Technology has penetrated virtually every aspect of businesses worldwide. Not just businesses, our daily lives are also being significantly driven by technology too. So why should transportation and logistics be any different? The rising advantages of adopting cloud technology have basically laid the foundation for digital logistics.
Digital logistics is like next-gen logistics, armed with modern technologies to improve and expedite traditional logistics processes, strategies, and systems. It’s an approach that aims to digitize manual processes and help organizations save costs and increase productivity. With a 69% decrease in overall logistics costs and a 32% increase in customer service efficiency, it’s safe to conclude that digital logistics is just what we need to address the changing demands of customers across the globe.
The global digital logistic market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.89% over the forecast period 2021-2026, while the global fleet management solutions market is predicted to touch $15.4 billion by 2024. There is solid growth in the e-commerce sector that plays a significant role in boosting these markets. Advancements in the sensors and IoT analytics market, along with cloud adoption, are also responsible for their rising demand. The need for better fleet and warehouse management systems is being felt more than ever before.
With warehouses bursting at their seams and distribution centers bustling with activity, the workload they bring along is overwhelming. Logistics tech has led to a spur in cloud-based platforms that can lighten this load and streamline the processes. Shippers and logistics companies choose the latest cloud-based transportation management systems (TMS) that come with numerous benefits and tremendous potential.
In fact, cloud has become the buzzword for organizations looking for better ways to manage their businesses. Whether or not you need cloud is no longer the question. The question you should be asking yourself is – are you game for this technology leap?
Cloud is changing the game
Cloud is the disruption that the world of logistics has happily welcomed at a time when legacy systems are unable to keep pace with the changing demands of the modern world. Cloud has led to sophisticated warehouse management systems (WMS), transportation management systems (TMS), and yard management systems (YMS) that are all integral aspects of the supply chain and delivery model. It helps automate internal processes that improve operational efficiency and enable better business decisions. In a highly dynamic sector such as transportation and logistics, cloud makes you resilient.
Explains Balaji Abbabatulla, senior director analyst at Gartner, “At a broader level, business leaders are looking for tech tools that help them achieve better supply chain resilience—as opposed to finding ways to improve efficiency and productivity. Where efficiency was once a driving force for Cloud-based SCP adoption, now it’s all about resilience.”
Be it sourcing planning, execution planning, manufacturing planning, or sales and distribution planning, the cloud is now all-pervasive, helping forward-thinking logistics providers achieve their goals and expand their horizons. The good thing about cloud implementation is that it can be managed virtually. Those saddled with traditional on-premise legacy systems are garnering intrinsic value while modernizing their business environments.
Also Read: how cloud-based management solutions are becoming a game-changer in the logistics industry.
Benefits of adopting cloud technology in warehouses and distribution centers
Modern distribution centers need an agile environment with faster implementation times. Warehouses and distribution centers house many products, all with unique storage requirements with respect to size, temperatures, and several other parameters. It becomes imperative to use the right solutions to track them and maintain a high level of efficacy across processes. The solutions you choose should be able to help carrier networks operate with agility and precision.
Cloud-based solutions can help you review shipping notes, create schedules, and connect with carrier networks quickly for the information you need. Be it making changes in existing workflows or onboarding new clients. Everything is so much easier when you use mission-critical, cloud-based platforms. So let’s delve deeper into its extraordinary benefits.
A cloud-based TMS platform will help you oversee everything empowering you with data that allows you to compare, analyze, and make sound decisions at any point in time. With quick access to carrier networks, you can expedite processes to a great extent.
Cloud-based tracking solutions give you greater control with accurate information at your fingertips at all times. All you need to do is log into the tracking system and receive updates on delays, delivery times, freight routes, and freight movements. In the event of damage, you can immediately update the invoice and send it directly to the carrier or the shipment source.
What you get is excellent real-time visibility. Modern TMS equips you with reports and analytics that empower you with everything you need to develop quick solutions when things go wrong.
