Within global supply chains, digitisation is already transforming the landscape. To identify where and how this impact is being felt, Barloworld Logistics explored two specific digital trends as part of our 2017 supplychainforesight report: big data and online marketplaces.
Data is evidently the new oil – and it is streaming into every type of business at a rapid rate. This data comes from smart devices, social media, online interfaces and many more digitised forums and functions. Every year, as more unstructured data becomes integrated into daily analysis and evolves into structured data, it will lead to enhanced efficiencies and quicker, calculated decision-making within the supply chain. For logistics and supply chain stakeholders, predictive and prescriptive analytics are already presenting a number of smart applications. Such applications include route optimization in real time; ‘control-on-the-go’ as mobile devices are used to increase enterprise visibility; faster reaction times to supply chain challenges (for example, natural disasters); and product tracking data to understand customer purchasing behaviour and support requirements.
The second major digital trend will impact brokerage related services within the supply chain. It is predicted that two key platforms will disrupt the status quo within logistics: mobile based and online marketplaces. The emergence of online marketplaces within the supply chain will involve the closer integration of all stakeholders - namely sellers, buyers, freight forwarders and financial institutions… all connected to each other through an open, online platform.
As data is used and incorporated daily, mobile based services and platforms will soon be able to aggregate a network of local couriers, matching individual deliveries in real time to the optimum carrier according to who is the nearest, available, quickest and best suited to fulfil that specific job.
In short, data will soon be driving decisions and creating key links at every level within smart supply chains.
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