying opportunities for improvement that can be used to facilitate strategic decision-making.
2. Flexible Logistics
Flexible logistics isn’t new and has been with us for the past year. Omnichannel consolidation, seasonality, and product returns have compelled companies to adopt flexible logistics to remain competitive.
Flexibility is essential throughout the supply chain. Having flexible logistics and production processes ensures the availability of stock for end customers while also limiting the cost of manufacturing overruns, storage, and transport. Businesses that employ elastic logistics are capable of adapting a warehouse for unexpected changes. They also have an easier time maintaining competitiveness during supply chain disrupting events.
Flexibility gives you an edge in order fulfillment. Flexible fulfillment a strategy centered on the adaptation of order picking in relation to complex demand, sot hat items can be shipped from any distribution centre, warehouse, or even physical store.
3. Robotic Process Automation
Robotic Process Automation, or RPA technology, is the adoption of software robot stop interact with programs in an automated way. RPA is often used to handle repetitive tasks, and will continue to play a major business role in 2023. Some common tasks that RPA is used for includes connecting to web apps, copying data, moving folders, or creating directories.
For logistics, RPA can improvise product tracking. RPA allows you to send delivery time notifications, inform customers of possible delays, and create an electronic proof of delivery.
RPA can also facilitate the execution of purchase orders when using automated criteria such as price, quantity, and frequency. Software robots can also be used to forecast supply and demand through historical data analysis and market indicators. Such use of RPA technology ensures the number of products available to fill future orders and maintain safety stock.
4. Data Mining
Data mining is the analysis of large amounts of information to detect and extract patterns, which can improve how companies make decisions. For modern logistics, this means detecting patterns in operations like goods receipt, picking orders, and returns.
Data mining has become more relevant with he development of technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence(AI), and machine learning. Automated data extraction methods organize and filter information then convert it into relevant knowledge. It helps detect fraud in finance, predict demand in salesman and identify bottlenecks in manufacturing and logistics,
5. Cloud Computing
Cloud computing isn’t only redefining business management in general, but also the way supply chains are organized. Software as a service, or SaaS will be making its logistics mark in 2023. Digital logistics operations with a warehouse management system(WMS) using a SaaS model will allow access via any device with a data connection. It also saves on infrastructure and maintenance costs.
Having a SaaS WMS boosts information security management. All data generated in your facility is captured stored in the cloud. with automated backups. Implementing cloud-based SaaS software is the most flexible digital solution.
6. Drones & Logistics
There has been a lot of talk about drones in logistics over the past few years. However, in 2023 they could become a logistics mainstay. Tech giants like Google and Amazon have been working on drone prototypes for deliveries to customers by air. Although drone delivery is still experimental, it would bring the benefits of lower costs, faster shipments, less road transport, and decreased pollution.
However, drone inventory management is already being put into practice at some facilities. In this sentence, an autonomous drone flies over the warehouse scanning the barcodes or RFID tags. It then informs the logistics software of the number of units in stock for each SKU. When paired with efficient product management, this automatically detects imbalances without the use of dedicated resources.
7. Green Logistics
Green logistic is also known as sustainable logistics, and encompasses a set of measures and policies that are designed to lessen the environmental impact of business operations. Environmental awareness is becoming increasingly important as companies seek to reduce their carbon footprint, pollution, and waste at all stages of operations.
Using electric vehicles, promoting pick-up points, and using biodegradable materials are just some of the measures being employed by businesses to limit waste and consume less energy.
What to Take from This
The things to remember for the coming years is the focus will be on optimizing processes and increasing efficiency.
Not only in 2023, but also the coming years will see strong, adaptable supply chains survive while those who are slow or resistant to digitize will languish and fall behind their competitors.