Right now the Australian Government considers the freight and logistics industry as an essential component of the national economy, accounting for approximately 8.6 per cent of the country’s GDP. As an island nation, this is perhaps not surprising given Australia’s reliance on imports and exports for just about everything. As a massive contributor to the Australian economy, the supply chain and logistics industry has much to gain from modernising its applications to improve the speed and efficiency with which it handles our goods.
Moving towards modernisation
The supply chain and logistics industry has been modernising for years; with digitisation of records first occurring in the 1990s, and the use of machine learning to improve demand forecasting happening in the early 2000s. Brands like SAP have made much of this modernisation possible, propelling the logistics and supply chain industry forwards.
But how do we level up?
There is no doubt that new applications are needed to drive the industry forward and create competitive advantage. For example, technologies like AI and real-time data analytics have the potential to boost visibility and reaction times across organisations during demand peaks and fluctuations. For the supply chain and logistics industry this means reducing costs, increasing sales, and boosting positive customer outcomes.
Last year, we saw how successful organisations can be when using data. In fact, Amazon Australia credits its $292-million-dollar success in this market to its use of data and predictive analytics to foresee demand for products and power its supply chain accordingly.
Modernisation, in particular the advanced use of data, holds the key for supply chain professionals to be able to anticipate changes in demand quickly and consequently, align critical production capacity, storage and logistics needs. Despite this, there is still an issue facing rapid modernisation and data use across the supply chain; and that’s where the data actually resides.
The delivery and availability of data
Supply chain and logistics is a dynamic industry. Companies must adapt quickly to customer demands, support mobility, drive innovation, eliminate downtime, ensure security and continually upgrade performance—all while satisfying the needs of customers 24/7. The pressure on IT operations within logistics, freight and supply chain is relentless, with any failure likely to have a devastating impact on the business.
That is why IT professionals in this space have to be meticulous in the technologies they deploy and the partners they choose to house their data. All-flash storage has become a foundational technology for supply chain and logistics organisations. It transports data stuck in 20th century infrastructure which includes aging storage systems with lagging performance that are now unable to support the demands of the business. What’s more, all-flash addresses the siloed data that creates slow performance for key applications, which ultimately causes issues with customer fulfilment and satisfaction.
Supply chain and logistics organisations should be making orders of their own when it comes to the warehousing and delivery of their data. Without the basics – that is the availability, reliability, and security of their data – innovation will be forever out of reach. An agile IT infrastructure, with robust, high-performing storage at the core, will provide the supply chain and logistics industry with the foundations to business sustainability and growth both now and in the future.