logistics 4.0 is synonymous with the fourth Industrial Revolution. The term entails the digitization of the industrial sector, resulting in the digitization of the physical elements and how they work. This simply signifies that products, factories, goods, machines, warehouses, vehicles, etc. are all interconnected and do not work autonomously.
There’s a transformation in the original or “classic” systems of production, which has led to digitalization. Industry 4.0 has given rise to new networks; and the division between physical elements and all the information can be easily grouped in massive technological developments like Big Data, Business Intelligence, and Big Data Analytics.
The high-level technologies geared in Industry 4.0 are all set to redefine the production place by reconstructing centralized and analog workflows in digital and decentralized logistic processes.
Consequently, the logistics division has now been parallelly creating its own revolution. The logistics sector is expected to hit the 15.5 trillion USD trillion mark by the year 2023. The integration of technology and logistics can lead to growth and efficiency in the logistics industry.
In this article, we will talk about what the future of logistics looks like and how companies can gear up for it.
What Industry 4.0 Means for Supply Chain Technology
Industry 4.0 has paved the way for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, where Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have assimilated to form the solid foundation for innovative industrial technologies that lay ahead in the future.
Such advancements in the field are expected to majorly improve efficiency, flexibility, and distribution and automate these tasks. Improvements in technology will lead to the following benefits:
- Eliminating unnecessary production costs
- Increasing throughput
- Reducing cycle times
- Maintaining the quality of the products
- Improving transportation of goods and services
- Improving business performance
What Are the Components of Logistics 4.0?
The logistics sector, driven by advanced technology can lead to an increase in visibility and transparency from digitization across the entire supply chain management. Visibility will encourage businesses to build a smart system. It will also prove to be a crucial prerequisite, which will make logistics intra-operational, transparent, and much more widespread and efficient compared to its more initial levels.
Various smart ports around the globe, especially those located in the Middle East have begun implementing advanced solutions that give access to real-time tracking of shipments and viewing documents, along with some mission-critical information for freight transporters and customers.
2. Smart Utilities
The traditional logistics components have been quickly replaced by “smarter” versions in recent times, which has largely transformed how shipments are circulated all the way from suppliers to their end-users. Instilling technological solutions like smart containers and smart pallets into logistics utilities has transformed traditional shipping workflows. In fact, several classic shipping facilities have started incorporating fresh prospects on the field, like an MDM for logistics, which can help them collect data as well as perform judgment-related tasks on the gathered analytical information.
3. IoT Adoption
Since industry 4.0 has already been introduced in the market, several IoT development organizations have pledged to develop advanced digital devices, which can be seamlessly deployed and embedded in warehouse facilities and help companies apply some strategies like predictive maintenance within those facilities.. To include such IoT solutions, enhancements are critical for enriching business operations. Utilizing solutions like TMS can provide a better overview of operations. Deploying such solutions in business has the ability to enhance technology solutions like utilities and smart containers once they are connected to the cloud. IoT developers adoption will not just evolve the supply chain management but will also boost profits in gaining granular insights.
4. Industry 4.0 Integration
As already mentioned, the latest technology-driven logistics model runs parallel to the Industry 4.0 paradigm. What stands out for Logistics 4.0 is that it is capable of collaborating and integrating with Industry 4.0 procedures and systems. This integration would create an environment for building a communal and synergetic relationship between all three: shippers, manufacturers, as well as end-users.
Additionally, it offers clearer transparency compared to the classic approach most companies follow.
The 4.0 integration will offer the following benefits:
- Tight security from external threats
- Storing important information and data
- Meeting end users requirement
What Are the Challenges Faced by Companies to Adopt Logistics 4.0?
Logistics 4.0 seems like a lucrative value-added proposition for all the businesses that wish to drift away from the complexities of a global supply chain.
However, reaping the complete benefits of these technologies can come with a set of hurdles for many companies.
The top three challenges that businesses may face are mentioned here:
- Reducing information silos and Shadow IT
- Changing the past-oriented planning
- Getting rid of the spreadsheet habit
For traditional logistic companies, the most difficult hurdle to overcome would be getting rid of the spreadsheet to carry out business operations. To make this happen, planners will now have to wall off their existing practices and learn to contribute toward information silos by producing concrete plans in Excel. Additionally, they will also have to counteract the mindset of transparent workflows to attain success in advanced supply chain management.
How Can a Business Prepare for Logistics 4.0?
To develop a better-connected and smarter supply chain process, companies need to implement Industry 4.0. Smart technologies can play a crucial role in providing the following list of advantages:
- Supply chain transparency
- Automating repetitive tasks
- Real-time tracking
- Improved judgment
- Reduction in inefficiencies
- Better forecasting
- Critical thinking
If you want to be ready for Logistics 4.0, start by assessing how much of your logistics infrastructure has gone digital already.
Try to answer these questions:
- Do you already have a digital workflow in motion that can transport order creation?
- What happens with the creation of routes and transport networks?
- How do you get updates on order statuses?
- How do you get the proof of delivery?
All these processes might not seem groundbreaking at the start, but if they are taken as a whole, they can form a robust digital logistics model because Logistics 4.0 is based on developing acute processes and optimally utilizing data available in any digital setup.
Reasons Why Companies Are Investing in Supply Chain 4.0
Experts have reported that all those operating in supply chains can greatly benefit by incorporating new technologies and an MDM for logistics into their existing business models.
Furthermore, companies that invest in advanced technologies now stand the chance to take a big leap ahead of their competitors in the following decade.
Here’s a little bonus
Major technologies that may be able to disrupt the supply chain industry are mentioned here:
- Cloud computing
- Cyber-physical systems
- 3D printing (additive manufacturing)
- Big Data Analytics
- Smart sensors
- Machine learning
- Internet of things (IoT)
- Virtual reality (VR)
- Artificial intelligence (AI)
- Augmented reality (AR)
- Autonomous vehicles
- Manufacturing execution system
- Blockchain, drones, robots, collaborative robots
Logistics 4.0 is ready to take the supply chain world by storm. With a mobile device management solution for logistics, managing, monitoring, and securing endpoints used for logistics and supply chain is made possible.