Which technological applications are recommended for business to enter Logistics 4.0? (Part 3)

Published by Ngoc Tran on

The 5 Biggest Cloud Computing Trends In 2021-figure-1

This blog continues the journey of exploring the suitable technology applications for companies to enter Logistics 4.0. Previosuly, we went through four applications, which are the ERP system, Warehouse Management Systems, Transportation Management Systems, and Information Security. If you haven’t read them yet, you can always find the link for those articles at the end of this blog! Now, we will be discussing another two technology applications – Blockchain and Cloud Technology. What are their functionalities and how organizations have applied them into their buesiness? The answers will be revealed shortly…

#5: Blockchain Technology (BCT)

Blockchain can be applied to some specific areas of supply chain such as smart contracts (e.g. exchange anything valuable in a reliable and conflict-free way while transaction costs and time are minimized), asset tracking, secure and error-free order fulfillment, and cybersecurity. One of the main functions of BCT is to track and record all the supply chain activities of a particular asset from its origin to its final destination, which protects companies against fake transactions, enhances tracking quality and reduces risk of loss and damage. Besides, BCT can expedite the order fulfillment process by its rapid confirmation of customer credit history, quick inventory status analysis and order/shipping status notification.

Examples:

  • Track authenticity of articles: Ford Motor Company started utilizing Blockchain to trace the supply of cobalt, an essential ingredient for electric car batteries, in order to ensure that it was getting an authentic product to maintain product quality. De Beers, one of the biggest diamond producers, has similarly applied BCT to track every natural diamond from the mine to the retail counter, helping ensure that those diamonds are not from conflict zones and authentic.
  • Ensure slave-free chocolate: The Dutch-based confectionery firm Tony’s Chocolonely cooperated with Accenture to develop and pilot a working private blockchain prototype that its supply chain partners in Ivory Coast could test in the field. This blockchain system included a web app to enter data, integration services between the app and the blockchain, the multichain platform and the cloud infrastructure. After the pilot, it experienced some technical faults and challenges of getting data from physical world into the digital platform. Consequently, the company turned to use an operational method of tracking its cocoa supply chain while waiting until the BCT matures and gains wider traction.
  • Track the product journey from supply to local grocery store: case study of Bumble Bee Seafoods (see how it works in Figure 2 below).
Case study Bumble Bee Seafoods-figure-2

Figure 2. Case study Bumble Bee Seafoods

#6: Cloud Technology

The key contribution of cloud technology in logistics is autonomous control. Autonomous logistics solutions with intelligent software agents can be set up on a scalable IT infrastructure by cloud service providers. With the presence of cloud computing, users (companies) are enabled to focus on their core business operations to maximize productivity and margin.

Examples:

  • Pearson has applied the cloud into its systems to transform the way it delivers education worldwide. The cloud enables the firm to establish a more flexible global hybrid infrastructure, which frees up resources to invest in new and more web-oriented educational products, helping Pearson to shift towards fast-growing markets like South Africa and China while education products are becoming increasingly digital.
  • Coca-Cola, Pinterest and Instagram moved to cloud technology due to their heavy amounts of traffic needed to be handled daily. The migration to cloud has reduced Coca-Cola’s maintenance costs and achieved 40% operational savings, while this has allowed Pinterest to conduct experiments and adjust to varying traffic levels.
  • ResearchDrive, a cloud-based shared-storage platform allows users to securely and easily store and share research data among educational, research and governmental institutions. It gives education and research an opportunity to digitalize their resources and stimulate exchanging knowledge across multiple institutions, which consequently reduces paperwork and creates a source of one truth.

Has your organisation or yourself experienced these technologies? How was the implementation process? What are the lessons learnt? Please reflect on these questions because it may empower you to generate ideas for bettering your current systems in a more user-friendly way. Also, please share your story in the comment below so we can learn together.

Thank you for reading and share if you find it useful!

Recommended reading:

Logistics 4.0: Digital Transformation of Supply Chain Management (Paksoy et al., 2021)

https://www.blockchain-council.org/blockchain/top-companies-using-blockchain-to-increase-supply-chain-management/
https://searcherp.techtarget.com/feature/4-key-blockchain-in-supply-chain-use-cases-and-examples

https://www.surf.nl/en/research-drive-securely-and-easily-store-and-share-research-data

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ibm/2014/11/03/three-companies-that-transformed-their-businesses-using-cloud-computing/?sh=5469414e1b66

https://www.mygreatlearning.com/blog/top-companies-that-succeeded-with-cloud-computing/

https://customerthink.com/top-10-companies-using-cloud-and-why/

Image source: Marr (2021), The 5 Best Cloud Computing Trends in 2021 https://bernardmarr.com/the-5-biggest-cloud-computing-trends-in-2021/

Series Logistics 4.0


0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published.