Over the last few years, technology has taken a giant leap and it has shaped our lives in so many different ways – from the rise of smartphones to the development of artificial intelligence systems. Such technological advancements have not been lost on the warehousing and distribution industry.
On the surface, they still offer the same range of services; however, behind the scenes, their day-to-day activities have been drastically changed (and improved) as a result of new logistics technology. Here we take a look at the top five ways in which technology has shaped the industry, ultimately improving the efficiency, effectiveness, and flexibility of the services provided.
No.1: E-Commerce and Online Shopping
Rather than heading to the local high street, people are now much more likely to grab their tablet and go online to do their shopping. Pretty much everything can be bought on the internet – from weekly groceries to new clothes and a birthday present for your friend – and there is increased pressure for retailers to quickly respond to a customer’s order, delivering high-quality products in the shortest amount of time. It’s fair to say, e-commerce is booming, and logistics companies have had no choice but to adapt their services. Many now offer a specialist e-commercial solution for their clients. By utilising advanced logistics technology, they are able to provide next-day delivery on a wide range of products and they offer a parcel tracking service that goes directly to the consumer.
No.2: Tracking Software
Thanks to recent developments in consignment tracking technology, logistics companies have access to a greater volume of information, including everything from the location of a consignment to its estimated arrival time. Of course, this information can be of great benefit to the organisation, significantly improving communication and efficiency at each stage of the warehousing and distribution process. It can also be incredibly useful information to give to clients, allowing them to track the progress of the consignment and creating total transparency. Everything is logged into the tracking system for them to see, and this ultimately improves their level of customer satisfaction.
Here at John K. Phillips, we make full use of such advanced logistics technology. Our state-of-the-art computer systems are capable of tracking the distribution process from pick-up to delivery, offering accurate information on the current location of your goods, the vehicles and drivers involved in the delivery, and its estimated arrival time. We also use innovative signature capturing devices to provide real-time data and keep our clients fully up-to-date on the progress of their consignment.
No. 3: Bar-Coding Facilities
Barcode scanning is a fantastic example of how logistics technology has improved over the years. These simple scanning devices completely optimise the day-to-day activities of a warehouse, allowing products to be identified, located and picked out in a much quicker and time-sensitive manner. Take for example the computerised bar-coding system currently employed here, at John K. Philips. Having entered our warehouse, all products are assigned a unique barcode and integrated seamlessly into the supply chain process. They can be instantly traced within the warehouse and, when scanned, the barcode offers useful information – such as inward and outward deliveries, stock balances, and batch production details (i.e. best before dates).
No. 4: In-Cab Logistics Technology
When it comes to the warehousing and distribution industry, safety is of paramount importance. This is why, in line with technological advancements, most third-party logistics companies have now adopted vehicle monitoring devices – such as dash cameras and tracking devices. These devices allow the logistics company to track the exact whereabouts of their drivers, monitoring their progression and ensuring their safety throughout the journey. Such distribution technology and real-time data also allow the company to optimise the route of each vehicle. If there is an issue on the intended route, they can plan ahead and make changes to the vehicle’s route with the simple click of a button – thus, ultimately, improving the efficiency of the distribution and delivery service.
No. 5: A Fully Integrated Logistics Solution
The warehousing and distribution process can be quite complex, and it makes sense for one company to take care of all aspects of the process – from start to finish. Thanks to recent advancements in logistics technology, this is now a possibility and many modern logistics companies – such as John K. Philips – offer a fully-integrated warehousing and distribution solution.
Our sophisticated computer systems allow all relevant information to be held in one place for all staff to see. Such easy-access information significantly improves the efficiency of the warehouse and distribution centre. Products can be quickly located and picked, communication is facilitated, and our team of planners can easily optimise delivery schedules and routes. Ultimately, it is the client that benefits, with significantly faster distribution times and reduced operating costs.
The Future of Logistics at John K. Philips
Technology has come a long way in the last few years, making its mark on the warehousing and distribution industry. With the introduction of drones and robotics and advancements in handheld devices and wearable technologies, it seems likely for improvements to continue well into the future and – here at John K. Philips – we are excited about what is to come. We may be one of the longest-standing and most successful logistics companies in the North West; however, we pride ourselves on our excellent reputation and we will do everything in our power to continually improve our services.
If you would like to find out more about our warehousing and distribution services, or if you have any questions about the advanced technology that we currently use and how it could benefit you, please feel free to get in touch. Give us a call on 01744 75100 or drop us a message using the online contact form. Our friendly team of staff are always happy to help, and they will respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.