Still, these are expensive investments!
Not as expensive as the cost of NOT using them. Minimize these costs by utilizing Cloud based services.
Oracle Transportation Management is a great example of cloud based TMS. Combined with other cloud based offerings selectively chosen from Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud, your cost and risk could dramatically reduce.
Monica Rathbun, a Microsoft MVP with Denny Cherry & Associates describes the advantages of cloud technology in an article in the American Shipper: “The beauty of an IaaS and SaaS solution is twofold. First, the budget is far more digestible as a monthly fee rather than a hefty capital expenditure. Second, your IT environment remains the latest and greatest long term because you no longer pay to upgrade aging hardware and software.”
You could modernize your B2B EDI technology
If you use EDI technology, you have an opportunity to tap into greater efficiency and savings just by modernizing the setup. You could mix APIs with EDI, upgrade to modern EDI standards, or get a partner to implement best practices. You can explore this aspect in detail in this blog post that I posted some time back.
Are you making the most of Business Intelligence?
Business Intelligence (BI), in some ways, is the tip of the iceberg that Big Data analytics represents. It would be a great idea to leverage BI to improve your operations, if you aren’t already doing so, and simultaneously explore the transformative power of data. By improving your EDI technology (see above) you open the gates to better data. You could use BI to interpret that data to your benefit. Read more about this aspect of technology in this post that I had written sometime back.
Explore blockchain for smart bills of lading
Traditionally, shippers use paper bills to represent the cargo they forward to truckers and freight forwarders. Sent via express parcel delivery services such as UPS, DHL, or FedX, this process consumes time and money. Moreover, a bill of lading in this form can be stolen or get lost.
A segment of the market has opted for electronically transferred bills of lading. While efficient, it does entail bringing in another third party that would, by default, be privy to the information in the bills. That’s why, forward thinking companies are now exploring the blockchain technology, which renders bills of lading impervious to edits. In an article in the American Shipper, Stefan Kukman, CEO of CargoX states, “Blockchain has made possible, for the first time in history, to connect all the parties in the logistics industry in an open, trusted ecosystem with transparently defined rules of operation. Application of this technology to the bill of lading has resulted in the creation of a so-called “smart” bill of lading.”
So, technological innovation and adoption is the way forward?
Certainly! You see, technology enables you to make better decisions – whether it is the mode of transportation, or developing your supply chain based on real time rates, or consolidating your shipments to get you the best bargain. Technology is revolutionizing the way people live, work, and conduct business. For instance, currently AI is being used to study trends and predict future scenarios. However, the time isn’t far when AI will make decisions based on those insights. Christy Pettey shares in a blog on Gartner: “The ability to apply AI to enhance, and even automate, decision making, reinvent business models and ecosystems, and remake the customer experience could make many other emerging technology trends redundant.”
In other words, we are living in a rapidly evolving and connected world, where we can either ride the wave of technological change or be swept off by it. What’s your call? Do you now think you can start exploring technological innovations to be better prepared for the future? Join the conversation by commenting below!