You don’t need massive servers to see you through power outages or crashes that may lead to data loss. Even constant data backups are no longer necessary when you get onto the cloud. All updates and upgrades are managed remotely, and you enjoy uninterrupted access to the latest software at all times. All authorized users can access data whenever they need it remotely. This ensures connectivity and collaboration at all times, giving you greater power to support your customers as often as required.
Your vendor takes care of maintenance, security, and updates. At a time when security lapses in systems can lead to huge losses, cloud-based platforms offer uncompromised, error-proof logistics support.
Quick integration and scalability
Whether you are using on-premise or cloud-based systems, you will require them to offer you the scope and flexibility to integrate with other solutions. While legacy systems may not allow these integrations, cloud-based systems will let you integrate without causing conflicts or discrepancies.
Also, scalability is no issue with cloud-based solutions since they offer the same support and scalability to smaller companies as they would to large conglomerates. Cloud-based solutions level the competitive playing field to help you carve your niche in the most unbiased manner.
Inventory management on the go
To control costs, you need to work on every cost element across the supply chain. You need to scrutinize the value network to arrive at competitive pricing without hurting your profits. Cloud-based tracking helps you identify high-risk elements and study price fluctuations based on weather patterns and transportation delays to determine if subsequent adjustments are required at your end.
Cloud-based systems empower you with the data necessary for better rating and estimates. It also helps monitor inventory in real-time to help you manage supply, storage, and shipments. This will help you address the shift in demands without wasting inventory. This, in turn, enables you to manage your costs considerably.
What’s incredible about cloud computing is its ability to forecast. So when disruptions strike, you are always prepared. You can stay up-to-date concerning demand and transportation planning since it tells you exactly where your products need to be and when.
You get a chance to schedule your deliveries accordingly, avoiding last-minute hassle and stress. You can pre-load supplies for the future or go easy during the off-season having greater control over your inventory. You will also get instant notification alerts every time there’s a fuel shortage, stock depletion, or shipment rerouting.
There are different kinds of subscription payment models that come with flexible features to match your exact needs. Rather than paying for licensing costs, you choose a payment plan that works best for you. You have to pay nothing for the whole upkeep, and everything you need is provided to you remotely.
So you end up paying only for the functionality you choose. This leads to substantial savings. Not to forget that you do not have to invest in individual software. What you get is complete transparency and control for the money you spend.
Shippers are bound to have complex requirements that can sometimes become very challenging, considering that organizations are spread across diverse time zones. Luckily, cloud-integrated digital logistics give them round-the-clock visibility from remote locations to control critical processes and respond promptly when required. They can deploy resources, add functionalities, or amend services to match the changing needs.
A Cloud-enabled video telematics solution improved resource utilization and offered 24 x 7 visibility of fleets to a major fleet operator. Read how
Cloud-based platforms help them be more responsive to improve processes and add greater efficiency to the mix. This also allows them greatly enhance the customer experience too at every juncture.
Although the advantages of adopting cloud technology are one too many, shippers are often under tremendous pressure, considering how complex global supply chains are. With mobile commerce, omnichannel experiences, and eCommerce coming into the picture, the need for cloud-based solutions is being felt more than ever before to manage end-to-end logistics planning. You can certainly not afford to miss this boat if you wish to be the fastest and the most efficient.
There are certain caveats you need to factor in while choosing the right solutions provider. For starters, you need to establish clear goals and find a vendor that gives you room to breathe and expand and understand how the implementation will occur. Talk to your vendor to know how they intend to merge the new system with your legacy systems.
Modernize your legacy systems with Trigent
As supply chains continue to get complex and critical with time, we ensure comprehensive fleet visibility, seamless integrations, and optimized service utilization for our clients. Our team of experts empowers you with the right guidance and solutions to help you leverage the cloud for saving cost, increasing efficiency, and driving revenue. No matter your logistics challenges, we can help you overcome them with solutions customized just for you.