Embedding disruptive technologies in logistics management software can cater to the needs of tech-driven logistics companies who want to utilize customer experience as a differentiating factor. Explore what Logistics Management Software providers will offer businesses in 2020.
With the emergence of Industry 4.0- a fourth industrial revolution characterized by disruptive tech forces like Robotic Process Automation,Guest Posting Artificial Intelligence, and Internet of Things- logistics industry is also going through a significant transformation. They are employing robots, drones, blockchain, and RFID tags to increase their capabilities to support smart systems adopted by firms across their supply chains.
In light of this advancement, Logistics Management Software (LMS) providers are also integrating enabling technologies that are in turn helping 3PL providers, distribution companies, transportation brokers, freight forwarders, warehouse providers, shippers and cargo airlines to streamline their supply chain, improving visibility throughout.
According to Forbes digital transformation in logistics software is rising. The logistics management software providers are using intelligent technologies for the management of fleet, order, inventory, shipping, transportation, suppliers, customer relations, and last-mile delivery.
LMS is a broader term that embraces Warehouse Management System (WMS) and Transportation Management System (TPS) under its ambit.
Components of Logistics Management Software
Warehouse Management Systems: WMS software can be procured as an independent solution or a component of LMS. WMS system powered by data insights ensures that the optimal level of stock is available at any time to fulfill the market demand, thus bringing visibility in inventory management. For example, Celero, a product of Katalyst Technologies, is an advanced WMS for effective and efficient warehouse operations including picking, packing, shipping, and cycle counting. Celero is a multi-tenant warehouse management system with many AI capabilities.
Warehouse management systems are available as SaaS (Software as a Service) products that empower clients to enjoy superior functionalities without the need to install any hardware. WMS providers are also offering capabilities to manage smart warehouses that are IoT enabled.
Transport Management Systems: TMS is a subset of a logistics platform and is integrated with logistics management software. Advanced TMS solutions are relying on sophisticated technologies to bring speed, accuracy, visibility, and optimization in the management of transportation fleets. Oracle, Manhattan, SAP, JDA are some of the vendors that offer TMS systems. For example, JDA offers AI and machine learning optimized platform for enhancing delivery capabilities of shippers and 3PL companies.
TMS offers strategic cost advantages and creates sustainable values by synchronizing critical transportation processes. It intelligently manages optimized routes for both inbound and outbound transportation needs, and also brings alignment between suppliers and carriers to stay within transport budgets. Contemporary TMS solutions support financial transactions while providing end-to-end visibility in real-time.
Present-day logistics management software firms are using data efficiently to create an information-driven ecosystem of logistic companies, carriers, freight forwarders, and many more.
Disruptive tech Logistics Management Software providers are employing to increase the performance of their systems
Cloud Capabilities: Logistics management software providers are moving to cloud for the upsides of scalability, security, and outsourcing capabilities. They are offering dynamic and scalable infrastructure to their clients to help them maintain end-to-end logistics activities without the need for installing hardware. For example, Oracle’s NetSuite, a cloud-based solution is a suite of applications for transportation and logistics management. Cloud computing streamlines business processes and ensures seamless integration between front and back end. With centralized storage of data on the cloud, managers and other stakeholders can check the real-time performance of their business by tracking key metrics.
Leading firms offering cloud LMS ensure that compliance standards have been adhered to while supporting their clients to upgrade their legacy systems to the cloud. Cloud-enabled LMS is a platform that can intelligently drive better collaboration with key partners in the supply chain, thus supporting a higher level of digital transformation in 2020.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: AI is empowering logistics management software by bringing automation and improving visibility across logistics processes for a seamless experience. AI and machine learning improve forecasting abilities of the system by applying various combinations of algorithms and data streams, thus managing significant volumes of forecasts across time horizons and geographical locations. AI-based LMS automates brokerage procedures to ensure speedy and efficient delivery of goods. Further, it helps in predictive intelligence so LMS can pre-empt demand and service accordingly.
