Supply Chain Technology Trends 2015-2020 (Part II)


If you wanted to surf the web twenty years ago, you used Netscape Navigator.

It’s been over 20 years since the first mainstream  browser, Netscape Navigator, was released in December 1994. For many, this was the first exposure to the internet. It required a forward-thinking visionary.

Marc Andreessen was that visionary. The cofounder of Netscape, Andreessen is a serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist who is worth over $600 million dollars (but who’s counting?).

Earth-changing innovation happens outside of Silicon Valley too. Take Malcolm McLean, the inventor of the shipping container who made truly global freight possible.

Innovation in Logistics

So we set out to find the next bring trend. The Freightos Technology Trends Changing Supply Chains series focuses on the logistics trends in 2015 that are changing the world. Last week, Dr. Steve Brady of Supply Chain Innovation Today shared his predictions for the top three logistics and supply chain technology trends in 2015-2020.

Joel Clum Carrier DirectToday, we’re privileged to host Joel Clum, the President of Carrier Direct, a leading Chicago-based consultation firm that helps the best transport and logistics companies become even better. Joel has consulted to some of the world’s largest companies, so what he has to say about the future of logistics should be take seriously.

So without further ado, here are:

Joel Clum: Technology trends changing supply chains

2015-2020

Supply chain and logistics trends predictions

Technology Trend 1: Rapid Advancements in Carrier Technology

Giving small trucking companies the technology support that large companies use to optimize operations

Why is this so important?

2Motor carriers – particularly small companies in the Truckload segment – have always been the left out by technology companies as a target market. The majority of technology vendors choose to focus their efforts on mid-sized to large carriers who can afford to spend significant amounts on user fees, plug-ins and upgrades. The smaller carriers – with fewer users and less investment dollars – have generally been overlooked, despite representing an extraordinarily overwhelming number of companies that operate in the US trucking space.

As a result these small trucking companies have opted for using no technology, leaving their companies with sub-optimal operating capabilities and financial management that creates a nasty cycle of bankruptcies.

10-4-system_main2014However, we’re beginning to see companies – like 10-4 Systems which recently launched a free operations management back-end for truckload carriers – develop tools for these small companies to better compete in the market and run efficient enterprises. This technology is going to provide the backbone of technological-enablement that larger companies have benefitted from for decades and more optimally balance assets in areas where they’re needed most and where the trucker can get the best return on assets from.

What role will this play in supply chains:

Carrier technology has always been a bottleneck in the industry to creating broader supply chain efficiency. This will be a critical piece of the puzzle that allows companies – shippers and 3PLs alike – to better manage demand planning and reduce waste in their value chains, while simultaneously helping the smaller carriers to generate better cash flow and grow their businesses. It’s an extraordinarily exciting development that will have positive ripples across the global supply chain.

Technology Trend 2: Advent of Ubiquitous Web Services Use

Better information sharing in freight.

Why is this so important?

Roads and Data transferThe supply chain industry is dangerously reliant on antiquated platforms to transmit data. Compared to other industries, the freight industry truly is stuck in the stone ages when it comes to sharing information between technology platforms. This isn’t necessarily a hit on supply chain technology in general, a lot of companies are building brilliant capabilities to analyze data, optimize transportation decisions and do things of the like, but when it comes to sharing that information from one system to another we are woefully dependent on technologies like EDI, email, phones and fax.

2015 will usher in the event of using web services and a global standard for the language we use to transmit this data. Companies like project44 have laid the foundation to help the industry make a huge step forward from where we are today, but it is going to require a commitment from all the companies involved in the supply chain to get us to where we need to be.

What role will this play in supply chains:

This will literally change our capabilities overnight. There’s such a tremendous amount of waste in the supply chain industry because of unreliable or slow-moving data transmission that we just don’t need to deal with anymore. This is going to change the way that companies charge for their services, how they perform advanced demand analysis, reduce the number of electronic “touches” on each shipment and so much more.

We’ll finally catch up to where so many other industries are today and reduce millions of dollars of waste in the process.

Technology Trend 3: Globally Connected Supply Chains

Instant, asynchronous online freight booking for a more agile supply chain.

Why is this so important?

The proliferation of technology – like what Freightos has developed – will disrupt the global supply chain in 2015. It will change the way that importers/exporters are able to manage their connections with transportation vendors of all different shapes and sizes to be able to service customers anywhere in the globe. It will reduce our dependency on having innumerable intermediaries throughout the world to handle our shipping and – as a result – decrease the cost of logistics that companies have to spend to get their products in front of new markets.

The challenges in the global supply chain market are many, but the rise of these types of technology platforms will allow us to overcome them and build better and stronger supply chains.

What role will this play in supply chains:

It changes everything. This technology and its impacts will create the ‘Flat World’ that Thomas Friedman scratched the surface on in his 2005 book and foster a global marketplace unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

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