-Puck Blom-

This article describes the major trend in Business Logistics. It discusses the transformation of the supply chain. The supply chain of the ‘future’ will become leaner, faster and even more important; self-managed. This article considers five scenario’s where the common factor of the change is technology.

The first scenario is that developments in technology make a great deal of human work superfluous.One of the examples, mentioned in the article, is the use of automated forklifts in warehouses. Automated forklifts can work up to four times faster than humans.

The second scenario refers to what may be the biggest development in technology, Big Data. At this moment it is not about the collection (the volume) of data anymore, but about the variety and value. The article uses Amazon as an example. Amazon wants to use Big Data to ship the products even before the customers knows they want to order it. They make a note that this is mostly for new product launches, such as the iPhone 7.

The third scenario is about the reduction of asset-based companies. The article discusses logistics companies who offer logistics-related services instead of actually moving products. The companies are more engaged into consulting topics, such as freight quotes and engage more in project managing.

The fourth scenario discusses e-retailing. Think about apps such as Uber. The article suggest an app where logistics companies use an app to offer their rides and truck drivers can apply for the job. In this way, empty miles (and thus a lot of fuel waste) is prevented.

The fifth scenario covers Blockchain, which is a shared digital ledger. It is a supplier management tool which creates more visibility than ever before and combines B2B connectivity with software apps. This will allow to make real-time information available everywhere at any time.

The articles finishes with a short summary. Due to the technology change, the existing models have to be adapted or maybe even replaced. The first company to adapt will have a huge first-mover advantage. ‘Transform or be redundant’ is the motto of this article.