Digital Revolution Makes Logistics Key
The digital revolution is an opportunity for Germany’s third-largest industry to take center stage and become the engine of economic innovation. That’s the conviction of the leading industry players and top consultants who gathered at this year’s PraxisForum Logistik, hosted by AXIT, a Siemens Company.
“The digital revolution makes logistics a key economic factor,” declared Klaus van Marwyk, a partner at the management consulting firm of Roland Berger, speaking at the event hosted by cloud specialist AXIT in Frankenthal. The logistics industry will gradually move from the sidelines and toward the center of strategic planning processes, predicted Marwyk to his audience of 120 business professionals. The reasons, he explained, can be found in the rapid increases in speed, manageability, and cost-efficiency made possible by the digital transformation of logistics processes.
The presentations of best practices painted a clear picture of how businesses can benefit from the advantages of digital processes in logistics. Bayer, for example, used the AX4 platform solution to establish a transport network that is bringing total visibility to the company’s global supply chains – from both an operational and financial perspective.
“Before, we had a diverse system environment with numerous standalone solutions,” said Bernd Stephan, head of transport solutions at Bayer Business Services. “Now, we’re on a solid path toward achieving an end-to-end view of our network through a single interface.”
Eric Pfaffmann, Head of Customer Service Logistics and Head of IT Project Sales at DB Cargo, emphasized how easy and yet secure it is to integrate customers, suppliers, and partners in the cloud. DB Cargo uses the myRailportal platform solution, which is based on AX4, to manage its rail cargo logistics – from orders of empty railcars to transports to deliveries. But the greatest hurdle, he confirmed, was to first obtain the data and then clean it up to establish the necessary level of quality.
“Smart software makes a smart supply chain,” said Uwe Schumacher, vice president of business development, and René Matera, vice president of digital business services, at AXIT. Before you can consolidate, augment, and better analyze data, they explained, you must first integrate diverse IT environments into a single solution.
Holger Hackstein, head of the innovation lab at Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics (SPPAL), believes that as logistics moves into its digital future, the challenge lies in the willingness to change: 80 percent of the work of innovation, he said, is not technical in nature. Instead, it’s about getting the workforce on board.
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