E-commerce has undeniably changed the way supply chain and logistics functions are perceived. In BtoC or BtoB, its advent has finally demonstrated its decisive character for a better customer experience. From now on, it is therefore necessary to start digitizing these processes, using 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 digitalization of the supply chain has become a major element of competitiveness and differentiation. And the phenomenon also applies to the BtoB sector. Any company that does not make this shift, regardless of the quality of its products, will be at a disadvantage vis-à-vis the market. There is therefore a double issue of differentiation. Improving the customer experience and service while optimizing 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 by themselves. And for this collaboration to be efficient, it means not only processing the physical flow, but also extending information management to its entire ecosystem.
Collaborate using transport and logistics management software
To meet these needs, a solid foundation in terms of information systems is essential. And for good reason, it is complicated to digitize a supply chain still running on Excel! Having a software execution base adapted to its activity on warehousing, order management, transport… is a prerequisite for any digitisation process.
Building on the development of collaborative transport platforms
Then comes the collaborative aspect. For example, a collaborative transport platform-type tool allows the entire ecosystem to be on board, each with its own information system. Today, many transport software applications exist, bridging the gap and enabling this common sharing of processes. One example is the cloud and collaborative transport platform, Join2ship, which 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, order integration, choice of carriers, real-time shipment tracking, dematerialization of proof of delivery, alerts… Join2ship was 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 bases, 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 elements of handling, control and extraction around forecasting, warehouse and transport, all interfaced with the ERP.
The development of APIs – Application Programming Interfaces – now offers the possibility to connect systems more efficiently to each other and thus to a company’s transport and logistics ecosystem. At the same time, at DDS Logistics, we truly believe in the analysis of this data through the development of artificial intelligence.
Human beings at the heart of change
But that’s not all. The human aspect is also important. Entering into a process of commitment and support of its ecosystem through digital tools will allow to build processes including suppliers, customers and to operate a more and more virtuous collaboration.
Today, our customer, manufacturers and distributors, most of whom are enrolled in a BtoB approach, are making initial efforts on the foundations of their digital approach. The awareness is there. At DDS Logistics, we are clearly observing the evolution towards a mature market. Previously led by the supply chain department, the digitisation project is now being led by all the strategic departments, including the company’s general management.