The logistics and transport industries are all about efficiency. Knowing exactly where things are and moving them efficiently from one place to another, arriving just when they are needed, is paramount to a successful logistics-oriented business. This process, known as “Just in Time” or JIT, is at the heart of many logistics and transport operations, particularly with the move to global supply chains. The research below, conducted by KPMG/Harvey Nash, highlights this. It looked at the comparative importance of business priorities for Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in logistics compared to CIOs in general. It makes interesting reading:
Improving business process efficiencies
It shows that improving business process efficiencies is the main driver for CIOs in the transport and logistics industry, whereas attracting new customers and developing new products and services were more important in general than in transport and logistics. So, how are transport and logistics companies looking to solve this problem?
Achieving the efficiencies that modern transport and logistics demand is often brought about by the accumulation of many small gains, like modern sports science in fact, so having the granularity of data needed to analyse where these might come from is critical. Today, the transport and logistics industry know exactly when goods leave a hub or distribution centre and when they arrive at the next, but they have little or no information of what happens in between. What route did the driver take, was it the most efficient, did they encounter any delays and where? These are all data that would help with efficiency analysis, but which they don’t have today. The research below, again conducted by KPMG/Harvey Nash, looked at the comparative importance of different technologies for CIOs in logistics compared to CIOs in general.
The role of IOT
It reveals that Internet of Things or IoT is hugely more important to transport and logistics CIOs than CIOs in general. That’s because it has the potential to provide them with the data they are missing for analysing efficiency. Historically, though, existing IoT networks struggle to provide this data for things that are on the move, enter 5G.
5G networks provide the IoT connectivity that transport and logistics CIOs need. It can track goods from journey start to end and all points along the way, enabling the mass deployment of sensors. It supports the high number of connected devices this would yield, whist at the same time providing low latency for real time tracking and high connection reliability. It also opens the possibility of preventative vehicle maintenance and driver monitoring, two important factors in the cost of transportation. Finally, when connected to Edge or Cloud computing it provides the capability for real time analysis of the data collected leading to the rapid efficiency optimisation transport and logistics requires.
The roll out of 5G networks will therefore bring together all the elements to deliver this massive transformation in the transport and logistics industry and hopefully make their CIOs very happy.