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  May 21st, 2016 | Written by

Executives Explain How Data and Technology are Transforming Logistics

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  • Cycles are happening faster, requiring nimble supply chains.
  • Analytics in the supply chain is critical in today’s world.
  • In logistics, technology is the glue that allows services to be delivered with the utmost efficiency.

A recent report published by the research outfit eft has revealed the biggest challenges facing senior supply chain and logistics executives at leading shippers and logistics providers.

The companies mapped out the landscape they are attempting to navigate, exploring how they envisage the future, where they are investing and what role data, technology, and innovation will play.

Barbara Hodel, the parts distribution director at Caterpillar, predicted that suppliers will continue to see volatility across the industry. “Cycles are happening faster, requiring nimble supply chains,” she said. Technology and innovation allow supply chain managers to serve their customers better. “The power of analytics throughout the supply chain from customer to the supplier to achieve customer solutions

and results for their businesses is critical in today’s world,” said Hodel. “We must move from an internal focus for supply chain to the speed and velocity of information and innovation to solve customer issues. Data scientists and analytics are a talent to continue to be grown.”

“In our industry, technology is the glue that allows services to be delivered with the utmost efficiency,” added Brad Jacobs, CEO of XPO Logistics. “The internet of things is at hand – it’s estimated that 26 billion Internet-connected devices will be in use by 2020. And looking at the longer term, the practical applications of artificial intelligence and nanotechnology are likely to transform how goods are stored, handled and delivered.”

Claudia Knowlton-Chike, senior vice president for supply chain at Emerald Performance Materials said consumers will continue to expect more in terms of quality, excellence, variety, speed, and cost. “Those supply chains that get this right dominate,” she said. “Data plays a huge role and those who are able to dig into the data and connect the dots are worth gold. Network optimization, modeling, and pricing all require strong analytics and people with analytical minds who can then apply good business judgment are in high demand.”