Manufacturing companies and logistics service providers have long been searching for a solution to digitalize their business processes. Tools for data acquisition, automation, human-machine interaction and data analysis, frequently attract headlines, but remain scarce in the real-world.
"Often the knowledge about methods and tools has to be combined with concrete application cases in order to reveal a concrete added value for the companies,” emphasizes Michael Huth, Professor for Business Administration and Logistics at Fulda University of Applied Sciences, which carried out a survey on this subject together with Carsten Knauer from BME e.V.
However, logistics is a driver of innovation if the appropriate human resources are available.
Focus and automation – the key ingredients
Speaking to the crowd of logistics professionals working across production, research, teaching, logistics services and trade associations, BVL Regional Chairman, Karsten Busch said: “It is true that the more focused and application-oriented projects for digitization are addressed, the more likely an optimization of the investigated processes can be achieved.
"This will enable shippers and freight forwarders to become more efficient, in particular in terms of transport planning and organization, to minimize administrative effort, to better analyze transport volumes and to cut costs."
Picking up on the theme of automation, Stefan Viehmann, Senior Vice President of Global Customer Solutions at Kühne + Nagel, emphasized that this serves the customer relationship in particular: "In addition to automation goals, we are primarily pursuing better customer interaction, integrated processes and the accelerated development of new products and services. The recent launch of the myKN customer portal demonstrates the determination to position digital innovation in the marketplace."
Software for digitalizing transportation
So large logistics service providers are already prepared. But what do companies do that are looking for suitable software vendors to digitize business processes? Christoph Gross, managing director and certified IT consultant at the Munich Supply Chain Competence Center, used the example of TMS (Transport Management Systems) to show how selection support can be provided by digital platforms such as the IT matchmaker: "Digital tendering technologies enable a high degree of detail with less effort. In addition, users of these platforms can focus on analyzing the results to find the most appropriate provider."
The event brought together six speakers, 80+ participants and was held in the Mercedes Benz Truck Center in Kassel, Germany.