Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 42 seconds

Supply chain and logistics industry is going through a tremendous transformation made possible by innovation and new technology. Such transformation is causing customers to increasingly demand more. Consequently, competition is heating up and logistics providers are doing everything within their power to stay in the market. Technological advancements are the leading differentiators that companies are exploiting in the industry.

Companies are using technology to ease communication between retailers and manufacturers. For instance, various software driven by advanced algorithms are being deployed to keep track of sales and also to make sure that manufacturers are aware of the needs of retailers and by extension their customers in real-time.

For example, when a customer orders something out of the norm, the manufacturer is alerted without going through a middleman. Therefore, thanks to technology, a middle step that existed  between the manufacturer and the consumer has been eliminated.

Through superior technologies, customers now have a partner able to deliver high-touch and custom transportation models. Clients are able to transfer information and data related to the products in the supply chain faster than before. Accordingly, visibility which is a key component of supply chain success is enabled by new technologies that are user-friendly, enabling customers to view their products from origin to destination. 

Effective integration between logistics companies and customer has been lacking. However, a robust software platform creates efficiency and improves response times, eliminating traditional challenges. Multiple platforms are available to integrate with their entire network and obtain real-time data regarding their cargo and shipments. This reduces slowdowns some of which are due to poor response times while also lowering inventory levels across the supply chain.

At the same time, quick response to customer needs reduces the inventory levels and increases client satisfaction and operational efficiency. A good service provider takes advantage of electronic data interchange (EDI) to share information. This technology does various things which include tracking invoicing, eliminating data entry time and errors and at the same time allow the supplier or manufacturer to offer real-time updates to their customers.

Better visibility of products as a result of technology improves customer loyalty. It also offers increased transparency and allows consumers to quickly access and manage purchase orders (PO’s). With the right technology in place, the end-user will get their new high-value product delivered to their doorstep on time and as ordered. It also eases access to product photos and other multi-media that provides integrity, a leading requirement by many clients in the logistics sector.

The elimination of manually edited forecasting models reduces forecasting errors, overstocking, backorders and in the end reverse logistics and enhances only the desired customer service levels. For purchased items, accessing acquisition transaction costs reduces average inventory and receiving labor while reducing average inventory as a result of shorter runs in manufactured products. Narrow aisle handling equipment and layouts, on the other hand, improves utilization of space in warehouses be it leased or public.

Generally, there are various ways in which using modern technology in the supply chain helps lower inventory levels. Consequently, taking control of inventory with technology goes further into reducing inventory cost and enhances efficiency. Proper management of inventory levels increases performance and efficiency and customer satisfaction due to highly streamlined operations.

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

Find his portfolio here and his personal bio here

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