Evolution of Technology Solutions in Logistics

The supply chain is becoming more complex by the day posing new challenges at every step. With globalization and increased competition companies today are looking to focus on their core competencies. Logistics companies have a larger role to play with more and more aspects of business being outsourced. Optimization of resources by utilizing information technology will help logistic companies to meet the challenges and to improve efficiency and service.

Information Technology has permeated every aspect of business today. While many of the businesses have been quick in seizing the advantage that information technology offers, the logistics sector, especially in India, has failed to make the most of it. The reasons for this are not that difficult to fathom. The sector has been known to be wary of spending on information technology, considering it an expense rather than a ?Key Differentiator? that will be a catalyst to greater efficiency and productivity, leading to better customer experience. Among the companies that have adopted information technology majority still use outdated legacy systems. These systems cater to separate functions of the organization and are operated locally.

With the legacy systems it becomes impossible to gain a true picture of operations across the different parts of the logistics environment. The process of gathering and interpreting data becomes laborious taking valuable time and completely scuttles the decision making process. Without this information many times it becomes too late for the management to act upon mission-critical issues. Unlike the limited technology solutions of the past, where companies were forced to select different solutions, the advent of ERP and cloud computing technology solutions can now provide an integrated picture across international inbound and outbound logistics.

Integration of Information within an organization is a powerful enabler for reduced costs, increased productivity; and improved customer service. The integration between business processes helps develop communication and information distribution, leading to remarkable increase in productivity, speed and performance. Flexibility is an important consideration whenever information systems are being considered. Logistics systems must be capable of being adapted to meet changing demands quickly and cost-effectively.

ERP systems integrate the processes and offer a wide selection of modules that can be added as and when the need arises. Ideally installation of an ERP system should focus on the main processes within the organization simplifying the basic deployment and offering, cost reduction and more. A prominent example is Softlink?s Logi-Sys. In addition to the basic modules, Logi-Sys includes as an integral part of the system dedicated modules for different aspects of logistics operations. Examples of such modules are Warehousing, Transportation, Financial Accounting, Container Management, Purchase Order Management, CRM and more. The enhanced level of flexibility offered by Logi-sys enables organizations to modify and augment their system with the ever changing business needs. Logi-Sys helps streamline operations and business processes, build efficiencies and enable accelerated growth. Some of the large and small logistics companies currently use Logi-Sys for logistics management and to optimize operations across their branch operations. That includes some of the top international logistics companies. ERP Systems

Growth in Indian Logistics Sector The Indian logistics sector is witnessing rapid and dynamic growth. According to a Frost and Sullivan report, the sector is forecast to witness a consolidation wave in the coming months in view of the reviving fortunes of the sector with booming end-user industries. The reported revenue of the sector is about $82.10 billion in 2010, witnessing a growth of about 9.2 percent over the previous year. With logistics gaining critical importance in the rapidly growing economy, information technology can provide the required stimulus in terms of increased productivity, flexibility and organizational growth. Diverse technology and innovations are available today which can aid logistics companies in improving efficiency and optimizing processes.

In the logistics sector the global benchmark for IT spends is about 2.5 per cent of the revenue. The spend is however higher in the initial period when the IT infrastructure is being built. Logistic companies in India need to change their approach to IT as the importance of information flow in logistics cannot be ignored. While there are business benefits in investment on IT, the damages from under investment or of poorly planned investment decisions are also high. Better awareness and adoption of IT can lead to faster growth and a bright future.

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