If the logistics industry has learned anything in the past several years, it is the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Whether it was the ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, disruptions in the supply chain, or coping with inflation, top companies have learned how to be agile and resilient.
But... What has made these top companies so resilient? The answer appears to be tech. A survey by Comcast Business showed nearly one-third of companies would have never implemented the technologies they did if not for the pandemic, with 23% projecting it would have taken them one to three years to realize such changes otherwise. As a result of this digital transformation, many businesses are now more agile and advanced than before.
What is digital transformation?
A digital transformation is the incorporation of new technology solutions to improve how your business operates. In the logistics industry, a digital transformation could include incorporating AI in your warehouse or transportation routing, implementing a new warehouse management software, or beginning to use robotic technology to automate manual labor.
In this article, we’ll discuss three ways a digital transformation can build resilience in your business. We’ll be specifically focusing on the impact of incorporating a new warehouse or transportation management software.
Three ways digital transformation builds resiliency
A warehouse or transportation management software is one of the most impactful and cost-effective solutions your business can integrate. Three ways this software improves resiliency include the following:
- Increased visibility
- Improved automation
- Predictive capabilities
The purpose of increasing visibility within your supply chain and/or warehouse is to gain valuable insight into how operations are currently functioning and identify areas which could be improved. Two features of warehousing software that improve visibility are virtual warehousing and order management.
Virtual warehousing is a feature that allows a user to digitally set aside inventory. This can help you designate inventory for certain platforms in order to have control in a variety of instances such as low stock or higher demand on a specific platform. Additionally, order management becomes exponentially easier when using warehouse management software. With ShipCaddie TWMS orders are automatically uploaded through platform integrations, with marketplaces like Shopify, Amazon, Etsy, and more. Within the platform, you can see the status of the order throughout the fulfillment process. This will help you effectively manage your inventory and be sure you never over-promise your customers by selling them a product you don’t have in stock.
Reducing manual effort in your warehouse process improves resiliency in several ways. First, it takes the weight of repetitive or cumbersome tasks off your employees. This frees them up to do higher level work such as operational improvements or data analysis. Second, it reduces redundancies and the impact of human error.
Let’s look at how this works in the real world. Say, for example, you incorporate an automated business rule that dictates that every order under a certain value will be shipped by X carrier. This business rule allows the software to automatically process and print a shipping label for that carrier every time an order of that value is received. This ensures every order with those criteria is shipped the way you want, and it frees up your employees' time from the mundane task of manually going through orders and printing labels.
The biggest part of resiliency is accurately predicting and reacting to changes. In warehousing, it’s especially important to be able to predict changes in customer demand and shipping expectations. Warehouse management software allows you to keep track of and look back at historical data in multiple locations. From this data, you can make more accurate predictions about how customer behavior changes both seasonally and in reaction to economic fluxes.
Having the ability to meet expectations in this dynamic environment will help you stand out in the competitive landscape.
It doesn’t matter if you’re big or small, expanding or established, companies everywhere are looking to improve their ability to react to the unexpected parts of life. Warehouse tech, like a TWMS, increasingly is becoming imperative in a business’ ability to be resilient and responsive to these changes.
ShipCaddie TWMS is the first-to-market software which combines the power of traditional warehouse management systems and transportation management systems. If you would like to learn more about how ShipCaddie can help your business, contact us here.