To stay ahead of the pack, electronics OEMs need to consider that latest trends affecting supply chain management, logistics, shipping and manufacturing.
“Overall, over the last two years we've seen increasing complexity and that will continue,” Bob Farrell, president and CEO of Kewill, which makes multimodal transport management software, told EBN in an interview. “I talk to a lot of different types of customers, in logistics services, retail, and manufacturing, and in all of these organizations multimodal transportation has become a strategic imperative.”
Increasingly, electronics OEMs are making decisions about supply chain, logistics and more with an eye toward business value, rather than using an operational lens. That being said, these same organizations will need to take a closer look at some key topics in order to stay ahead of the curve.
Farrell outlined his top topics that should be on the study list for electronics OEMs:
- Urban Logistics : Going into cities to deliver goods is expensive and time consuming. Urban Freight Consolidation Centers just outside the large cities will make the transfer from traditional transport modes into other streams of transport, better suited for the specific urban area. Already in Europe, the flow of goods into urban areas are being regulated to address congestion, environmental controls and more. “This trend is really causing logistics service providers to take a look at things from an urban logistics perspective in order to maintain compliance and fulfill goods in a timely manner,” Farrell said. “We'll see a lot more consolidation centers going forward to take the last mile with more environmental sensitivity.”
- Cloud Logistics : Collaboration in the cloud will enable logistics companies to work seamlessly together. In particular, smaller players will feel the benefit. Soon, the barriers to entry will get even lower. “Fourth party logistics providers (4PLs) as overall organizers are able to orchestrate the total supply chain,” said Farrell. “When you combine what you can do in the cloud with 4PL, you get to the point where you can combine multiple supply chain networks to get overall better service.”
- Internet of Things : IoT will make it possible to easily connect devices, sensors, and different pieces of equipment to the process, in order to collect real-time data any place, anytime, anywhere. “The availability of real time data at any place and any time allows organizations to make supply chain adjustments to ensure that what they are doing reflects reality,” said Farrell. “It will really enhance service and allow logistics service provider to narrow their service level agreements.”
- Omnichannel :Continuing growth of omnichannel and increasing demands of consumers around delivery will prompt more flexible, responsive fulfillment services that offer the maximum choice and speed to consumers. There have been forward thinking retailers and distributors trying to implement omnichannel, but the true success of omnichannel won't be felt until you can get logistics service providers into the mix,” said Farrell. “Players in that space are facing increased demand from customers for flexible fulfillment services, the maximum number of choices around delivery, the ability to get things the fastest way possible, and the ease of making returns.”
What logistics trends are on your radar? How will your organization be fitting the trends above into its logistics strategy?