LMS uses machine learning to predict the delivery time of a package and then checks if the package did arrive on time or not, thus implementing a feedback loop. Using deep learning and algorithms, it is possible to plan and optimize a route in real-time and achieve operational efficiencies across all carrier services. Also, data-driven LMS supports real-time tracking, insights & analytics, beat optimization, and vehicle allocation & utilization. LMS are combining machine learning with natural language processing to convert fuzzy and handwritten addresses into accurate global coordinates. In 2020, businesses will heavily rely on AI to augment human decision-making while implementing machine learning for automation.
Internet of Things: IoT technology has created a connected logistics ecosystem. IoT-enabled smart logistics solutions allow users to track the activities of connected devices, for example, vehicle location and inventory items in warehouse. Further, internet-enabled devices gather information from various data points and push it further for analytics that converts information into smart business insights helping in rational decision-making. For example, predictive maintenance of vehicles and other equipment is greatly facilitated by IoT enabled LMS. This connectivity, coupled with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, can analyze the massive volume of data to bring tangible business outcomes. According to The McKinsey Global Institute’s study, ‘The Internet of Things: Mapping The Value Beyond the Hype’, IoT will potentially impact logistics routing and autonomous vehicles by 2025.
Data Analytics: Digitization is primarily driven by business analytics. Logistics management software is equipped with data analytics capabilities for intelligent decision-making, giving a profitable competitive advantage to the users. The software supports smart procurement, monitors fleet management, and provides visibility to improve the shipping process. LMS processes logistics data into meaningful insights that facilitate cost-benefit analysis and strategic planning thereby reducing bottlenecks and strengthening the bottom-line of logistics activities.
LMS yields detailed analysis and solutions thereof that helps in creating a positive impact on business KPIs. For example, a data-driven LMS ensures the fulfillment of critical time-bound deliveries, thus utilizing customer experience as a differentiating factor. LMS gathers weather and traffic data, financial information, social media data, web traffic data, vehicle information, and other important data in real-time from various internal and external sources to come up with detailed reports, critical parameters and logical analysis that help businesses to become reliable, transparent and optimized for their stakeholders. In 2020, more logistics firms will invest in the right resources like data analytics platforms to turn data insights into true value for their businesses.
Blockchain: Logistics software providers are relying on Blockchain technology to streamline supply chain management system. With the capability to deliver security, transparency, and scalability to logistics system, Blockchain is addressing issues like payment disputes and administrative bottlenecks in logistics. Blockchain-enabled LMS allows paperless transactions through a shared distributed ledger, ensures flow of reliable data across the entire logistics network and reduce processing time during custom clearance of products using smart contracts. Blockchain-powered LMS provides an authentic solution for recording and tracking logistics actions in real-time. In 2020 the influence of Blockchain technology will grow as industry will witness a mass adoption of technology.
Need for Logistics Management Software providers to go for disruptive tech
Today, successful logistics businesses are partnering with experienced technology vendors who have competencies to provide the right amount of support needed for seamless execution of their digital supply chains. Lean logistics is trending that ensures elimination of wasteful actions and optimization of resources across supply chains. The mentioned above disruptive technologies ought to deliver efficiencies through data collation and analytics. With right information in hand, clients can make optimal decisions, thus reducing value leakage at any point.
Thus, logistics management solution providers that use smart technologies will empower their clients to achieve a higher level of efficiency through decision making with certainty. Moreover, customer focus will always remain on higher priority, motivating LMS providers to enhance self-capabilities to gather, analyze, and utilize data smartly.
In 2020, LMS is bound to rely on sophisticated technologies to simplify supply chains, locate pain points, and enable businesses to act preemptively while mitigating risks.
How Logistics Management Software providers can bring in disruptive tech in their existing software
A higher level of digital transformation is achievable with a platform that can intelligently drive end-to-end collaboration in logistics. Thus, logistics management software providers have embraced and will continue to adopt disruptive tech innovatively in their business solutions to serve modern logistics companies that need intelligent software to support the advanced needs of businesses.
Katalyst Technologies cutting edge supply chain and logistics solutions can help companies digitize for higher operational efficiencies. Katalyst’s warehouse management software, Celero can be configured to meet business requirements.
Collaborate with supply chain and logistics experts at Katalyst Technologies for implementing transparent, intelligent, and predictive logistics ma