E-commerce has undeniably changed the way supply chain and logistics functions are perceived. In BtoC or BtoB, its advent has finally demonstrated its determining character for a better customer experience. From now on, it is therefore necessary to start digitising these processes, in particular by means of digital tools such as transport software.
Today, no one can imagine buying a product on an e-commerce site without tracking and delivery by appointment. In this sense, the digitalisation of the supply chain has become a major element of competitiveness and differentiation. And the phenomenon also applies to the BtoB sector. The company that does not make this shift, regardless of the quality of its products, will be at a disadvantage vis-à-vis the market. The challenge of differentiation is therefore twofold. Improving the customer experience and service while optimising operational efficiency throughout the chain.
To do this, companies must now learn to collaborate with their entire ecosystem. They must give the customer the means to control part of the process themselves. And for this collaboration to be efficient, this means not only dealing with the physical flow but also extending information management to the whole of its ecosystem.
Working with transport and logistics management software
To meet these needs, solid foundations in terms of information systems are essential. And for good reason, it is complicated to digitise a supply chain still operating in Excel! Having a base of software execution adapted to its activity on warehousing, order management, transport… is a prerequisite to any digitalisation process.
Building on the development of collaborative transport platforms
Then there is the collaborative aspect. A tool such as a collaborative transport platform can, for example, bring on board its entire ecosystem, each of which has its own information system. Today, there are many transport software packages that can bridge the gap and enable this common sharing of processes. The cloud and collaborative transport platform Join2ship, for example, brings together shippers, service providers and customers to enable them to build a qualitative and sustainable relationship while offering the quality of service of e-commerce to B2B. Management of delivery appointments, integration of orders, choice of carriers, real-time tracking of shipments, dematerialisation of proof of delivery, issuing of alerts, etc. Join2ship has been designed as a real social network between suppliers, shippers and carriers.
Data and new technologies, levers for the digitalisation of transport and logistics
In addition to its software foundations, it is also necessary to know how to extract and analyse the raw material. That is to say, the information and with it the ability to benefit from manipulation, control and extraction elements around forecasting, warehousing and transport, all interfaced with the ERP.
The development of APIs – Application Programming Interfaces – now offers the possibility of connecting systems together more effectively and thus the transport and logistics ecosystem of a company. At the same time, at DDS Logistics, we truly believe in the analysis of this data through the development of artificial intelligence.
Putting people at the heart of change
But that is not all. The human aspect is also essential. Entering into a process of commitment and support for its ecosystem through digital tools will make it possible to build processes that include suppliers and customers and to operate an increasingly virtuous collaboration.
Today, our clients, manufacturers and distributors, most of whom have a BtoB approach, are making initial efforts to lay the foundations of their digital approach. The awareness is there. At DDS Logistics, we can clearly see that the market is moving towards maturity. Previously driven by the supply chain business unit, the digitalisation project is now being driven by all strategic departments, including the company’s general management.