Crucial Factors of Connectivity for Effective Logistics System

Written By Jane Chong Hon Mei, DLSM

by Jane Chong Hon Mei, DLSM

Crucial Factors of Connectivity for Effective Logistics System

Written By Jane Chong Hon Mei, DLSM

by Jane Chong Hon Mei, DLSM

by Jane Chong Hon Mei, DLSM

Today’s consumer-centric and sustainable expectation of real-time economy speed and timing are keys. This helps companies drive speed to the global market through excellent infrastructure and connectivity. A “Connected Things” model for logistics visibility discreet wireless trackers and tags for monitoring individual assets is ideal for actionable data that can help manage the goods.

Efficiency, optimization, smarter, timing have always been crucial in logistics and transportation. Amidst a range of accelerating evolutions and in an increasingly digital environment where digital transformations are affecting the next revolution of industry, known as Industry 4.0. In this article we examine the main challenges of digitization and digital transformation in (goods) transportation and logistics (T&L) and, inevitably, the digital supply chain.

Communication System

Supply chains are complex networks of interdependent elements. Communication is crucial to supply chain success and creating an effective business backbone.

Advanced communication systems embedded with RFID, sensor devices, and powered by IoT are helping enterprises to move up the value chain.

The connected of information systems including electronic data interchange, to improve management of supply chains. The setting of single window portals or port community systems is an example. These systems are being complemented by the emergence of distributed electronic ledger systems, colloquially known as block-chain.

Logistics operation the need for fast, slick processes to meet shorter turnarounds required complete visibility at all times. To achieve maximum productivity, enhanced communication needs to be introduced throughout the entire supply chain, including stores, warehouses and distribution centres, and even the end customer.

Communications can be streamlined with new technology such as the latest cloud to ensure maximum productivity. Mobile communication, for instance, means staff and managers can now be ‘connected’ at all times, reducing the potential for delays and making sure the logistics operation continues to run at its best. This need for a single line of communication across the entire network is now more important than ever and forms the basis for the rest of the supply chain to operative effectively.

Supply Chain Monitoring System

Logistics is an essential component of supply chain management. It involves the planning, carrying out and management of goods, services, and information from the point of origin to the point of consumption. Logistics aligns the complex pattern of traffic and transportation, shipping and receiving, import and export operations, warehousing, inventory management, purchasing, production planning, and customer service.

Companies see logistics as a critical blueprint of the supply chain. It is used to manage, coordinate and monitor resources needed to move products in a smooth, timely, cost-effective and reliable manner. The electronic flow of information enables automatic identification of critical inventory situations. This means that companies no longer have to determine variations by manually comparing requirements overviews and delivery schedules.The automated early warning system affords valuable time to promptly resolve imminent bottleneck situations and respond flexibly to fluctuations in demand.

Vehicle Tracking

Vehicle tracking system is an automated technology that allows the use of an electronic device installed in individual vehicles to know the fleet location. The system commonly uses GPS technology and the location can be viewed as an electronic map via the internet with live transit-location via satellite link.

The vehicle tracking system manages the efficiency of the fleet and helps in reducing the operational costs. It reduces the unnecessary fuel and maintenance costs by monitoring driver behaviour. It reduces the driving time of the fleet by optimizing the driving routes and eliminates the misuse of the routes.

The system allows the business owners and the drivers to focus on first class customer services to their destinations. It helps to maintain the whereabouts of the vehicle and helps the owners to monitor the activity of the drivers throughout the day. By maintaining the record, the workers productivity can be increased by exposing the unnecessary breaks.

It also gives the business owners to monitor the assets and provides the customers with the exact delivery time. The accurate data of the system helps greatly in managing the profit and loss analysis to improve the budget preparation.

The improved monitoring system enhances the safety and security of the personnel by providing the two-way communication. By having the whereabouts data of the employees, the business owners can have the control over their company.The better route planning and the proper schedules will help you to provide better service and enables you to save money.

IT Security

Cyber -security become a focus around the world. As modern supply chain there is a relatively new risk to consider, in logistics and how shippers can safeguard against potential threats.As major logistics providers from all around the world struggle with keeping their private data secure, businesses are investing time and resources to address this serious concern. From shutting down major ports to the risk of losing private client data, the time is now to address cyber-security in the supply chain.

