We all at some point have driven past a Distribution site and on the surface of it the buildings appear to be much the same with the aim to get a product from A to B whether than be regionally, nationally, or even internationally.
From a personal perspective we have seen how technology advances have altered our lives with the introduction of smart phones and tablets enabling us to do pretty much anything from anywhere.
The Distribution and Logistics industry have followed suit meaning that the services they offer are more efficient, more effective, and more flexible than ever before to meet our increase in demand.
Over recent years though due to this increase in demand how much has the industry had to change and how much has technology played a part?
In recent years we’ve seen increased pressure on retailers to provide immediate response and high-quality solutions to their customers’ demands through an online platform. The shift in purchasing behaviors has changed the very nature of the distribution industry with e-commerce providers now almost forming their own sector and third party logistics providers needing to offer return logistics capabilities as well as tracking abilities direct to the consumer on top of conventional solutions.
Development in consignment tracking technology now gives businesses access to greater volumes of information at much deeper levels than they used to – be that distribution information or stock data. With tracking information available to all those involved, communication channels open up and data can flow seamlessly between parties. This means less time is wasted chasing information because it’s all there, logged in the tracking system, allowing planning to be carried out further in advance and more accurately.
Most logistics companies have adopted various forms of vehicle monitoring, from cameras to tracking devices, due to the endless benefits that they can provide. From an efficiency stance, with data and real-time information more readily available, not only can consignments be consolidated but routes can be optimised due to an increased ability to plan in advance and to make changes at the click of a button.
Drones are pieces of tech that have seemingly been pulled from the pages of science fiction and made reality. Handy for a wide variety of applications, drones are set to make appearances in warehouses globally as firms seek to further increase levels of automation. They can aid with tasks that could require a large number of man-hours. One such use is for barcode scanning, according to drone specialists DroneScan. Warehouses are often stacked to the roof with inventory. This makes certain barcodes tricky to reach and could require the use of a forklift, cage and staff to scan them.
Robotic equipment has been used in material handling for some time. But a new generation of advanced robots incorporates enhanced levels of sensing capabilities and algorithms that allow them to better sense their environment and make decisions based on changes in that environment. New vision-sensing technologies are enabling robots to adjust to these variations, allowing, for example, mixed-case palletizing and depalletising to become commonplace.
Behind the scenes, the day-to-day activities of a Distribution and Logistics provider have changed so much as a result of innovative technology that it’s almost unrecognisable from 25 years ago. The question is now what will they look like in another 25 years’ time.
If you are interested in getting into Distribution we have a wide array of roles with a number of leading companies in the Industry so contact us on 0208 166 5252 asap.