Digitalization of the logistics industry

Logistics, or the art of providing goods to people (natural or legal) regardless of their location.

For that reason, it has become an art, because when you delve into the workings of a logistics operator, with all the issues involved in the business, making it work is an art.

Moreover, this sector has been one of the hardest hit by recent events, but still enjoys a health envied by many.

But why?

The Digitalization of the sector, together with the emergence of new business models, has given it enough lung to withstand the shock of a global pandemic and to cope with an unprecedented energy crisis.

Digitalization and new business models

Digitalization has made it possible to see Amazon’s autonomous warehouse systems operate, a giant step forward in the world of automation.

Likewise, the rise of e-commerce, globalization and sales platforms has forced the industry to speed up and improve all its processes.

It was either that or die of success, and the industry rose to the challenge, and has and continues to score high marks.

Thus, the need to digitize, automate and improve all the processes of the logistics chain began, to meet a growing demand, with a concept of immediacy that was almost inconceivable a decade ago.

How do you increase the performance of a business?

It is nothing new, but it is acquiring, for some time now, the importance it really has.

To know the state of a business it is necessary to have clear data of this, they must be certain and reliable data, which help to make the best decision.

That is, a correct data governance and the implementation of the necessary capture mechanisms provide the necessary scenario to analyze the business in the right way.

But what architecture provides the possibility of modeling this information, including all business entities and the relationships between them?

The answer, without a doubt, is digital twins.

This is due to the fact that manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, purchasing and supplies, suppliers, sales, customers, risks, finance, HR, etc., are closely related entities that must be analyzed as a whole in order to make the right decisions.

Simulation as a tool?

For this reason, everything seems to indicate that we are only halfway through the simulation of events in most sectors and that we have a long way to go.

Moreover, when talking to clients in the digital twin arena, most confine such technology to one part of the business, leaving out entities that are crucial to an overall business analysis.

Likewise, if a person is able to answer the question: “How does the improvement of process X within my value chain affect my customers (without whom my business would not exist)?” he is able to focus his efforts and investments on digitizing and improving the processes that are crucial to his business.

In this way, a complete digital twin provides a very powerful tool to start looking at the business from a different point of view, and gain a dream perspective on it.

In addition, it provides insight into how to use data and how to apply analysis mechanisms to simulate concrete situations in logistics.

What are the following steps to be taken?

Consequently, to analyze any business we must start by knowing the questions we need to answer, in a global way and attending to each of the entities that make it up.

The next step would be to understand whether the available information can answer those questions.

The third step is to create the data architecture that supports the business. This is where the implementation of digital twin solutions appears and takes remarkable importance. 

And the fourth step is to implement the analytical and simulation mechanisms needed to make the right decisions (artificial intelligence, Data Warehouse, etc.).

In this way, information niches are eliminated and spread, in a democratic way, within the organization, so that the analysis of this information yields complete results for the overall management of the business.

Data visualization. Each sheep with its mate

Once the information structure that houses my business has been built, how can I provide a concrete and correct vision for each of the departments that make it up?

Also, there is no such thing as “one size fits all” and the same information system can provide different points of view depending on the customer and his needs.

For this reason, the sales team needs to make projections based on historical and additional binding information that affects the storage and merchandise service systems.

Moreover, the visualization of this information must be tailored to the actual needs of the customer. But all the information starts from the same point and is consistent with each other.

For example, the sales team may be used to working with data analysis systems and visualizing information on dashboards.

However, if an extraordinary inflow of goods is expected and the storage and picking areas need to be reconfigured, this visualization does not speed up or optimize the work of those responsible for this part of the business.

So why not provide them with a tool that optimizes their work?

That is to say, an immersive visualization that allows them, having access to the necessary information, to make, virtually, the changes in the warehouse, reconfigure the affected processes and foresee the possible inconveniences to take the necessary corrective actions.

Once this is done, we will be able to make a forecast of the material and services needed to carry out this reconfiguration, which will again affect the purchasing department, suppliers, financial, HR, etc.

And, why not, once the decision has been made based on all the existing information, streamline and perfect the reconfiguration system by transferring the relevant information to a mixed reality system.

There, it will indicate what and where physical changes need to be made in the warehouse, using the data yielded by the sales projection and storage needs.

So, without the right information, this scenario is not possible. The digital twin is the result of the need to analyze the business in a global way and from all points of view.

Would you like to know more about the possibilities that digital twins bring to the world of Logistics? Would you like to know how it can benefit your company’s results? At Bravent, we want to help you grow.

Contact us! One of our experts will advise you!

We recommend you read: Internet of Things (IoT): Revolutionizing the Logistics Sector