Digital logistics: what is it and how does it affect your business?

As the world becomes more connected and the Internet of Things (IoT) takes the logistics industry and supply chain by storm, companies can benefit greatly from adopting this new approach to operations known as ‘digital logistics’. The simplest definition of digitalization is the collection of data from different silos or areas and bringing it together to provide a holistic view of each process from start to finish.

What is digital logistics?

Digital logistics in the supply chain is based on traditional data collection, which is often manual and prone to human error or delay. It is digitized to improve and speed up your logistics processes, strategies and systems. In other words, it automates routine parts of the logistics chain that are practical to automate.

This digital approach not only opens up entirely new opportunities for your company to save on operating costs, reduce productivity losses and prevent imprecise order fulfilment, but also increases data transparency for all suppliers and partners involved in every step of supply chain management and operations management.

By using thoughtfully integrated enterprise logistics applications that collaborate and communicate through a central information system, all stakeholders have access to the information they need to make agile and informed decisions, even in the midst of the unexpected.

Why is digital logistics on the rise?

As the proliferation of the internet increases the need for greater speed and flexibility within the supply chain, companies must also look for ways to reduce costs and communicate more effectively between service providers and partners. As a result, supply chain management is undergoing a significant shift from traditional to digital logistics.

Unlike traditional logistics methods, digital logistics promotes the flexibility that modern supply chain companies need to properly communicate with every member of the supply chain. Modern supply chain companies are using digital logistics to improve their distribution methods and fulfilment data, for example. They are also recognising the opportunities to automate transportation processes and freight forwarding operations, as well as improve labour management and employee engagement strategies.

As consumer expectations for customer-centric logistics, reduced hassle and faster shipping methods increase, the adoption of digital logistics paves the way for your business to provide a customer-centric service that sets you apart from the competition.

The impact of digital logistics on business operations

Many digital logistics platforms, such as Saloodo!, incorporate an element of machine learning to make critical, data-driven decisions and continuously improve your supply chain processes.

So what happens when your team is freed from the monotony of managing tedious processes and tasks and stops sifting through spreadsheet after spreadsheet to find the data they need to take the right action? You can focus on strategic improvements that directly impact customer satisfaction. Digital logistics is not a replacement for human contact. Rather, it is an extension that enables supply chain providers to focus on a better customer experience.

Logistics is the latest differentiator for brands. Competition is fierce, no matter what the product or industry. When all other things are equal, logistics can often be the difference between a repeat customer and a negative review or lost sale.

Consumers expect a smooth process from sale to delivery. Reputation matters, and the companies that use technology to stay ahead of the curve will succeed.

The move to digital logistics

With real-time visibility of order fulfilment, inventory status and shipping updates, digital logistics is the fastest way for your team and partners to deliver a better customer experience. If you’re just starting to dip your toe into this brave new digital world, there are some best practices you can follow to ease the transition.

First, you need to communicate the benefits of digital to your team. Not only is it critical to the longevity of your business in this new, digital age, but it also impacts customer service metrics as well as your company’s bottom line. In fact, digital logistics is credited with an average cost saving of 35% and a 50% reduction in environmental footprint.

The next step is to integrate your new digital solution into your partner network. You’ll find that by bringing key partners into the cloud with modern technology, everything suddenly becomes more flexible, from complex order management to simple accounting.

Finally, be prepared to embrace change and use it to your advantage. When you gain access to more data, you should already have a plan for how to use it to your advantage. And when your employees are freed from monotonous tasks thanks to artificial intelligence and streamlined processes, you can use them to provide a better experience for your customers.

Conclusion

Digitalization is not going to stop. It will only evolve and raise consumer expectations. Your customers and stakeholders are demanding more and more information (and in real time). Make sure you are able to exceed their expectations thanks to a nimble and modern approach to logistics.

Daniel Mahnken
Daniel Mahnken is a Head of Corporate Communications at Saloodo!. As a qualified journalist, writing is practically in his blood. After studying sports journalism, he wanted to become Germany’s Next Sports Commentator, but then he discovered logistics and has been stuck with it ever since.

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