By Srinivas L
New age logistics companies are using technology to make massive supply chains easier to manage. A few ways they are leveraging technology to increase the efficiency of SMEs supply chains are as follow.
The availability of real-time tracking is undoubtedly one of the most crucial reasons behind the success of the e-commerce industry. Real-time monitoring is made possible by high-speed internet. It is not a coincidence that since the rollout of affordable 4G connectivity, e-commerce in India has skyrocketed. Effortless and accurate real-time tracking of products is among the many reasons why 4G facilitated the e-commerce industry.
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Buyers are benefitting from real-time tracking, as well. They know the near to accurate location and time of the deliveries.Consequently, SMEs that ship goods using logistics companies that offer real-time monitoring are perceived as being better by the buyers. Hence such SMEs enjoy more orders than their competitors.
In addition to SMEs and buyers, delivery persons are also benefitting from real-time tracking. They are being provided with clear directions to buyers’ offices or homes and when necessary, quickly contact them. In instances when an order is cancelled while in transit, they are alerted immediately saving effort, time, and their employers’ money.
Real-time tracking is removing all grey areas associated with logistics and giving every stakeholder complete transparency. By providing SMEs real-time tracking of incoming and outgoing deliveries, new age logistics companies are making shipping more straightforward than ever before.
Scarcely does any industry remain that is untouched by artificial intelligence (AI). In logistics, AI has a huge role to play, as well. Artificial intelligence is helping the supply chain managers manage huge supply chains by assisting in decision making.
A manager overseeing a supply chain must consider the interests of his employer. To do so, he or she must find ways to lower costs; this can be accomplished by sourcing from vendors that offer better value. AI is spotting opportunities along supply chains that even seasoned supply chain managers miss. Once AI identifies better vendors, it brings them to the attention of managers to assess the advantages or disadvantages of changing a supply chain. Once managers believe they’ve considered all options, they make the final decision.
Artificial intelligence is being applied in even more nuanced ways by new-age logistics companies. Consider that for SMEs that ship to customers, managing returns is a huge opportunity and challenge. It is an opportunity because when returns are managed in a manner that meets customers’ expectations, it wins business for SMEs. Conversely when returns are poorly managed SMEs sales suffer. Managing returns presents another challenge, as well. Many customers habitually return goods for no reason. Managing such customers is challenging for every SME.
AI is making managing returns easy by ensuring delivery persons when required to return goods, carry suitable replacements. Also, it is predicting with a high degree of accuracy, which buyers are likely to return goods. Armed with such information, SMEs can decide whether they want to ship to those who are likely to return goods. AIs capability extends further, as well. It often automatically blocks orders from buyers who are sure to make returns. Hence AIis saving SMEs tremendous time, money and effort and leading to confident decision making by SMEs.
New age logistics companies are helping SMEs become more efficient by assisting them in shipping along optimized supply chains. Technology in the hands of logistics companies is helping SMEs lower costs and giving customers the kind of experience, they expect.
The author is CEO & Co-founder of 72 Networks