The ongoing trend of digitalisation will launch the logistics industry to new heights of innovation. Greater availability and quality of data lays the foundation for better integration of transport service providers. That's the finding of leading logistics managers in a position paper 'The Digital Supply Chain – 10 Real-World Arguments', published by IT service provider AXIT, part of the Siemens family of companies.
Digitalisation will open the door to new spheres of activity for the logistics industry – whose managers still rely largely on conservative communication tools such as phone, fax, and email – by enabling better supply chain performance, more efficient utilisation of cargo space, and greater agility in planning shipments. The paper presents ten arguments that describe the impact this disruption will have on current business models and services in transport and logistics.
"Digitalisation creates a new infrastructure that will expedite collaboration with manufacturers, customers, and logistics service providers," notes Holger Schmitt, CEO of AXIT GmbH, referring to the effects described in the paper that the digital transformation will have on business processes. "Instead of working in isolated IT systems, all partners can be linked through a digital process that enables smoother collaboration."
But this also presents a challenge to logistics industry companies: To benefit from the technological opportunities of end-to-end integration, the industry needs to change its habits and mindset. "Data is the new gold. But if miners just hoard their own gold and refuse to share with others, the gold turns to dust," according to one of the arguments presented at length in the paper. "To tap into the added value that comes from this new digital data mine, businesses must open themselves up and be prepared to share their data," Schmitt adds.
For many businesses, the quality of their data is yet another obstacle barring them from reaping the benefits of a digital supply chain. "Data is often incomplete and can look different for one and the same shipment, depending on which system it comes from," conclude the experts.