Digital transformation is re-shaping the logistics industry. This transformation encompasses green initiatives, supply chain and last-mile innovations, predictive modeling, evolving customer expectations and regulatory changes. But how do businesses adapt to this change while staying true to their core values and practices?

Technological solutions are the compass enterprises need to capitalize on the digital storm, turning challenges into unique growth opportunities. However, the logistics industry has yet to take full advantage of digitalization.

Reflecting on this, a Gartner analyst says, “Supply chain leaders perceive technology primarily as a competitive advantage – they focus on long-term value. Yet, 80 percent of organizations favor a cautious approach when adopting new supply chain applications and technologies.”

A collaborative whitepaper, jointly produced by WNS and the Journal of Commerce by S&P Global, explores the key challenges and opportunities in modern logistics transformation. It emphasizes the path forward in bridging the gap between technology and domain expertise. Here are key insights from the whitepaper:

Addressing the Roadblocks to Logistics Digital Transformation

The journey toward digital transformation is seldom without hurdles. As the logistics sector moves forward, it’s essential to recognize these challenges, understand their intricacies and strategically address them.

  • Overcoming legacy infrastructure and a fear of the unknown

    Modernizing an established system can be a significant undertaking. The tech landscape is mercurial, and today’s innovation could be obsolete tomorrow. However, digital transformation doesn’t necessitate a complete overhaul. By leveraging modular, plug-and-play solutions and agile approaches, businesses can cater to their specific needs.

    Organizations must digitize analog information and move away from spreadsheets. This requires carefully evaluating legacy systems, progressing from data to processes, integrating digital applications and aligning with regulations. These changes will pave the way for more streamlined, scalable and risk-mitigated processes.

  • Unifying mission-critical systems

    Rapid and coherent information flow is vital to the logistics industry. Disparate processes and information silos affect visibility, accountability and operational expenditure at innumerable points along the value chain.

    To overcome the lack of standardization and interoperability, industry leaders must champion digital transformation, building the necessary integrated and automated infrastructure. Intelligent technologies can help identify data gaps, automate repetitive manual tasks and spotlight areas ripe for integration, collaboration and automation.

  • Harnessing high-value intelligence and insights

    Disjointed systems can stymie the efficacy of business intelligence. A unified platform is necessary to discover gaps in capabilities or performance and respond quickly.

    Additionally, key business intelligence tools must be integrated to correctly predict demand, plan loads, optimize routes and track shipments in real-time, thus improving supply chain performance. In a notoriously fractured industry, a higher level of interoperability can bring advantages by enabling seamless collaborations with multiple partners.

How BPM Partnerships Can Navigate These Challenges

Amid growing global transaction complexities, digital optimization of core business processes is essential for the logistics industry. Forward-thinking companies are leveraging tech to steadily enhance efficiency, inventory management, transaction visibility, delivery reliability, sustainability, customer satisfaction and risk management. However, talent gaps and resistance to change are constraining progress.

This is where Business Process Management (BPM) partners can play a crucial role – guiding teams through change, providing insights into user experience and harnessing existing tech tools to accelerate the digitalization journey.

A case in point

A UK-based consolidator was hampered by ad-hoc processes affecting operations, customer relations and costs. A strategic collaboration with a BPM major helped them leverage a purpose-built automated platform to manage shipment documents from varied sources. The application extracted and verified data using artificial intelligence, machine learning and data validation technologies.

The result? An exponential increase in document processing efficiency and accuracy, underlining the value of marrying tech solutions with industry expertise.

In the ever-evolving realm of logistics, a well-balanced partnership – combining technology expertise and deep domain expertise – is key to supporting digital transformation objectives. Such partnerships ensure streamlined operations, advanced tech integration and a future-ready approach that prioritizes timely delivery and cost efficiencies.

Keen to dive further into effective strategies for removing roadblocks to logistics digitalization? Download our comprehensive whitepaper.

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