Logistics meets Innovation
November 22nd, 2016
Vlerick Business School, Brussels, Belgium
About the conference 2016
Over the past few years, with the proliferation of ERP, TMS, WMS and BI systems, supply chain organizations have seen an exponential increase in the availability of real-time data from almost every aspect of the operations. While turning the raw data into a relevant insight is an increasingly difficult task, analyzing this data in a smart way can help logistics companies reduce their operational costs.
Although it is often claimed that the “data is the new oil”, the reality is that most supply chain organizations are ill-equipped to deal with the substantial volume of data. Very few logistics departments have the required knowledge, resources, or tools to make the most of the available information. The ability to transform “Big Data” into “Smart Data” is quickly becoming one of the most needed skills in the logistics industry. Innovative application areas in this new domain can range from computer-assisted freight flow visualization, network modeling, and simulation, to demand forecasting, scenario planning, and risk management.
The second Logistics meets Innovation conference on “Big Data in Logistics: Forecasting, Optimization, and Planning” was held on the Brussels campus of Vlerick Business School. During the event, the speakers and the audience shared best practices of how shippers, freight forwarders, and carriers are deploying “Smart Data” strategies to gain a competitive edge.
The conference was organized by Transmetrics and Ahlers and was moderated by Prof. Robert Boute. The partners of the conference were the European Logistics Association (ELA), Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP Benelux Roundtable), and the business books publisher Kogan Page. The conference was sponsored by Vlerick Business School and McKinsey.
About the Presentations
“NXP: From Forecasting & Demand Sensing Towards Big Data”
“Leveraging Data – A CFO’s perspective”
“Improving Air Cargo Through Data Intelligence”
“Demand Forecasting and Optimization at DPD Bulgaria, Case Study”
The Key Takeaways
In conclusion, the success of logistics companies will increasingly depend on the reinforcing causal loop created between data and technology. Improvements in information systems make access to data easier. Easier access to data motivates companies to gather more data inputs. More data requires more complex information systems to manage it. The improved systems and data help companies make better decisions for more efficient and effective supply chains. The accuracy of data and the cost of investment in complex information technology are new challenges that logistics companies will have to manage. Integrating already complex business systems into even more complex technology or embracing one end-to-end system may be a good solution for some companies.
However, the introduction of disruptive technologies such as blockchain, Internet of Things, robotics, and autonomous vehicles requires agile information technology that allows very fast adoption of innovation. As the companies are moving towards Industry 4.0, they will be giving up complex integrated systems and adopting specialized micro-services that will facilitate innovation through flexibility, low cost, better data management, and short life cycles.