How Digital Transformation Can Create Supply Chain Resiliency

E-commerce sales have skyrocketed over the course of the pandemic, with the first half of 2020 showing an increase in e-commerce activity equal to that of the past 10 years – representing 33% of sales. But as the demand for online goods have surged, other factors like workforce shortages, cargo logjams, price hikes, and other disruptions, have threatened to stagnate that growth and have made it difficult to keep up with consumer demand.

Beyond the rapid growth of online purchasing behavior, consumers are now hyper-focused on two key characteristics: speed and flexibility. Consumers expect fast deliveries and contactless last-mile fulfilment, with an increasing desire for transparent order statuses and various options for delivery and returns. And this demand isn’t just affecting the business-to-consumer experience; business-to-business customers are also demanding timeliness for B2B transactions with that same level of transparency and resiliency.

Accelerating Digital Transformation

To meet these demands, transportation and logistics organizations have accelerated digital transformation at extreme rates—by some accounts accelerating their digitization of supply chains and internal operations by three to four years. While this rapid implementation was a result of the immediate pressure of the pandemic, organizations are now institutionalizing these technology tactics. As part of adopting digital transformation in logistics, companies are also improving their strategic plans and cementing solid partnerships with suppliers. Put together, all this allows retailers to continue their momentum, delivery speed and supplier integration in the most efficient and effective ways possible.

Harnessing data for real-time visibility helps ensure logistics run smoothly and the key customer criteria of speed and flexibility are met or exceeded. Technologies like the cloud, IoT sensors, and artificial intelligence provide key data points to transportation and logistics providers. This helps employees better prepare for sudden demand spikes or inventory needs. But the only way this critical data can be acted upon is by providing transportation and logistics employees access to it; that’s where mobile solutions come in.

Accessing Critical Data from Mobile Solutions

Mobile solutions enable employees to access the data from these key data-capturing technologies, so workers can make real-time decisions either on the road or in the warehouse—improving productivity and in turn, supply chain operations.

Mobile devices play a key role in the simplification and transparency of processes like electronic logging, assessing driver and vehicle behavior, and tracking inventory movement from warehouses to final destinations. They also improve route optimization, and provide heightened customer visibility into packages’ locations.

Digital transformation of the supply chain will only continue to grow. By leveraging mobile technologies to interpret data, transportation and logistics companies can not only provide greater visibility for customers, but experience this transformative visibility for themselves.

Learn more about how TOUGHBOOK® mobile solutions are helping to build resiliency in the supply chain.