When considering a systems security before implementing any new service will be vital to ensure cyber-security in the logistics system. Consulting with the technology provider to understand what precautions should be taken can go a long way in understanding the vulnerabilities that exist and how to address them. It will be imperative to address these concerns before taking the next step and investing the time and money to make these systems a critical component of an organization. Addressing cyber-security in the supply chain at the beginning of a modernization overhaul can avoid serious and costly issues down the road.

The Internet of Things (IoT) can be defined as a network of devices with sensors that collect and send data through the internet. The sensors collect data on the status and condition of their “things”. It can be sent by way of the internet allowing machines to communicate with people and other machines. The data can be used to create powerful and actionable insights.By providing real-time information and utilizing geo-fencing and GPS technology, IoT asset tracking has three advantages deterring theft.

1. Real Time Information

As scenario of a truck driver returning to a missing trailer were true, IoT tracking technology would ride in on its white horse to save the day. The real-time functionality would provide up-to-the-minute data on the assets’ locations. The data is reported back to an application that could easily be shared with law enforcement to assist in quickly locating the stolen goods. Without the tracked assets, it would likely take law enforcement days if not weeks to locate the missing truck, and by that point the assets have likely been sold. Real time information provides the opportunity to react to events as they occur, rather than hours after the situation has snowballed.

2. Geo-Fencing Example

Geo-fencing is another vitally important function of preventing theft. Geo-fencing is the process of creating a virtual fence around a specific set of coordinates on a map (your warehouse). Once an area around your facility has been established, anytime your IoT tracked assets leave or enter the virtual fence, you will know, typically through text or email alerts.

3. GPS Technology

GPS technology, in its nature, offers the precise location needed for tracking. Global Positioning System (GPS) technology uses satellites orbiting the Earth to obtain exact details about an object’s location. Google Maps is an example. Trackers that harnesses GPS technology are preferred for pinpointing location because of their accurate details, further assisting in theft detection.

Conclusion

We are evolving into a world of connected everything. As IoT connects the world, it is also breaking down industry borders, enabling new business models and opening endless new avenues to extract revenue through device connections, managing complex platform and service ecosystems, customer-centric product and service offerings and much more.

The importance of businesses that work together with partners via connectivity of logistics system able to connect across industry borders achieve far beyond what any individual business could do on its own in the ever-changing digital world. The sharing of knowledge and unique experiences to develop new applications, products and services will become essential. As will partnering with those that may also be your fiercest competitor.

DHL (2018) “DHL’s new transport innovation – Connected TMS”


References

Adam Robinson. (2017). “Cybersecurity in the Supply Chain: Challenges and Solutions as the Supply Chain Goes Digital”. Retrieved from https://cerasis.com/2017/12/07/cybersecurity-in-the-supply-chain, accessed 24/12/2018.

Clarus’s WMS. (2018). “Communication is crucial for supply chain management success”. Retrieved from https://www.claruswms.co.uk/communication-crucial-supply-chain-management, accessed 16/12/2018.

Letstrack Limited. (2016). “Top 10 Benefits of GPS Vehicle Tracking System for Logistics Company” https://medium.com/@letstraklimited/top-10-benefits-of-gps-vehicle-tracking-system-for-logistics-company-e42456d99148, accessed 18/12/2018.

Michael Eng, ADLSM. (2018). “Data Analytics And Artificial Intelligence for Effective Logistics”. Retrieved from SIPMM: https://sipmm.edu.sg/data-analytics-artificial-intelligence-effective-logistics, accessed 15/12/2018.

Natalie Hogan. (2018). “IoT Asset Tracking Repairs Missing Links of Visibility in the Supply Chain”. Retrieved from https://www.bastiansolutions.com/blog/index.php/2018/03/14/how-can-internet-of-things-iot-tracking-help-recover-assets, accessed 16/12/2018.

Sonia Lai Jie Yin, DLSM. (2018). “Key Success Factors for Effective Logistics Practices”. Retrieved from SIPMM: https://sipmm.edu.sg/key-success-factors-effective-logistics-practices,accessed 17/12/2018.

About the Author: Jane Chong Hon Mei has substantive years of experience in the field of supply chain and logistics operations, specifically as a global logistics service provider. She is a member of the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM). Jane Chong completed the Diploma in Logistics and Supply Management (DPSM) course on December 2018 at SIPMM.

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