Supply chain 4.0: co-innovation is the new black!

E-commerce, integrated management, big data analytics, disruptive models ... after the improvement of the existing, it is time to collaborative innovation.

On April 17, 2018

By 2020, industrial companies plan to spend over $ 900 billion a year on digital transformation. E-commerce, integrated management, big data analytics, disruptive models … after the improvement of the existing, it is time to collaborative innovation.

Supply chain 4.0: disruptive innovation sets the tone

Business models digitalisation has become a key and strategic priority for industrial companies. Data processing, monitoring and traceability systems, real-time planning, automation of operations … the impacts on the logistics and supply chain operations will be significant.

“With omnichannel becoming the new standard, the revival of convenience stores and the increase in online sales, shipping will become more fragmented, more than ever ‘just-in-time’, more sophisticated and with increasingly shorter delivery times” explains Mehdi El Alami, partner at Roland Berger. It is, therefore, necessary to set up new methods of analysis and data collection to bring out a new logistical era.

Tomorrow, all data related to operational processes, quality, planning and optimisation of operations will have to be available in real time inside an integrated network. A source of added value because the analysis and the anticipation will make it possible to bring qualitative advice and proactivity. Medhi El Alami insists: “To overcome the current phase of improvement and initiate real disruptive models, companies – shippers and logistics services providers – must create open R&D networks including start-ups and university laboratories. The technology portfolio is too big to move alone and isolated.

Smart logistics, IoT … the start-up shake-up

Big data analytics, Internet of things (IoT) … more than 10,000 start-ups operate on the market. They focus mainly on improving the existing; it’s the heart of today’s business. Today, internationally renowned structures like FedEx or UPS collaborate with dozens of them. Unicorns or not, their disruptive models keep pushing logisticians to their limits. Without Zipline, UPS would probably be less well placed on the use of drones. And home delivery would not be as advanced without Go-Jek.

These start-ups are active throughout the entire value chain: intermediation platforms, storage, transport purchases, after-sales service, automatic lockers, etc. Roambee is a young California company specialised in tracking shipments and assets in the field. Via a connected terminal with sensors (temperature, GPS, humidity, impact, light, theft, tilt, air pressure and GPS jamming), goods are tracked and geo-located in real time with an API.

From big data to data centred

One of the keys to foster the collaboration and bring groundbreaking innovation is upgrading the information systems (IS). If before logistics services providers evolved on a closed environment, the mass of data they have are about to be transformed in ready-to-explore bases made available to the entire eco-system: suppliers, clients, service providers, partners… It implies that the systems are data centre, secured and able to create natural links between data held in different operational tools (WMS, TMS, supply chain…), Big Data Supply Chain control tower, API, connected objects (tags, sensors on trolleys), mobile applications and Cloud… all of these changes make logistics services providers a source of added-value creation. The agility of business processes caused by these changes creates efficiency. It makes it easier to identify solutions for optimisation and stock reduction, to take action in the logistics chain in real time and to create favourable conditions for the emergence of new pooling solutions and innovative services.

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