No product would reach the end user if it isn’t for the distribution industry. Whether you are a manufacturer, own a brick and mortar store or run an ecommerce business, the key to success is effective distribution of your products. In fact, according to IBISWorld’s Public Storage & Warehousing market research report published in April 2016, the warehousing and storage industry in United States is valued at $22 billion, employing more than 600,000 people. New Jersey alone employed about 370,260 employees in the transportation, logistics and distribution industry in 2015, according to statistics released by New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development.
The good news, however, is that with innovations in technology, the process of managing warehousing and distribution, along with other logistics of a business has become much easier. In fact, the availability of innovative methods like distribution software is rapidly changing the face of the distribution industry.
4 Key Changes in the Distribution Industry Due to Technology
1. Enhanced Performance
Distribution and logistics have become a part of marketing and are now directly linked to sales. Inventory is continuously moving and customer satisfaction depends on the real-time information regarding the movement of their packages. Distribution software allows just this type of tracking, giving you real time information regarding various parameters of your choice, according to a spokesperson for logistics solution provider Key Software Systems. It allows you to track your shipment and update the customer continuously.
2. Flexibility and Productivity
Technology has reduced the need for manual labor and human intervention. Supply chains use distribution networks to anticipate demand and order volumes, while distributors are able to make decision regarding their services, by being able to predict timing and quantity. This gives them more flexibility and increases productivity, while also reducing operating costs.
3. Better Warehouse Management
Technology has resulted in better use of space in warehouses, as well as improved space and accuracy of delivery. It gives the opportunity to produce great results from small warehouses. All the data and tasks can be easily managed from a central computer, while computer controlled conveyors are also used for loading goods on to the right delivery vehicle.
4. Traffic Management and Delivery
GPS tracking and fleet management software provide managers data regarding vehicle status, traffic status, driver performance, etc., which is used to choose the most effective routes leading to fuel efficiency and lower delivery time.
Technology has changed and will continue to change the way delivery is managed and executed. Declining human intervention, increased streamlining and the wringing of costs from the supply change would continue to be the trends. There remains a lot to be explored in the distribution industry and both logistics managers and software developers will be looking to make the best use of technology to unlock the potential of this industry.