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Automation in Logistics: Need of the Hour

—Dr Ambrish Kumar, Founder & Managing Director, LogYcode

 

The logistics and freight forwarding fraternity is dynamically evolving, significantly attributed to the tremendous competition amongst logistics service providers galore. This is causing dilution in profit margins and the dire need of acute efficiency to sustain and exist in eminence. Therefore, it is high time the logistics service providers think out-of-the-box and come up with unique selling propositions and service offerings to retain existing businesses and obtain prospective customers. Furthermore, the stereotypical old-hat design of the air freight forwarding processes, overrun by paperwork, queues, waiting, scattered gateways and so on, further hinders any scope of rapid growth. 


Given this situation, there is a stark need to precipitate extraordinary ideas and strategies to increase service efficiency, sales outputs and profit benchmarks. A loophole in the redundant processes and regulations of the air cargo industry is the dearth of technological advancement and automation of the processes. There is a need to integrate the air cargo infrastructure. Automation of the business processes paves the path to achieve the agility and scalability required to compete with time, thereby increasing productivity, driving revenue growth and breaking through the confinements of stereotypes. Business automation is an essential component of the modern enterprise in the contemporary era. 


LogYcode, in its quest for automation of logistics services, believes that “cost-efficiency and service improvement are not the only significant driving factors, but also reaping values through flawless procedures, improved products and quality of services”.


In this era of superlative automation, where services and real-time information require only a touchscreen or a few clicks, manual feeding of information and checking shipment status on phone or e-mails looks primitive. The key to unblemished air cargo transportation requires virtual visibility of your cargo at every stage, that is, piece level tracking availability and automated source of information, which would help the logistics players enhance transparency to their end customers, thereby developing business prospects. 


Utmost customer experience is the motto of the service industry. While the much smaller food delivery sector, with players like Swiggy and Zomato, are offering real-time GPS tracking of food deliveries, it becomes a very elementary chore for the huge logistics industry to incorporate the de rigueur RFID technology to provide real-time piece level tracking. The e-commerce industry has overhauled the traditional logistics industry by providing sheer customer experience, like paperless transactions, smooth gateways, seamless tracking of consignments and accurate delivery predictions. 


Technology is transforming the freight forwarding realm in multiple ways, from automated systems to augmented reality and the use of big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence. These technological tools have the potential to make air freight forwarding cheaper, safer and simpler. While automation requires a significant investment, the advantages far outweigh the costs.  


Digitalisation is an alternative to the scattered transaction gateways a freight forwarder gets subjugated to. The experience of LogYcode’s digitisation chronicle proves that cost-efficiency is directly proportional to the digital integration of processes, which leads to lesser head costs, visibility of the most competitive pricing options, disentangled paperless documentation, archiving of data in e-clouds, reduction in turnaround time, and an overall hassle-free supply chain experience. 


LogYcode is proactively leaping ahead in its aim to meticulously establishing Predictive Analytics with the help of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Internet of Things (IoT) in its ongoing and future endeavours. Predictive Analytics uses current and historical data, machine learning algorithms, real-time status or performance information, customer or vendor behaviour data, market intelligence, contemporary and social background to make predictions and near-precise anticipations on the likelihood and contemplation of future events. It is a broad field and an inventive tool with phenomenal scope in every industry and is incredibly beneficial for identifying and targeting prospective and highly profitable business opportunities, production optimisation, and improving operational coherence. In the logistics and supply chain industry, the use of Edge Computing, Predictive Analysis and Internet of Things would help to yield automated insights to categorise customers based on their past purchasing behaviour, assess carriers and vendors based on their vending trends, increase or reduce pricing based on seasonal fluctuations, and improve sales negotiations, thereby avoiding loss of business and helping plan strategies and implement actions optimising revenue, and negate revenue leakage.      


(The author’s views are personal.)

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