Better resource management, optimized processes, enhanced customer experiences and minimized costs: the transport and logistics sector is far ahead of other sectors and large parts of industry when it comes to digitization.
The transport and logistics sector benefits from digitization and gives it impetus. Thanks to new digital technologies, this comparatively labor-intensive sector has been able to coordinate its considerable organizational efforts more efficiently and improve customer and partner contacts, use digital technologies to further develop its business models and thus attract new customers and open new markets.
Information and communication technologies are essential components of the digital transformation: Thanks to optimal connectivity, cloud computing, big data and security, in the interconnected world of the Internet of Things machines, devices and sensors can realize their full potential and provide optimal solutions for air and cargo ports, passenger transport, rail and road freight traffic and fast growing parcel delivery services. Connected processes help optimize storage facilities and devise new transport routes and options, for example. Moreover, shipments and vans can be monitored remotely and downtime avoided through predictive maintenance.
Above average scores
The "Digitalisierungsindex Mittelstand" ("SME digitization index" from 2018) surveyed in its third edition more than 2,500 SMEs in Germany to assess their current level of digitization. A sub-report of the study, produced by Deutsche Telekom in collaboration with techconsult, focuses on the results of the companies surveyed in the transport and logistics sector. The transport and logistics industry is one of the digital pacesetters of the German economy. Its digitization level is above the general economic average. The digital leaders among the logistics companies, that is the ten percent of the top digitizers in the industry, are even more satisfied than the other companies in their sector concerning key business indicators such as turnover, sales and order processing time. They have particularly accelerated on their transformation path.
Growing transport volumes
Large sections of our economy and society are responding to the consequences of continuing networking and digitization, the so-called fourth revolution. Virtually all areas of logistics are facing major challenges: Products are increasingly available in individualized one-off productions. Consumers expect delivery in 24 hours. And they want to be able to trace their delivery at all times. The increased and accelerated shipping volumes leads to an exponentially growing structural complexity of logistics networks and supply chains - with correspondingly rising data volumes. What is also intensifying is the demand for flexibility and adaptability in every phase of the delivery process.
Transparency is key
Speed and transparency are absolute musts. This affects freight carriers wanting to offer their customers seamless shipment tracking. They have to start by digitally connecting their drivers and vehicles and synchronizing the resulting data at their head offices. This allows to see their delivery's location and status at all times. And it also pays off in the international transportation of goods: For example, unnecessary waiting times and additional costs may arise if information is not forwarded in time during customs clearance at a port. One way to solve the problem is a system using a central data platform that automatically and dynamically assigns time slots for container handling while also taking account of information about delayed trucks. At the same time, it allows truck drivers to reserve parking spaces using a smartphone app.
Machine to machine
Logistics companies are making systematic use of the opportunities offered by digital transformation to stay ahead of the tough competition within the industry. While small companies mainly focus on optimizing individual processes and areas, for larger companies it is worth reconsidering their entire value creation, i.e. all of their business and production processes. This affects all business models, customer communications, processes, applications, technologies, infrastructure and machines that talk to machines.
Quality makes all the difference
Of course, companies in the transport and logistics industry are aware of the importance of digital skills as a decisive success factor: knowledge of data security and data protection as well as IT security and the secure handling of digital devices and applications. In addition to training courses only quality can make the difference: Highly available and stable networks. IT of the highest quality. Secure products and solutions. And partners to support digitization. When these conditions are met, entrepreneurs only have to take the first step toward digitization. And then the next one.
Digitization. Simply. Make it happen. With this tenet Deutsche Telekom is helping companies to recognize the opportunities that digitization offers their business and to implement suitable solutions. In this context, partnership means supporting customers from the very beginning – and enlightening them on all facets of the digital transformation. Consultancy is founded on five pillars.
The attitude is: Be brave – decision-makers must see the digital transformation as a growth opportunity. It offers the potential to make their businesses even more successful.
Changed perspective: You must reconsider your products and services. When doing so, it often helps to look at things from a new angle. This lets entrepreneurs identify new opportunities and be brave.
Step by step: Tried and tested concepts needn't be turned on their head at once. Even small changes can optimize internal processes and create new business ideas.
Customer proximity: Little by little as many internal and external processes as possible should be digitized. As this progresses, companies should always offer their customers ways of contacting them.
Data privacy: Data is the new fuel of successful companies. They are valuable and therefore should be closely guarded.