Dig­i­tal­i­sation and supply chain

Digitalisation and supply chain ILM

Dig­i­tal­ization has long since entered the logistics arena and is a factor that is now indispensable.

Whether in the chemical & phar­ma­ceu­tical industry, retail or e‑commerce: car­riers & logistics service providers are increas­ingly becoming strategic partners and must provide ever more extensive net­working and deeper inte­gration into their cus­tomers’ supply chains. Because this step brings decisive cost advan­tages for their customers.

Trans­porters & logistics service providers who start here and can connect to their cus­tomers’ planning systems with pow­erful IT and func­tioning IT inter­faces benefit from long-term business per­spec­tives. This increases mutual data quality and reduces error rates. The employees are relieved by the dig­i­talized infor­mation and effi­ciency increases. Another sig­nif­icant benefit is the planning values, sim­u­la­tions and reporting that have become pos­sible thanks to the IT interface.

To make this pos­sible, the focus must always be on the further devel­opment and opti­mization of the system system land­scape. This requires a detailed analysis of the IT system land­scape as the basis for the strategic alignment of the IT systems, as well as a detailed process definition.

Vis­i­bility across the supply chain

Com­panies will increas­ingly focus on regional storage again. This is in line with the trend of cre­ating more regional ware­houses, but also more ratio­nalized ones. This means that they will be able to deliver locally, while still having global vis­i­bility across the supply chain.

However, this presents a chal­lenge, as there is a shortage of skilled workers on the one hand, and existing ware­houses have a low level of ratio­nal­ization and automation on the other. At the same time, more attention must be paid to the vir­tu­al­ization of ware­houses. In the future, all intral­o­gistics machines should be able to exchange their status in real time with each other and with the ware­house man­agement system.

In our esti­mation and expe­rience, the stan­dard­ization of pro­tocols and IoT inter­faces is still missing. The man­u­fac­turers in the intral­o­gistics industry in par­ticular are under great pressure to agree on a standard IoT pro­tocol as soon as pos­sible. This would enable the various trades to under­stand each other and the avalanche be under­stood within minutes during com­mis­sioning, and would elim­inate the need for complex interface programming.