Automation|Business|Cutting|DIGITALISATION|Environment|Logistics|Materials Handling|Paper|Repairs|Systems|Technology|Maintenance|Solutions|Environmental
Automation|Business|Cutting|DIGITALISATION|Environment|Logistics|Materials Handling|Paper|Repairs|Systems|Technology|Maintenance|Solutions|Environmental

Trend toward digitalisation continues

9th February 2024

By: Lynne Davies

Creamer Media Reporter


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Materials handling firms have traditionally relied on paper-based processes, however, as these processes are staggeringly manual, time-consuming, highly inefficient and prone to human error, companies are increasing their reliance on and use of the mobile workforce as a key source of data collection.

Through digital form builders and applications that can be used by the mobile workforce to serve as a data aggregator at source, companies are revolutionising traditional approaches in the supply chain, says software solutions provider Forte Supply Chain Solutions.

“With the suitable software solutions, a single data entry point can eliminate the duplication of multiple manual entry points, saving time and money,” states Forte Supply Chain CEO Pieter Hendrik Greyling.

Incorporating integrated software solutions enables notable improvements, including real-time analytics on day-to-day activities, which adds significant value to all relevant stakeholders, specifically in terms of decision-making.

Greyling further explains that digitalisation continues to be a key trend that is expected to transform the supply chain industry, given the rapidly evolving capabilities of generative artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, automation, and machine learning, among others.

“The smart supply chain is well on its way to becoming the new normal,” he says.

He notes that e-commerce has created an immense pressure on supply chains with companies needing to “step up” and be innovative to respond to these rapidly and continually shifting logistics trends.

Sustainability is another key trend that is expected to shape the supply chain industry in the coming years as customers place a greater emphasis on environmental and socio-political factors to inform their buying decisions.

“Cutting-edge technologies play a crucial role in optimising vehicle performance and ensuring efficient transportation logistics in the field of fleet management,” states Greyling.

A few key areas where technology plays a role include telematics systems that enable real-time tracking of vehicles, alongside estimated-time-of-arrival predictions.

Business intelligence tools also provide advanced analytics to analyse the data accumulated to generate insights to enable data-driven decisions. These tools incorporate fleet management solutions for predictive maintenance, which reduces unplanned downtime, while avoiding costly repairs – something that is becoming increasingly important given the complexity of logistics and the constrained economic environment.

In addition, there are a few challenges when it comes to warehousing and materials handling, such as inaccurate inbound quantities leading to inaccurate stock quantities, the fact that stocktaking exercises are often manual processes, and the difficultly in reconciling stock across manual and digital systems, among others.

“These challenges can be solved with the digitalisation of the processes, such as the use of integration technologies to source documentation which allows receiving against initial documents to track variances and cycle counts to keep stock consistently accurate.”

Greyling concludes that Forte Supply Chain Solutions is continually engaging with clients in the hope of bridging the software gap.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor



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