Throughout the 60’s, 70’s, and 80s’, suppliers were burdened with having to be very scrupulous regarding logistics issues, partly because of the gaps in communication and inability to constantly be aware of where goods are along the chain. There were many links previously that could not be filled, particularly relating to databases and information management. Various aspects of technology today have improved how the field of logistics functions, which is good news for individuals pursuing a logistics degree today. While many aspects of logistics are the same, many tedious functions from yesterday have been simplified, automated, or streamlined. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the innovations technology has afforded recently, along with how certain aspects of jobs in logistics have been made easier.
The Advent of the Internet
The Internet has opened up wide portals of communication that have effectively filled out the supply chain. While previously supply firms had been reluctant to share information with vendors and other groups along the chain, many have realized that this willingness to open up data is mutually beneficial. The Internet has reduced lag times between purchase and delivery and there have been a number of programs that have improved efficiency tremendously such as just-in-time programs, point-of-sale data sharing programs, and electronic data interchange.
Various robotics have been implemented over the last few decades and it’s improved not only efficiency, but dependability of the avenues available for refining logistics. Automated cranes have allowed for maximization of warehouse space due to their ability to reduce error in stacking and storage. Industrial robots have been integral in palleting, de-palleting, packaging and order picking. Sorting systems have allowed for quicker and more accurate facilitation of packages and shipped goods, which has made a tremendous impact on parcels. Radio technology has allowed for delivery trucks for companies such as UPS and FedEx to be outfitted with time-saving devices that detail exactly where trucks are and what goods are on board. Automation is incredibly useful in the context of warehouses and as packages are outfitted with barcodes. This enhances the retrieval process and refines how warehouses locate and export goods.
Technology Savvy College Graduates
Unlike previous generations entering the workforce from college, those currently graduating with degrees in logistics are positioned to be much more adept with technology than previous generations, particularly since they’ve used a computer all the way through school. As technologies continue to advance, they’ll be situated to excel at implementing the newest tactics in logistics. Recent college graduates are positioned to drive innovation forward in logistics, maybe even by not working explicitly in the field. By understanding a mobile app that could benefit the logistics field, one may be able to spark the next big change. It’s an exciting time to be involved in this field and there will surely be more opportunities moving forward.